The presentation will take a critical and sometimes provocative look at the debate and evidence surrounding the notions of ‘literacy’ and digital literacy. The hope is to stimulate and add to this gr8db8. This txt spk part of my talk’s title is a reference to linguist David Crystal’s (2008) insightful book: Txtng: the gr8db8 . Crystal puts forward the, in my view convincing, argument that txt spk is responsible neither for bad spelling nor moral decay. Various technologies have always brought about ‘moral panics’. The session will be structured in 4 short sections and leaves maximum time for debate.
1 Pre-entry support and aiding early transition A number of projects and studies have employed technology to aid the process of transition into university by helping students to settle in and adjust, to reduce anxiety and deal with change. Initiatives involve online activities and resources and the opportunity to communicate with others prior to arrival, during induction and into the early stages of university life. Distance learning models of induction can provide guidance and work is often focused on helping students to feel prepared, ready and connected, managing their expectations and allowing skills development to begin. 2 Social interaction and integration Using technology to support social integration and engagement is seen as a key benefit in improving transition experiences. Social Networking Sites in particular are highlighted for addressing homesickness and allowing new connections to be made – offering a sense of community and belonging. Other technology such as SMS, virtual environments and Instant Messaging (IM) are also noted for their ability to offer social ‘ presence’ and reassurance that others are experiencing similar problems and challenges. The benefits of using technology to support interaction with students already at university, for peer mentoring and for communication with staff are also noted. 3 Skills/academic development and ‘learning to learn’ Various initiatives are using technology in transition for the development of skills, both for academic and study purposes and also for personal development, selfassessment and for ‘learning to learn’ at university. Reflection, motivation and autonomy are raised as positive attributes that technology can foster as is its ability to prepare students for life after graduation in terms of marketplace technologies and the 21st century skills required by employers. 4 Information communication The practical benefits in allowing general resources, information, regulations and procedures to be readily available are often raised and this can be facilitated by VLEs, edublogs or other mobile technology such as Instant Messenger (IM) and SMS. Technology is being used to reach large numbers of students with course information, announcements, events and reminders and can help provide timely information at points during the transition process. 5 Maintaining engagement and participation Studies discuss how technology and e-learning can aid ongoing participation and motivation over the transition through the academic cycle. Various e-tivities are 5 being used to enhance engagement by providing richer learning environments and innovative practice, flexible learning, ongoing peer collaboration and scaffolding support, as well as aiding the engagement and transitions of remote students 6 Inclusivity and increased student diversity The need to utilise technology is often associated with increased student diversity, and notions of inclusion and widening participation are common, although not all accept technology has a big impact on this. Technology can be aimed specifically at non-traditional students and may be needed to support some with individual needs. Yet studies stress possible access issues, that all learner needs should be addressed and that universities should be mindful of the full range of diversity and consider the possibility of technology creating new barriers as well as offering help. 7 Student centred approaches Aiming to be student centred in approaches to the use of technology is a common theme and key features of this revolve around offering flexibility of access, choice and an increased sense of control and empowerment over learning. Personalising experiences and valuing and utilizing the student voice are also seen as beneficial. As is putting the technology into learners’ hands, fostering student creativity and moving beyond passive learning. Technology is also seen as able to support ‘ reluctant’ learners and as a tool for obtaining student feedback. 8 Connecting with student use of technology A key feature of the literature is connecting with technologically aware and skilled students and appealing to and learning from the ‘net generation’. Studies argue that students use technology in their everyday lives and HEIs need to channel and respond to their skills and preferences in order to engage them. However, skills problems are raised by others, both around students not necessarily being able to use devices for educational purposes and in terms of cautioning against treating students as a homogenous, technically competent group who would all benefit from technology. Learners are diverse, have different abilities, styles and needs and all of these need to be taken into account when considering technology and transitions. 9 Alternative, additional and blended approaches Initiatives can be seen as offering interesting alternatives in light of students’ lack of engagement in the traditional classroom, or as part of an approach used alongside face to face methods to support and enhance them. Provision for diverse learners means that blended approaches may be seen as preferable; however some authors urge the importance of realising the full possibilities of technology and its transformative potential. Technology is also being used alongside other practices and at various points throughout the student cycle as part of the transition process. 10 Identifying ‘at risk’ students and student support The literature reveals potential for technology to highlight and support students seen to be ‘at risk’ during transition by identifying those who may be struggling and
The ability to be in a particular position but get a variety of views/different visual perspective was a very useful opportunity. The whole thing also got everyone talking in a way I hadn't experienced on field trips to Fountains before.
