The Digital Futures in Teacher Education (DeFT) project was undertaken as part of the third phase of the HEA/JISC-funded programme. The aim of this project was to produce an open textbook Digital Literacy (DL) for Open and Networked Learning based upon two strands of development that were mutually reinforcing:
- The first strand was to create materials for teacher education by the two partner Higher Education Institutions (HEI), Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, in line with the UK Professional Standards Frameworks (Higher Education Academy) and the Professional Standards for Teachers in England and Wales, involving the (re)use of Open Education Resources (OERs) and associated pedagogical design.
- The second strand was to develop guidance on practice in teaching and learning in the school sector involving digital literacy.
A framework for the effective embedding of this curriculum and pedagogy was to be established, using regional support networks for schools, Creative Industry partners and building on existing dissemination activities. The key goal was to raise the status and quality of teaching and the level of digital literacies and the (re)use of OERs in the teaching workforce.
The main output of the project was the Open Textbook, accompanied by rich Web2.0 based project documentation that explored the challenges of involving learners with digital literacies, incorporating the following two core elements:
1. Digital literacies in the context of professional development
This element focused on the opportunities and challenges of embedding digital literacies within teacher education. The released resources provide sufficient support for a full module (i.e. 60 hours of study) and could be packaged as a stand-alone open textbook; at the same time, it is possible to disaggregate the module into smaller chunks for use in other courses and learning contexts.
2. Digital literacies for creative learners
A set of tools and resources (equivalent to 120 hours of study) for embedding OERs within the school sector. This element of the open textbook emerged from collaboration with the teachers and learners in participating schools who were supported by the project team and creative industry advisers.