FE Digital Student consultation events underway

Last week I attended the second in a series of events taking place throughout the UK as part of the FE Digital Student Project and was delighted to see plenty of stimulating discussions and thought-provoking presentations centred around the theme of learners’ expectations and experiences of using technology in further education.

The day included a range of practical and participatory workshops designed not only to tease out what the challenges are facing colleges in meeting the needs of different digital learners, but also, critically, what actions colleges can take forward to meet these challenges head on. One of the key findings from the focus groups was that it can often be all too easy to make assumptions on behalf of the digital needs of our learners, but a more appropriate and enriching approach is to ensure that an open dialogue between staff and learners is established from the start, which empowers learners to take an active role in the planning and provisioning of support. Continue reading

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Making the Most of LinkedIn

When the topic of presenting yourself online in the best possible light and your digital footprint arises, it’s difficult not to mention LinkedIn at some point.  However, invariably the most common response from academics tends to be: “LinkedIn? Meh!”  It’s as if there’s an almost universal acknowledgement that in today’s competitive job market there’s definitely a need to give yourself every edge, but when it comes to actually doing something about it an overwhelming sense of apathy descends. Continue reading

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Ten Session Plan Ideas for Teaching Digital Footprint

I’ll keep this one brief, as the title’s pretty self-explanatory and it’s all covered in the introduction anyway so there’s no need to repeat everything here. Continue reading

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Observations on Moderating a Facebook Group

Facebook often provokes mixed opinions from teachers when exploring its educational applications and, as a fellow sceptic myself, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my own experiences of moderating a Facebook group. Continue reading

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Reflections on #LearnPod13

So, #LearnPod13 is finally done and dusted for yet another year, and now I’ve slept on it and my brain has finally started to stop buzzing with all the myriad ideas and thoughts that the event provoked, I ask myself ‘what did people get out of it?’ – other than the cake! Continue reading

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Putting the pieces of your digital identity together

I’m not a lover of jigsaws, it has to be said.  Mainly because I’m not very good at them, but the jigsaw analogy for your digital identity is an apt one.  In a previous post, Behind the Mask of Digital Identity, we explored the fragmented nature of a digital identity (or identities) and how publishing vignettes of ourselves online, often for a variety of different audiences, on a variety of different social media sites and for a variety of different reasons, can make managing our online identities challenging to say the least. Continue reading

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Ten Great Ways to Use Pinterest to Support Learning

I recently started baking gingerbread men. It was my first real attempt at baking, I have to admit, and was spurred into it by a bizarre Christmas present of some cut-outs for making gingerbread men in the shape of ninja (thus, transforming a normal everyday “gingerbread” man into a lethal “ninjabread” man). A little childish, perhaps, but the act of creating something so visually striking (and tasty!) that others could enjoy was thoroughly satisfying. Continue reading

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39 Steps (to embedding digital literacy into teaching and learning)

It was at the (fairly) recent Discovering New Horizons in the Digital Landscape conference in Manchester that my friend and colleague, Anthony Beal, introduced me to 23 Things – a self-directed course aimed at introducing a range of tools that could facilitate personal and professional development for librarians. Which got me thinking – why stop at librarians? There are plenty of tools out there that anyone involved with teaching and learning (whether they’re teachers, learning technologists, librarians or something else) would benefit from, so why not create a self-directed course for a broader audience? Continue reading

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Behind the Mask of Digital Identity

“Everyone presents himself to the others and to himself, and sees himself in the mirrors of their judgements.  The masks he then and thereafter presents to the world and its citizens are fashioned upon his anticipations of their judgements.”

Anselm Strauss“Mirrors and Masks: the search for identity.” (1969) Continue reading

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Wii are all active learners!

For those of you who attended my workshop, Wii Are All Active Learners, at the JISC Regional Support Centre (Yorkshire & Humber) summer conference last week, you’ll remember I promised to write up the details of the five case studies I covered on the day. Continue reading

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