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1.2 – Analyse the characteristics of individual environments in which digital literacy learning may take place (A minimum of six – two from each of the environments above)

Work based learning:

1) The tools and technologies in the WBL environment will reflect the learners real world experience. Learners can try collaborative approaches with their real team. Real time/life problems will present themselves and the opportunity will be there for learners to overcome in realistic and relevant ways. Confidence will increase by using new techologies and tools in real scenarios. Digital literacy learning in the workplace will promote active learning. The WBL environment is well known to the learner making them feel safe and secure. The WBL environment may help to alleviate any negative views of education. Being in the learner’s place of work may help to overcome fear of technology, they are in a familiar environment with work mates. The tutor coming into the learner’s work environment may also help to foster a positive relationship based on mutual respect.

Classroom:

Digital technology is often on-site and internet connectivity is consistant. The classroom offers a safe environment for learners to explore new tools and technologies. Availability of a whiteboard can increase the number of presentation opportunities (tutor can use Prezi, PPT etc), teacher has more opporttunity for multi sensory presentation. The classroom is a great place to practice (BYOD) ‘bring your own device’ where the learners can use their own equipment in a safe and secure environment. Delivering DL in the classroom offers the opportunity for learners to make the most of the internet enabling them to conduct online research. Being in the classroom also provides the tutor with more opportunities to enhance the learning experience of the learners. The only constraint that is identifiable is that the classroom may present some learners with a challenge as it may remind them of negative educational experiences from their school days if they had a poor experience of traditional education.

Outdoors/organised field trip:

Teaching DL opportunites outdoors presents more challenges in terms of using technology. Lack of connectivity to the internet may lessen teaching opportunities. Having said that, the mobile technology that is available today will lend itself to the learning experience. The availability of tablets and smart phones provides plenty of opportunities for DL learning. Working outdoors with learners will present the tutor with a great opportunity to get creative with the learners, for example, with the possibility of having no internet or phone signal, how will the learners work collaborativly? Taking the learning experience outdoors offers an opportunity to have fun! With the availability of tablets, the teacher (or indeed the learners) can come up with treasure trails using tools such as Aurasma. The success with teaching DL outdoors will most certainly be in the planning and preparation of the sessions, in particular with regards the technology, elements that would not be an issue in the classroom must be considered (power, connectivity, lights etc).

 

 

1.1 – Explain a minimum of three environments in which digital literacy learning may take place.

Work based learning environment:

Digital literacy learning may take place on the shop floor, in the factory or indeed wherever the individual is likely to come into contact with digital tools and technologies in their job. The kind of tools and technologies would reflect the type of work being carried out in the work place setting.

In the ‘traditional’ classroom environment:

Digital literacy learning can and does take place in the classroom, be that, nursery, primary, secondary or further/higher education settings. The classroom is probably one of the places where digital tools and technologies have kept up to date with many classrooms now boasting interactive whiteboards, laptops and even tablets as standard.

On a field trip (in the great outdoors!):

A little more challenging, but, digital literacy learning may take place outside in the great outdoors, whenever the opportunity may present itself. This may be a part of work based learning (in the Army) or during an organised field trip organised by the tutor (for example, a trip to a local farm).

Unit – 030 Managing the Digital Literacy Learning Environment

1.3 – Analyse a minimum of three different methods of communication that can be used with digital literacy learners.

Use of mobile phones:

Given that the mobile phone is so common amongst my learner group it would be amiss of me not to consider it’s use when teaching digital literacy. Mobile phones have come a very long way in recent years in terms of what they can do, indeed they are extremely advanced now and phones like the Apple iPhone essentially mean that you are carrying a mini computer around in your pocket. The advent of the Smart phone means that not only can the phone be used to communicate in the old school way of simply talking to each other via the phone, but it can be used to send text messages, emails, social media, pod casts, face time, Skype, it feels like the list of ways to communicate is endless. A word of warning though, not very student has a Smart phone, and not every learner is tech savvy enough to be able to access all of the aforementioned methods of communication. Indeed, I know a few people that still possess (and are happy with) a phone that would be considered a ‘brick’ in modern terms. So, whilst mobile phones do offer many levels of communication for some learners, it may isolate some learners who aren’t yet up to date with their particular phone. One must also remember that communicating with a mobile phone, with the exemption of voice calls and face to face calls (such as Skype) their is always the possibility of things being ‘lost in translation’ and the use of emoticons must be managed so as not to send the wrong message.

