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Turning my training into development opportunities

I’m really enjoying the SEDA Summer School, not just the beautiful Cumberland Lodge and the Great Park at Windsor, but the chance to meet lots of new people who share my interests and to really spend some time thinking about how to implement a framework for digital literacies at my own institution. I’ve enjoyed the sessions today, on digital identities, personal learning networks, open practice (by Lindsey Jordan from the University of the Arts) and a session on workshop planning facilitated by David Baume. It’s started me really thinking about what I call the ‘training’ that we offer in terms of digital literacy. The need to have a clear outcome from a session so you can evaluate if it really has been effective. The difference between aims, learning outcomes and actual outcomes. I have realised that some of the workshops I run perhaps don’t have a clear outcome for the participants, (or I don’t give them time to work so they can take something away!) and some of the training I do (hands-on how to create a blog, how to use Twitter) is much more outcome focused. An interesting observation, but I also heard so many ideas from other learning technologists on how to run training on technology enhanced learning, what works, what doesn’t. The need to run sessions on course design and what a good course in Moodle looks like, rather than focusing on the nuts and bolts of how to upload files! Of course people need to mechanics, but surely we can give them more than that, otherwise, no wonder they treat learning technologists like technologists and not curriculum designers, or people who might know about pedagogy. One to think about at our team away day on Friday this week perhaps? Also lots to reflect on for the sessions I run in the PGCert and I have a plan for a workshop on open education – thanks Lindsey!

Annual lecture in Aber

I’ve just got back from Aberystwyth, where I was giving a lecture this morning at the Department of Information Studies, in the Information and Society module, this time on Information Literacy Research. I’m really pleased to be invited back to Aber at least once a year and enjoy reminiscing about the seven years I spent there, and catching up with old friends. I was met at the station last night by Lucy Tedd and we had a breezy walk along the prom and a warming pre-dinner drink at the Olive Branch on the front. We had a lovely meal with colleagues from DIS and the Head of Department, Gayner.

I had a 2 hour slot for my lecture from 10-12 this morning, so included some time for discussion and a coffee break. It was interesting to hear from the students about what information and digital literacy meant to them. Most used the term information literacy and quite a few students on the course this year from overseas talked about their experiences in school and public libraries. We talked about the challenges of getting staff to work with us over these initiatives. I gave an overview of the types of information and digital literacy support we provide at LSE and then briefly talked about the DELILA project and my Arcadia fellowship and the development of the new curriculum for information literacy. I hope that I inspired some of the students to perhaps consider doing their dissertation in this area. I also promoted the LILAC Student Awards to them before having a quick lunch at the Treehouse (my favourite cafe) and hopping on the train back to London.

NetworkED goes live

Frescos from ancient Thira

Today saw the first seminar in our new series: NetworkED: technology in education which was a double excitement for me, as I have been working hard on this initiative since I came back from Cambridge, and I was giving the first seminar! I got the idea that CLT should run a seminar series partly from attending the Arcadia seminars while at Cambridge, but also after enjoying the reading group discussions in the PGCert that I now teach on. I started thinking that more discursive sessions are a lot more interesting than just running training sessions, plus in line with my thinking about information literacy, they offer more opportunities for learning through reflection. We can all bring something to learning, not just the teacher, and giving everyone a chance to participate in a session can be more challenging for the teacher, but also liberating too and really rewarding.
That said, today’s session took a fairly traditional format in that we delivering essentially a presentation, but we did live stream the event to allow anyone to watch from outside LSE. We also took questions via Twitter and from the floor and had an interesting discussion at the end with the mainly LSE audience. Myself, Emma and Helen Webster, who is a current Arcadia Fellow working on implementing our curriculum at Cambridge did a three way presentation. We have also recorded the event so if you missed it you can watch it from the website.

I am really pleased that our second seminar has been booked for 24th January, when Professor John Naughton will be speaking about his new book on the internet. Again we will be live streaming and hoping to try out a few other technologies. If you were watching the streaming I hope you enjoyed it today. All the resources are available from the NetworkED website or from our New Curriculum blog.

No time to reflect!