Student engagement and feedback in material design and participation (mobile devices/forums/blogs/wikis)
Student engagement and feedback in material design and participation (mobile devices/forums/blogs/wikis) BLC Meeting September 2010, London Met John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute & HALE London Metropolitan University Available in slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/johnnigelcook
Email: [email_address] Home page: http://staffweb.londonmet.ac.uk/~cookj1/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnnigelcook Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/johnnigelcook Indicative publications: http://staffweb.londonmet.ac.uk/~cookj1/#pubs Johnnigelcook or Jonni Gel Cook!
Objectives <ul><li>Explore student engagement and feedback in material design and participation (forums/blogs/wikis/mobile devices) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide resource/guidelines on how blended learning can be best used to improve feedback and engagement experiences at points of transition. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I would draw on the growing body of evidence in this area (e.g. Lefever & Currant, 2010) to develop blended approaches to enhance the student experience. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disseminated within the faculty, across the university and nationally (funding permitting). </li></ul>
Transitions <ul><li>Lefever, R. & Currant, B. (2010). How can technology be used to improve the learner experience at points of transition? </li></ul><ul><li>Becka Currant comments “One of the major areas it has identified for me is the lack of formally evaluated work in this area and the need for approaches to be documented. So onwards with writing up papers for journals then everybody!” </li></ul>
How can technology be used to improve the learner experience at points of transition? (Lefever & Currant, 2010) <ul><li>Pre-entry support and aiding early transition </li></ul><ul><li>Social interaction and integration </li></ul><ul><li>Skills/academic development and ‘learning to learn’ </li></ul><ul><li>Information communication </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining engagement and participation </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusivity and increased student diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Student centred approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting with student use of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative, additional and blended approaches </li></ul>
For example mobile <ul><li>One of the themes for the upcoming university review is ‘mobiles’! </li></ul><ul><li>See this prize winning paper from LTRI: Bradley, C., Holley, D. (2010). An analysis of first-year business students’ mobile phones and their use for learning. ALT-C </li></ul><ul><li>http://repository.alt.ac.uk/797/ </li></ul><ul><li>This paper reports on ongoing work into mobile learning that has been conducted with an incoming group of first-year Business Studies students over the last five years. </li></ul>
“ The information given was underlined by the 'experience' of the area and therefore given context in both past and present.” http://www.slideshare.net/johnnigelcook/urban-planning-education-in-context-with-mobile-phones Work done with trainee teachers in HALE
“ “ it was triggering my own thoughts and I was getting to think for myself about the area and the buildings. ”
http://www.slideshare.net/johnnigelcook/cook-acd-sudsv2010 Work done with architecture students
“ The ability to be in a particular position but get a variety of views/different visual perspective was a very useful opportunity. The whole thing also got everyone talking in a way I hadn't experienced on field trips to Fountains before.”
Blackboard Mobile: Central & Learn <ul><li>http://www.blackboard.com/Mobile/Overview.aspx </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Bradley, C., Holley, D. (2010). An analysis of first-year business students’ mobile phones and their use for learning. In, Creanor, L., Hawkridge, D., Ng, K., Rennie, F. (Eds). “Into something rich and strange” – making sense of the sea-change, pp 89-98. The 17th Association for Learning Technology Conference (ALT-C 2010). Held 7–9 September 2010, University of Nottingham, England, UK. he paper is available from: http://repository.alt.ac.uk/797 </li></ul><ul><li>Lefever, R. & Currant, B. (2010). How can technology be used to improve the learner experience at points of transition? Available from: http://bit.ly/a4Qa8F </li></ul>