Use of e-mail:

The use of emails can be a good form of communication with our learners, well, it is for those that remember to catch up with their emails on a regular basis! I for one am guilty of not checking my emails, only to find that I missed the email that told me what to prepare for the next class, of course this meant that I wasn’t ready for the said class! Emails, again can be misread, misunderstood and the use of emoticons can be misleading. Emails are a great way to send information but are limited in the amount of data that can be sent, particularly when sending large picture or video files. Emails can be a very good way of evidencing work and can be useful if a ‘paper’ trail is required.

Use of Social Media:

The use of social media as a means of communicating with learners is still, in my opinion, a bit of a taboo subject in some teaching settings. Some people (usually the younger crowd) are very much for it, and some (usually the older crowd) are very much against it. The reason that the older people don’t feel it is appropriate is (again, only my opinion) is that they do not understand it, and are fearful that it cannot be managed. Used appropriately, I feel that the use of social media offers a wonderful opportunity to meet the learners of this day and age where they are at. Nearly all the younger learners that I have met, have Facebook for example. Some of the most interesting projects that I have  been involved with in the classroom have involved Facebook. What I have found that it needs careful monitoring, security settings have to be set accordingly and strict guidelines have to be in place with the learners so that they know what is and what is not acceptable (such as the use of offensive pictures and language). In the classroom close attention must be paid also to whether the learners are actually working or simply communicating with all of their friends and family when they should be concentrating on their work. There are also concerns when using social media about maintaining professional boundaries, but again this is the teachers responsibility to manage. Social Media is such a intrinsic part of today’s society that it would be wrong for teachers not to embrace it and make it a part of the learning process.

Unit – 027 Adults and Young People as Digital Literacy Learners

3.2 – Explain the importance of communication, relationship building and emotional intelligence when working with adults and young people undertaking digital literacy learning.

Communication: Communication is vital for delivering digital literacy learning, there needs to be clear communication between the learner and the tutor for learning to take place. The interaction between student and teacher is the place where the transaction of knowledge takes place. The tutor initally needs to find out what the learner knows in order to develop a plan of learning. Traditionally the means of communication between tutor and learner has been either written or orally, face to face, the challenge for the tutor in the digital literacy environment is to extend the means of communication to include the use of digital tools and technologies. Traditional learning theories (Kolb et. al) recognise that learners must construct their own meaning from information, the tutor is in a position to introduce the learner to a vast ocean of digital information but it is by the interpersonal communication where this learning must take place. So the role of the tutor is to guide the learner in their learning journey via a balance of learning technology and professional discussion. Communication has developed so much in the last twenty or so years that it would be wrong for the teacher not to adapt their method of communication to meet the needs of today’s learner. Gone are the days of chalk boards and chalk, here are the days of text messaging, emails, virtual classrooms and collaborative learning. With the development of communication comes new responsibility for the learner to be able to communicate effectivley and to make the most of the technology at their fingertips. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to m,ake sure that I choose the most appropriate method of communication to meet the learning needs of my learners. When communicating via any digital platforms we must ensure that the communication is clear and is understood by the learner. We must always remember that digital communication lacks the information given when face to face, there is no facial expression, there is no body language, there is more opportunity for misinterpretation.

Relationship building: The teacher’s role is to facilitate learning and in order  for this to happen their first priority is to provide a safe learning environment for the learner to work in. Part of creating this safe environment is the positive relationship that the tutor has with the learner. Learners come in to the classroom with a whole range of issues that can get in the way of their learning and having a positive relationship with the teacher can help to remove some of the issues the learner may be dealing with.

Emotional intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognise and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups. (http://www.skillsyouneed.com/general/emotional-intelligence.html)

Understanding emotional inteligence is a key aspect for a teacher, particularly when developing digital literacy skills. All learners have a level of emotional inteligence and bearing this in mind when planning for a session can have a significant impact on the success of the lesson. Technology can evoke quite an emotional response in people, learners can get frustrated when trying to interact with digital learning tools and technology and this emotional response will play out in their behaviour. I have seen many learners turn quite angry very quickly when getting frustrated with a computer!

Managing emotions can be quite difficult for some learners and they often struggle to respond to things in appropriate way. A good example of this is on Facebook where things are written that evoke an emotional response, or they are written in order to influence a certain response in a person. Understanding this can help a person to manage their emotions and avoid potential conflict. Understanding your own emotional intelligence can also help you to understand the impact of your behaviour on other people, again this can be seen when using social media. People can post words or images on social media that can have either a positive effect or a negative effect on people and being aware of this can help to self regulate what you post. As teachers we are in a position to be able to help create the good digital citizens of the future who are more aware of the impact of their behaviour on others in the digital domain.

