User:Mackiwg/Sandbox/Social Media Literacy-Essential skills for working and learning

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Social media

Social media encompasses a range of web-based technologies that facilitate scalable and interactive dialogues around the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Social media tools can be divided into three groups:

  • Communication including: Blogs (e.g WordPress, Blogger); Microblogging (e.g Twitter, Google Buzz and; Social networking (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin)
  • Content collaboration including: Wikis (e.g. Wikimedia, WikiEducator, Wetpaint, Wikia); Social bookmarking (e.g Delicious, CiteULike and StumbleUpon), Collaborative document editing (e.g. Google Docs)
  • Multimedia including: Photosharing (e.g Flickr, Picasa); Video sharing (e.g Youtube, Vimeo, BlipTV), Livecasting (e.g. Livestream, Ustream); Audio sharing (e.g ccMixter and; and Presentation sharing (scribd, Slideshare)

Reference bites

Labour market issue

LES problem, need or gap

Provide a brief description of the literacy and essential skills (LES) problem, need or gap that will be addressed, and identify which LES will be addressed.

The majority of Adults do not have the digital literacy skills to participate meaningfully in the social web. Social media encompasses a range of contemporary web-based technologies that facilitate scalable and interactive communication around the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Half of the top-ten most visited websites of the world are social media websites (i.e. Facebook, Youtube, Blogger, Wikipedia, Twitter) and it is estimated that social media accounts for 22 percent of all time spent online in the United States of America (Nielson 2010: Online). Existing learning resources for skills development in social media are sparse and inadequate because they are typically vendor specific, restrict reuse due to restrictive copyright regimes and not designed for an adult audience.

The vast majority of adults are excluded from utilising the benefits of social media for work and learning due to a lack of skills in using these technologies. International data collected by the OER Foundation confirms that 64% (OER Foundation, 2009, Online) of new account holders in their wiki projects have not created an account prior to signing up for an online wiki skills course. (The OER Foundation is an international non-profit which administers the world's largest training initiative in building wiki skills in the formal education sector in more than 135 different countries). Increasingly, social media tools are being adopted in the workplace, but more importantly these tools are now being integrated into teaching programmes.

Social media tools are grouped into three categories: 1) Communication tools including: Blogs (e.g WordPress, Blogger), Microblogging (e.g Twitter, Google Buzz and, and Social networking (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin); 2) Content collaboration tools including: Wikis (e.g. Wikimedia, WikiEducator, Wetpaint, Wikia), Social bookmarking (e.g Delicious, CiteULike and StumbleUpon), and Collaborative document editing (e.g. Google Docs); and 3) Multimedia including: Photosharing (e.g Flickr, Picasa), Video sharing (e.g Youtube, Vimeo, BlipTV), Livecasting (e.g. Livestream, Ustream), Audio sharing (e.g ccMixter and, and Presentation sharing (scribd, Slideshare). This project will address the primary LES of computer use, but due to the nature of social media the project will also address: reading text, thinking skills, writing, working with others and continuous learning.

Project objectives

This project will develop learning resources and toolkits designed for independent learning to assist and support adults in acquiring the skills to become competent users of social media in the workplace and life-long learning. The project addresses the identified knowledge gap of the majority of adults who do not have the digital literacy skills to engage meaningfully in the benefits provided by social media. The project aims to:

  • Improve employability of the Canadian work force by developing the resources required for capacity development in using social media for work and learning.
  • Provide the opportunities for adults to acquire the digital skills necessary to participate in the burgeoning phenomenon of free and informal learning on the open web. There are an increasing number of learning courses provided on the Internet for free which require basic skills in social media in order to participate in these learning opportunities. Consider for example the free courses offered by the P2PU University, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), the Learning4Content initiative administered by the OER Foundation, and the Open Assessment for Credit for Students project which aims to create opportunities for informal open education learners to acquire formal credit for their learning.

Funding priorities

The primary target audience for the design and development of the online learning resources and toolkits will focus on:

  • Mature adults in the workforce who have not grown-up with social media tools.
  • Youth who due to social and economic circumstances may not have had the opportunity to acquire the skills relating to social media.

The open access approach, including the release of all materials using open content licensing frameworks will encourage, reuse and modification for a wide range of prospective learners including Aboriginal people and immigrants.


  • Review learning activities, exercises and pedagogical approaches adopted in the Literacy and Essential Skills Tools and Resources, specifically the Learning and Training Supports resources for applicability and remix potential for the social media resource toolkit.
  • Obtain copyright clearances for reuse and modification of identified learning activities.
  • Develop curriculum outline for sub-units and subsections of the social media literacy toolkits covering the dimensions of communication, content collaboration and multimedia.
  • Develop 15 independent study tutorials for online delivery using mass online workshop design approaches totalling a minimum of 150 notional student learning hours. The toolkits will incorporate blogging, microblogging, social networking, wikis, social bookmarking, image sharing, video sharing, live casting and presentation sharing.
  • Pilot and evaluate the delivery of 15 mass online workshops to refine the design approach and models for Canadian institutions to scale and adopt these teaching and training approaches in their own organisations.

The proposed project activities contribute to the eligible activities in the following ways:

  • Model development: 1) Integrating and refining existing pedagogical approaches from the LES tools for use in social media contexts. 2) Drawing on the research and experience of conducting Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) under the auspices of Athabasca University (add others) which typically attract more than 1000 learners per course. 3) Building on the ground breaking work of the Commonwealth of Learning (Vancouver) and the OER Foundation (New Zealand) in pioneering scalable and low cost online training models. Since adoption in 2008, the Learning4Content free training project has provided free training opportunities to more than 4300 educators in 135 different countries. 3) Aligning with the Open Education Resource for assessment and credit for student's project which aims to open pathways for informal learners to gain formal academic credit involving Atabasca University (Canada), Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand), the OER Foundation (International) and the University of Southern Queensland (Australia).
  • Building expertise: The refinement of existing models will contribute to building expertise in scaling IES across all Canadian institutions using open education approaches.