Improving Digital Fluency via the Use of Technology Enhanced (TEL) Tools in the Higher Education Sector

Annette Cosgrove
Lecturer in Computing @GMIT & Member of iNOTE Digital Teaching & Learning Team

Improving digital fluency and the use of technology to support learners in the higher education sector is an important trend identified in the Horizon Report 2019. The report reflects a strong focus on meeting student’s expectations of constant access to platforms, learning materials, and resources to learn anywhere and anytime.  Students report a preference for blended learning, citing flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia (Horizon Report, 2019).

Hence, as educators in the HE sector why use TEL tools?

  • Use technology to achieve the learning outcomes more effectively.
  • To enhance the student learning experience.
  • Towards a blended/online learning model.
  • To allow students to lead their learning (e.g. use of blogs for discussion and sharing, use of online quizzes to measure topic interest).
  • Towards an enhanced learning opportunity – using a flipped classroom approach.
  • Data analytics tools allow us to measure student engagement.

Some examples of TEL tools to support the learner in HE are listed below:

  • Use of Collaborative Software to Support Groupwork
    • e.g. MS Office & MS Teams
  • Use of Additional Media to support the learner
    • e.g. Screencasts, Webinars, Video Recordings , Podcasts
  • Use of Tools for Student Feedback

e.g. Forum, Live Chat, Online MCQ

  • Use of Social Media for class engagement 

e.g. Twitter hashtag for class group

Many of the above tools are cloud based and have the potential to enrich the student learning experience. To access the full report Horizon 2019 visit this link 

The iNOTE Digital Teaching and Learning project aims to embed digital pedagogies and improve digital literacy, by embracing online and blended learning best practice and embedding the use of relevant TEL tools into teaching practices, to facilitate enhanced learning opportunities.

Learn more and explore www.DigitalEd.ie , the iNOTE project digital teaching and learning development platform.

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