Next event: Blog it! Tweet it! Film  It! Wiki It! 

An invite to our next event: Blog it! Tweet it! Film  It! Wiki It!  aka, reading and creating academic communications in a range of media

Do you use blogs, tweets , films or wikis in your academic work or study? In today’s digital world, staff and students need to know how to communicate not just in writing in academic journals but increasingly in other internet-media.

All staff and students welcome.

LearnIt: Blog It! Tweet It! Film It! Wiki It! - on 10th March 2015

LearnIt: Blog It! Tweet It! Film It! Wiki It! – on 10th March 2015

Tuesday 10th Mar 2015, 13:00-15:00

The Guild, Elizabeth Gidney Suite

More info and registration at http://www.liv.ac.uk/cll/booking

Refreshments: tea/coffee/muffins

Come along and hear from academic colleagues, colleagues from the Guild, and students,  how these alternative forms of communication can enhance learning and be fun and engaging.

By taking part, you will have opportunities to

  • Learn about reading and creating academic communications in a range of media
  • Think about how you can capitalise on the means by which students’  “real world” experiences are so often conducted
  • Gain tips and techniques that you can take away.

We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend the event yourselves, but also that you will be able to promote the event to other colleagues and students.

The Developing Digital Literacies Working Group

Learn IT Staff-Student Exchange – Digital Research: beyond Google 17th February 2015

LearnIT event on digital research

LearnIT staff-student exchange event on digital research, University of Liverpoool, Guild,

This event continues the Learn IT series of seminars and group discussion networking events hosted by the Digital Literacies Group of the University of Liverpool.  The event began with a welcome by Emma Sims from the Guild and Dr Ann Qualter, Director of Academic Development, Centre for Lifelong Learning, outlining the changing nature of libraries education over recent decades and imperative to acquire awareness of digital information sources and techniques.

The seminar proceeded with presentations by Peter Reed (Health and Life Sciences learning technology lecturer), Nor Asikin Tegoh (Management PGR student) and Emma Thompson (Library Learning & Teaching Lead).

Peter’s presentation focused on the Mendeley referencing management application, demonstrating the use of this software to store, import and create reference citations and integrate in-text citations in office documents, this presentation particularly contrasted Mendeley with traditional and comparative approaches for reference management; Peter also drew attention to the Google Scholar search engine for identifying and working with academic or peer reviewed literature, including facilities to assess the research impact of particular journals and articles.

Nor’s presentation described a sense of missed opportunity to effectively use referencing applications when embarking on academic studies; Nor particularly drew attention to the advantages of the Refworks management platform for managing citations via folders and for categorising works thematically within the context of her own academic work.

The presentation provided by Emma outlined digital Library services available, including approaches for use of Google Scholar offcampus, use of multi-source Library platforms and databases (such as Discover, Scopus and Web of Science) and Library support for referencing systems (such as Refworks, Endnote  and more recent applications).

The group sessions provided an opportunity for delegates to share their own experiences of using Library resources and to hear tips and suggestions from Librarians, students and staff attending.  Some of the themes explored included new online or Library based services or tools which could have benefited individuals at an earlier stage of their research or career and issues surrounding evaluation of digital content; observations included the benefit of advanced searching techniques within online databases, techniques for filtering or ranking articles using bibliometrics or peer reviewed criteria and the need for staff induction support comparative with the student Library induction.

The event provided a forum for staff, students and post-doctoral researchers to network and proved a valuable opportunity to share experiences and new approaches for engaging in study and research.

 

Paul Catherall, Library

17th February 2015

Have you Googled yourself recently? Report from our student-staff #LearnIt event

Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Online career and identity management was the theme of the second event in the successful LearnIt series of staff-student discussion events.

Students and staff from academic and professional services departments from across the institution heard brief introductory presentations on how/ why your online presence can influence your career, how social media can support academic learning, and how students can actively use social media to promote their subject to the wider community. These thought-provoking presentations were then followed by discussion groups comprising staff and students. A wide range of subjects was discussed including tips and techniques for different social media tools, the challenges of managing your online identity, multi- cultural approaches to social media and issues of ethics and integrity of an online presence.

