Developing digital literacies in staff and students: a TEL Seminar in Sussex

Today I was delighted to visit the University of Sussex to give a seminar in their Technology Enhanced Learning Seminar series. Dr David Walker is the head of TEL at Sussex and we first met in May when we both spoke at the UCISA Digital Capabilities event. This led me to invite David to speak at the ILG / MMiT joint event on Digital libraries and digital literacies one day event held in August.

Today I gave a similar talk to the one I had given at the UCISA event, reflecting on over 10 years of running a digital literacy programme at LSE, the lessons learnt and challenges, and the importance of collaboration, which in our case is between the librarians and learning technologists and working with students as partners. My slides are below, but it was great to meet staff at Sussex and some old friends from the library. I had a chance to talk about the importance to embed copyright literacy and the use innovative approaches to learning such as games. And of course I spoke about information literacy and the importance of using technologies in a critical way. After the session we recorded a short podcast and I look forward to hearing this and the recording of the event.



It’s all about writing and editing

IMG_2930Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, but don’t think or a minute I’ve not been doing any writing recently. In fact I’ve been doing so much writing (and thinking and reading and debating) that I am going half crazy. It’s all getting very close to the deadline for the second edition of Copyright and E-learning being due with my publisher Facet and so I feel like I’ve done very little but read, write, think and speak about copyright for months now! I’m so grateful for my co-author, Chris Morrison, who is working tirelessly and going slightly crazy with me. And so grateful to our patient families who probably can’t wait until next weekend, when it’s finally sent off for proof reading.

I like writing and I like copyright, but this final stage all gets rather fraught as all of a sudden you remember that crucial thing that’s not in the book. Or you chat with someone and they mention something and you find your mind wandering and thinking, ‘I really ought to have referenced that article’, or find out more about whether this topic is relevant to my book. I can only apologise for my slightly more distracted attitude than usual in meetings, in conversations with people and even while at the gym or socialising! It will end very soon!

On top of this I’m really excited that Chris and I’d first peer reviewed article on our Copyright Literacy research came out in late December in Library and Information Research. We’ve started the next phase of the research which is to carry out some focus groups (it wasn’t like we had much else to do!) and have been preparing to pitch a new game at LILAC as part of the exciting new format of presentations, Legadothon. Yes I know, it sounds like something from Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars, but we have Nigel Morgan to thank for this! On that note I’d like to point out that despite Nigel’s encouragement, I haven’t yet started writing historical fictional set in a library, nor introduced elements of this into Copyright and E-learning (my co-author wouldn’t buy it!)

Finally, the excitement of the ILG involvement in TeenTech continues and we have launched 10 resource sheets for schools, to support pupils and their teachers in how to do research. These guides are really visually attractive as well as hopefully being practical and useful for the teenagers. They are also all licensed under Creative Commons, so if you haven’t seen them, do check them out! There is much more I could write about, but the book is calling me for some final amendments! See you on the other side folks!!

Michaelmas Term conferences, fun and games

It is now the end of term at LSE and we have had a great start to the year with the recruitment of almost 50 undergraduate student ambassadors for the SADL project. I’ve spoken about the programme several times in the last few months, for example at ECIL in October. In October I also gave a webinar for EIFL on digital literacy and a few weeks ago a webinar for staff at NUI Galway as part of their All Aboard HE project. Moira and I also ran another London Digital Student Meet-up in November at the Royal Veterinary College with colleagues from UCL and Jisc and some of the SADL team came along to take part. We were even lucky enough to meet a real horse!

Copyright cakesMeanwhile the copyright literacy roadshow continues after a successful trip to Tallinn, Chris and I were in Leeds on 22nd November for the IL and games event running a two hour copyright card game session. We also ran a workshop together last week for LSE staff, some of whom came along to play the game for a second time. It was nothing to do with the copyright cakes we tempted them with!

This week I was in Newport for the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) conference where I was part of a symposium on digital literacies. Then next week I will be in Sheffield for the Social Media in Learning in HE conference playing more games – this time on copyright and the social media challenges.

I’d like to say after that I rest as I’m off work for two weeks but between Christmas celebrations, working on the updates to my 2010 book Copyright and E-learning. I’m working with Chris to update it and enjoying not only having a second set of eyes on the text, but the discussions over all the changes that have happened since 2010 in both copyright law and technology. Even terms like e-learning which we are retaining in the title, seem to have dated a little. Dare I say we have reached a state of post e-learning, where now we just talk about learning whether online or face to face? I’m not sure; what I do know is that digital literacy, learning and copyright all seem to be featuring as the major elements in my work still.

