Key note in CELT conference at National University of Ireland (online streaming)

Some notes to reflect on while seeing Doug’s presentation via online life streaming

  • digital literacies (the ies ending is an idea of Doug Belshaw while doing his dissertation, which can be found here) are contextualised, there is not such ‘A THING’ that defines it. It will depend on the context.
    I am relating this to the presentation I just saw from All Aboard were they aim -via wide consultation- to create a digital road map to help and guide institutions and organisations in the development of local and national digital strategies and to ensure alignment, coherence and a sense of common endeavour at a sectoral level.
    In relation to the contextualisation of digital skills that Doug mentioned, I think if it would be worth thinking about mapping the digital skills needed in my institution and see how can we provide students with opportunities to acquire those skills during their course at the uni.
  • Badge seen as a scaffolding aid for learning paths? Still not sure but I think this what Doug was explaining when he showed the inner structure of a badge

The idea with this anatomy is to understand what information is important in order to issue a badge and the process involved in issuing and getting it.

Taken from the Serve Ravet slideshare on Open Badge and e-Portfolio

This image is about this process. There is the person or institution, let us call it X, who is issuing the badge and the person, Z, who is interested in obtaining it (people need to get some external recognition for what they have learned outside formal academia, is part of the things you need to account for to get a job); Z needs to know what is wanted from her/him, what is the criteria that she/he needs to know in order to plan what is needed to accomplish the task. Z then needs to collect evidence that respond to the criteria. Once the evidence gathered is assessed the badge is issued. So in order for a badge to be a scaffolding aid for a learning path the idea would be to point out to some of the milestones that a particular learning path should accomplish and those milestones could be the evidence upon which the badge will be issued. Or maybe to design your own learning path and start to gather evidence for it with badges. I think it depends on the experience of the learner among other things.

Another point to reflect on is the difference between digital literacy and web literacy. Doug said that for him the difference is that web literacy is more tangible and bounded hence easier to work with and towards it. Web literacy is defined as the ability to read, write and participate in the web. Whereas when one asks what does it mean to be digitally literate, the answer can get very broad and very much context dependent. I am not very clear about this. Web literacy is definitely contextualised within the Web but what happens when you are trying to read and write in a year 4 class or in the last year course in HE? is this the same? Are the skills needed the same? I do not know…
Working with personal learning environments (in HE setting) as an aid to improve digital literacy I need to be clear about what am I referring to when I talk about digital literacy and secondly I need to define what do we mean with the word technology in the educational context. Those are 2 key ideas that need to be bounded and defined at least in the context of my thesis.
Questions like what is the difference in relation to learning for a student in 1815 and one in 2015? What was revolutionary in the class of 1815? What was the newest technological device of that time? Was the use of the slate a revolution then? and the big blackboard in the center of the wall, how does this invention impacted the learning experience of students and also of teachers? How did they adapt to such a revolutionary technique?  What did it change in the learning experience? What could students do with the slate they could not before it? What was the impact on reading and writing for society? How did this impacted humans way of thinking about different subjects?
 Some more random points:
  • Digital literacy is a contested term –> Literacy as a word has meaning and relevance, it is difficult not to fall in the trap of putting literacy behind any word to make it sound relevant 🙂
  • Digital literacy should not be a dead metaphor (Rorty). THIS is it and THIS is not it doesn’t work (I need to check Rorty’s idea of dead metaphors and Doug Belshaw ambiguity chapter in his thesis)
  • Digital literacy is a way of approaching the world, an attitude towards the digital environment
  • Work with other people, don’t take just authors. Work what is means in your context
  • co-created definitions–> every body has the power. Don’t sit there isolated, work with the people involved in the digital literacy project
  • link the badge with the web literacy map
  • Badges are Trojan horse in education (need to think more deeply about this)
  • Open Badges–> is different from digital badges
  • Make a Mozilla account to create badges. They are like endorsement
  • Finland has a badge initiative and Pearson as well. (check them)
  • Integration of badges into your web page or wiki or any web artefact you are creating to show your skills
  • System of currency with open badges
  • agile currency–>badges.
  • Check the Department of education in relation to badges
  • Learning pathways, how to design them? With students?
  • Check the startup design template. download from (link is in the slideshare)
  • Scaffolding–> how do we scaffold people’s skills?
  • check the open badges’ google group
  • Prescriptive or descriptive badge: we don’t have to be prescriptive don’t need to go ahead of time. Follow what students are already doing because they are doing!
  • why would you (student) bother with the formal ways of learning if there is other ways to learn things in a more open and integrative way
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