Learning in a designed world
Information literacy from rock carvings to apps
Human beings have an incredible talent for learning and for converting the insights they make into technologies. Some of these technologies (hammers, knives, bicycles etc.) transform our bodily capacities; they change the way we interact with the world when we repair an object or move between places. Other technologies (numbers, writing systems, texts, calculators) transform our capacities to think, remember, solve problems and communicate with fellow human beings. These symbolic technologies, as the evolutionary psychologist Merlin Donald calls them, play a decisive role for our capacity to learn, to preserve information and, more generally, to think at the individual as well as collective level. And these technologies are restless, they change continuously. In a designed world, our intellectual capacities are dependent on our abilities to productively utilize such external resources in what we do. What we know is no longer exclusively beneath the skin or between our ears.
Copyright (c) 2021 Roger Säljö
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).