Monday, 13 July 2015

Digital literacy and identity - FOS Day 1

OK, so here I am back on my blog and feeling rather guilty. I haven’t posted to my blog for over a year, and it has taken a little nudge to get me back on here. That nudge has come in the form of my involvement with an online course called FOS – Flexible, Open and Social Learning

The course is being run over five days from 13th to 17th July. The activities for Day 1 are based around the theme of ‘digital literacy and identity’. We are to respond to a scenario in which someone has been asked to create a digital portfolio, but is not convinced of the value of such things, and seems to be very sceptical about the whole notion of a digital identity.

I can empathise with the view expressed in the scenario. My lack of commitment to my blog is evidence of my own doubts about the value of an online presence. I have tended to blog only when it accompanies a specific activity, and yet I enjoy reading other people’s blogs and I think I often get a lot out of it. I suspect that the root of the issue is a lack of confidence in my own views. If I’m not convinced that what I’ve got to say is of any interest to anyone else I tend to shy away from blogging. I have felt similarly about Twitter. I use Twitter a lot, but predominantly as a consumer rather than a contributor. Again – I think this comes down to confidence in what I’ve got to say.

I suppose that one way of looking at blogging is that the value lies as much in the process of self-reflection, as in sharing your views with other people. I’ve often likened blogging to shouting into a darkened room. You don’t know who is there listening and, unless you get responses, you don’t know whether anyone is actually interested.

I would like to think that my own digital literacies are reasonably well developed. I make use of a wide range of digital resources and have quite well-established strategies for managing them. Having said that, I am sure I can learn a lot from others, and I think I am always open to alternative approaches.

I try to encourage the development of digital literacies in my students, and I promote the use of various technologies to support students. I have provided detailed guidance to students on the use of some of these technologies.

I have recently been involved in an initiative at Westminster to develop university-wide elective modules. I wasn’t actually part of any module team but was helping the teams to think about alternative approaches to module design. I was struck by the fact that none of the teams really considered using online approaches in their module delivery. This gave me an idea to develop an elective module around the theme of digital capabilities and to deliver it almost entirely online. I haven’t yet done anything further with this, but maybe this course will give me some ideas to take forward.


I think I need a bit more time to create my map of digital me, but I would like to have a go. Watch this space.


  1. Hi tony, I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I have had many of the same feelings particularly the bit about shouting in a dark room ! Its always so nice to receive a comment to know that people are reading your blog ( and probably stumbling around in the dark too ! ) Lovely to connect with you ... looking forward to more fun and games with FOS :)

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Deborah. As you say - it's always nice to know that someone has taken the time to read your blog