Following these discussions, the group developed some action points for the institution, which will be taken forward by the DDLWG. These actions points were:

  • We need to look at consistency of social media presence of the different units of the university
  • The need for a university steering group for social media activity
  • Interpretation of corporate policies on social media into a student friendly format
  • Corporate Communications needs to promote social media policy
  • Training for students and staff
  • Raising awareness of professionalism on social media within academic context
  • Internationalism in the virtual environment – needs to be looked at
  • Investigate own professional body guidelines and see if we can create a support session for students to help them to adhere to the guidelines
  • Google yourself to see which online profile is most visible
Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Commenting on the workshop, Dr Nick Greeves said “The workshop highlighted the power and potential of online professional activities for students, staff, departments and the University while also demonstrating that it is challenging to give definitive guidance to all these groups. It is clear that we need to address the constructive development of online identity for students (and staff) within our teaching at a departmental level. The opportunity provided by this event to hear diverse perspectives was invaluable.”

Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Alex Ferguson, Vice President of the Liverpool Guild of Students, added: “It was great to see a second Learn IT event in our building, at the Liverpool Guild. We kicked off with a series of explanations of what an online footprint was, and how it could help (or hinder) the student, academic staff or member of the professional world. It was so apparent social media is second nature to us now; we use it for everything and do not think about the fact it exists as a record of self and access point of information.

We saw how in the work environment it could mean the difference between hiring and firing someone – a true way for an employer to find out more about the personality of their prospective employee. We saw how it can be used more publically to let the wider world know about areas of academic work, or the activity of a society”

The final two events in this series are shown below:

Tue 17 Feb 2015,              1-3pm   Information literacy & Digital research skills

Tue 10 March 2015          1-3pm   Media literacy online;  Collaboration & Communication online

You can register now via http://www.liv.ac.uk/cll/booking

blog by Trish Lunt, Educational Development

Have you ever Googled yourself? Our next Student-Staff LearnIT event on career and digital identity management, 18 Nov 2014

Have you ever Googled yourself? What would you find? What would you like your digital footprint to look like? This LearnIT Student-Staff Exchange event will focus on the opportunities and challenges of managing our digital reputation and online identity –and why and how it matters both for students and for staff.

Event leads: Trish Lunt, Educational Development, Fiona McNamara, Careers and Employability Service, Anna O’Connor, School of Health Sciences, University of Liverpool.

LearnIT Career and Digital Identity student-staff exchange 18 Nov 2014

LearnIT Career and Digital Identity student-staff exchange 18 Nov 2014

Date/Time: Tue, 18th Nov 2014, 13:00-15:00
Venue: The Guild, Elizabeth Gidney Suite
Refreshments: tea/coffee/juice and muffins

By taking part, you will have opportunities to:

• Meet students and staff at the university;

• Learn about how and why staff and students manage their digital identity, and what social media tools they use to support this;

• Gain tips & discover new ideas to try.

Please register on the CLL booking site or directly 
Presented by: Developing Digital Literacies Working Group

Twitter: @LivDigiL
Website: http://digilearn.liv.ac.uk

Upcoming LearnIT Student-Staff Exchange event series 2014/15:

Date                                               Event theme

Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1-3pm               Learn IT: Information literacy & Digital research skills

Tue 10 March 2015, 1-3pm           Learn IT: Media literacy online;  Collaboration & Communication online

LearnIT, as seen by the Guild President

From Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

a photo of Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

The Guild recently played host to the inaugural Learn IT session – a series set up by the University’s Developing Digital Literacies Working Group with the help of the Guild tasked with looking at how we use and interact with technology in terms of our education.

The event brought together students and staff from a variety of areas within the University, with the aim of the inaugural event being to begin the conversation over where we are, as in institution, in terms of technology enhanced learning.  As a result, the questions discussed remained broad and ranged from effective time management through to how our physical spaces at the University are conducive to digital learning and working.