 

 

 

 

2.3 Interpret the mistakes made by digital literacy learners at different levels

During the brief time that I have been teaching, and in particular since I have been more aware of digital literacy and the concepts involved, I have started to become more aware of the mistakes that do occur when learners are completing tasks when using digital learning technologies and tools. Prior to enrolling onto the digital literacy practitioner course I was fairly naïve and very often missed the mistakes being made and certainly wasn’t in a position to address the problems. Now I feel that I am in a much better position to teach the learners solutions and raise the learners’ awareness of the implications of their mistakes. Having now had my eyes opened so to speak, ignorance is no longer a defence!

During a recent session I set a task for the group to complete pertaining to researching ‘legal highs’ and developing a presentation on their findings using a digital presentation tool of their choice, I was, with my newly formed digital literacy awareness, able to identify some of the mistakes that were being made by this particular group. The first issue that I was able to identify was the fact that the learners made no effort to check out the validity and the reliability of the information that they had researched on-line, they presented me with the information as if it was gospel and with an ‘it was on the internet so it must be true’ sort of attitude, it wasn’t until I challenged them on this attitude that they realised that much of the information they had presented was in fact from unreliable sources in the form of the company’s that sell the legal highs and were in fact biased in their description that the drugs were safe to use. Much of the information that the learners presented was also out of date, some of it dating back to 2002, they had simply not checked and soon agreed that much of the information would now have been changed or be obsolete.

The learners also admitted that they had simply ‘cut and pasted’ much of the information that they presented and hadn’t really taken the time to check out the information’s validity. The group had also created a fantastic visual presentation using images that were in fact copyrighted and did not provide any referencing or hadn’t cited the original author. It was only when I informed them of the term ‘plagiarism’ and its implications should it be repeated in a formal college environment, that they understood the seriousness of their mistakes.

Whilst reflecting on my leaner’s mistakes during sessions involving aspects of digital literacy learning, I have been able to identify a whole range of what may be seen as very simple mistakes that are often made, regardless of the learner’s levels. One of the most common is learners forgetting their log on or their password and being unable to participate or at least waste time whilst a new one is set. Sometimes learners have no concept of internet security and fail to set privacy settings accordingly, leaving themselves open to unscrupulous people to abuse their work. If clear instructions and scaffolding is not provided a learner may never accomplish a task because they can simply get lost in cyber space and sometimes need a bit of support to plan and execute their work. If left to their own devices a learner can often choose unsuitable tools to complete a task and are unable to complete their task, get frustrated and give up.

Repeatedly making mistakes when trying to complete tasks leads to a demotivated learner, a learner that may well choose not to have a go, they may choose not to try and get creative, and they may choose not to engage at all. As a teacher it is my responsibility to turn every mistake into a learning opportunity and to provide all the support and scaffolding they need to complete the task given.

2.4 Analyse the process and procedures that digital literacy learners use.

Having observed my learners complete tasks in the classroom environment I have become aware of the difference in approaches that each learner takes in order to complete a task. Very often the learner makes no effort whatsover to actually sit down and plan what they are going to do, insted they jump straight in and have no real strategy in place. It would appear that unless specifically told most of my learners, at their current level, lack the ability to put a procedure in place to complete a task, they need lots of support, encouragement and scaffolding. If left to their own devices they will accomplish a task but their lack of planning means they take the long and frustrating way around. The learners need to be given step by step instructions on how to complete the task. However; even with a clear set out procedure to follow , my learners often get lost in cyber space by not following or ignoring the instructions! In my experience.

It would appear that the process that my learners go through to accomplish a task lacks any real structure, they do get there in the end, but it is usually through a series of mistakes. They act on impulse, get frustrated, re-evaluate and modify. Which is fine, as they are learning and learning is most definitely taking place. They seem to approach a digital literacy task in the same way that they might approach a computer game, get stuck in and battle their way through, in a sense learning by doing.

Working at a higher level with my fellow tutors, I can see that, as a group the process and procedures can be very different than when at a lower level. The group that I was a part of quickly set about establishing roles within the group, procedures were quickly established, each group member knew exactly what they needed to do to complete the task. Communication within the group was excellent, enabling all group members to put together a plan and we then went on to create the animation that we had planned. Following the creation of the cartoon we were then able to watch it and evaluate and made changes where necessary. Following the completion of the task the group were able to reflect on what we had done and identify, procedures, mistakes made and imrpovments that could be made should we repeat the task. It would appeatr that our level, our ability to plan, process and create a procedure came quite naturally due to previous experience and training.

