Archive for the ‘Digital Literacy’ Category

Students, Social Media & Job-Hunting

January 26, 2011 1 comment

Presentation with LSE Careers Service reporting on our work supporting LSE’s students’ use of social media for job-hunting

Earlier today I was at AGCAS Social Media, London presenting ‘Digital Footprints @ LSE: Supporting students to use social media’ with my partner-in-crime LSE Careers Adviser Judith Baines. We were talking about the sessions we run for students, in particular a termly lunchtime seminar and more recently a Linkedin webinar.

There was a very interesting discussion about digital identities and the emerging “social netiquette”:

  • Is it OK to ignore connection requests
  • If someone recommends you on Linkedin do you need to reciprocate
  • Do you become ‘friends’ with your students
  • and so on…

Developing your web presence

November 24, 2010 1 comment

A workshop for librarians, getting them to think about their own presence on the web, building on sessions run for academic staff at the LSE

I delivered this workshop with my colleague Jane Secker who has written more about the content on her own blog, see Managing your web presence. It focuses on getting staff to think about their own identity on the web, bearing in mind that this is how many people will first meet them!  It includes a short session on Writing for the Web.

Linkedin Webinar

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Linkedin SmurfsGreat feedback for the first LSE Careers Service / CLT Webinar which focused on using Linkedin

As part of my work with the LSE Careers Service I co-facilitated a Webinar about Linkedin for job-hunting students. It was the first time we had offered a webinar and the first time we had run a session specifically on Linkedin.  The feedback was very positive:

“A really useful talk and a great way to communicate with the careers service. Thank you”

  • 9 out of 12 said they would make more use of Linkedin as a result of attending the webinar
  • All 12 participants want the Careers Service to run more sessions as webinars

The webinar covered 4 topics:

  1. What is Linkedin? Why use it?
  2. Your Profile – Get Noticed
  3. Get Connected
  4. Researching & Getting More Connected

We tried to minimise the chalk-&-talk by building in some interaction: stopping regularly for questions and using the built-in question tools.  It is very easy for the mind (& fingers!) to wander off in a Webinar so you need strategies for dealing with this!


Power of the Retweet

July 20, 2010 1 comment

It’s easy to forget how things are changing. Today I showed a great diagram I’d found to thousands of people!  3 years ago I might have emailed that diagram to a handful of people that I work directly with.

It all began yesterday afternoon when I came across a picture in a report:

There were a couple of retweets immediately  (the re-posting of another person’s tweet to share it with your own Twitter followers).  Then this morning, a retweet by @josiefraser (who has 6000+ followers) initiated several further retweets.

The final results according tweetreach were that a potential 19, 207 people had seen the tweet which compares with the potential 821 followers of my account.  It’s important to stress the potentially here as many tweets pass by in the stream unseen, plus the Twittersphere is full of abandoned accounts & so on. Even so, it’s very different from an email to a closed network.

Tweetreach screengrab (Graph of Tweet 'Exposure')

Looking at the reach of the retweets I was surprised to see how little overlap there is between the networks of those involved.  Of the 19000+ who might have seen one of the 24 tweets only 3285 saw it multiple times.  I’d wrongly assumed that there would be a much larger overlap between the followers of the likes of @josiefraser & @timbuckteeth

Staff, Students & Social Web

May 19, 2009 1 comment

A report into “the impact on higher education of students’ widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies”, Higher Education in a Web2.0 World was published last week.

Both staff and students, according to the report, are struggling to see how social web technologies can be applied to learning.  It also highlights that face-to-face teaching really matters to students and I’m pretty certain this is true of teachers too!

However, the report suggests that there is a digital divide between students and teaching staff in terms of more general usage of social technologies.  While this is undoubtedly true to a certain extent, there is also a danger of overstating it.  It’s like the digital native – digital immigrant labelling, it just isn’t that simple.  Many students don’t engage with digital technologies and many teachers do.

Anyway, there is a need, as the report indicates, for staff to:

  1. be technically proficient, i.e. capable of using social web technologies
  2. make effective use of these technologies for teaching/learning (effective e-pedagogies)
  3. keep up-to-date with ongoing developments as web-based ‘resources’ continue to grow

The report goes on to suggest that students could help with this.  There is some mileage in this, particularly for 1).  But in terms of e-pedagogies it seems more likely that for a while to come  students will continue to look to teachers for this?


Digital Natives a myth?

February 2, 2009 7 comments

I’ve just finished reading Are digital natives a myth or reality?: Students’ use of technologies for learning (PDF) by Anoush Margaryan & Alison Littlejohn.

I’ve written before about my scepticism of the whole ‘digital natives’ idea:  a new generation of students who having grown up with ICT, “have sophisticated technology skills and a whole new set of cognitive capacities”. The findings of this study show that:

…many young students are far from being the epitomic global, connected, socially-networked technologically-fluent digital native who has little patience for passive and linear forms of learning…

…The majority of students use a limited range of technologies for formal and informal learning as well as
socialising. These are mainly established ICTs – institutional VLE, Google and Wikipedia and mobile phones…

…As students look to their lecturers for clues as to how to use technology tools for learning, many lecturers are unaware of the potential of these tools, since they themselves are not using emergent technologies for their own learning and work…

I was slightly suprised to read that poor access to technology, in both classrooms & at home was still an issue for staff and students.  Further barriers to staff use of technology included the old chestnut time,  as well as a reluctance to change and issues around IT Skills.  Interestingly not solely a lack of skills but, for some, a belief that quite advanced IT skills are needed to incorporate technology into teaching.

Digital Footprints

September 4, 2008 Leave a comment
Dublin sidewalk

Dublin sidewalk

I recently ran an ‘Emerging technologies’ workshop for Careers Advisers working in HE in Ireland, with Kezia Richmond from the LSE Careers Service.  One of the topics we raised was digital footprints and whether Careers Advisers should be advising students on this topic.  The overall feeling was yes! with people coming at it from two angles.

Firstly, students might want to think about creating a positive online presence for prospective employers to find when they Google them… which I’m sure they do even if they say otherwise.  So, for example, comments on work-related blog posts,  profiles on more professionally-focused social networking sites.  In addition these networks, such as LinkedIn & NiCube are useful places for making contacts & job-hunting.

On the flip side students need to be aware of how their digital footprint might act against them and to think about pivacy & social vs professional networks.  I’m starting to collect useful links on delicious as i have agreed to write a guide on this topic for Graduate Careers Ireland! (And I feel a new workshop coming on!)