Partly in a nod to the future Learn IT events, and partly due to the open and frank nature of the event, it was stressed that Tuesday’s session was merely the start of the conversation. There were to be “no wrong answers”. Dr Nick Greeves, for instance, referred to how Chemistry had been looking into providing iPads to students to allow them to take notes, with one of the interesting discussion being around how physical note-taking (i.e. the old fashioned pen and paper approach) was still seen as superior given that it was often quicker and enabled students to absorb information better. Therefore, understanding when and where technology is of benefit was equally as important as understanding when and where it is not.

LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies

Small-group discussion on the use of technologies for learning/working at the LearnIT – inaugural event on digital literacies, 28 Oct 2014, The Guild, University of Liverpool

Another key message that emerged from the event was the fact that issues concerning technology were not just reserved to students, and were equally a concern of staff too. Bringing together students and staff into the same open forum was one obvious way that illustrated this, highlighting, for example, how time-management and the like were problems staff had to deal with just as much as students. Presentations, however, from Law lecturer Dr Rob Stokes and third-year Physics student Joe Chamberlain also helped bring this point into sharp focus. Both Rob and Joe, for example, talked about different issues they’d faced, and overcome, with the help of technology, with Joe even having designed his own app, Unisocs, to manage his course demands. With these presentations acting as the catalyst, conversations soon began to flow amongst the various groups, with recommendations, points of discussion and broad issues being picked up and debated.

One such discussion I had concerned the provision of WiFi around campus. As with the above, it soon became evident that good provision of WiFi was an issue staff felt equally strongly about and how, with the landscape of technology rapidly and ever changing, the need to be able to connect and access resources lay at the heart of virtually everything. Whether it was accessing VITAL, sending emails or reading e-books and journals, the need for a fast and secure connection was essential.

LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies Small-group discussion on the use of technologies for learning/working at the LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies, 28 Oct 2014, The Guild, University of Liverpool

LearnIT – inaugural event on digital literacies

Overall, the first Learn IT session went down extremely well, with positive feedback from staff and students alike. By bringing together both groups, the Tuesday’s event created an opportunity rarely afforded in other university settings and enabled a frank, open and honest discussion about how we currently use technology and crucially how we can improve it for both staff and students. Given this event was just the starting point of a much wider Learn IT conversation, the remaining sessions will no doubt be just as successful and I very much look forward to attending.

Harry Anderson, Guild President

Not so much “ECDL” but rather “how can I do well…?”

The inaugural LearnIT event

This week photomath.net launched an Iphone app which allows students to use their mobile phones to photograph a mathematical problem and not only to obtain the correct solution but also the full “working out” – that evasive concept which my old maths teachers used to constantly insist upon seeing. In my case it didn’t really matter. Both my workings out and my final answer were usually wrong – which is probably why I ended up following Law instead of anything which involved the slightest hint of scientific method.

The other significant event of this week for me was the inaugural session in the LearnIT series which is being co-organised by the Developing Digital Literacies working group and the Guild in recognition of the rapidly changing technological landscape in which teaching, learning, living and working now take place.

LearnIT inaugaral event

The event saw around 60 staff and students discussing how we can use technology to make us more efficient with our time, more effective collaborators, and more flexible and better organised writers.

This was the first in a planned series of events which will start to focus on more specific issues. I am personally looking forward to the upcoming session which will consider the reputational issues at stake for users of the web and particularly social media. The value of managing your ‘digital footprint’ in a well-informed and even a creative way is something which our own students are becoming more and more aware of. The LearnIT: Career and digital identity management online session will take place on the Tuesday 18th Nov 2014, 1-3pm to consider those sorts of issues. You can register for this event here.

