Author: Holly Singleton 3rd August 2017
The pilot year of the Digital Leaders project has come to an end, so I thought I would write a short summary to highlight the successes.
Our initial two weeks of workshops, which ran in November 2016, and covered various topics related to digital fluency attracted 41 students to attend. From the workshops we had sixteen students apply to become Digital Leaders.
By the end of the project, three groups of Digital Leaders designed and delivered three initiatives that focussed on an area of digital fluency. All of the students gathered feedback from anyone who participated in the initiative so we could evaluate the reach and success of each mini-project.
The most striking thing about working with our group of Digital Leaders was how enthusiastic, hard-working and motivated they were. They were complete joy to work with and I was really impressed with what they produced.
Our first group of Digital Leaders to complete their initiative were ‘Logged on: enhancing your digital employability’. The team of four designed and delivered a workshop to students with an accompanying website. The students had 14 attendees to their workshop, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Participants enjoyed the informal approach and liked the group work the Leaders had organised.
Two of our Digital Leaders designed and printed 100 webcam stickers and created accompanying leaflets to raise awareness about webcam hacking. We arranged for them to distribute the stickers at a stall in the Hub.
Despite the majority of visitors to the stall having an awareness of webcam hacking, there was still a lot of confusion around how it happens and how sophisticated hackers can be. Our Digital Leaders were able to clear up these questions with knowledge and enthusiasm.
Our final group, similar to ‘Logged on’, also ran a workshop with an employability focus. A blog post by my colleague Michelle about the workshop can be found here.
As well as our student’s successes with the project, we were also accepted to present at 4 conferences this year. Phil Jones spoke at the Digital Capabilities Group ‘Spotlight on Digital Capabilities’ back in May. While I presented at the JISC Change Agents Network conference, the Coventry University staff conference and the North West Academic Libraries conference.
The JISC conference was perhaps the most interesting for me, as I normally attend purely librarian focussed events, and this was a real mix of educators from different areas. Joining me to present was Janine Diva, one of our Digital Leaders. I really appreciated her input, and I think it was really useful for delegates to hear about her experience working on the project.
— wendypeskett (@wendypeskett) April 20, 2017
Regarding next steps for the project, the library is intending to fund the second year of Digital Leaders. Considering the interest, we had from presenting at conferences and also internal interest from members of academic staff, I believe the project has great scope to go beyond what we achieved this year.
Some of our Digital Leaders who worked so hard during this pilot year are also very keen to return and help mentor our new Leaders, so I think there could be some exciting things ahead!