Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies

There are some phrases — “communities of practice” and “close reading” spring to mind — that we as educators tend to use automatically. It’s never just an “online community” or “reading.” Sometimes, this is because we’re not aware of the very specific meaning of these terms; sometimes it’s because we want to make what we’re doing sound more important or useful than it is.

I have to confess that I was using the term “Deliberate Practice” (which I’ll capitalise for emphasis) incorrectly. I had been using it to mean “practice done deliberately.” My mother sitting me down every day for 20 minutes as a child for piano practice would be an example of that. But, as Kathy Sierra explains in her book, Badass: Making Users Awesome, Deliberate Practice is much more specific than this. In fact, she gives some guidelines:

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