Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Digital Literacy issues in Further Education

Posted by andrewey on November 9, 2011

The following issues were highlighted in a discussion with college staff (as part of the PADDLE project):

Learners are relying increasingly on the use of their own technology for study and for assessment. Learners are therefore sometimes ‘bypassing’ college technology in order to use technology which they are more comfortable with, have personal control of and which is, possibly, more advanced. This raises issues about provision of public wi fi for learners and wi fi access to college networks.

Tutors are allowing the use of the learner’s own technology (for assessment) where it is possible to capture and store the use of such technologies (in line with traditional assessment methods). This raises the issue of the barriers to learning faced by the technology ‘have nots’.

Tutors discussed the pros and cons of using external social media against social media designed specifically for educational use (including Moodle). The general feeling was that learners should be able to use the technologies they are more comfortable with (eg Facebook, Twitter) but that more is needed to be done to educate learners in their effective and safe use. It was recommended, where possible, for learners to create different accounts for educational and personal use.

The issue of the use of social media in the context of work based learning was also discussed. here the observation was made that many employers block the use of social media sites by staff (and therefore work based learners). In this context if was felt the use of education specific social media would therefore be more appropriate.



One Response to “Digital Literacy issues in Further Education”

  1. colinmaxwell said

    At my college we have an open policy for Social Media sites. In my department (Creative Industries) we have Facebook groups for all of our student groups. These are used successfully to share information and for students to post examples of their work for critique. The students very rarely used the forums in the Moodle VLE, preferring the tools they use outside of college to communicate. Recognising this we sought to take a lead from the learners (a learner centred approach?).

    We are also seeing a growing number of students bringing their own laptops to college. Again, they prefer to use the technology they’re most comfortable with, without the constraints and restrictions imposed by an educational computer network / computer use policy.

    I share your concerns about the technology ‘have-nots’, but should we prevent students using their own equipment and put artificial barriers in their way? After all, we need to embrace diversity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: