Secondary School Staff Digital Literacy – 2014 survey results

Digilit Leicester 2014 findings - infograph

The DigiLit Leicester project is a two year collaboration between Leicester City Council, De Montfort University and 23 secondary and specialist education schools. Leicester’s secondary and SEN schools collectively support over 20,000 learners each year, with the majority of learners being between 11 and 16 years old. The project focuses on supporting secondary school staff in developing their digital literacy knowledge, skills and practice.

A digital literacy framework was developed in consultation with the schools, embedding digital literacy within secondary school practice. From this, an online survey was developed, designed to support staff in reflecting on their use of technology to support teaching and learning, and to provide individual staff members, schools and the Council with information to inform future planning around professional development.

This year’s findings!

The survey was opened for a second time between March and May 2014, seeing an increase in engagement from schools. 701 members of staff completed the survey in 2014, or 39% of all eligible staff, with 209 taking part for the second time in 2013.

Headlines for the 2014 survey findings are:

  • 56% of staff across the city who participated in the survey classified their skills and confidence at the highest level – Pioneer – in one or more of the six key digital literacy areas.
  • 23% of all those who participated in the survey placed themselves at Entry level in one or more of the six key areas.
  • Staff rate their skills and confidence highest in the area of E-Safety and Online Identity, with 43.5% of respondents scoring at Pioneer level.
  • Staff feel least confident in the area of Communication, Collaboration and Participation, with 9% of staff rating themselves as Entry level and 38.7% falling within the lower levels of the framework (at either Entry or Core level).
  • In Creating and Sharing , 42.1% of staff rated their skills and confidence in the lower levels of the framework (Entry and Core levels).
  • Analysis comparing the survey data from 2013 and 2014 shows that a statistically significant change in staff confidence has occurred, with 21% of participants registering an increase in their skills and confidence. Levels achieved increased in five of the six key areas (excluding E-Safety and Online Identity, where levels were already high).

You can find out more by downloading a copy of the report here:

DigiLit Leicester 2014 Survey Report (Word)

DigiLit Leicester 2014 Survey Report (PDF)


Share and promote Pioneer practice

1. Ensure that the work being done by city Pioneers is promoted and shared more widely. Promote and support the use of open licences to enable wider discovery, use and reuse of educational resources produced by city staff.

2. Provide encouragement, opportunity and recognition to Pioneers who support Entry level colleagues.

Support entry-level staff

3. Provide supported opportunities and resources specifically designed for and accessible to Entry level staff, particularly in relation to Assessment and Feedback and Communication, Collaboration and Participation.

Support self-directed staff development

4. Continue to provide support for self-directed staff development projects and activities. This approach is supported by the research literature, which has shown that professional development programmes that support staff in focusing on developing their own knowledge ‘are most likely to lead to transformative change’ (Fraser et al. 2007, p.167).

Encouraging contextual e-safety guidance

5. Continue to support work which supports schools in expanding the safe and effective use of social and collaborative technologies.

Increasing knowledge and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs)

6. Complete work on the project’s current Open Education schools project, and evaluate the benefit of continued focus on and additional work in this area.


ThoughtFest 09

Last week I was fortunate to be one of the attendees at the fantastic Thought Fest 2009 conference, held at the University of Salford’s Think Lab. Organised by organized by Pontydysgu with the support of the JISC Evolve network and the European Mature-IP project, the event attracted top class learning technology researchers and practitioners from across Europe. Potential attendees pitched for place prior to the event, submitting their ideas for outline sessions – Dave White from Oxford University & I formed a digital literacy tag team and were lucky enough to snaffle two of the highly prized places.

About 30 delegates (most of whom are on Twitter) attended the two day event designed to bring together researchers in Technology Enhanced Learning in an open forum to debate the current issues surrounding educational technologies. Within a semi-structured (and pretty mobile) framework that was negotiated by delegates, we particularly focused on theory into practice: how and where research impacts on practice and where practice drives research.

The whole event was excellent, but I’ll share some of my highlights.

Our (the red) team came a respectable third in the diabolically evil ViolaQuest, which was masterminded by Nicola Whitton and Rosie Jones, a couple of the UK’s leading Alternative Reality Game (ARG) researchers and designers. The game involved unraveling mainly geographic and environmental clues. They also managed to include the Emerge bearded lady meme:

Josie beard
Photo credit: Rozberry redteam

There were some great show and discuss sessions, including Maria Perifanou on using Wikiquests in language Learning, Pat Parslow on Digital ID & Kathrin Kaufhold on the Awesome project.

I missed out on Jen Hughes’s digital cartoon workshop, taking part instead in the podcasting workshop led by Andreas Auwärter. Dave & I picked the travelogue assignment, and produced a gonzo journalism piece on The Salford Lift Experience, inspired in part by out experience of the Maxwell Building lifts. Unfortunately, half of this masterpiece was lost to the random gods of audio, so the world will never hear Dave’s very informative description of the up and down buttons, nor believe there was a student who felt the lift experience in Salford had drastically improved over the last two years, various other lift based interviews or the toilet on the stairwell incident. For those of you who can be bothered, the last part is here:

Listen to The Salford Lift Experience

There were some excellent recordings produced on the day, notably a advert for online identity management cleaning services, which I’ll link to as soon as they go up.

The award for most awesome presentation has to go however to the SAPO campus team, who will be rolling out the worlds first institution wide supported PLE this September. You can see their presentation slides here. Basically, The University of Aveiro are moving away from the managed learning system model and providing a supported Personal Learning Environment (PLE) service linking in University functionality with member selected and supported web 2.0 distributed activity. Why is this amazing? The global edtech community have been talking about how institutions can engage with learner-centered PLEs for a while now, but Aveiro and the SAPO team are putting it into practice. Campus wide. In September. You can find out more and ask questions over at the Though Fest site.

Sapo campus