Introducing digital capabilities

image of a cat looking at a laptop with the txt On the Internet no one knows you're a cat

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We need to understand the internet.

We need more conversations about the impact of the internet on professional and personal lives.

We need to agree what constitutes digital capabilities and skill-sets.

A digital capabilities resource centre within an HEI might include the following:

  • develop a professional online identity
  • communicate professionally online
  • create an effective online presentation
  • source copyright free content
  • knowing how the internet can support subject specialisms
  • staying safe online
  • protecting data online
  • evaluating and authenticating online content
  • reliably telling the difference between peer reviewed knowledge, public information and personal biased opinion
  • understanding how everything online is monitored, tracked and recorded
  • knowing digital footprints are permanent
  • looking on google to see what information prospective mentors – partners – employers have access to
  • taking advantage of the affordances of digital connection and collaboration for learning, teaching and research
  • supporting and enhancing learning and teaching with effective online resources and activities
  • ensuring graduate attributes include those of the digital kind
  • understanding the social impact of the internet
  • understand both benefits and barriers of digital ways of working

Paul Gilster in Digital Literacy (1997) suggested digital literacy was about ideas not keystrokes. Nearly two decades on, technology has advanced to such an extent that a working knowledge of relevant keystrokes has become essential. Digital capabilities today should include ideas as well as keystrokes.  Glister also described the ability to make informed judgement about ‘unfiltered’ content a core competency and this need for criticality remains core to any digital capabilities framework.