Archive for October, 2012
During the week, Ofcom released their latest report – Children and Adults Media use and attitudes report 2012.
Some of the main headlines that attracted attention were:
Over a third of 3-4 years olds are helped to go online using a desktop PC, laptop or netbook and 6% go online via a tablet computer!
Children who use the internet mostly alone comprise one in seven internet users aged 5-7 (14%), one in four aged 8-11 (24%) and over half of those aged 12-15 (55%)
While most children would tell someone if they encountered something inappropriate, a minority were unsure or would not tell anyone
Lack of confidence in using the internet is an issue for a number of parents, and the risks of grooming, cyber-bullying or access to inappropriate content are not always front-of-mind for many parents.
UK-wide reports like this one from Ofcom are vital to raise awareness of the lack of confidence and digital skills amongst different age groups. As Library and Information Professionals working in FE, this report also provides supporting evidence for the levels of help that we are required to provide to both learners and tutors on a daily basis. It confirms some of the conclusions regarding the skills sets of learners and tutors surveyed at the beginning of the project – across all the partner organisations – and further highlights the need for Digital Literacy programmes in education.
Digital Literacy is not simply about knowing which tools are most appropriate to use and understanding how to use them to best effect – it is also about developing an awareness of your Digital Footprint and how to manage your identity online, learning the etiquette of communicating in an online world and what it means to be a citizen in our Information Society.
Some additional resources that have been developed and curated as part of the PADDLE project include supporting material for the ESafety pages on Moodle in Grwp Llandrillo Menai. They help to support tutors and learners with :
– Esafety/Digital Footprint Class resources (videos, discussion points, quizzes, handouts and crib sheets)
– Esafety handouts with top tips
– Sources to find support
– Information for parents
– Esafety resources created by learners with disabilities and learning difficulties
– Esafety resources created by referred/excluded learners
– Safer online shopping information
– Spotting fakes and fraud online
– Basic media literacy awareness
We also add content regularly to our favourite E-Safety webpages list – http://delicious.com/llandrillo_library/esafety .
This is an important part of what the LLTS team here in Grwp Llandrillo Menai can deliver in their supporting role with in the College, but providing information like this is vital to give learners a solid foundation to their Digital Literacy activities online.
Pete’s though-provoking input on re-imagining DL and request to re-visit the DL Frameworks for Learners and Staff has enabled the group to focus on the real-time outputs of the project so far. At a group meeting this week we established which aspects we can now map and expand to other campuses and partners.
There are several successes which will be extended and adapted to include other partners, both within the project group and those outside –
AE – Linking Library resource COP’s across Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Deeside College and Yale College. Also investigating the development of an Information Literacy Champions network that will be facilitated online by both PADDLE and WILP
PR – Framework skills development for staff and learners. Additional base-lining for HE staff and request for external ‘visitors and residents’ study
AE+PR – Extending ‘gotomeeting’ webinar software, with training guides and support, across the PADDLE network
SM – Linking student study groups between Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai (ACCESS Health) and between Coleg Llandrillo and Glyndwr University (Library FDA)
PC – Extending the ILS survey and resource support between Deeside College and Coleg Llandrillo
SW – extending the successful model of engaging governors and Senior Management Team with learning technologies and new skills across the partner network
The next DL programme meeting will take place in Birmingham on 16th October. The PADDLE team are developing their own digital literacies to present the project in an innovative and entertaining way – Andrew, Patrick and Sarah will be at the meeting to tell you more!
At the project meeting this week we discussed the need for a broader view of digital literacy.Project members will refine the following ideas before looking again at the frameworks for specific staff and student cohorts (more to follow on these).
Looking again at Digital Literacy definitions, Futurelab provides a compact statement:
To be digitally literate is to have access to a broad range of practices and cultural resources that you are able to apply to digital tools. It is the ability to make and share meaning in different modes and formats; to create, collaborate and communicate effectively and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes.
JISC and others include the notion of literacy for ‘Living, Learning & Working’ which makes many definitions and frameworks very narrow focusing only on an educational/information perspective.
I think we may have focused too much on Digital Literacy as ‘Information Literacy in a digital context’.
A broader approach might be to consider the major preoccupations of people using digital technologies.
A simplified Futurelab definition could be:
Digital Literacy involves a variety of digital TOOLS used APPROPRIATELY to achieve a chosen PURPOSE such as;
- Belong to a group/community
- Express own creativity (& spiritual?)
- Engage in hobbies and for entertainment
- Learning and self-development
- Promote self or group (part of another???)
- Manage financial/commercial matters (&political?)
- Work and gain employment/promotion
Whether taking a broader view or not, frameworks should be based on the Betham & Sharpe dimensions:
- Attributes – I am …
(a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or an inherent part of someone)
- Practices – I regularly …
(the customary, habitual, or expected procedure/process or way of doing something – ways of thinking and acting)
- Skills – I can …
(the ability to do an activity well)
- Access – I have …
(to things, tools, resources, people)
It also seems that the time is right to focus not in individual skills but on Attributes and, more usefully for teacher INSET and CPD, on Digital \Literacy Practices.
I’ll keep you posted on how the above is refined over the coming months.