Traditional technology training workshops can be frozen in time. Useful for networking and gaining inspiration to try new ways of working, once participants return to their desks it’s too easy for the initial excitement to become diluted by demands of the day job. Exclusion is another problem and when it comes to workshops of the digital kind, those who most need them are often those who never attend.
The ‘digital’ can no longer be avoided. Research matters. The quality of teaching and the student experience matters. As does the expectations of prospective employers for graduates who are digitally capable*. Whether students choose pushing the knowledge boundaries in their chosen discipline, becoming teachers, engineers, health care professionals or any other career path including self-employment, their ‘digitality’ also matters. It has become a universal requirement.
Digital Moments is a fledgling idea which reverses the ethos of the 1, 2, 3 or more hour workshop. Digital Moments are one-off chunks of information based on FAQ. They start at one minute in length (How do I shorten a long URL? What is a QR code? Where can I get copyright free images? What’s an App?) Once the idea is established they can be extended to 5 or 10 minute blocks of learning (How can I design a collaborative online activity? What data analysis software should I use? How can social media help me network?)
Put together 50 DM’s which share a theme (communication, collaboration, audio, video, qualitative methodologies, professional profiles) and they become the basis for a workshop or drop-in session with a difference – eclectic, wide ranging and relevant, based on what you wanted to know but were unsure about asking. There’s nothing like digital shyness to stifle the confidence to admit lack of knowledge, in particular when it feels the world around you is digitally racing ahead.
DM’s will be online and promoted through social media. Like traditional workshops, this risks exclusion so a poster and leaflet campaign will bring DM’s into the physical world of corridors, cafes and other communal campus spaces. Community will be a core part of DM’s as staff and students can contribute, suggest topics and provide answers.
Bite size sessions and short bursts of learning are not new concepts. Underpinning this Digital Moments idea is the transfer of responsibility for becoming digitally literate. Digitality is no longer optional and more DIY style approaches are required. Workshops can be invaluable but limited in their reach. Digital Moments offers a blend of learning, one which mixes the experiential with face to face and offers a proactive, practical approach to developing essential digital cultures.
See the new Jisc Technology for Employability Report (2016) http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6249/3/Technology_for_employability_-_full_report.PDF
Apple image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/131260238@N08/16793198472
Digital image from https://pixabay.com/en/binary-null-digital-silhouette-1023866/