Digital Literacy Developing digital literacy skills are key to empowering students and staff with the skills and confidence they need to use technology both autonomously and collaboratively, not only to support their learning but also in the workplace and their daily lives. The proliferation of social software, mobile technologies, virtual worlds and other innovative technologies has transformed employer needs and poses fresh challenges on education providers to deliver new and engaging ways of learning that keep apace with learner trends and expectations. If learners are to participate socially, culturally and economically as digital citizens they need to learn how to make an informed use of technology, safely and responsibly, in order to contribute to wider society. However, despite being immersed in a technology-‐rich environment, many learners and staff lack a clear sense of how technology can be contextualized to effectively support learning. The JISC Regional Support Centre (Yorkshire & Humber) can help organisations embed digital literacy in the following ways: 1) Provide bespoke advice and guidance on developing an e-‐safety strategy that helps protect learners and set fair boundaries for staff in the clear use of social media 2) Equip organisations with a self-‐assessment tool so that they can review their own digital literacy provision and make recommendations for improvements 3) Deliver events, both online and face-‐to-‐face, that empower staff to develop their own digital literacy skills in order to reinvigorate their own teaching and learning 4) Showcase good practice nationally with regards to digital literacy, both via the Excellence Gateway and through regular e-‐bulletins 5) Signpost resources to help inform staff development programmes that promote awareness around issues of e-‐ safety, digital identity and information literacy.
What is digital literacy?
“To be digitally literate is to have access to a broad range of skills, practices and cultural resources that you are able to apply to digital tools. It is the ability to make, represent and share meaning in different modes and formats; to create, collaborate and communicate effectively; and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes. Digital literacy involves critically engaging with technology and developing a social awareness of how a number of factors, including commercial agendas and cultural understandings, can shape the ways in which technology is used to convey information and m eaning.” Digital Literacy Professional Development Resource, Futurelab
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