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#ALTC2013 Slow & Steady Wins The Race


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Organisational Developers (OD) within HE have responsibility for supporting organisational-level development within their institutions. Senior members are involved with strategic-level decision making on organisational initiatives such as restructuring the institution, managing change, or introducing new policies and therefore can have direct impact upon enabling or disabling opportunities for enhancing teaching and learning, including with digital technologies.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that many OD practitioners are not comfortable with digital literacies, leading to opportunities for the effective use of digital technologies to be missed or under-promoted, with a consequent detrimental impact on opportunities to facilitate new cultures of learning. Working with the Organisational Development in Higher Education Group (ODHEG) over the past two years, the anecdotal evidence has proved all too true. This presentation gives an insight into working with a group in which a significant number are unconvinced by the benefits that technology can bring to their working lives, or the wider learning culture. The author, supported by JISC funding, has sought to help the group gain confidence with digital literacies through a series of mostly face-to-face engagements, starting to incorporate some online materials.

This presentation gives an insight into the processes of slowly and steadily encouraging the group to take a more positive view of digital literacies, which may help others working with resistant learners. The tide started to turn as the group grew to understand the impact that digital technologies could have upon their work role, with mobile devices and apps that supported logistics, connections via Linked In, and over half the group voluntarily attending a session on Twitter. We have now reached the stage where the group is being encouraged to embrace the idea of sharing their expertise through digital technologies, and anticipate that the group will, in the longer term, be able to contribute much more effectively to organisational take-up of digital literacy initiatives.

Published in: Spiritual, Technology, Business
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#ALTC2013 Slow & Steady Wins The Race

  1. 1. SLOW & STEADY WINS THE RACE: DEVELOPING DIGITAL LITERACIES DR BEX LEWIS, RESEARCH FELLOW IN SOCIAL MEDIA & ONLINE LEARNING, CODEC, ST JOHN’S, DURHAM UNIVERSITY This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Images downloaded from or purchased from Stockfresh
  2. 2. Whatdoestheterm„digitalliteracy‟bringtomindforyou?
  3. 3. I made some assumptions about the terminology you used in this survey - something in that?! I wonder how many of us do that? Learning the basics of when to use what tool would be good and save hours trying to use something where another tool would serve better. TERMINOLOGY
  4. 4. “many OD practitioners are not comfortable with digital literacies…”
  6. 6. As an older worker and a senior manager I have tried hard to be enthusiastic and engage with new tools despite the fact that most of them are not needed in my role. I am also hugely frustrated at the lack of discipline in the use of these tools by others and the tendency to drop face-to- face conversations in favour of remote discussion. Tools need to be fit for purpose and fit for the people using them. The language needs to be simple and understandable and the tools themselves easy to use and reasonably obvious. My experience of 'technology' is that it has added endless amounts of time to my working day instead of making it quicker. It also provides me with the greatest source of negative stress. FRUSTRATION!
  7. 7. Self-Taught, Experiment, Play
  8. 8. Altruism? Compliance? Business Case?
  9. 9. “I try to choose the tools that will help me achieve what I need to do in the fastest possible time and in the easiest way. That is a mistake as the IT group only tend to roll out tools they get excited about instead of asking us how we would work with them and over what time period.”
  10. 10. Desktop 91.7% 22 Laptop 87.5% 21 Netbook 16.7% 4 Tablet Device 37.5% 9 E-Reader 20.8% 5
  11. 11. The majority of members of the group now have iPads…
  12. 12. •E-Surveys •Google Docs •University proprietary systems
  13. 13. Reliability: Eduroam; other networks Multiple log ins: “It can take me up to 20 minutes to get everything up and running.”
  17. 17. E-MAIL LIST
  18. 18. Let‟s Blog…
  19. 19. WHO TO CONNECT WITH? • Organisational Developers • VCs & Influencers • Academics • International Exchange
  20. 20. BLOG DISCUSSIONS • What is our ‘message’? • What are our ‘practices’ • What are the ‘actions’ we want people to take? • What ‘events’ do we want to promote? • What ideas for blog posts can we generate? • What do you like? • Catchy headings/images • „Active‟ Posts • Links to further information • What do you not like? • Ego-Profiles • Over-Sharing • Pop-Up Adverts • Long-winded
  22. 22. Twitter?
  23. 23. WEBINAR
  24. 24. HAVE WE MOVED FORWARD? • ‘Digital’ on the agenda for 2 years • Blog online, regular content • Tablet devices more numerous • Simple tools/apps shared: more open to suggestions • Group in more regular content with each other
  26. 26. @DRBEXL @DIGITALFPRINT Image Credit: iStockPhoto