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Digital Literacies JISC Workshop. Bristol 6th October 2011.

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

JISC Design Studio

This was one of a series of JISC workshops rolled out across the UK this year ‘to support the development and implementation of institutional approaches to digital literacies across the entire workforce and including students’. It was expertly facilitated by Helen Beetham, Greg Benfield and Paul Bailey, who introduced us to a range of concepts and tools to analyse and progress the implementation of digital literacies. These were in part based on the experiences of nine institutions which had taken part in pilot schemes. Details can be found on this link.
https://wiki.brookes.ac.uk/display/slida/Home

Digital literacy is defined by JISC as ‘ those capabilities which equip an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society’ (JISC LLiDA, 2009). For example, the use of digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; digital professionalism; the use of specialist digital tools and data sets; communicating ideas effectively in a range of media; producing, sharing and critically evaluating information; collaborating in virtual networks; using digital technologies to support reflection and PDP; managing digital reputation and showcasing achievements.
It is increasingly recognised that digital literacy is an important attribute of 21st century ‘graduateness’. This requires institutions to develop strategies for the development of these skills at all levels of the workforce. JISC has produced audit tools to help identify the challenges which face institutions in upskilling the staff and student body: as one participant observed staff can’t expect students to develop these skills if they don’t themselves model digitally literate behaviours – ‘walk the walk, not just talk the talk’! The relevant toolkits for carrying out audits as well as managing and implementing change are available from the first link on this page.
The workshop explored several areas which can be impacted by placing digital literacy at the heart of institutional strategy, including the transformation of curriculum design and delivery, the design of learning spaces and the development of staff and students. If you would like to discuss the implications of embedding digital literacy in your own area or you would like more information about the workshop, please contact Neal Sumner at the LDC.

Digital researcher event. British Library 16.05.2011.

Hosted by Vitae

http://www.vitae.ac.uk

This was a fascinating series of 6 presentations about different aspects of digital research, followed by a tour of the British Library’s Growing Knowledge exhibition where some of the tools under development for the next stage of the digital revolution were demonstrated to us.
All of the presentations were valuable, but two stood out as having particular interest given the discussions going on here at City University about how we support our post-graduate community in this, the Digital Age. The first of these was a case study by Dr Sarah-Louise Quinnell entitled ‘Using Social Media for Research and Researcher Development’. This traced her own experience of connecting with a group of like-minded researchers through the use of social media – mainly Twitter and blogs – to create and sustain a community of practice who shared an interest in the subject area (bio-technology use in Sub-Saharan Africa) as well as a wider community who are interested in using Social media tools to support their research more generally. Issues of developing an online ‘brand identity’ were covered, as well as discussion some of the affordances of using social media to support aspects of the research process.

For more on these developments see the twitter feed @phdchat and for support from post doctoral students to support PhD students see http://thethesiswhisperer.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling

The other presentation which made an impact was on Digital Technologies for Research Dialogues by Dr Shailey Minocha from the Open University. This covered a range of topics and tools which digital researchers use for their research, recording their dialogues with their supervisors, informal interactions with fellow students, document sharing and storage and reflecting on their progress. A range of other issues were touched on, for example about what happens to intellectual property rights in the digital world, digital footprint as compared to print footprint and measuring digital impact.

I (Neal) will be producing a position paper on the implications of the growing use of digital tools to support research and researchers at City University in the coming weeks. In the meantime if you would like to know more about any of the ideas mentioned above then please leave a message here or get in touch with me.

Neal and Tom

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