The Never Ending Thesis Digital Literacy @ University of Worcester A Domain of One's Own in a Post-Ownership Society 7 min read Maha Bali has written a blog post asking why we talk about “a domain of one’s own” and “reclaim your domain” since people never really own their domains. They merely rent them, she points out. My understanding of ownership is that something belongs to me. That I have already acquired it or been gifted it. It’s a fair point. The “domain of one’s own” isn’t owned; it’s leased, Maha contends. Increasingly, we work for free for major Internet technology companies, on their platforms. Shared in public, none of this is public in terms of ownership, let’s be clear; this is almost entirely private infrastructure. Nonetheless I don’t think that the Domain of One’s Own initiative is mislabeled, as Maha implies in her post. I want to dig a little deeper into both the etymology of the phrase “domain of one’s own,” the meaning of the words “own” and “ownership,” and the legalities and practicalities of the latter in particular in a digital world. To own is to possess. What do you own?
Developing digital literacies Overview Many learners enter further and higher education lacking the skills needed to apply digital technologies to education. As 90% of new jobs will require excellent digital skills, improving digital literacy is an essential component of developing employable graduates. Courses that embed core digital skills, as well as subject specific use of technology, enable students to gain the skills and confidence they need to use digital technology not only to support their learning but also in the workplace. We’re working with colleges and universities to embed core digital skills into the curriculum. By digital literacy we mean those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society: for example, the skills to use digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; as part of personal development planning; and as a way of showcasing achievements. Developing Digital Literacies programme
A gentle introduction to historical data analysis It's surprisingly easy to use tools to explore texts and greatly improve research efficiency and open new research doors. The following techniques are incredibly useful for a small to intermediate amount of text. These techniques do not scale up to handle huge amounts of data, but then again most historians don't work with huge amounts of data. One example is using Voyant to explore a single text or set of texts. Let's say I want to explore the use of poison in the 19th century. First, we need digitized source material that might tell us something. Look for words that might be informative. Hardly a groundbreaking discovery, but it's a quick, targeted approach to making sense of documents on a scale not possible without computer mediation, but without expecting the machine to find interesting patterns on its own.
Webmaker Whitepaper Introduction “[O]ur world changed in April 1993 when the Mosaic 1.0 browser was released to the general public. We need new forms of education. We need to reform our learning institutions, concepts, and modes of assessment for our age. Founded in 1998, Mozilla is a global community of technologists, teachers and makers working together to keep the Internet1 open, accessible and editable. Mozilla helps people develop web literacy: we help them build, not just consume, the technology, media and information that makes up the web. It’s transparent – we can see it and understand it. It presents opportunity to play and innovate. It’s open to everyone and we define it. Knowable: it’s transparent – we can see it and understand it Interoperable: it presents opportunity to play and innovate Ours: it’s open to everyone and we define it The development of Mozilla products relies upon community involvement and contribution. The Problem How Mozilla fights silos On the web browser level through Firefox.
Research supervisors and information literacy The ability of researchers to handle information is of vital importance. Many individuals have become adept at developing approaches and using innovative technologies to make most of the information environment, but others rather less so. Questions about how researchers develop appropriate skills, the support they receive, the training opportunities provided for them, and the take-up of such opportunities are thus highly pertinent. Research supervisors can play a crucial role in the effective imparting of relevant skills, knowledge and understanding. In this vein, the RIN has published below the results of a study, undertaken between January and July 2011, investigating the place and role of PhD supervisors in the drive to ensure that research students possess the necessary level of information literacy to pursue their careers successfully in academia and beyond. The key ﬁndings in the report include: The report sets out four broad recommendations:
Working openly on the web: a manifesto Three years ago, Jon Udell wrote Seven ways to think like the web. It’s a popular post amongst people who straddle the worlds of education and technology – but hasn’t got the reputation it deserves outside of those circles. That could be because, although a well-structured post, Jon includes some language that’s not used in everyday discourse. It’s perhaps also because he applies it to a specific project he was working on at the time. I’d like to take Jon’s seven points, originally created with a group of people at a conference in 2010, condense them, and try and make them as simple to understand as possible. Services change their privacy settings, close down, and are taken over by megacorps. Also, nobody cares as much about your data as you do. Just as by using a microphone offline we can address a larger group of people than we would be able to with our unamplified voice, so we can address audiences of different scopes in our digital communications. Comments? Kudos
Study of how UK FE and HE institutions are supporting effective learners in a digital age (SLiDA) Download the final report1 The final report has recommendations for further and higher education on how to develop effective institution-wide strategies and practices which better support effective learners in a digital age. Download the case studies2 See a report of the methodology3 used to create the case studies and the appendices4 Overview This project has been examining how UK further and higher education institutions are supporting learners for a digital age. The case studies demonstrate a range of ways of creating and enabling opportunities that promote the development of effective learning in a digital age. The ultimate aim is to promote strategies which support learners to develop the access, skills, strategies and attributes they need to learn effectively with technology. Aims and objectives Project methodology In order to engage with institutions in a collaborative process of creating a case study, we will work with institutions over a period of time. Project Staff Project Manager