Training and transliteracy

As defined by the Transliteracy Research Group,

“Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.”

Clearly, helping students to develop transliteracy skills is an important part of education 2.0, but it’s also an important part of training. Workers are a heterogeneous group, with different degrees of exposure to, and uptake of, Web 2.0 technology. Since training increasingly involves helping employees maximize informal learning opportunities, it makes sense to spend some time modeling positive ways of using new media and Web 2.0 platforms to provide learners with the skills they need to take advantage of these media/platforms.

Shifting from search to comprehension

This modeling needs to move learners from an emphasis on search to comprehension (Dillon, 2010). The Web 2.0 world is link-based, but as Dillon (2010) points out, sharing (versus pointing) remains under appreciated. We can certainly use Twitter as a platform to post links but the real value of a social network lies in actually socializing. So synchronous chats on Twitter and a more interactive community-of-interest-based microblogging platform such as miio, provide better learning opportunities. What good are YouTube and other video sharing sites if learners merely bookmark videos but don’t reflect on what snagged their interest? What good is a collection of beautiful images on a digital storytelling site, if there’s no corresponding resonance that occurs in the minds of those who view these images? What good is a Sharepoint site as an LMS, if people don’t actually tap into the human knowledge base that such as site creates? A cultural learning shift needs to accompany our assimilation of new tools and platforms.

The role of facilitators

Despite the pressure to create entirely asynchronous resources and stand-alone LMS platforms, an “if you build it they will come and reap the benefits” mentality is misplaced. Outreach and social engagement (and I am not using “engagement” as marketing speak here) remain an important role of facilitators/trainers. Facilitators should reach out to learners to stimulate reflection on the use of tools and to encourage sharing not just links but what they’ve learned. While it’s a given lately that learners should create personal learning networks, the term implies  both an individual construction of learning and a social construction. As facilitators, we need to help learners with both types of construction by continuing involvement in forums that probe and share the applications of such networks. Optimizing transliteracy is ultimately a human endeavor.

Reference

Dillon, A. (2010). Perspectives on the evidence: value and impact of LIS research: conceptual challenges. [Slideshare presentation] Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/LISResearch/dillon-lisrc10

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