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    1. 1. Digital literacies for 21st century human services practitioners learning, knowing & networking
    2. 2. Structure <ul><li>What is digital literacy? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know about the information seeking behaviour of social services workers? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we foster digital literacy? </li></ul><ul><li>What would be the benefits of a digitally literate workforce? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Literacy <ul><li>“ Literacy is no longer exclusively understood as an individual transformation, but as a contextual and societal one. Increasingly, reference is made to the importance of rich literate environments – public or private milieux with abundant written documents (e.g. books, magazines and newspapers) visual materials (e.g. signs, posters and handbills), or communication and electronic media.” </li></ul>UNESCO (2005, p. 159)
    4. 4. Digital Literacy <ul><li>“… the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon this process” </li></ul><ul><li>(Martin, 2006 p. 15) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Digital literacies <ul><li>Information & Communications Technology (ICT) literacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ ICT literacy is using digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate and create information in order to function in a knowledge society” (US Educational Testing Service report, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Media literacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is the ability to communicate fluently in all old and new media, as well as to access, analyse and evaluate the powerful images, words and sounds that confront us in our daily lives.” (European Commission, 2003 p 15) </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand” (Prague Declaration, 2003) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why is it important? <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2002 ninety-two percent of new information was stored on magnetic media, mostly in hard disks; by contrast 0.01% of new information was held in paper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile telephony, email, electronic records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evidence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to evidence for evidence-based practice increasingly requires an information literate workforce </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Seven pillars model of information literacy
    8. 8. Seven pillars model
    9. 9. The information literacy cycle Question What is the question I need answered? Share How can I share this information? Source Where might I find the information I need? Find How can I extract the information I need? Evaluate Is what I’ve found reliable/accurate/sufficient? Combine How can I add this to what is already known? Apply How can I apply this information to my practice?
    10. 10. The information seeking behaviour of social services workers? <ul><li>Organisational & cultural issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbal culture – strong preference for face to face communication (Harrison et al., 2004; Horder, 2004; Gannon-Leary, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes – researching online ‘not proper work’ (Gannon-Leary, 2006; Moseley, 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No ‘protected time’ for CPD (Blackburn, 2001; Calder, 2004; Booth et al.,2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action rather than reflection – profession not research-oriented (Harrison et al., 2004; Booth et al., 2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to the internet – firewalls, sharing of PCs, restriction of Flash etc. (Blackburn, 2001; Harrison et al., 2004; Gannon-Leary, 2006; Booth et al., 2003; Moseley, 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Range of different technologies e.g. desk-top PC, mobile devices </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Information issues continued… <ul><li>Working context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex structure of roles each with different information practices and needs e.g. trainers, educators, managers (Wilson, 1986) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Range of contexts e.g. desk-based, mobile, residential settings ( SCIE, 2006 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social workers recognize that they need information seeking skills & would value training (Harrison et al, 2004; Gannon-Leary, 2006; Booth et al. 2003) </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. But it’s not just about skills <ul><li>Knowledge & information is both explicit & implicit </li></ul><ul><li>It’s about content & conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of social software (blogs, wiki, online fora, social bookmarking) captures and makes the implicit explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Informal learning in online communities </li></ul><ul><li>In this context – whilst skills are prerequisite - it’s also about meaning, identity, learning relationships and participation in communities (Mayes & Fowler, 2007 p. 27) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Horizontalization”: knowledge sharing & knowledge creating networks </li></ul>
    13. 13. Digital literacy & community <ul><li>“The essence of a community of practice is that, through joint engagement in some activity, an identified group of people come to develop and share practices.” </li></ul>Mayes & Fowler (2007 p. 27)
    14. 14. Case Conversations: a pilot project <ul><li>Aims of project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a supportive, collaborative and purposeful community for professional inquiry, learning & development; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share and exchange perspectives on working with complex cases; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide access to up-to-date evidence & knowledge; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support the development of critical & reflective practice; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve skills in information search, retrieval and appraisal for evidence-informed practice; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance service outcomes for children with disability and their families. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Online Case-based community of inquiry case template brainstorm list & plan critical appraisal of evidence peer review Share & evaluate insights Discuss & reflect Identify learning objectives Research & analysis Present case Clarify case Summarise & close Face2Face
