Embarking on 23 Things

I was excited to discover that 23 Things @ Charles Darwin University is happening at the moment, and am looking forward to participating over the coming months.

Recently I’ve been looking into online digital literacy programs, as we are intending to design and implement one at our library, and “23 Things” appeared on my radar.

23 Things is a self-paced, blog-based program which was originally devised in 2006 by Helene Blowers for librarians to learn about “Web 2.0” . Participants had the opportunity to try new technologies, from blogs and wikis, to podcasts and RSS feeds. Since the original course, 23 Things has undergone hundreds of iterations, with the beauty of the program being its openness and flexibility for re-use and adaptation. I dipped in and out of out of Uni Melbourne’s 23 Research Things when it ran in 2017, and was impressed with the way it created such a large, engaged community of learners across Australia, both online and face to face through local meetups,

Some of the recent iterations of 23Things aimed at developing digital capabilities are:

23 Things for Digital Knowledge, Edinburgh University

23 Things for Digital Knowledge, Charles Sturt University

Rudai23. Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland.

And most recent of all, (starting last week in fact), is 23 Things @ Charles Darwin University.

How does it 23things at CDU work? A blog post will present a new Thing each week, with an activity to complement the content. Participants are encouraged to write and reflect on what they have learned through their own blog.

Thing 1 is an introduction to the program to familiarise yourself with how it works and an opportunity to use the AllAboard digital confidence profile tool to assess your level of digital confidence.  It measures six areas: Find and Use; Create and Innovate; Identity and Well being; Teach and Learn; Tools and Technology; Communicate and Collaborate. These areas map closely to the JISC Framework for Digital Capability – yay! With the this self-assessment tool I rated ‘comfortable’ across all areas, so I guess I’m a bit of an all rounder, but with scope to further develop my digital skills.

While going down the self-assessment track, I decided to try another tool I came across: the Digital Literacy Survey provided by the IDCL Foundation, which involved a self-assessment as well as an actual test, with a comparison between your expected score with your actual score. I found I had underrated myself (fairly typical of me), but then again, the test wasn’t very hard.

Using these tools has been a useful exercise for me as an opportunity to reflect on my own digital capabilities and think about the areas in which I would like to improve my knowledge and skills. I’m looking forward to filling in some of the gaps as I continue the quest to explore ‘all the things’.


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