Category Archives: Uncategorized

Think Digital

The Digidol team have been continuing to work  closely with Amy Stackhouse from Communications following on from the successful Digital and Social Media Strategy and Action Plan. Communications have produced a website called Think Digital to raise the profile of this work which is accessible from here.

like

Digital Enablement: Exploring the future role of front-facing service staff in developing digital literacy

Presentation given by Joe Nicholls at the Gregynog Colloquium 2013. ww2.glyndwr.ac.uk/gregynog2013/index.asp?page=programme

The Jisc funded Digidol Project (digidol.cardiff.ac.uk/) adopted a whole institution approach to establishing sustainable and scalable approaches to developing the digital literacy of all staff and students. The role of front-facing professional services staff, in particular those in the library and IT services, was identified as pivotal in enabling academic staff and students to develop knowledge and skills necessary to make effective and appropriate use of digital technologies. The question is, what changes are required in order to help learners, teachers and researchers fully realise the benefits of these new tools? A number of issues will be explored concerning the potential future working practices of professional services staff.

Digidol at LSE

On 6th February we visited the Centre for Learning technology at LSE to present our work as part of their NetworkED seminar series. The talk was live streamed and recorded and summarises both the context of the project at Cardiff and our current work, including how we are using and extending Beetham and Sharpe’s Digital Literacies Development Framework and how this relates to the Knowledge Hub.

The recording is available here: http://clt.lse.ac.uk/events/networkED-seminar-series-08.php

Unfortunately the slides are not synched with the video but hopefully you’ll be able to follow along.

From strategy to action

We’re coming towards the end of what has been an interesting and challenging phase of the project. From the outset we were acutely aware of the need to win over hearts as well as the minds of those in the University who are best placed to catalyse and promote the development of digital literacy. With this aim we focused our efforts on engaging and meeting with key individuals and groups across the University to identify how we could embed the development of digital literacy into relevant processes and mechanisms. Progress to date has been very encouraging indeed, with a number of strategies, action plans and initiatives now incorporating digital literacy as an integral component. This success will ensure that digital literacy remains in forefront of people’s minds and continues to be an agenda item for some time to come.

We took our initial lead from the University’s Education Strategy, which was invaluable in highlighting digital literacy in the broader context of Learning Literacies. This provided us with the impetus to be able to ask questions of the other University strategies as to how they could engage with this as a driver. We have had extremely positive and fruitful collaborations in such areas as Careers and Employability with the opportunity to feed into their action plan, with the Equality and Diversity group contributing to the Strategic Equality Plan, also close involvement with the development of the University’s Social Media Strategy and the Information Services Digital and Information Literacy Strategy, which was recently fully endorsed by its Board. Work now continues with these various groups to identify from a practical standpoint how Digital Literacy can best be realised in the short to medium term.

This is now leading into more grassroots and hands-on engagement with teaching staff to help them detail appropriate learning opportunities. Examples of this are our collaborations with academics responsible for planning and developing the new C21 Medical Curriculum to specify how both Information Literacies and Digital Literacies can be integrated in an evolutionary way throughout the 5 year course. We are also working with people leading the Cardiff Award scheme to specify content and activities for undergraduates to develop their digital literacy with a view to future employability. And workshops are planned with front-facing staff in Library and IT Services to explore how their own digital and information literacy might be developed and also how they in turn might better enable its development in others.

So, looking back over the first year of the project, much has been achieved in terms of raising people’s awareness about the significance of developing Digital Literacy and making the conversation happen. This has proved invaluable in helping to clarify where and how the project can best contribute to facilitate practice at the ‘coal-face’. This nicely leads us into the next phase of the project which is all about developing and gathering resources and running workshops to give staff and students an opportunity explore what developing their digital literacy actually entails when doing their work and learning.

The work of Project Digidol discussed in ‘JISC on Air’ and the Guardian HE Network

Listen to JISC on Air – Digital Literacy – Delivering the agenda within colleges and universities.

Available at http://jisconair.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/04/24/deliveringdigital-literacy/

The sixth episode of the JISC online radio programme, JISC On Air, explores how universities and colleges can help teaching staff, researchers, support and administrative staff to develop their digital literacies.

The show highlights how Cardiff University and other colleges and universities are developing holistic approaches and strategies for supporting the development of these skills and capabilities.

In connection with the Digidol Project, a number of staff and students were interviewed by Kim Catcheside explaining how the project is establishing an institution-wide approach for contextualising and embedding digital literacy into the development of academic staff, students, research students and administrative, managerial and support staff.

Also, Dr Andrew Eynon discusses the Personal Actualisation and Development through Digital Literacies in Education project at Coleg Llandrillo, which aims to create a digitally literate, skilled and confident workforce and student body across all the FE institutions in North Wales (Coleg Harlech, Coleg Menai, Coleg Llandrillo, Deeside College and Yale College Wrexham).

Helen Beetham, synthesis consultant for the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme, reveals valuable insights into the emerging issues from the programme, and Alison Mitchell, Deputy Director of Vitae, speaks about the importance of digital literacies for researchers.

For further information on JISC’s work in this area visit: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/developingdigitalliteracies

In part two of the show will be looking at how digital literacy underpins the academic success and employability of students.

The work of the Digidol project is also mentioned in an article on the Guardian Higher Education Network site on Digital technologies and the tensions between research and teaching, where Janet Peters (University Librarian and Senior Assistant Director INSRV) is quoted highlighting the potential benefits of developing Digital Literacy of staff and students in the university.

Out and about…spreading the word about Digital Literacy

We’ve been traveling the last few months spreading the word about Digital Literacy and the Digidol project. Here are a few of the presentations we’ve recently given:

What does social media mean for IT Services?
UCISA – Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association
Using Social Media to Communicate , 18th January 2012, Austin Court, Birmingham.

“Project Digidol: developing digital literacy
ALDinHE – Association for Learning Development in Higher Education
9th ALDinHE Conference: Learning Development in a digital age: emerging literacies and learning spaces, 2th-4th April 2012, University of Leeds.

“Digidol: Developing Digital Literacies
LILAC – Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference

11th-13th April 2012, Glasgow Caledonian University

Developing Digital Literacy through social media: trainer and trainee perspectives
UCISA – Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association
Using Social Media for Training ,18th April 2012, University of Salford.