So we’ve done two days training so far on this new Digital Literacy ESW Practitioner training and submitted a swathe of assignments (5 so far and four more released for this month). 😮 The sessions have been a bit disrupted by both infrastructure and initial issues with the standards not being entirely finalised, but the tutors have adopted the approach that particularly the infrastructure issues are likely to happen in real delivery too so we may as well model the tactics for dealing with it!
Edmodo is a VLE with a heavy emphasis on the social layer.
“That looks like Facebook”, said one of my colleagues watching me use it.
“I think that’s the point,” said I…
Nearpod allows you to create a PowerPoint-style presentation which is delivered online but also includes interactive slides where the audience/learners can answer polls and multichoice questions, type short answers, or doodle on a whiteboard in answer to a question. It was somewhat flaky even on our in-house LAN but does address the issue of capturing answers from the whole group as well as just those willing to stick their hand up (without the need to remember who you’ve already asked specific questions of). I tried it out in class after the session and when learners blogged about the feedback was generally positive in spite of the flakiness with the exception of one or two who disliked the fact it insisted on answers from everyone.
I’ve used a variety of apps for the assignments including a chance to experiment with some I’ve been meaning to try out for a while such as Twine (for creating branching scenarios) and the CommonCraft cutouts using GoAnimate. I also last night discovered the lovely slick, quick and easy Adobe Voice. I’m very pleased with how these came out although it takes an awful lot longer to cover theory-driven standards (Describe, Explain, Analyse) using multimedia. Audio alone should hopefully be quicker, I’m planning to do more of that next time. (Adobe Voice was very fast). We know from our own practice that recorded professional discussions are usually quicker for the learner and slower for the assessor! Sadly I have to both do the assignments and the mapping to standards so I won’t save quick as as much time but it still should be a bit quicker.
The challenges and barriers so far have been the almighty, massive, swingeing workload and blistering pace, the inadequate wifi at both venues, poor IT resources at home (tiny linux netbook and ancient dying laptop) and the mild-but-constant despair at the fact that the new ESW is demonstrably larger in scope than the old one and has a more rigid assessment method AND YET has the same guided contact hours, and thus funding, attached to it.
The current unit is on “reflective practice” which we already do quite a lot of informally as a team as well as teaching our learners to do through the use of blogs. I discovered the “What-So What-Now What” model that we’ve long used as a writing frame is an actually recognised model (I must have pinched from somewhere ‘proper’ when hunting for IOL resources!).
We also looked at other formal models which should help add some scope to fairly unstructured blogging. This is probably the most useful thing I’ve found as the blog posts can end up as more narrative with no real reflection quite easily.
The other useful thing (though we ran out of time in the sess and had to do it after work) was the mapping of day to day events to the new dig lit standards – though it did highlight the large percentage of theory.
I next need to:
- Brief the rest of ITeC training staff on Day 2 of the course
- Do 4 more assignments (this is the start of one of them)
- Carry out a peer observation and be peer assessed myself
- Be observed (twice) by the course tutor.
I want to improve on the speed of assignment completion – it’s really demoralising, the amount of my time I’m having to spend on them at the moment. I am trying hard to make them standards driven rather than perfect but at the same time it’s supposed to be demonstrating L3 digital literacy so handing in scrappy first drafts doesn’t seem right either. A hard balance to hit.
The next task it to tackle this month’s assignments. I’m not doing them in order. Instead I’m starting with the Extent of Digital Literacy” one because it’s very similar to what we’ve already done. I’m planning on audio-annotating a Word doc which has the mapped day-to-day tasks in it. (Embedded sound in Word is a cool idea I got from Jisc ages ago and haven’t tried.) Then I’ll redo the assignment we started as the controlled task (the PreziApp ate my original mid “exam!” (I can only imagine how a ‘real’ ESW learner would deal with that! ). Keeping the blog, and the “Reflective log” assignments I’ll just do here as we go. As with our 204/304 units here the blog runs through and is assessed at the end.
Overall it’s a bit of a blur but the best bit is having an unarguable excuse to try out some of the apps I’ve meant to use for ages but never had time!