The Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) Program

The Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) Program

TL;DR version: This blog post is to document the start and first month of opening our Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy program. In subsequent blog posts we'll document individual class syllabi and programatic design choices.

This past month our Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) program at UNH finally started up. It’s been a long process as the development and scaling up of the program took about three years to get to where we are now. The program is designed for educators that want to be experts in the authentic and effective use of technology in (and out) of the classroom. The purpose of this blog post is to provide an overview of the objectives, themes, and design elements we’ve included in the development of the program. In future blog posts I’ll continue to document the thinking process and iterations along the way. I’ll also document each individual course as it opens up in the sequence. The purpose of these blog posts is to provide guidance for others that are considering developing programs like this.

The IT&DML program tries to maintain a strong focus on not only the theories that inform use of these technologies and literacies in the classroom, but also the “nuts & bolts” of the hands-on use of these texts and tools. Put simply, we view technology as a literacy, and need to be able to advocate for, and empower others in the use of these new, digital, and/or web literacies. That being said…we still need to know how to make it all happen. Our students need to be able to design, develop, and troubleshoot their own educational technology tools. They also need to be able to prescribe a digital text and/or tool for their colleagues that are looking for support.

Our program also focuses on three tenets to inform all instruction in the program.

  • First, we’re big believers in new, digital, and web literacies research. We shamelessly “cherrypick” from the best minds studying new literacies, digital literacies, web literacies, multiliteracies, 21st Century Literacies, etc. Most of this work is synthesized in the ORMS model and work that I’ve documented here.
  • Second, we’re also advocates for the power of critical literacy in the classroom. Personally I think there are numerous challenges, inefficiencies, and “problems” that exist in education…and in the world. I think through the thoughtful use of technology, we have the opportunity to address, re-structure, or try to “solve” these inequalities.
  • Third, we’re believers in open. Our students conduct a lot of work openly online. Our faculty teach using open materials and share these online. We also try to all openly share and reflect online…as I am doing here. The rationale for the open nature of the program is that this work, and these materials are of value to individuals outside of our program. If one teacher, one classroom, or one student can be helped by some of our work…then we’ve done our job. As a result, instructors will post the syllabus and some materials for class. Students will post their best work online to our Digital Texts and Tools site…and reflect on the process on their individual blogs.

There is a lot of nuance behind the scenes in terms of the infrastructure we use to “run” the program. This takes shape in our decision to fully embrace Google Apps for Educators, and run the program on Chromebooks. This also includes use of free Web 2.0 tools to build our own learning management system. I’ll detail these elements in future blog posts. For now…we’re excited to be up and running with a great initial group of educators.

 

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3 Comments The Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) Program

  1. Pingback: Digitally Literate 003 – Teaching, Learning, and Existing Open and Online

  2. wiobyrne

    TL;DR version: The Digital Texts and Tools Online Repository (DT&T) is an open educational resource that we’re collaboratively building to archive teaching and learning materials for others to use.
    Over the years I’ve urged educators to develop their online presence. In doing so I believe they should have a blog, and a digital learning “hub“. The digital learning hub ultimately is the classroom website. It becomes the workspace, or teaching space for the classroom teacher. The blog is the marketing, PR, and reflective space for the educator. The blog is where you “think out loud”, or make announcements about changes on your learning hub. The current work in developing these two areas is found in our IT&DML program. I’ll begin to detail more about the program, and each of the classes on this blog in the coming weeks.
    My blog is Digitally Literate, the blog that you’re reading right now. My digital learning Hub is the Digital Texts and Tools Online Repository (DT&T). Long name, funny name…here’s why it’s important. In developing and building multimodal tutorials for your learning hub, there will always be newer and better tools, and even tutorials for the texts and tools that you bring into your classroom. It’s almost impossible for one person to stay on top of all of these opportunities and know about everything. To help address this problem I developed the DT&T site. The DT&T site is an open library of sorts.
    Building a collaborative, open educational resource
    The thinking is that we’ll slowly build a learning commons full of open, and online teaching and learning tools. As a member of the DT&T site, you have full editing privileges for the whole site. Do you need a tutorial or materials for your learning Hub on Evernote? We’ve got that. Need a page of info on Socrative? We’ve got that. Feel free to copy, paste, and modify the contents on the page and add them to your learning Hub. If you need it for your classroom…please take it and use it. Most of these materials are built by experts (such as yourself) that are thinking deeply about teaching, learning, and technology in the classroom.
    We also appreciate your edits and revisions to the DT&T site. Think your tutorials for the GAFE suite of tools needs revising (yes it does…please feel free to clean it up ) then go ahead and edit to your heart’s delight. Rolling out a Chromebook initiative and want to clean up the Chromebook Essentials section…please go right ahead. Our belief is that the constant editing and revision of the pages will make sure that our materials are of high quality.
    The DT&T site is built in Google Sites. To learn more about editing and using Google Sites, please visit the following page, or review the video below.
    Give credit where credit is due
    In adding, editing, and maintaining the DT&T site, we ask that you assign and respect CC licensing of content. The basic license for all items on the site is the Attribution, ShareAlike license. This means that you should include your name at the bottom of the page for all edits. If you use the content on your own learning Hub, please include a link back to the page on the DT&T site with the original content. You are free to use the content as you so choose. As you add, edit, and revise content on the site, if you would rather use a different CC license…please select your own.

     
    What types of content will I find on the DT&T site?
    The beauty of building an open educational resource is that it can become home to many resources.
    Multimodal Tutorials. The key component that many of you will use and edit is the Multimodal Tutorials section. In this area you’ll find a series of regularly updated multimodal tutorials for your use. These tutorials are built by the community, and frequently used in classes, professional development..and linked to from blog posts.
    Online Resources. Have a favorite blog, podcast, or online resource that you regularly use? Is it free, open, and online…please share it here. Additionally, this has become the archive for the LRA: Research to Practice shows. I’ll also share and archive the TechTalk and Digitally Literate episodes that I’ve been running. Starting up your own podcast, or show…feel free to add your materials here as well to allow others to use your resource.
    Higher education syllabi. To me, this is the most exciting part of the DT&T site. Teaching a class in higher ed and want to share your syllabus? Please do so here. For now, you’ll find archived copies of the classes in the IT&DML program. Please share more to build this resource.
    Pre-K through 12 instructional materials. Teaching in a elementary or secondary classroom? Want to share your lesson plans, or unit plans with others? Please share it here. This section is sparse right now, but will slowly build up steam as students in the IT&DML program begin archiving their unit plans and lesson plans here. Come back and learn from their expertise. Please also come in and share your teaching and learning materials.
     
    The Digital Texts and Tools Online Repository is an attempt to build an open educational archive that we can collaboratively build and maintain. In much the same way that Wikipedia is maintained by a devout panel and group of editors, this site will be maintained, edited, and revised by students in the IT&DML program from the past and present. We’ll trust their expertise and guidance to maintain this open space.
     
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  3. Pingback: Transparency and the Instructional Technology & Digital Media Literacy (IT&DML) Program

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