We are now working through the pilot stage of the project, and preparing for the release of the survey tool in April. In the last week, ideas around the identity of the framework have been developed and so I wanted to create a post to formally introduce the framework project.
Defining Digital Literacy
In order to explain the project, it is useful to provide a definition of what we mean when we talk about digital literacy, within the context of this project. As Doug Belshaw notes in his thesis, ‘there are almost as many definitions of ‘digital literacy’ as there are proponents of the concept’ – however, there are few used in relation to the skills of educators and with this in mind I have developed the following working definition:
Digital Literacy refers to the skills, attitudes and knowledge required by educators to support learning in a digitally-rich world. To be digitally literate, educators must be able to utilise technology to enhance and transform classroom practices, and to enrich their own professional development and identity. The digitally literate educator will be able to think critically about why, how and when technology supplements learning and teaching.
There are also links between Bélisle’s Three Models of Literacy and the levels within the framework, as discussed in an earlier post.
Aim of the Project
The aim of this project is to transform educational provision across Leicester city secondary schools through the development and implementation of a digital literacy framework. The framework will be a self-evaluation tool, designed to aid staff in reflecting on their use of technology to support teaching and learning. Over the next two years, the framework will be developed, piloted with staff and implemented across the city. The data we collect from the implementation will be used to create a city-wide picture of the digital literacy skills of secondary school staff in Leicester.
With this information, head teachers and heads of departments will be able to identify strengths and gaps in staff skills – assisting in planning and performance management. The Authority will use the data to highlight those pockets of excellence which exist across the city in order to share best practice, and to better tailor funding and resources for professional development. Most importantly, the framework is being designed to help enhance and support the continuous improvement of the educational experience and outcomes for our learners.
The self-evaluation framework is intended as a tool to aid staff, to help them to structure a narrative around their own skills and then help them to drive those skills forward. It is designed to positively enhance the learning experience in Leicester City schools.
The Framework Tool
Staff will be able to complete the self-evaluation framework will in the form of an online survey, which will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Staff will be presented with a grid of statements and asked to select the option which best describes their skill in a given area.
Upon completion, staff will be given a summary of their results, along with tips on how to progress to the next level of the framework.
April 15th 2013 – Framework goes live
July 22nd – Framework activity ends
July-August – Analysis and reporting
Early September – External report of findings
September – School focused activities begin
April 2014 – Framework re-opens