Reflections of the digital week!

It has been an exciting start to the 2nd unit in this module. It has seen two groups take control and run seminars- both seem to have a good level of energy and a gusto about them. Which has been great to see. But as I start to reflect for this weeks post, I must say that I have found ‘time’ the biggest issue of the week. It has been a challenge to find enough hours in the day this week….. and I wish I could find a way to invent that time machine!!

The unit 2 themes have been really interesting to me. Especially as a librarian a lot of my work is concerned with Information Literacy training. The themes around the digital natives and whether it is a misnomer/myth I do find interesting. Very often there is an assumption (although I think this is changing a little) that it is the older generation that struggle using their technology and this idea of ‘Digital natives and digital immigrants’ (Prensky  2001). There has also been the idea that there is a ‘Google Generation’ (UCL 2008). There are a lot of assumptions made about the google generation and digital natives which are a little concerning and not necessarily that grounded in facts. Often there is an assumption that students from these eras automatically come with good digital and information literacy skills that make older generations seem ill-equipped.From working with a lot of cohorts of students who would fall under the umbrella of  digital natives/ Google Generation. This idea has long held some issues for me and others working with students.

This German comedy sketch for me illustrates this nicely. http://www.wimp.com/dadipad/  Take a look! For me it illustrates the perceived generational divide quite nicely. For me I am not so sure it is a generational divide as I have watched my parents engage with technologies that they have found useful in innovative ways.

In terms of thinking about learners and their online abilities, persona or identities the visitor and resident (Jiscnetskills 2014) model seems to be more enlightening and more nuanced. It allows people to think about their level of engagement with tech. This mapping is something that I have been trying to build into my own teaching as a way of encouraging my students to think about who they are online and what digital footprint they already have.

It has been exciting to see two seminars launched this week, I think one of the things that I have enjoyed about both seminar spaces is there are areas in there that have been designed to give a space to ‘let off steam’ as one group called their forums. I was reading another forum post entitled ‘personal and the mundane’ which spoke of the importance of using technology in other contexts not just for studying. I agreed with many of the sentiments from this post. I found myself reading a post by David White about the idea of coalescent spaces in the online learning environment:  http://daveowhite.com/coalescent/  I know this is a little tangential (its not entirely what this post was about),  but it did get me thinking about the importance of these spaces that were not just for ‘learning’ in the formal traditional sense and actually how it was nice to have a space within these seminars to not talk about the seminar! In terms of the actual blog posting it was very interesting in terms of some of the assumptions that you must be in a formal lecture theatre to learn etc… and there is a space for online areas to provide other avenues for learning and this post looks at several models (White, D. 2016). Which I am sure will be useful as we move in to the second week of Team Spandex  seminar- there are some useful themes in this blog posting implications for digital learners and creating an inclusive curriculum.

So roll on week 2 I guess and one thing that I have learnt from Team Spandex seminar is thinking about online study strategies. This week I think I am going to try putting in some ‘study’ spots into my dairy to see if that helps any with the time issues….

Jiscnetskills (2014) Visitors and residents [Video] Available from: https://youtu.be/sPOG3iThmRI [Accessed: 13.02.16]

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants available from: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf [Accessed: 13.02.16]

UCL (2008) Information behaviour of the researcher of the future: a ciber briefing paper. Available from:http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140614113419/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/reppres/gg_final_keynote_11012008.pdf [Accessed 13.02.16]

White, D. (2016) Coalescent spaces. Digital-learning-culture WeblogAvailable from: http://daveowhite.com/coalescent/ [Accesssed: 13.02.16].

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