Learn IT: Blog it! Tweet it! Film it! Wiki it! from the student’s perspective

So, I attended the last event from the series of Learn IT (a staff-student exchange event), organised by Developing Digital Literacies working group. Before writing this post, I looked at the written form of the passed talks produced by other participants, including the guild’s president and lecturers from different departments. Seemingly, this Tuesday it was a concluding part of the continuous discourse around issues on online identity management, academic content creation, interaction between staff and students, possibilities of new media technology, and more.

Learn IT student-staff exchange concluding talk

 

Some of the Tuesday topics on the agenda were:

  • VLE (virtual learning environment) perspectives
  • Teaching & Learning techniques through technology
  • Academic content production in various media
  • Digital literacies of various stakeholders at university
  • Action points to promote media literacy (some of them seen in the picture below)
Some action points posted real-time on textwall

Some action points posted real-time on textwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, it was a very lively discussion where everybody expressed/contributed an interesting bit of their own experiences in relation to media technology use for their teaching or/and learning methods. Particularly, I’ve found it compelling when one speaker mentioned the difficulty for academic staff to ‘break the ice’ with their students on mainstream social media. From Georgina’s words (a lecturer from Media & Communication dep.), students seemed to be reluctant towards extra interaction with their lecturers/tutors on popular social media. I would consider this unwillingness as the result of lack of highly-valuable asset as time and apparent unawareness of potential benefits from such networking-interaction for their future career development.

Surely, there is a matter of privacy that students may be concerned with, when a member of staff ‘invades’ the personal space despite the fact that proximity is minimised. I imagine it is inconsistent for a student to combine his academic and social life in one place. Moreover, I think even if such network (for instance a university bespoke blog) existed, it would put more pressure on already loaded academics who probably struggle to even respond on time to unread emails from students. Further, in our group talk it was immediately pointed out by Alistair (a final year engineering student), that this extracurricular practices do not drive the grades up so there is no point in participating for scholars.

To take the matter even further, it was interestingly pointed out in one of the commsmedialiverpool posts, that the idea of 24/7 university may pose health-related dangers to students. Although the concept was substantially discussed in relation to physical university rather than virtual technologically-enhanced learning opportunities. Nevertheless, one could still relate the similar trend of potential dangers and disadvantages to the increased proliferation of social media. So perhaps, the fuss about finding the new ways to engage students more with the academic staff by means of new media is more incidental.

On the other hand, for me the proposition of more staff training seemed most viable. Particularly, in relation to developing certain skills and literacies in order to ‘gain’ students’ attention, thereby  potentially cultivating relationships between one another. From my perspective, the lecturer’s/tutor’s skill (or talent?) to make students think matters most when attempting to boost interaction amongst the two, in either real or virtual environments.

 

 

Learn IT Staff-Student Exchange – Digital Research: beyond Google 17th February 2015

LearnIT event on digital research

LearnIT staff-student exchange event on digital research, University of Liverpoool, Guild,

This event continues the Learn IT series of seminars and group discussion networking events hosted by the Digital Literacies Group of the University of Liverpool.  The event began with a welcome by Emma Sims from the Guild and Dr Ann Qualter, Director of Academic Development, Centre for Lifelong Learning, outlining the changing nature of libraries education over recent decades and imperative to acquire awareness of digital information sources and techniques.

The seminar proceeded with presentations by Peter Reed (Health and Life Sciences learning technology lecturer), Nor Asikin Tegoh (Management PGR student) and Emma Thompson (Library Learning & Teaching Lead).

Peter’s presentation focused on the Mendeley referencing management application, demonstrating the use of this software to store, import and create reference citations and integrate in-text citations in office documents, this presentation particularly contrasted Mendeley with traditional and comparative approaches for reference management; Peter also drew attention to the Google Scholar search engine for identifying and working with academic or peer reviewed literature, including facilities to assess the research impact of particular journals and articles.

Nor’s presentation described a sense of missed opportunity to effectively use referencing applications when embarking on academic studies; Nor particularly drew attention to the advantages of the Refworks management platform for managing citations via folders and for categorising works thematically within the context of her own academic work.

The presentation provided by Emma outlined digital Library services available, including approaches for use of Google Scholar offcampus, use of multi-source Library platforms and databases (such as Discover, Scopus and Web of Science) and Library support for referencing systems (such as Refworks, Endnote  and more recent applications).

