Tag: digital literacies (page 1 of 6)

My ebook, ‘The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies’ is now pay-what-you-want (including nothing!)

As I promised when first making it available for sale, I’ve steadily reduced the price of my ebook, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies, until it is now effectively zero. I’ve given people the option of paying if they’d like to, but other than adding an email address at checkout, it’s free of charge.

For those not familiar with the origin of this book, it started life as my doctoral thesis, which I then updated and re-wrote in less academic language. People bought into it as I was writing using the OpenBeta process I devised (this was before Leanpub existed!). The earlier people bought into the writing process, the cheaper it was. They got updates all of the way up to version 1.0.

Once it was ready for general consumption, I sold it at full price (£7.99) and then steadily decreased the price around every six months. Although I don’t think it’s ‘dated’, I did have the idea of what George Siemens called the ‘half-life of knowledge’ in his 2006 book Knowing Knowledge. Another reason was that the financial aspect of the book was to motivate me to continue working on it: writing for an already-established audience is a great motivator!

I’ve been delighted that my ebook has been used as a core text in colleges and universities worldwide, including (quite awesomely) the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. University libraries have also ‘stocked’ it, making use of Creative Commons license I released it under.

So, what’s next? I haven’t really decided, really. I was planning to write a book including classroom activities for improving digital literacies but, for whatever reason, my heart wasn’t really in it. I’m still keen on doing work in the new literacies space, but am thinking of what kind of format would help people most. Perhaps a drip-feed email series? A series of webinars? A course? I don’t know. If you’ve got ideas, please do let me know.

All that remains is to thank those (hundreds) of people who believed in me enough to invest in the book before it reached v1.0, for those (500+) people who have bought it since, and for those who have given me feedback since it was published. If you’ve got comments / suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

If you’d like to use the ebook with your students, you might find the accompanying wiki helpful. It includes the hi-res diagrams I used, as well as space to be able to critique the contents with your students. For a great recent example of this in a Masters-level setting, check out this page on the wiki!

Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies [DMLcentral]

Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies

My latest post for DMLcentral was published while I was away on holiday this week. It’s entitled Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies and in it I apply some of the insights from Kathy Sierra’s book Badass: Making Users Awesome.

Read the post

Comments are closed here, but I’ve cross-posted to Medium, so you’re welcome to recommend or reply there, as well as at DMLcentral.

Note: the Medium version of this post has a great ‘fried egg’ image created by Bryan Mathers that’s much better than my attempt in the original article!

Identifying, scaffolding, and credentialing skills in an ever-changing digital environment [#celt15]

The recording of my keynote at last month’s #celt15 conference in Galway is now available. I had a great time over there talking about digital literacies, Open Badges, learning pathways, and more!

If you don’t see embedded media above and below, you’ll need to click through on these links:

Note: the place the organisers originally posted it requires Flash so I’ve re-uploaded it to YouTube. If you’d like to comment on this, please do so over at their original post!

‘The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies’ is now £3.99!

The Essential Elements of Digital LiteraciesI’m pleased to announce that today, in line with my pricing strategy, I’ve reduced The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies to £3.99! The code gimme10 still works, giving you an extra 10% off!

For a specialist, self-published ebook, I’ve been delighted with the number of sales. More than 250 people backed the book as it was being written through the OpenBeta process I devised. Their feedback helped shape the book in a positive direction and around the same number of people have purchased the book post-v1.0.

If you decide to go ahead and buy the book at this price point, be assured I won’t reduce the book further until 2016. 🙂


A quick note on the two other books I planned to write this year. Due to spinning up my full-time consultancy slightly earlier than I’d originally planned, I’ve had to put these on the backburner. I’m still planning to write them – at some point!

Open Networked Learning webinar

Update: The recording can be found here.


Tomorrow evening I’m running a webinar as part of Open Networked Learning, an initiative of three Swedish institutions: Lund University, the Karolinka Institute, and Linnaeus University. I’ll be speaking on digital literacies.

The placeholder slide below links to to Slideshare, where I’ll share the full deck once I’ve finished it!

Update: slides now available below! (can’t see them? click here)

Happily, not only is the webinar recorded, but wider participation is positively encouraged. Here’s the details if you want to join in:

  • Date: Tuesday 28th April 2015
  • Time: 5pm UTC (10am Western US / 1pm Eastern US / 6pm UK / 7pm Western Europe)
  • Location: https://connect.sunet.se/onl

Wear your best trousers. 🙂

Announcing TWO new e-books: #uppingyourgame v2.0 and an Essential Elements of Digital Literacies workbook

Update: want to purchase both of these books? Try this bundle!


TL;DR: In 2015 I’m going to write #uppingyourgame v2.0: a practical guide to personal productivity and The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook. You can buy each one for $0.99 + tax (~£0.79) right now and you’ll get every update to v1.0.


I’m excited to announce that I’ll be writing not one, but TWO e-books this year! Many thanks to those who took the time to respond to my call to ‘vote’ on what I should write next. Some people commented on the post, some direct messaged me, and some emailed. The outcome of all this was that, somewhat surprisingly, the Open Badges e-book I’d proposed wasn’t as popular as the other two.

It was neck-and-neck between #uppingyourgame v2.0: a practical guide to personal productivity and The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook. So, instead of choosing one, I’ve decided to write both of them concurrently. I’ll spend the most time on that ebook that has the most backers. Whatever happens, I’m planning to finish both of them by the end of the year.

While I’ve been very happy with Gumroad as a platform for selling the finished version of The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies, I’m going to try LeanPub for these two new ebooks. I like to write (and sell) ebooks iteratively as it allows me to get feedback from those invested in the content. For previous books following the OpenBeta process I used a manual, system I strung together myself. I’m hoping LeanPub makes this a lot more streamlined.