Teaching an online course: embedding digital copyright

Isle of Wight sunriseI’ve had a busy few weeks with my regular job, various Information Literacy Group tasks, copyright-related projects, and no less than three external events: APT in Greenwich, the CILIP Conference in Liverpool and a UnionLearn meeting where I spoke about IL. On top of this I have spent the last 6 weeks running an online course, Teaching in a Digital Age (TIDA). I followed the 23 Things for Libraries courses that ran several years ago at Cambridge and at Oxford. I wanted to launch one at that time at LSE for teaching staff, and so to get the opportunity to do this for my International Programmes secondment has been fascinating, a lot of fun and a real learning experience for me. I have over 20 students on the course from India, Malta, Malaysia and the UK. Every Monday and Friday I’ve been scheduling the new blog posts to go live and sending emails to gently encourage students to stay engaged. The most difficult part of the course, aside from the rather fast pace, has been keeping up with the students’ blogs! I wondered if they would take to blogging, but the vast majority really seem to have got stuck in! You can see all the students listed on the TIDA blogroll.

I have to say, the week I was most excited about was teaching them about Creative Commons and finding open educational resources, and to many of the teachers it seems to have been a real eye opener. And what a great way to demonstrate that understanding about copyright and licenses is a fundamental part of being a digital teacher. I’ve collected together some of the posts from the teachers on this topic below, as I think reading their reflections say a lot about how to teach copyright to academics – make it relevant, timely and straightforward, but most of all embed it in the course!

The course continues for another week – this week’s topic is managing information and getting organised exploring tools such as Dropbox, Evernote, Zotero and the concept of tagging.

Teaching in a Digital Age (TiDA) launched

Street art in Georgtown, PenangLate last year and early this year I was seconded to work in the LSE office of the University of London International Programmes team. I developed several new digital literacy workshops for them which I ran out in Singapore and Malaysia. However most of the time was spent working on developing a pilot online course for teachers.

I decided early on to base this on a 23 things model which I’d seen work at Cambridge University Library and at Oxford who ran a 23 Things for Research. There was also a very popular 23 Things for CPD and a 23 Things for Digital Humanities. My course is called Teaching in a Digital Age (TiDA) and it is being piloted over the next 7 weeks in 4 institutions- including LSE. I have around 20-25 students taking the course who are all teachers from Malaysia, Malta, India and London and it’s based on a blog. This week students have to set up their own blog, register it with us and write their first post. I’m really excited to see the blogs being set up and to read comments from all the students. Three of my colleagues in LTI have joined the course so it’s great to have their input! If you would like to follow what we are up to, then it’s all available on the blog, and as this is a pilot I’d be really grateful for any feedback!

All about copyright

This week my head is swimming with copyright due to running two training events at other universities. Tomorrow (weather permitting) I’m going to York St John to do a session for library staff. Then on Friday I’m going to Cardiff to run a full day course on behalf of CILIP. I usually run an hour and a half session for staff at LSE so I wondered if I would have enough to fill a whole day. But in fact there is so much to say I’m cutting some out! I’ve been trying to think of fun activities related to copyright. Now that is a challenge! I’ll see how I get on but there is so much to think about and so many potential issues people might want to know about. The focus is copyright and e-learning so come to think about it I know a good book on that topic!

Teaching this term

It’s the time of the year when I seem to be frantically preparing teaching materials between delivering classes and workshops. In the last few weeks I have taught two workshops as part of LSE’s PGCert on Learning Technologies. This term I am teaching with Claudine Provencher from the Teaching and Learning Centre and LSE’s Department of Social Psychology. We made some changes to the workshop, and were both really pleased with how the session went. For once I also felt that many of the students did realise that technology was not something to think about after you’ve planned your teaching. We also had a greater number of students who had taken online courses or used technology for their own learning.

Last week I was teaching ‘Developing you web presence’ and today I ran a session on using Web 2.0 tools in teaching. Again it seems that many people attending these sessions don’t need convincing these tools are helpful for learning, they just need advice about the best way of using them. Tomorrow I’ll be teaching a session on Managing Information with colleague from the Library as part of the MY592 programme. And then at lunchtime I am teaching second year PGCert students about using technology for assessment and feedback. Then on Thursday I’ll be in Aberystwyth for my annual trip to the Department of Information Studies, to give a guest lecture for students. Wish me luck!  Don’t forget many of the resources for these sessions are available as open educational resources in LSE Learning Resources Online.