Rachel de Thame's garden at Chelsea Flower Show

This tranquil scene from last month’s Chelsea Flower Show is to help calm my mind, which is working overtime. Last week was probably one of the busiest week’s ever! I spent Monday at the ALISS AGM, and it was my last official duty as Chair of the Group. After 3 years as Chair of ALISS I decided to stand down, due to being slightly overloaded. After reading this update you will probably realise I’ve been doing too much! The topic of the meeting was Digitisation and Innovation and we had three speakers, including Amanda Spencer from the National Archives, talking about web continuity, Guy Grannum also from the National Archives, talking about their wiki project, Your Archives. The final speaker was Edward Wood, from the House of Commons who spoke about the project to digitise Hansard which has recently been completed. Overall a great meeting and presentations from the day are on the Recent Events section of the ALISS website.

Tuesday was the Heron User Group meeting, which I also chair. We had case studies from three institutions who provide digitisation services. We also had an update from David Anderson-Evans from UUK, on the negotiations with CLA for the scanning and photocopying licence for HE. We also launched an Eduserv funded toolkit, aimed at those working in higher education getting copyright clearance called the Copyright Toolkit. Grant Young from TASI spoke about using images under the CLA Licence and we rounded off the day with breakout groups talking about scanning services and future developments.

On Wednesday I attended the TILE (Towards and Implementation of Library 2.0 in the E-framework) project meeting. There are some slides on SlideShare about the ‘pain points‘. I must confess to finding the project quite technical, rather than focusing on the user experience, but I did get to meet Dave Pattern, from Huddersfield who has also blogged about the meeting and offered to take me for a curry when I next venture ‘up north’ (Actually I was in Sheffield at the weekend!)

Thursday there was a lot of catching up to do, plus putting the finishing touches to a JISC bid. Then Friday I was in Bath, seeing Ed Barker from Eduserv for the second time that week! This time it was with my Information Literacy group hat on, as the group are exploring the possibility of Eduserv hosting more web content for us.

I was shattered by the weekend, and still haven’t blogged about the Bradford event on 12th June. Just quickly, it was about Web 2.0 and libraries and organised by YUISG. I kicked off the day, and other speakers included Peter Godwin, Lyn Parker talking about Second Life (and penguins!). There was also a great presentation from Jamie Wood at CILASS at the University of Sheffield, partly about the role of student ambassadors, but I was also really interested in how he’s been using del.icio.us when teaching medieval history.

This week should be slightly quieter and I’m off to Spain on Thursday for a long weekend and hard earned rest!

Conference news

As Jane said, the CDE conference was a very enjoyable day and an excellent opportunity to share details of our project with non-Librarians. It was also a chance to find out what is going on with other projects – which are probably a reflection of e-learning research generally. There was a great emphasis on inclusion and access both in terms of disabilities but also the digital divide and availability of internet access. The use of mobile technologies may be the answer for some students; certainly it looks like being a hot topic.

At our meeting on Wednesday Susan Eales reminded us that the OU will be hosting the first International M-Libraries Conference in November.

More news soon ….

CDE Conference information

The CDE Fellows’ Conference on 19th June is now open for registration. It is free to everyone within the Federal University of London. Jane will be speaking and Sandra Tury will also be reporting on her CDE project, alongside a whole range of researchers from around the University. Not to be missed if you are working with Distance Learners. Information and registration at http://www.cde.london.ac.uk/support/events/event3319.htm

Phil Bradley’s course

Now I’ve managed to login to the blog, I’ve got to try to remember the most important points about the course I went to on 4th May, organised by ILIG. I was pretty amazed by the number of people at this event, which was great, but it did mean that Phil was forced very much into presentation mode. He handled it very well and managed to answer questions while keeping things moving. The morning was for beginners and the afternoon a more advanced session with some time for discussion. In terms of the content – really its most useful to have a look at Phil’s “I want to” blog http://philbradley.typepad.com/i_want_to/. I haven’t yet managed to lay hands on a copy of his book, but I am sure it will be really helpful. The afternoon discussion was mainly about barriers to using social software with a lot of people saying their institutions range from unsupportive to actually banning use. It made me realise how lucky I am to be working somewhere as open minded as the Institute of Education.

Since the session I’ve been experimenting with RSS feeds, which I now feel confident about, and tried pageflakes, which I confess to being a little disappointed with.

Gwyneth

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