You can buy #uppingyourgame v2.0: a practical guide to personal productivity and The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook in their current form today. That is to say, you’ll get an indicative overview of what the books will cover for the princely sum of $0.99 + tax (~£0.79). The reason you might want to buy now rather than later is that at each milestone I’ll be increasing the price of the ebooks until they’re finished. You also get to help shape the finished version by giving me feedback.

Click on the images below to be taken to the respective LeanPub landing page for each ebook! Thanks in advance for your support and interest in my work. 🙂

#uppingyourgame v2.0

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook

Image CC BY Robert Couse-Baker

My next e-book: three options for you to vote on

Thanks for the feedback! I’ve closed comments on this post now and announced the books I’m writing over here.

Update: something went horribly wrong in the process of using (the otherwise excellent) Gumroad for voting. I’ve transferred the overview of each one to this post, so please just leave a comment to indicate which e-book you’d prefer me write!


Last year I published The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. I’ve recently reduced it in line with my pricing strategy.

I want to get started writing my next e-book, and I need your help in deciding what to focus on. Here’s my thoughts:

  • The Essential Elements of Open Badges
  • The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook
  • #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity v2

Which would you choose? Add a comment below! 🙂

The Essential Elements of Open Badges

This book will cover everything from the promise of alternative credentialing to practical steps in getting started. We’ll delve into:

  • telling the difference between digital badges and open badges
  • how to create your first open badge
  • designing learning pathways
  • creating a meaningful and rigorous badge system
  • some of the technical side of things

Want me to write The Essential Elements of Open Badges? Leave a comment below!


The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies - workbook

This workbook builds on the success of The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. It will provide activities to help learners at all levels improve their skills.

Things that will be covered in the workbook will include:

  • an overview of the 8C’s of digital literacies
  • suggested activities for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners
  • teacher notes
  • a glossary of terms

Want me to write The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies: the workbook? Leave a comment below!


#uppingyourgame v2

Updating the original #uppingyourgame e-book, this new version will cover everything you need to be more productive on a personal level. It will include:

  • reasons for being more productive
  • workflow creation
  • useful tools and apps
  • automating parts of your workflow
  • helping others be more productive

Want me to write #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity v2.0? Leave a comment below!


I’m really interested in writing all of these e-books, but I can’t focus on all three simultaneously! Could you help me choose? I’ll be following the same iterative OpenBeta process I’ve followed with previous ebooks.

Got other ideas? Comments? Suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Header image CC BY-NC-SA Mykl Roventine

HOWTO: use GitHub Pages to host a bootstrap-themed website

Last week I mentioned in a blog post and my weekly newsletter the pre-launch website of my new (part-time) consultancy Dynamic Skillset. I had an enquiry as to how the site put together, so I put together this screencast:

The great thing about being shown how to do something via video is that, if you get stuck, you can pause, rewind and watch parts again. In this one, I go through the process of downloading a responsive website theme and hosting it for free using GitHub Pages.

Remember, the way to increase your digital and web literacies is to tinker about and try new things. You can’t break anything here and all you have to lose is your GitHub virginity. 😉

PS If you’re interested in using GitHub to ‘fork’ (i.e. remix) someone else’s repository, you may find this video playlist helpful.

Towards zero: the pricing strategy for my ebook ‘The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies’

Today I reduced the price of my ebook The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies from £7.99 to £5.99. The code gimme10 still works, giving you an extra 10% off!

I just wanted to take a moment to explain the pricing strategy for this work. As regular readers will be aware, I took a couple of years to write this ebook, starting it shortly after I graduated from my Ed.D. in 2012. My thesis was the academic starting point, with my aim to make my research more accessible and applicable to educators and other interested parties.

The first version of the book, v0.1, was literally the title and an indicative contents page. Those who bought the book at this stage were taking a bit of a punt – but were rewarded by getting every subsequent update for free after a small initial outlay. Each subsequent version (v0.2, v0.3, etc.) increased in price until v1.0 was released for £7.99. Doing it this way meant I got some great feedback from early adopters and meant I could shape the book to be as useful as possible.

The book is already Creative Commons licensed but, eventually, I want it also to be free. I’m going to reduce it in price until, two years after publication (~June 2016), it will be free of charge. I’ll make these price reductions approximately every six months.

I’m itching to write another ebook and so am considering a companion workbook to complement The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. It would probably take the ‘combination of elements’ approach I started to develop a couple of years ago (see slide 40+ of this presentation). I’d love to know your thoughts on this idea in the comments below. Would it be worthwhile? Is it something in which you’d invest?

A quick update on ‘The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies’

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

It’s been three weeks since v1.0 of my ebook, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies went on sale. 300+ people invested in the book as part of the OpenBeta process and, up to this morning, 121 people have downloaded it via Gumroad (the e-commerce platform).

Last week I met up with former colleague Zak Mensah, now of Bristol Museums at the E-Learning Development on a Shoestring event. He’s quite the ebook guru, and gave me some great tips on how to convert the PDF into ePUB and Kindle formats. I’ll be working on that when I get back from my summer holidays – so from mid-August onwards.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the process of working iteratively and openly on both my thesis (accessed 215,124 times as of this morning) and this ebook. Although important, digital literacies is a bit of a niche subject, so I’m delighted by the interest both have generated.

If you haven’t had a chance to purchase the book yet, the code ‘gimme10’ should still work for a while. Also, I’ve had people contact me about using The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies on a student course, with a MOOC, or with their staff for professional development. If you’re also interested in these kinds of options, do get in touch (mail@nulldougbelshaw.com).

Thanks to everyone who’s invested in the book so far. I very much appreciate your support and feedback – and look forward to seeing the wiki being used increasingly from next academic year onwards!

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