Comparing the approaches made by two very different groups of people has been valuable to see the different approaches being made and this has allowed me to formulate in my mind the different approaches that I will need to take when teaching learners at different levels.

Rationale for lesson plan…..Creating a Prezi

3. Plan and explain activities that will develop digital skills and knowledge for your case study learners. (028 – 2.1:  Explain activities that develop digital literacy skills and knowledge.

Based on the information that I received in the form of two case studies I decided to plan a session that would aim to meet the needs of the two learners (within a group setting). The session would aim to enable the learners to create their own Prezi presentation on a subject that they would feel comfortable with, the subject would be chosen based on their own interests, for example Alex would be creating a Prezi on either antiques or local history and Ella would be creating her Prezi on the subject of primary school education or teaching resources. These subjects would ensure that I would be tapping into their existing knowledge base and also provide intrinsic motivation for them both.

In terms of meeting their needs:

Alex:

Responds well to one to one support so there will be a classroom assistant with me to support him. Alex also like to support others so I will be making an effort during the lesson to encourage him to support others in the group if an opportunity present itself. During the session I will be trying to illicit from him his previous Level 3 skills in order for him to recognise that these will be transferable to digital literacy, this will be done in the form of a brainstorming session using an IPad at the beginning of the session, the learners will use the Inspiration Mind Mapping tool. Being a visual learner I feel that he will respond well to the apps that I have chosen, Inspiration Mind mapping and Prezi are very visual and relatively easy to use with guidance. Alex needs to develop his literacy so I have provided an opportunity in the session to introduce him (and the rest of the class!) to Grammarly. At the end of the lesson I will show the group a YouTube video of Grammarly and ask them to write an evaluation of their experience of Prezi (max 500 words), they will be expected to use Grammarly to check their work before submission.

Ella

At the beginning of my class I have used a line up ice breaker so that Ella in particular can gauge her confidence in digital literacy before the lesson. The reason being that Ella is an intellectual lady who obviously has the ability to learn and I am sure that with the right support during the session her confidence will increase. This will be revisited before the end of the lesson to provide opportunity for Ella to consider where she is at following the session. In order to provide a ‘hook’ for Ella I intend to ask her to have a go at photographing the line-up and use Nutshell to record the activity, this is a very easy, quick win activity aimed just at her to engage her from the start. I will be using a Prezi presentation myself at the beginning of the lesson to introduce the aims and objectives so that she can see just how useful a tool it can be in the classroom given that she has a passion for education.

It has been recognised that Ella prefers traditional teaching  and being shown how to do something, the way that I have planned the lesson should appeal to her in that I am going to demonstrate how to create a Prezi before asking her to have a go herself. Prezi as a presentation tool should really impress Ella and this I hope will provide the motivation to have a go and get over her fear of technology. To appeal to the ‘teacher’ in Ella I will be sure to point out the educational uses for the apps and tools that I am introducing her to during the session and I hope that she will see the place that TTT have in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.

Tools, technology and techniques used during this session:

Nutshell, Prezi, Word, Inspiration Maps, Grammarly.

Ipad, Laptop, Whiteboard.

Youtube video to present Grammarly, Prezi to present the aims and objectives, hands on demonstration of how to create a Prezi.

Additional support for the group will be provided in the form of a classroom assistant, particularly for Alex who responds well to 1-1 support.

Meeting the needs and preferences of the 21st Century learner using new technologies, tools and techniques.

