Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Mark's bread

Following on from my brown cake post of two years ago I thought it's about time I posted another recipe, so here Mark's tweet-by-tweet recipe for his amazing bread that he sent me last week. It's so delicious I've made it four times already!

Digital literacy follow up

Further to my post last week on Our transferable skills framework and digital literacy, with some help from Alan on the content (plus all the useful comments - especially Tris's natty Seven Cs of digital literacy) and Ian (our careers-adviser-who-is-also-an-occupational-psychologist) on the wording, we have come up with the following. Digital literacy is just one of nine competencies in our transferable skills framework - which is intended to be a framework that encompasses both the skills that our students need to develop and the skills employers are interested in. It's not final yet but it is much closer to what I'm looking for. Any comments would be gratefully received

Uses email appropriately and effectively

Understands and uses the range of email functionality and demonstrates positive email etiquette. For example when to use ‘Cc’, ‘Reply to all’, subject lines, how to manage your inbox, acknowledging received messages

Develops a range of online information acquisition strategies

Uses a range of search engines and bibliographic databases to source and cross check the authenticity of information

Uses word processing packages to format and present written work professionally

Produces professionally formatted and presented documents

Uses spreadsheet packages to process data

Understands the purpose and value of spreadsheet packages, and has grasp of core functions including inputting and sorting data, writing basic formulas, presenting data appropriately

Optimises use of presentation packages to support the development and delivery of presentations

Maximises functionality of presentation software, combined with knowledge of creating strong presentation design e.g. uses images appropriately, displays the right amount of information, clearly structures presentation, presentation engages and adds value, uses animations to enhance

Utilises online bookmarking tools to improve online productivity

Uses online bookmarking tools regularly to store, organise and retrieve information. Familiar with key bookmarking tools and functionality

Uses technology to support collaborative working

Utilises shared documents, video conferencing, screen sharing to carry out collaborative working efficiently and flexibly

Manages personal online identity

Proactively manages digital footprint to create a professional online identity to enhance professional credibility and employability

Uses a range of tele-communication technologies

At ease using various tele-communication methods, including telephone, mobile and online video conferencing tools

Manipulates images

Uses software or online resources to create, edit or utilise images for purposes of work e.g. presentations, training material, websites. Aware of copyright issues

Uses statistical software

Inputs data appropriately and running and interpreting relevant statistical analyses

Uses or creates video

Uses software or online resources to create, edit or utilise video for the purposes of work.  Aware of copyright issues.

Getting into Evernote

I've had an Evernote account (the free version) for several years now, but I've only recently started to use it more and I'm finding it really beneficial. I've always found it useful for making notes in meetings but more recently I've started to use it for book marking (so much so that it's now replaced my use of Diigo - anyone know if I can import my bookmarks?) and also project work. I use Google Docs when I'm collaborating but for just making notes and jotting down ideas Evernote I find better than Google Docs and it's a million times better than putting thoughts down in a Word.doc that I can then only access on campus. The iPad and iPhone/Android apps are really good, and audio and image support is fantastic, but what I'm finding especially helpful is the emailing to Evernote (instructions on the Evernote blog), using:
  • @ to put things in a particular notebook, and
  • # to give things a particular tag.
I've had to rename my notebooks so that it works (they need to be a continuous string of text), so mine are:
  • 01_Default
  • 02_Clippings
  • 03_MeetingNotes
  • 04_Projects
  • 05_Kids (this is where I save pictures of stuff my kids have made me)
 I've also had to hyphenate any multiple word tags for the same reason (e.g. 'social mobility' has become 'social-mobility'). But now it's working a treat and is especially useful for inbox zero.

How are you using it and do you have any suggestions?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Our transferable skills framework and digital literacy

I'm trying to get back into thinking about skills development and how our transferable skills framework can support it. We have a draft transferable skills framework identifying 9 separate competencies - one of which is 'using technology'. After a useful conversation with Alan earlier this morning (and links to a couple of his blog posts) I'm trying to get my thoughts organised.

The first step is to change the name from 'using technology' to 'digital literacy' - but then that begs the question - what is it? I've not got time to spend hours getting up to speed with the debate but I do need a much better summary of what digital literacies (for undergraduates and employees) looks like. Our transferable skills framework includes a descriptor (skills knowledge or attitude related to a particular competency - in this case 'digital literacy'), behavioural indicators (observable behaviours to provide evidence that the competency is being demonstrated) and examples of activities (inside or outside the curriculum) to develop and assess the competencies). Our framework also divides the descriptors and behavioural indicators into levels - level 1 being the more basic stuff and level 2 the more advanced.

Clearly this is work in progress but here's first very rough stab...

Things to include

  • Using email professionally - when to use Cc, Reply to all etc. how to manage your inbox
  • Using spreadsheet packages to process data - sorting, basic formulas, presenting data appropriately (could have a level 2 for this too - pivot tables)
  • Using presentation packages to support presentations - using images appropriately, displaying the right amount of information, clearly structured and easy to follow
  • Using bibliographic software to find and reference information (less employer focussed perhaps?)
  • Using technology to support collaborative working - shared documents, video conferencing, screen sharing
  • Using social media to build your networks and actively engage... (? suggestion please...)
  • Manage your online identify - not just to avoid posting things you will regret but proactively managing your digital footprint
I'd really appreciate any links to what people are using already (either in HE or graduate recruitment/development - there must be lots!) as well as comments on the above.