What you should focus on when the digital world keeps changing.
The world we live in greatly influenced by digital technology. Whether it is communicating, shopping, caring for our health, or searching for information, we are increasingly facilitated by digital tools. As a result, more and more of us are looking for ways to develop our digital capabilities – that is the skills and attitude which help us to live, learn and work in a digital society.
At university, we are expected to have some basic level of digital skills and knowledge in order to effectively participate in courses and interact with students and university staff. After graduating, we know employers have certain expectations too. Often this will be the digital skills needed to creating documents, presentations, spreadsheets as well as be able to communicate via email and social media. However, the software that companies use often gets changed or replaced as trends and needs of the workplace evolve over time. How can you ensure that your skills and knowledge are up to date with the expectations of the modern world?
Here are some tips in developing digital capabilities, help you find success in our increasingly digital world.
Take time to assess your skills on a schedule that is appropriate for your personal and career-related goals. This might be once every 6 months, or once a year. There are a number of online resources available to help you do this. Assessing and reviewing your current strengths and weaknesses can help you decide where you want to pursue further exploration. For example, if you discover that you are interested in writing professionally and have excellent word processing skills but poor social media skills, you may decide to take a course or look into other resources that can help you improve this area.
Practice and play
You do not only have to work on projects that are relevant to your studies or work. Take on a project that is purely for fun. For example, if you are interested in improving your graphic design skills, try creating a poster for a friend’s upcoming birthday. To explore the functionality of spreadsheets, you could develop a table to track your monthly spending.
Digital communities, groups, forums, or communities of practice can provide many opportunities to support your digital capabilities. They offer an excellent way to stay up-to-date, get help, support others by sharing your knowledge and experience, find opportunities, and make some valuable contacts. The best digital communities and online groups are managed by facilitators that ensure safe and relevant content is shared on the platform.
The University of Kent has launched a new Digital Capabilities service to offer staff and students the opportunity to discover, access, and utilise the full breadth and depth of digital tools available to support their learning, teaching and research.