Film Prompts for Discussing Digital Literacies

In a lecture she gave as part of the "History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education MOOC," Dr. Cathy N. Davidson identified the following digital literacies: privacy, security, intellectual property, safety, crap detection, collaboration, and global consciousness. The following analyses recommend films that could be used as prompts to discuss these and other literacies.



The Seven Samurai (1954)


My favorite movie "about"¯ new modes of collaboration for the world we live in now is a very old movie; the classic Japanese film Seven Samurai. I blog about it in "How To Take On the MOOCs—"And the Rest of Higher Ed Too"—But"“Spoiler Alert!"“please don't read the blog if you haven't seen the movie and plan to because it gives away the ending.

The relevant part is that each samurai has a very special role and function that he contributes and you win by finding that special talent in one another and learning how to make that talent work with your own. Since each talent also has a downside, the pairing also means being able to have someone you trust and admire help you curb your own negative side or weakness even as they bolster your best side and help you aspire, always, to be your best—and always, all of it, for the good of the group. That's a method to live by. At HASTAC we call it "collaboration by difference,"¯ and it is almost the inverse of a world where you go around labeling "learning disabilities."¯ Instead, it says we all have extraordinary learning abilities that we can contribute to one another. Enjoy! And thanks again for setting such a great example to all.

—Cathy N. Davidson