We’re delighted to be able to release the first All Aboard major report:   “A National Skills Framework for Irish Higher Education”.  This publication provides a review and synthesis of the literature on digital skills and information literacies with the focus on higher education frameworks and policies. Some interesting example case studies are highlighted along with a comprehensive bibliography that we hope will be of use to those wishing to explore this area in more depth.   The document also formally presents our own proposed framework with a description of the processes involved in its development.

The hard work behind this publication was undertaken by our colleagues in UL’s Library and Information Services Division who are key partners in All Aboard:  Liz Dore, Aoife Geraghty and Gobnait O’Riordan.  Contributions, suggestions (and corrections) came in from across the wider project team and I’d personally like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their efforts, commitment and enthusiasm.

We are also pleased to be able to release an interactive version of the ‘Metro Map’ version of the Framework. Short descriptive videos have been produced for each of the tracks and rollover text summaries of the topic of each ‘station’ have also been added.  Work has also begun on designing and scripting online lessons and the collation of relevant resources for each topic.

Over the past couple of months, a number of the project team have engaged with academic colleagues to launch pilots of digital badge implementations and there’s more about that in the first of our monthly email newsletters (subscribe to find out more and keep up to date!). The pilot projects include badges built into formal taught courses, used for recording staff training and CPD, and with student co-curricular activities (such as volunteering).   Over the coming months we’ll be supporting these and encouraging others to join in, whilst we also develop policy recommendations based on this experience.

Finally, we will be producing a monthly podcast (starting in early November) on aspects of digital skills, badges and technologies in general. Each podcast will consist of 2 or three items with a total runtime of 20 minutes. We’re on the lookout for interesting stories, fascinating interviews and enthusiastic guest speakers – so get in touch and we’ll reach out via the power of the internet!