What makes this series of events particularly interesting is that it proceeds on the assumption that we really don’t know what the “right” approach to using technology in HE effectively actually is. That seemingly down-beat outlook in fact promises to delivery much more than we might expect from a new-age trendy tech-evangelist perspective on technology. The LearnIT approach is open-ended and makes no assumptions about what technology might offer us. Tuesday’s event saw staff and student break out into focus groups to grapple with particularly un-focussed ideas. Because that the point; to break with conventional perspectives on IT for teachers and learners in higher education and start talking about what we want and need from technology.

Up until that moment I had tried very hard so far to avoid saying IT for a very good reason. This programme of events is about needs and solutions in the context of the work we do, not the all-to-easily-accepted discourse on Information Technology training and skills. This new discourse speaks of digital literacy not information skills. Not so much “ECDL” but rather “how can I do well…?”

We heard two excellent presentations from Dr Rob Stokes (lecturer from Law) from Law and Joe Chamberlain (student from Physics) which illustrated just that point. Each of these participants at some point faced the same problem – how to manage the challenges of workload management in the context of intense pressure to succeed. What solutions might technology offer to workload management? Neither of the solutions suggested by our speakers were the same in any shape or form but each was their own solution and each met the users’ needs.

The inaugural session has stepped up to face a myriad of issues ranging from helpful apps to awful habits, from online worlds to physical spaces, from the custom fit of the personalised app to the regimental reliability of the corporate IT solution. Looking at how our individual personalised learning, living and working needs might be met within the ever changing word of the app.

Jeremy Marshall (Lecturer, Liverpool Law School)

Follow the conversation about digital literacy for Liverpool University staff and students on Twitter at #LearnIT and @livDigiL and online at http://digilearn.liv.ac.uk

LearnIT: the inaugural student-staff exchange event

Today is our opening event for the Learn IT event series. Can’t wait to get our discussions going on how both staff and students use technology for their learning and working activities!

We will be updating this blog with the event highlights- so feel free to subscribe and follow us. Follow us on #LearnIT, @LivDigiL.

Learn IT : student-staff exchange at the University of Liverpool

Learn IT : student-staff exchange event series at the University of Liverpool

Come along to the opening event of the Learn IT Student-Staff Exchange event series. The Learn IT series aims to foster student and staff dialogue about our digital practices and environment. The inaugural meeting will focus on the theme of using digital technologies for Learning and Working and will be opened by Dr Anne Qualter, Director of Academic Development and Lifelong Learning and Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Harry Anderson, President of the Guild of Students.

Together, we will explore which technologies are used by students for studying and managing their social lives and which digital study-, teaching- and research-practices are used by lecturers.

By taking part, you will have opportunities to:
•Meet students and staff at the university
•Learn about how staff/students use digital technologies for learning and working
•Share some strategies for using digital tools
•Listen to other perspectives on digital practices and attitudes
•Gain digital tips for learning and working
•Discover new ideas to try

See you there,

the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group

Digital Champions: back to the classics to think forward

We presented our Digital Champions, peer-assisted learning project at this year’s HEA Social Sciences 2014 conference. The theme was Education for the Futures.

HEA Digital Champions project

HEA Digital Champions project: Y3 Champions passing on tips and tricks to Y1 students

I loved designing our Digital Champions poster as the process was a testament to the power of collaborative working. From drawing to design skills we called on colleagues’ expertise and talent. Choosing Prometheus, the god that stole fire (knowledge) for the humans, seemed an apt metaphor for the work of Digital Champions. Prometheus was also a trickster figure – we saw parallels between our Champions passing on the tricks and tips of the trade, being third-year students, to those in the first year.

Presenting our Poster at the HEA Social Sciences 2014 Conference

Presenting our Poster at the HEA Social Sciences 2014 Conference: Tünde Varga-Atkins, eLearning Unit and Beryl Stanley, Library, University of Liverpool

A summary of our project is also documented on slideshare.net – we are currently putting together our project report for the HEA.

We have also had a mini-celebration with the Digital Champions – saying an emotional goodbye to them (I am not in the UK for the graduation ceremony :( ), the original project team also reunited with Emma Thompson popping in from Manchester for a catch-up.

