I held the first ‘Improve Your Digital Literacy’ Session on Thursday the 3rd October 2013 during the twilight hours of 5-7. The decision was made to hold it on Thursday between 5 and 7 so that I could maximise the attendance of trainee teachers and the college academic staff and this has proved successful. In this first session I simply completed some diagnostic assessments on the trainee teachers to find out what level of technology use they apply within classroom and day-to-day teaching duties. This was based around the SAMR model of technology effectiveness. Activities included a survey, small group discussions on personal skills, work skills, their learners personal skills and learner classroom skills. We also created graphic organisers of these discussions to see how connections can be made. We also learnt a few simple IT skills such as managing emails, calendars and creating short-cuts to support trainee teachers along the way. A piece of homework was set which encouraged trainees to record and reflect upon discussions within the session and also evaluate their findings from their digital literacy diagnostic assessments.
In this initial diagnostic assessment session, I found that most trainees where at the simplest level of ICT use, personally and within a classroom environment, so I need to work or some basic IT skills before I can move into more digital literacy focused sessions and before we begin to create content with Xerte.
On the 10th October 2013, I held the second ‘Improving your Digital Literacies’ Class. The trainees firstly identified safe and secure uses of technology before we investigated how to handle routine problems with technology. This was completed as a paper based ‘thinking hats carousel’ but I believe this would also be helpful as an Xerte learning object which I might have the trainees create as their first Xerte object later in the course.
The most engaging aspect of the session was when trainees investigated SMART boards and their capabilities in the classroom via guided discovery. Groups were provided with ipads and a quick links to you-tube videos http://youtu.be/dwla8E6jz4g and http://youtu.be/xKwkjjc3Ywo then broke off into small groups working in separate classrooms to get to grips with the software packages and evaluate the learning that has taken place.
I felt it was important in the second week to allow these trainee teachers to build confidence and skills in fundamental uses of IT for teaching before moving onto higher levels to create content and use digital literacy skills.
In the next session we are going to continue with the SMART Boards and iboards but consider the students use and how they can create content with a beginners look at digital literacy skills.