challenging assumptions about it skills in he

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The presentation challenges the idea of 'the digital native' and the subsequent assumption of digital literacy skills amongst HE students. It provides a brief summary of the author’s experience as an IT tutor over the past seven and a half years, matching the author’s own findings to those within research and describes alternative evidence indicating that current student populations are far more complex and with varying levels of digital literacy experience and that treating students as a homogenous mass is problematic. It then explores digital literacy skills for academic purposes compared to social use of technology and asks whether generic technology skills are always instantly transferable to academic study. The presentation concludes with a warning that we're letting down some of our students by the ‘IT barrier’ within HE and that IT should be considered a core study skill along with maths and academic communication rather than something that students can ‘easily pick up’. It also suggests that we test for IT skills rather than assume. This is an accompanying presentation to the academic paper ‘Challenging assumptions about IT skills in HE’


  • 1. Challenging assumptions about IT skills in HEDont assume, identify. Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan University

2. Rise in use of technologyDigital native theoryMy response as IT tutorResearch refuting DN theoryRecommendationsStevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan 1University 3. My background Academic Skills tutor for IT My academic journey with IT Pre-technology undergraduate Mid-technology PGCE student Current-technology MA student Am very pro-technologyStevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan 2University 4. My role as a tutor Tutorials and drop-inworkshops Customised IT sessions Development of ITresources Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan3 University 5. 1. Rise in use of technology VLE Increase in e-portfolios Microsoft Office or similar Increasing use of other technologies Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan4 University 6. The digital nativeThe theorists Tapscott (1998) Prensky (2001) Oblinger (2003)Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan 5University 7. My response as an tutor?Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan 6University 8. Growth in IT support450400350300250200150100 500Autumn & SpringAutumn & Spring Autumn & Spring Terms 2009-10Terms 2010-11 Terms 2011-12Drop in IT workshopsCustomised workshopsTutorialsStevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan7University 9. Common questions at the IT Helpdesk Individual page paginationPrinting and scanning Section breaksResetting passwords Table of contents Wireless setup/use of Headings and other styles File locations Advanced numberingFile suffixes Excel basicsWhat Drive letters mean Insert text boxes/shapesUsing Google EmailCharts/graphs and dataEmail attachmentsseriesSaving and downloading Inserting images/text Accessing VLE and Portal Shape/image effects Bookmarking websites Animations Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan8 University 10. 3. The digital native? Non homogenousstudent population Dont learn byexploration alone Social use oftechnology versusacademic use Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan9 University 11. 4. Recommendations Establish an effectivedigital literacy policy Dontassume, identify!Make IT a core Have support in place Study Skillfor students who need it Up to date researchacross UK HE neededStevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan10University 12. Challenging assumptions about IT skills in HE Dont assume, identify Stevie Farrell, Leeds Metropolitan University


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