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Monday, 4 November 2013

Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education - Digital Citizenship

My pre-teen son and daughter have technological skills way beyond my abilities and I often call on them to help me add a screen shot or put a powerpoint together!! My son does his homework on his google account and up-dates his blog on a regular basis, my daughter keeps in regular touch via i-message, with all her school friends, sometimes while at school!
We all try to keep the grandparents connected by teaching them to text and how to log into emails, but I sometimes think I am being left behind with the speed in which this is all happening as Rodd Aurum in his lecture on 31 January, 2013 said " technology is moving at warp speed".  If I am feeling this way imagine how the grandparents are feeling!

However I also understand the importance of embracing this wave (tsunami) and try to take the challenges as and when they arise.  Its about balance and recognising the signs of being over stimulated and knowing when to withdraw and stick your head in the sand.  I observe my students in class, they have a computer each and are constantly multitasking, talking on Facebook, texting and (sometimes) working, often with headphones in!! 
As Kharbach (2012) says,
"Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology."
However as he says, the positives out weigh the negatives and  these should be treated as tools to enhance the learning opportunities and what can we be doing to manipulate the multitude of tools in order to help them have access to a digital world. 

Ribble,( 2013) says "learners must be taught to learn anything, anytime, anywhere", but with that comes issues of accessibility and maintaining a healthy mental and physical state.  All these new ways of learning and engaging are very stimulating to the brain and people are increasingly withdrawing from them, its a question of balance .  As Thomas (2013) explains "we can alienate people who are already very literate in other areas, and that's why I prefer to take an holistic approach and be as inclusive as possible."

Below is a link to a previous post from my flexible learning paper and demonstrates some of the techniques I have been experimenting with to enhance the use of wikieducator,Link to technology post .

One of the really successful tools we use for the Hospitality Operations paper in the Certificate of Travel and Tourism is a virtual hotel reservation system.  The paper is structured around a hotel in London that the students explore and build up an image of the hotel through role plays and creating a brochure.  They follow a workbook and role-play taking a reservation over the phone, checking customers in and checking them out.  The system is closely aligned with systems utilised in the industry.  This is a package that the department provides and so I cannot provide a link. This covers some of;

"Developing digital literacies in practice requires:

• Providing authentic contexts for practice, including digitally-mediated contexts
• Individual scaffolding and support
• Making practices of meaning-making explicit
• Anticipating and helping learners manage conflict between different practice contexts
• Recognising and helping learners integrate their prior conceptions and practices"

The students can only access this during class time which helps with any difficulties that they experience with the system or interpreting the workbook.  This is sometimes an area that can create barriers when students have limited access to the internet, as Beetham 2013) says;
"It's all about having time, having opportunities for 'peer supported experimentation' - which turns out to be the best way to learn new technical tricks".

Here are some links to other areas of digital experimentation I have been working with;
Link to Travel and Tourism Facebook photos
Future focus
Areas that I feel I need to focus on are ;
  • Learning to edit and mark on-line, I have been experimenting with this with the Diploma students and use my peers in the office to assist me, this has been working well and is alot more sustainable at the same time
  • Learning to detect plagiarising, during my reading I see there are on-line tools to assist with this, an area for further investigation
  • The Lync phone system will provide more opportunities for virtual communication, I am yet to be Lync'ed!
  • An area that I find is a real challenge is communication with students via email or moodle as I find that a majority of the students do not check their student email and /or do not actively access moodle
  • We will be offering more tutorials at the beginning of next year to improve this and to help students gain a greater understanding of the systems available to them
I certainly don't have 33 digital skills but do feel that I am learning all the time and I utilise the skills and abilities of others around me to assist me with this.  Doing the GCTLT and GDTE are helping enormously too!!

Ribble, M. 2013, Digital Citizenship. Retrieved 30 Oct from

The Guardian, 2013, Digital Literacy in Universities.  Retrieved 1 Nov from

Kharbach, M. 2012, The 33 digital skills every 21st century teacher should have.  Retrieved 4 Nov from

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