Presentation at the IOE’s Learning and Teaching Conference

Just completed a presentation about the project at the institution’s annual Learning and Teaching conference. (The slides from this are available on slideshare.)

Turnout was great (a full room) and feedback was very positive – several comments about how interesting the project was, and how important it was to take a position that assumes and builds upon the diversity of student practice. I thought it was particularly interesting how the project’s work was seen as an important part of so many different peoples’ areas of practice. Discussion of PGCE and distance students was particularly lively.

At the end of the session I asked people to think about the students they work with, and how these issues might relate to work there – this sparked off some lively discussion in small groups. I tried to get some of this fed back in plenary, and managed to note the following before everyone rushed off to get lunch:

Repeatedly, I was also asked whether we could explore whether these constraints and expectations identified amongst students were replicated for teaching and support staff. This was seen as a really important issue, for several reasons. Firstly, these issues have ramifications for students (e.g. the resources available in classrooms can limit what we are able to model to students during classes). Secondly, there was concern that decisions about infrastructure and IT provision are being made on the assumption that staff are homogeneous, with similar needs and patterns of work; it would be helpful to have evidence that demonstrates this isn’t the case. Thirdly, there are training and support issues that would be identified by doing this: if we have a better understanding of how staff work, we can work with them in more appropriate ways.

It may be worth discussing with the JISC whether any aspects of this could be taken up under the ‘institutional readiness for change’ work.

An update on project activities

The last term has been incredibly busy, so here’s a quick review of some of our activities, which might otherwise be invisible. There’s a lot going on, but some of it only gets seen at the point of presentations, reports or publications.

We’ve also got some tasks coming up – the interim reporting to JISC, for example; the talks at Networked Learning to deliver; and some other writing tasks, which will help document and share what we’ve been doing.

An update on the IOE’s conference should follow later today.

Project baseline report now available

We have completed our baseline report, which summarises what we know about digital literacy practices amongst staff and students at the Institute. This includes some early analysis of the data from the focus groups and an outline of the work planned for the remainder of this first year, including multimodal journalling by students and research into institutional readiness for change.

Presentation at Lancaster

Lesley & I were invited to Lancaster to present work relating to the project. In the talk we discussed ideas around technology, practice, agency and materiality, using early data from the project to show how they relate to digital literacies. The slides from the event are available on slideshare, and a recording of the talk will be made available soon.