This was one of a series of JISC workshops rolled out across the UK this year ‘to support the development and implementation of institutional approaches to digital literacies across the entire workforce and including students’. It was expertly facilitated by Helen Beetham, Greg Benfield and Paul Bailey, who introduced us to a range of concepts and tools to analyse and progress the implementation of digital literacies. These were in part based on the experiences of nine institutions which had taken part in pilot schemes. Details can be found on this link.
Digital literacy is defined by JISC as ‘ those capabilities which equip an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society’ (JISC LLiDA, 2009). For example, the use of digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; digital professionalism; the use of specialist digital tools and data sets; communicating ideas effectively in a range of media; producing, sharing and critically evaluating information; collaborating in virtual networks; using digital technologies to support reflection and PDP; managing digital reputation and showcasing achievements.
It is increasingly recognised that digital literacy is an important attribute of 21st century ‘graduateness’. This requires institutions to develop strategies for the development of these skills at all levels of the workforce. JISC has produced audit tools to help identify the challenges which face institutions in upskilling the staff and student body: as one participant observed staff can’t expect students to develop these skills if they don’t themselves model digitally literate behaviours – ‘walk the walk, not just talk the talk’! The relevant toolkits for carrying out audits as well as managing and implementing change are available from the first link on this page.
The workshop explored several areas which can be impacted by placing digital literacy at the heart of institutional strategy, including the transformation of curriculum design and delivery, the design of learning spaces and the development of staff and students. If you would like to discuss the implications of embedding digital literacy in your own area or you would like more information about the workshop, please contact Neal Sumner at the LDC.