Week 3: Getting Started with Digital Literacies

After the initial two weeks of working with college staff and my own trainees to build confidence in the project and a little bit of bribery (SMART training) I have started to look at the first digital literacy skill “Find, Evaluate and Apply Information” with some internet navigation fundamentals. We firstly looked at some basic search terms for Google Chrome and Windows Explorer, highlighted sites that curate sources and materials into topics and themes in addition to the usual HE data bases and journals. We discussed how their learners would initially find information them selves, the importance of evaluating and 'vetting' sources of information and this debate left us very little time to delve into the relms of skillful application of information into their own content.

Staff and trainees reflected on the benefits of developing this skills with their own learners and the difficulties faced when not making a conscious effort to alter their habits when using google as a first point of reference. My own personal reflections on this session are that it was quite interesting to see that the staff and trainee teachers within this session did not have the basic digital literacy skills of “find, evaluate and apply information” in some cases. Where some participants in the session did, they were not as effective as they could be. Which made me think 'how can staff and trainees develop their learners digital Literacies in class when they do not have the ability or confidence them selves?” Again I felt like this was a another “back step” in the project and something I will need to consider further.

With this in mind, I think there is potential to change the projects phase 1 strategy and scheme of work to build on staff and trainee skills before moving onto more complex skills and even using Xerte for that matter. I think that Xerte can be brought into the 14 week programme at week 10 and almost fast track participants and the project through at that stage. No doubt I will conclude on this concept as the weeks go by.

As this session concluded, we created something of a “take a-way menu” to try and put some of this learning into practice and this was the result…

  • Options
    • Create a 'Help Mat' resource on effective internet searches for students to use in class
    • Create a top ten list of 'Brilliant Teachers Websites' to share with your collegues
    • Find an 'Outstanding Lesson Resource' and share it with your collegues
    • Get your students to use an 'interactive resource' on the SMART board and record evidence of this
    • Evaluate your learning today and create three actions that you will complete to improve your skills

It was quite interesting to see that there is little activity on “evaluating” information but much focus on “finding” so this skill needs much more development. If staff and trainees are doing little of it them selves, how can we expect the learners to pick up good habits? Without physically going into their own lessons, how can I improve staff skills quickly so that they can work on digital Literacies skills with the variety of learners the college admits each term? I think I have my work cut out.

 

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