    16. 16. Online Case-based community of inquiry case template brainstorm list & plan critical appraisal of evidence peer review Share & evaluate insights Discuss & reflect Identify learning objectives Research & analysis Present case Clarify case Summarise & close Face2Face
    17. 17. Addressing the ‘information issues’ <ul><li>Organisational and cultural issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time for the project has been ‘protected’ by management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude from management that this project is meaningful and worthwhile clearly communicated to participants and their colleagues. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication with corporate and departmental IT – single contact identified. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues already resolved: Sharepoint added to ‘allowed’ lists; Flash to be added to project member’s PCs for screencast support; NHS eLibrary ‘allowed’. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Working contexts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project was driven by the working context – A&B council has large geographic spread; some workers very isolated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication with members – different methods for different needs e.g. texts for mobile workers, email for more desk-based workers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical & Information literacy support delivered via phone or sharepoint using screencasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just-in-time learning & just-in-time support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants will support each other both face to face and online </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. The benefits of a digitally literate workforce <ul><li>Online collaboration and knowledge exchange extends the reach of professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining participation in communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Skill development for online practice </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for online advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>User information & empowerment </li></ul>
    19. 19. Conclusion <ul><li>“ Digital literacy is about mastering ideas, not keystrokes.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Gilster, 1997) </li></ul>
    20. 20. References <ul><li>Blackburn, N. (2001). Building bridges: Toward integrated library and information services for mental health and social care. 18 , 203-121. </li></ul><ul><li>Booth, S., Booth, A., & Falzon, L. (2003). The need for information and research skills training to support evidence-based social care: A literature review and survey. Learning in Health and Social Care, 2 (4), 191-201. </li></ul><ul><li>Calder, M. (2004). Out of the frying pan into the fire? A critical analysis of the integrated children's system. Child Care in Practice, 10 (3), 225-240. </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Testing Service. (2002). Digital transformation: A framework for ICT literacy, Educational Testing Service. </li></ul><ul><li>European Commission. (2003). eLearning: Better eLearning for Europe . Brussels: Directorate-General for Education and Culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Gannon-Leary, P. (2006). Glut of information, dearth of knowledge? A consideration of the information needs of practitioners identified during the FAME project. Library Review, 55 (2), 120-131. </li></ul><ul><li>Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy (1st Edition ed.) Wiley. </li></ul>
    21. 21. References <ul><li>Harrison, J., Hepworth, M., & De Chazal, P. (2004). NHS and social care interface: A study of social workers' library and information needs. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 36 (1), 27-36. </li></ul><ul><li>Horder, W. (2007). 'Reading' in professional practice: How social work practice assessors access knowledge and information. British Journal of Social Work, 37 , 1079-1094. </li></ul><ul><li>IDOX plc. iDox. Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services. The Learning Exchange. Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Lyman, P., & Varian, H. (2003). How much information? Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from </li></ul><ul><li>Martin, A. (2006). A Framework for Digital Literacy: DigEuLit Project working paper. </li></ul>
    22. 22. References <ul><li>Mayes, T., & Fowler, C. (2007). Learners, learning literacy and the pedagogy of e-learning. In A. Martin, & D. Madigan (Eds.), Digital literacies for learning (pp. 26-33) Facet Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Moseley, A. (2004). The Internet: Can you get away without it? Supporting the caring professions in accessing research for practice. Journal of Integrated Care, 12 (3), 30-37. </li></ul><ul><li>NHS Education for Scotland. Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>OLM Group Limited. CareKnowledge. Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Social Care Institute for Excellence. reSearchWeb . Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>Social Care Institute for Excellence. Social care online. Retrieved January 21st, 2008, from / </li></ul><ul><li>Social Care Institute for Excellence (2006). Using digital media to access information and good practice for paid carers of older people: A feasibility study. Retrieved January 22 nd , 2008, from </li></ul>
    23. 23. References <ul><li>Town, S. (2000). Wisdom or welfare? The Seven Pillars Model. In S. Corrall, & H. Hathaway (Eds.), Seven pillars of wisdom? Good practice in information skills development (pp. 11-21). London: SCONUL. </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (2003). Conference report of the information literacy meeting of experts, Prague, The Czech Republic, UNESCO. </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (2005). Education for all: Literacy for life (Fourth Annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson, T. D. (1986). Information needs in social services: An overview. In G. Horobin, & S. Montgomery (Eds.), New information technology in management and practice (pp. 12-24). London: Kogan Page. </li></ul>