The group sessions provided an opportunity for delegates to share their own experiences of using Library resources and to hear tips and suggestions from Librarians, students and staff attending.  Some of the themes explored included new online or Library based services or tools which could have benefited individuals at an earlier stage of their research or career and issues surrounding evaluation of digital content; observations included the benefit of advanced searching techniques within online databases, techniques for filtering or ranking articles using bibliometrics or peer reviewed criteria and the need for staff induction support comparative with the student Library induction.

The event provided a forum for staff, students and post-doctoral researchers to network and proved a valuable opportunity to share experiences and new approaches for engaging in study and research.

 

Paul Catherall, Library

17th February 2015

Have you Googled yourself recently? Report from our student-staff #LearnIt event

Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Online career and identity management was the theme of the second event in the successful LearnIt series of staff-student discussion events.

Students and staff from academic and professional services departments from across the institution heard brief introductory presentations on how/ why your online presence can influence your career, how social media can support academic learning, and how students can actively use social media to promote their subject to the wider community. These thought-provoking presentations were then followed by discussion groups comprising staff and students. A wide range of subjects was discussed including tips and techniques for different social media tools, the challenges of managing your online identity, multi- cultural approaches to social media and issues of ethics and integrity of an online presence.

Following these discussions, the group developed some action points for the institution, which will be taken forward by the DDLWG. These actions points were:

  • We need to look at consistency of social media presence of the different units of the university
  • The need for a university steering group for social media activity
  • Interpretation of corporate policies on social media into a student friendly format
  • Corporate Communications needs to promote social media policy
  • Training for students and staff
  • Raising awareness of professionalism on social media within academic context
  • Internationalism in the virtual environment – needs to be looked at
  • Investigate own professional body guidelines and see if we can create a support session for students to help them to adhere to the guidelines
  • Google yourself to see which online profile is most visible
Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Commenting on the workshop, Dr Nick Greeves said “The workshop highlighted the power and potential of online professional activities for students, staff, departments and the University while also demonstrating that it is challenging to give definitive guidance to all these groups. It is clear that we need to address the constructive development of online identity for students (and staff) within our teaching at a departmental level. The opportunity provided by this event to hear diverse perspectives was invaluable.”

Student-staff exchange on digital identity - a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literaicies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Student-staff exchange on digital identity – a LearnIt event by the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group, hosted in the Guild

Alex Ferguson, Vice President of the Liverpool Guild of Students, added: “It was great to see a second Learn IT event in our building, at the Liverpool Guild. We kicked off with a series of explanations of what an online footprint was, and how it could help (or hinder) the student, academic staff or member of the professional world. It was so apparent social media is second nature to us now; we use it for everything and do not think about the fact it exists as a record of self and access point of information.

We saw how in the work environment it could mean the difference between hiring and firing someone – a true way for an employer to find out more about the personality of their prospective employee. We saw how it can be used more publically to let the wider world know about areas of academic work, or the activity of a society”

The final two events in this series are shown below:

Tue 17 Feb 2015,              1-3pm   Information literacy & Digital research skills

Tue 10 March 2015          1-3pm   Media literacy online;  Collaboration & Communication online

You can register now via http://www.liv.ac.uk/cll/booking

blog by Trish Lunt, Educational Development

Have you ever Googled yourself? Our next Student-Staff LearnIT event on career and digital identity management, 18 Nov 2014

Have you ever Googled yourself? What would you find? What would you like your digital footprint to look like? This LearnIT Student-Staff Exchange event will focus on the opportunities and challenges of managing our digital reputation and online identity –and why and how it matters both for students and for staff.

Event leads: Trish Lunt, Educational Development, Fiona McNamara, Careers and Employability Service, Anna O’Connor, School of Health Sciences, University of Liverpool.

LearnIT Career and Digital Identity student-staff exchange 18 Nov 2014

LearnIT Career and Digital Identity student-staff exchange 18 Nov 2014

Date/Time: Tue, 18th Nov 2014, 13:00-15:00
Venue: The Guild, Elizabeth Gidney Suite
Refreshments: tea/coffee/juice and muffins

By taking part, you will have opportunities to:

• Meet students and staff at the university;

• Learn about how and why staff and students manage their digital identity, and what social media tools they use to support this;

• Gain tips & discover new ideas to try.

