As I mentioned in an earlier post, we initially highlighted 8 areas that we wanted to include within the strands of the framework. These were:
- Green ICT
- Home-School Relationships
- Mobile Technologies
- Online Learning
- Presentation Tools
These areas were identified as priorities of Leicester City Council, through the studying of relevant council documents; such as the ICT Thematic Priorities and the Learner Voice in Leicester City report.
The challenge was to turn these broad, and in some cases highly technology-led, areas into suitable strands for the framework. One of the outcomes of my work will be a literature review of existing digital literacy frameworks, presented in the form of a Wiki so as to aid evolution throughout the life of the project (I was inspired by Doug Belshaw’s Thesis). Through the process of reading for the literature review and discussion sessions with both of my supervisors, a provisional set of strands has now been identified.
Technology for Professional Development
This strand will focus on how a member of staff takes advantage of the affordances of digital tools, in order to enhance their professional development. This may include, participating in online professional networks, developing an online professional presence, taking advantage of online training opportunities and using online tools to keep up to date with advances within ones field.
Not only will this strand examine how an educator conducts themselves online, it will also encourage them to consider how they are engaging their learners in appropriate online behaviour. Topics covered within this strand will include: cyber bullying, privacy and security, lawful and ethical conduct and appropriate online behaviours.
Finding, Evaluating and Organising Content and Materials
This strand will allow teachers to reflect on their information management skills; their ability to locate and critically evaluate online content. This could include: search strategies, resource evaluation skills, organised storage practises and the ability to locate copyright free materials for use within the classroom.
Repurposing, Creating and Sharing Content and Materials
This strand concentrates on a member of staff’s creative abilities with online tools. Topics include: ability to locate existing materials that allow for redesign and distribution through a Creative Commons license; production of a range of mediums, such as image, text, video, audio and data; ability to remix, mash-up and repurpose existing content for new audiences and needs; awareness of sites available for sharing content and materials and knowledge of how to share one’s own creations using Creative Commons licensing.
Collaboration and Participation
This strand concerns how a teacher encourages their learners to engage with online communities and to collaborate with other learners through digital tools. Aspects of the teacher’s own use of collaboration tools are also covered, though only in relation to teaching and learning, since professional networks are covered within the Technology for Professional Development strand. This strand includes; educating learners about the benefits of participating in online learning communities, utilising a range of digital tools for collaborative tasks and actively participating in online cultures.
Communication and Presentation
This final strand looks at how educators are utilising digital tools to aid communication, both inside and outside of the school environment, and how presentation tools can be used to enhance the exchange of content and knowledge. This strand will include the following: using a range of presentation tools, with the ability to judge which method is most appropriate to the aims of the session; ability to communicate using a range of digital tools; awareness of variety in home access and consideration of this through a range of communication methods.
We are still in the very early days of this project, but I am really starting to feel as though it is coming together. My next job is to identify what skills, attitudes and abilities are covered by each strand – and most importantly – what isn’t, what doesn’t fit?
I have many questions concerning the statements that will be included within the framework. How can we be comprehensive, yet concise? Will certain skills be seen as so basic that they need not be included in the framework? How can we ensure that the learner’s experience is at the heart of these statements?