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Digital Capabilities Matter

According to Jisc, "effective use of digital technology by university and college staff is vital in providing a compelling student experience and in realizing a good return on investment in digital technology." In other words, our individual digital capabilities matter. The reasons why our digital capabilities matter is an ever-evolving mix. Here are 9 reasons that I consistently reference when thinking and talking about digital capabilities:

Career Enhancement & Employability - The more you are able to utilize digital technologies, the greater chance you have for your career to be positively impacted by your overall capabilities with all things digital.

Leadership & Identity - Extending leadership into digital spaces and forging a purposeful digital identity isn't a mandatory activity. However, in 2016, digital identities abound and our presence as leaders can extend far beyond campus boundaries.

Collaboration - Working with colleagues across the globe is something that a lot of us take for granted as we connect using digital channels on a daily basis. And, connectivity for collaboration is increasing.

Connection & Community - Communities of practice and engagement occupy every niche imaginable. Building, sustaining, and creating community is mobile, social, and expansive.

Teaching & Learning - Digital tools are worthwhile when we are using them in relevant ways. Without us, "digital" doesn't do a whole lot. Those who utilize their digital capabilities offer up enhancements to their teaching practice and create new pathways for learning.

Critical Thinking - The capacity to evaluate, critique, distill, and opine on digital resources is a necessary capability for higher education staff in 2016. With the endless stream of posts, tweets, snaps, and blogs, there are countless moments for critical reflection.

Listening & Synthesis - While utilizing digital platforms to curate, monitor/observe, and collate into meaningful collections of useful information may not be as exciting as other capabilities, it's definitely an important proficiency.

Professional Development - Digital channels like social networks represent an always on flow of professional development potential. You can learn when you want to, take a pause, and then return to the ever-present flow of social media generated professional development.

Role Modeling - For some individuals, this may be the scariest of all digital capabilities. However, your digital capabilities extend beyond yourself as you post, share, and show other people how to utilize various digital tools.

What would you add to this list of reasons why your digital capabilities matter?

For more information on digital capabilities, I highly recommend connecting with Jisc's Sarah Davies, James Clay, and Lawrie Phipps.


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