Please register on the CLL booking site or directly 
Presented by: Developing Digital Literacies Working Group

Twitter: @LivDigiL
Website: http://digilearn.liv.ac.uk

Upcoming LearnIT Student-Staff Exchange event series 2014/15:

Date                                               Event theme

Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1-3pm               Learn IT: Information literacy & Digital research skills

Tue 10 March 2015, 1-3pm           Learn IT: Media literacy online;  Collaboration & Communication online

LearnIT, as seen by the Guild President

From Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

a photo of Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

Harry Anderson, Guild President, University of Liverpool

The Guild recently played host to the inaugural Learn IT session – a series set up by the University’s Developing Digital Literacies Working Group with the help of the Guild tasked with looking at how we use and interact with technology in terms of our education.

The event brought together students and staff from a variety of areas within the University, with the aim of the inaugural event being to begin the conversation over where we are, as in institution, in terms of technology enhanced learning.  As a result, the questions discussed remained broad and ranged from effective time management through to how our physical spaces at the University are conducive to digital learning and working.

Partly in a nod to the future Learn IT events, and partly due to the open and frank nature of the event, it was stressed that Tuesday’s session was merely the start of the conversation. There were to be “no wrong answers”. Dr Nick Greeves, for instance, referred to how Chemistry had been looking into providing iPads to students to allow them to take notes, with one of the interesting discussion being around how physical note-taking (i.e. the old fashioned pen and paper approach) was still seen as superior given that it was often quicker and enabled students to absorb information better. Therefore, understanding when and where technology is of benefit was equally as important as understanding when and where it is not.

LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies

Small-group discussion on the use of technologies for learning/working at the LearnIT – inaugural event on digital literacies, 28 Oct 2014, The Guild, University of Liverpool

Another key message that emerged from the event was the fact that issues concerning technology were not just reserved to students, and were equally a concern of staff too. Bringing together students and staff into the same open forum was one obvious way that illustrated this, highlighting, for example, how time-management and the like were problems staff had to deal with just as much as students. Presentations, however, from Law lecturer Dr Rob Stokes and third-year Physics student Joe Chamberlain also helped bring this point into sharp focus. Both Rob and Joe, for example, talked about different issues they’d faced, and overcome, with the help of technology, with Joe even having designed his own app, Unisocs, to manage his course demands. With these presentations acting as the catalyst, conversations soon began to flow amongst the various groups, with recommendations, points of discussion and broad issues being picked up and debated.

One such discussion I had concerned the provision of WiFi around campus. As with the above, it soon became evident that good provision of WiFi was an issue staff felt equally strongly about and how, with the landscape of technology rapidly and ever changing, the need to be able to connect and access resources lay at the heart of virtually everything. Whether it was accessing VITAL, sending emails or reading e-books and journals, the need for a fast and secure connection was essential.

LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies Small-group discussion on the use of technologies for learning/working at the LearnIT - inaugural event on digital literacies, 28 Oct 2014, The Guild, University of Liverpool

LearnIT – inaugural event on digital literacies

Overall, the first Learn IT session went down extremely well, with positive feedback from staff and students alike. By bringing together both groups, the Tuesday’s event created an opportunity rarely afforded in other university settings and enabled a frank, open and honest discussion about how we currently use technology and crucially how we can improve it for both staff and students. Given this event was just the starting point of a much wider Learn IT conversation, the remaining sessions will no doubt be just as successful and I very much look forward to attending.

Harry Anderson, Guild President

LearnIT: the inaugural student-staff exchange event

Today is our opening event for the Learn IT event series. Can’t wait to get our discussions going on how both staff and students use technology for their learning and working activities!

We will be updating this blog with the event highlights- so feel free to subscribe and follow us. Follow us on #LearnIT, @LivDigiL.

Learn IT : student-staff exchange at the University of Liverpool

Learn IT : student-staff exchange event series at the University of Liverpool

Come along to the opening event of the Learn IT Student-Staff Exchange event series. The Learn IT series aims to foster student and staff dialogue about our digital practices and environment. The inaugural meeting will focus on the theme of using digital technologies for Learning and Working and will be opened by Dr Anne Qualter, Director of Academic Development and Lifelong Learning and Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Harry Anderson, President of the Guild of Students.

Together, we will explore which technologies are used by students for studying and managing their social lives and which digital study-, teaching- and research-practices are used by lecturers.

By taking part, you will have opportunities to:
•Meet students and staff at the university
•Learn about how staff/students use digital technologies for learning and working
•Share some strategies for using digital tools
•Listen to other perspectives on digital practices and attitudes
•Gain digital tips for learning and working
•Discover new ideas to try

See you there,

the Developing Digital Literacies Working Group