Talking about digital capability

Presenting at the SDF

I recently delivered a short presentation to the Staff Development Forum London Regional Group meeting on the Jisc work that is taking place around building digital capabilities.

I first started discussing what we understand by digital capability and how important it is to have a shared understanding. I find it interesting how different individuals and groups have different ideas what digital capability is. Within the project team, we call it the capability to live, work and learn in a digital world.

I like to bring up some examples of what are digital capability issues, such as how using the Twitter gives me a range of skills that are transferable to other communication tools and functions within other platforms such as VLEs. I also talk about the HIV clinic e-mail “mistake” which I have discussed before on the blog.

I then came round to the service we are building at Jisc and discussed the four key areas, the framework which we have already published, the discovery tool and online offer, we are planning to make a beta version available this summer, and the digital leaders programme which is running this October.

There was some interesting discussion about what we are building, and the role of staff development in using and rolling out the tool in their own institutions.

One aspect that was identified as important was about motivating staff to take that next step in building their capability. It is one thing to know where you are in terms of capability, but also being motivated to start doing something about it, gaining new skills, asking for support and help, understanding what it means to be able to build capability and to go through self-directed personal development.

It was also interesting to discuss the unknown unknowns in regarding to personal development, if people don’t know they don’t know something, why would they try and then develop in that area?

We did discuss the use of styles, that’s always an interesting way of getting people to think about self-assessment of digital skills.

Chris Rowell on his blog provides his perspective on the session.

A very good session and lots to think about.

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