(1.2: Explain how learning technologies, tools and techniques might be used to support digital literacy learner needs and preferences.) Every learner that sits before us presents with a new challenge, every learner is different and indeed unique. No group of learners are ever the same. It is this challenge of differentiation that makes being a teacher so interesting and indeed exciting. To date, teachers have had to take into consideration each learners individual learning style, we have to consider their prior knowledge, their literacy and numeracy skills, we may have had to consider behavioural or emotional needs, we may have had to consider learning difficulties such as dyslexia. It is my opinion, that a teacher is only as good as their tool kit. A teacher must be well prepared to meet any need that a learner may bring to the classroom. They must be prepared in order to provide the best teaching that the learner not only needs but deserves. We are currently living in  great time of technological advancement, never has the teachers tool kit looked so interesting and diverse. The 21st Century teacher looks very different, going are the days of flipcharts and death by PowerPoint, being replaced by Ipad’s, laptops, interactive white boards and smart phones. At our disposal today are a wide range of new technologies, techniques and tools, each one offering  a new opportunity to meet the diverse needs of the student. With this new array of technology, tools and techniques, the classroom itself is changing. Technology New technology in the learning environment may include the use of Ipad’s, tablets and note pads by both teacher and student  to complete tasks on. Never has access to new technology been more affordable and this has led to an increase of laptops, tablets and smart phones in the classroom, if it is in the classroom then it is potentially at the tutors disposal. New technology can also be used effectively to meet the needs of learners with different physical needs too. For example, computers are available with large print screens and keyboards for the visually impaired. Tools Learners are able to self differentiate using new tools in order to meet their own learning needs. For example, learners with poor levels of literacy are able to use software such as Gramarly in order to develop at their own pace. The teacher can set a task using a app where the learner can work to their own ability. For example using the app ‘Nutshell’, the learner can create a short presentation and lower level learners can write very brief slide descriptions and the higher level learners can write more detailed and complex descriptions. Techniques In terms of teaching techniques, the teacher has more opportunity to record classroom activity by facilitating the lesson via a collaborative online tool such as Hackpad. By using Hackpad the teacher can set a group task and the groups work can be monitored and recorded in real time. Evidence can be electronically recorded and submitted as evidence at the touch of a button. With all at their disposal a teacher has so much more freedom to get creative. You may want to send your learners off on a treasure hunt using QR codes as clues to a hidden gem created using an augmented reality tool like Aurasma. The teacher may also decide to manage the whole learning experience via a virtual learning environment such as Edmodo. The technological learning world really is your oyster. We must not forget also that learning should be fun and digital literacy learning tools, technologies and techniques offer a wonderful range of opportunities to hook in a learner and increase curiosity. Learning tools, technologies and techniques can also  be invaluable  for removing the barriers that we face every day when trying to engage learners in the learning process…..but………that’s for another blog!

ADDITIONAL CRITERIA 029 – 1.2: Explain how learning technologies, tools and techniques might be used to support digital literacy learner needs and preferences (minimum of 5 in total)

Whatever a learner’s learning need or preference there is sure to be an app or a piece of technology available to meet it. Writing enhancement platforms such as Grammarly could be used to support learners with low levels of literacy so that they can check their own work and correct their work at their own pace. Using fun and simple to use presentation tools such as Nutshell can help learners with low skill sets to increase their confidence in using new technologies and tools; using a tablet such as an iPad could also be used as it is so accessible and leaners can learn by doing. One of the best ways to learn how to use something is to simply play with it so an iPad would be a great way for a leaner to develop their skills. Some learners may prefer to learn in their first language and there are applications available to support this such as Bing, learners could also be introduced to Google Translate so that they can help themselves with unfamiliar words during a session. Whatever the need or preference, with a little bit of planning and consideration, the teacher is sure to meet it.

The role of digital literacy in the lives of adults and young people in society today

With the development of the digital landscape during the last decade, the world is looking a very different place from that of say 20 or 30 years ago. Life today feels so much faster, people seem to be more reliant on an instant fix of information. At the touch of a button we can communicate with anyone, anywhere. The time has gone where a person may have carried at most a pen, or a briefcase with their note pad and paper in.

The average person on the street is more likely, at the very least, to be carrying a mobile phone (and a smart one at that!), they may well be managing their day via an app on their phone or if they are really lucky they may be carrying the latest IPad. From getting up in the morning and checking their emails or texting a loved one, to going about their day organised by their trusty tablet, the average person is never far from a device that will in some way be connecting them with the world at large.

Technology is developing at a staggering rate, every day there seems to be another app or another device that has been designed with instant gratification and the need for 24/7 connection in mind. With the development of technology there is a whole new world of terminology to understand, at our disposal now are tablets, IPads, smart phones, pen drives and smart watches, the list goes on.

So, what does all of this mean for the future? Some commentators believe that the future means that not only should we be merely passive consumers and users of what is available but, they believe that we should in fact be learning how to programme and create our own resources.

Digital literacy, Smith said, also is about “how to make it do what you want.” Or as Geshner put it: “Are you an iPad or are you a laptop? An iPad is designed for consumption.” Literacy, as he described it, means moving beyond a passive relationship with technology. “When you get down to coding, you’re creating your own tools.” (http://www.wired.com/2014/09/digital-literacy-key-future-still-dont-know-means/)

If, that is what the future may look like, not only being digitally literate and able to use what is at our disposal, but moving beyond that to the realms of programming, then now really is the time for this generation to be getting up skilled. The so called ‘digital divide’ may well become the ‘digital cliff’ for some to fall off if eduction does not play its part in developing the digital literacy skills of citizens of the future.