Framework Narrative

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To date, the framework has seen five iterations. As we are now preparing for the pilot phase of the project, it is interesting to reflect on the development of the framework so far.

Framework Beginnings

To begin with I carried out a review of existing frameworks relating to digital literacies, in order to identify relevant structures and themes. This gave us a clear indication of the common themes involved. We also had a list of eight areas that we would like to cover if possible; 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. These were:

  • CPD
  • Green ICT
  • E-Safety
  • Home-School Links
  • Online learning
  • Mobile learning
  • Multi-media
  • Presentation

However, at this point the areas were rather broad and, in some cases, highly-technology led. The next step was to break these down into what practices are afforded by these types of technologies. I started by listing the common themes drawn from the review of frameworks alongside the eight priority areas and from there I mapped them together. This gave me:

  • Creation & Curation of resources
  • Responsible and Ethical Use
  • Critical Thinking and Evaluation
  • Collaboration and Participation
  • Communication
  • Professional Development

Through discussion with my supervisors, we identified areas of overlap and refined the strands. I then had to decide on the content within each strand. To do this (as I find I often need a visual to help me) I created a chart with the six strands separated out as columns and empty rows for me to add skills. From this chart I developed the first statements within the framework and released a blog post to mark the creation of the first draft.

Round Two

This was the largest of the framework revisions. The statements were split out into four levels and major work was carried out on the content of the statements. At this stage the levels were:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Expert

Using my initial statements as a spring-board for the discussions, we added, edited and removed content. It was also at this stage that we attempted to identify any missing areas – skills or practices that were not covered by the original strand themes – the use of existing online applications (such as Google Maps) and the use of technology for assessment and feedback were highlighted.

We began to realise quite quickly that some strands included a lot of content and in order to ensure that the framework tool was not overwhelming for users, we chose to split some of the strands – and also collapse others – giving us the following strands for the next draft:

  • Technology for professional development
  • E-Safety
  • Finding and Evaluating
  • Organising and Using
  • Creating and Repurposing
  • Presenting and Sharing
  • Communication, Collaboration and Participation
  • Assessment and Feedback

Round Three

The third revision of the framework mainly involved adjusting the content of the strands which had been split/combined. Some strands, such as Communication, Collaboration and Participation, now involved a large quantity of content and this had to be reduced without losing key statements and important key skills. Other strands, such as Presenting and Sharing, had less content and so I returned to the literature to help me to find skills which had previously been omitted.

This phase of development also involved creating for the content for the new strand – assessment and feedback. Being an area that I am less familiar with, I started by listing my own experiences of technology being used to support assessment and from here, with the help of my supervisors, we filled out the section.

Round Four

Having worked up the new strands and added/edited content where necessary I now needed to ensure that the end result would be manageable for staff to use. It is of great importance to me that staff do not find the framework tool overwhelming, it is meant to be a tool to aid reflection – this will not be the case if there is too much content.

To help manage the amount of content, I broke the paragraphs up into bullet points and analysed each sentence in relation to the strand, the level and the rest of the statement. I aimed to reduce each strand to around four sentences, which involved condensing some areas and removing unnecessary content where appropriate. I found it hard to be so critical of my own work, but quickly saw the benefits as the framework took shape.

We also added a summary of each level within each strand – to be outputted by the framework as feedback to the user. These summarised the skills a teacher would have who works at a specific level within each area.

Once this round of drafting was complete, the framework was presented to school staff and experts within the field of digital literacies for their consultation and feedback.

Round Five

This most recent stage of revision has been influenced by the feedback obtained throughout the consultation phase of the project. A summary of this feedback can be found in my blog post, reflecting on the process. A number of changes have been made to the framework in this stage; most notably changes to the levels and strands of the framework:

Levels

  • Entry
  • Core
  • Developer
  • Pioneer

An evaluation of how these levels can be mapped to Bélisle’s Three models of literacy can be found here.

Strands

  • Finding, Evaluating and Organising
  • Creating and Sharing
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Communication, Collaboration and Participation
  • Safe and Effective use of Technology
  • Technology supported Professional Development

All of the comments we received about the framework have been taken into consideration  – and have been a great help in supporting me to create this fifth draft. During the pilot phase of the project, we will be releasing the framework for open web consultation and the feedback from this and the findings of the pilot itself will be used to create the sixth (and hopefully final) draft.

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