The Digital Champions (Laura, Emily and Bradley - bottom) and the project team (Tunde, Emma and Simon). Missign: Beryl (taking the photo) and Adam (Champion)

The Digital Champions (Laura, Emily and Bradley – bottom) and the project team (Tunde, Emma and Simon). Missing: Beryl (taking the photo), Dave (getting the video ready) and Adam (Champion)

Project report to follow shortly. It has been a pleasure to work with the Champions – we are very proud of them to have done so well as Champions and as students in their third year –  and I really look forward to working with the next Champions next year!

Tünde Varga-Atkins, eLearning unit, University of Liverpool

Digital Champions HEA pilot: supporting Year 1 students with academic transition

A pilot project entitled “Supporting transition with peer-assisted learning and digital stories” funded by the HEA, has been running this year at the University of Liverpool’s Management School. Two digital stories from the third-year Digital Champions are now available on writing assignments, which can be used as useful resources for first-year students.

Digital Champions

Digital Champions

Story 1. Digital Champions: From one book to fifty citations:  Tips on effective assignment writing
Story 2. Digital Champions: Breaking the 2:1 (or 2:2) barrier for writing assignments (Parts 1-5):

A bit more about the Digital Champions project and its progress

The project, based on a peer-assisted learning model, aims to support the transition of first-year students in their academic study and employ them with skills that would benefit them beyond graduation. So far we have engaged 4 third-year students, Emily, Laura, Adam and Bradley,  to run  drop-ins for first-year students on making their academic study easier. The above digital stories were created by the students that summarise their tips for first years in academic writing.

What next: we will evaluate the pilot for wider adoption and also investigate students’ perspectives on micro-certification, such as OpenBadges, as a way of recognising their skill development. We aim to present this project with a poster at the HEA Social Sciences Conference 2014, which this year is on the theme of ‘Teaching Forward: The future of social sciences’. We have also been discussing links with other institutional peer-assisted learning initiatives, and naturally, certification of Digital Champions may link to developments around HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). Similar peer-assisted learning projects with a digital angle have run successfully at other universities, e.g. see the ePioneers programme at Oxford Brookes.

For more information: contact Tünde Varga-Atkins at University of Liverpool.

Tünde

Digital Champions: Laura Cash, Emily Evans, Adam Byrne, Bradley Griffin
Project team:

  • eLearning Unit: Tünde Varga-Atkins (co-lead)
  • Academic lead: Simon Snowden, ULMS (academic lead)
  • Library: Emma Thompson (co-lead), Beryl Stanley
  • Multimedia: Dave Hocker

 

Are these examples of digital literacies? Discuss…

This blog post invites you to consider 3 examples and identify: are they examples of digital literacies? If so, in what way? If not, why not? This task is the one Oxford Brookes’ Rhona Sharpe, a pioneer in digital literacies research (LLiDA, SLiDA),  asked us, the participants of the HEA-organised day, entitled “Changing Learning Landscape —The role of digital literacies in supporting continuing professional development in HE contexts“, to consider, which I attended on the 29th May in Birmingham.

The task worked well on the day to get us into thinking what digital literacies are. Rhona Sharpe’s presentation on the day can be found on slideshare.

Example 1: Baby talks with cat on iPad

Example 2: a student’s writing who uses a blog to make them public

Legoscratch site 

Example 3: iPad Cafe : students from York St John meeting up and discussing useful iPad apps

iPad Cafe , York St John UniiPad Cafe , York St John Uni

iPad Cafe , York St John Uni

Can I ask you to do the same? Please consider:

  • the baby (Example 1),
  • the young pupil (Example 2) or
  • the York students iPad Cafe (Example 3)

Do the examples demonstrate digital literacy? Yes/No? Why?

Please post and share your responses and respond to that of others.

Thank you!

Tünde

Tünde Varga-Atkins, eLearning Unit, University of Liverpool