What's in the Box
A special kind of boxing day
January 23, 2020
On January 10, the DigitalNWT curriculum development team at the University of Alberta had their own boxing day - this one was no search for sales, but rather packing up materials in boxes to ship up to our NWT-based instructors.
Ready for delivery
The curriculum for DigitalNWT Course 1, which has been in development for nearly a year, is now ready for delivery. DigitalNWT Course 1 covers four introductory digital literacy topics - digital devices, the internet, social media and apps, and being proactive online.
The course has been developed in consultation with the DigitalNWT project partners and collaboratively with Adult Educators from Aurora College who will be teaching the course in over 20 NWT communities in 2020.
A great learning experience
Although the online format was a major change from last year, this session was a great learning experience and a huge help to the DigitalNWT project. Following the project’s co-creational approach to curriculum development, we focused on working with Adult Educators (two of whom are members of the project’s curriculum design committee) to provide feedback and ask questions about the new Course 2 curriculum.
We also discussed how to set up our new distance education delivery model (Courses 1 and 2). The revised Course 1 materials were also shown and discussed. The insights and expertise the Adult Educators bring to the delivery of the content is key to making the courses effective and successful.
What's in the box you ask? Each curriculum box comes with a Facilitator Guide for instructors, along with a USB stick containing all the digital files — prepared in case internet services are unavailable in participating communities.
Also included are 70 page Student Workbook with activities to support the course. The boxes also include materials for hands on activities, such as a ball of yarn for the 'Weave the Network' introductory exercise and an information sharing card-sorting activity.
One important element of the DigitalNWT curriculum isn't in the box - laptops. Every person who completes the course will receive a free laptop provided by Smart Communities Society NWT / Computers for Schools NWT -- a DigitalNWT partner that is shipping up the computers separately.
Big updates coming soon
Winter 2020 marks the first time DigitalNWT Course 1 will be taught in NWT communities. To help prepare instructors, on the morning of January 13 and 14, the University of Alberta DigitalNWT team was busy providing a second Train-the-Trainer event. Unlike the first Train-the-Trainer event held in August 2019, in Inuvik, this second training session took place online.
Over a dozen Adult and Community Educators from across the NWT joined the session, which was facilitated by Drs. Rob McMahon, Crystal Fraser and Michael McNally. The facilitators walked participants through the curriculum covering all four modules. The two morning sessions also included time for questions and answers and a chance for Adult Educators to provide further feedback to the team at the University of Alberta.
In the future, feedback from learners and instructors will be used to help continually improve the course, and ensure that it meets the specific interests and contexts of NWT-based learners. As well, DigitalNWT has already started work on Course 2, which will be delivered in 2021 (with a Course 3 to follow in early 2022).