Your key to success: Mastering your digital skills – a Digital Champion’s perspective

Technology is everywhere, and it is essential to our daily lives!

We are now living in a digital age in which hi-tech programmes and devices are consistently used, especially in the work place. Although this sector is growing continuously, a government report outlined that the UK is lacking digitally-skilled professionals to use such technological advances. As a student, I was unaware of this until I began working with the university as a Digital Champion. Workplaces use technology for various reasons; to help promote their services, to make sure the business is running efficiently and to decrease the workload. However, with all the technology businesses want to employ it is vital that we, as soon to be graduates, have the digital skills to harness this technology effectively to make us more employable. As a result of such findings, our University is giving all staff and students the opportunity to explore their Digital skills and capabilities through the Digital Discovery Tool, created by JISC.

The JISC Digital Discovery Tool will help you to identify your digital strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, you just have to fill in a survey and then it will provide you with a summary on how “digital” you are. Easy, Right?!

The tool has various benefits, for starters it is extremely straight forward to use (which is great for people like me who get easily confused!). All you have to do is move an indicator on a scale to show how confident you feel in a certain digital area. Additionally, the tool not only tells you what digital aspects you need to improve on, but it also tells you what you are succeeding at digitally; which made me feel so much better! I have never been confident digitally so to realise that I have some digital skills made me realise that I can be technology savvy and encouraged me to improve upon my current digital ability. To help me with my digital development JISC also provided me with FREE resources to help me improve upon the digital areas I wasn’t so confident in. What student would pass up a free opportunity? I have tried the online resources and believe that they are extremely effective. In particular, I watched video tutorials on how to use Excel, and by the end of a few short clips I already felt more confident in using the Microsoft programme. My next goal is to tackle digital participation and communication, which this blog post is helping me to achieve. Many of the free resources are short and sweet, meaning they fit perfectly into your busy schedule as a student!

The tool can save both students and lecturers precious time; if you know how to use digital devices and programmes effectively, then your workload is likely to get done much quicker! Whilst on the subject of time, the tool does take longer than 5 minutes to complete, so make sure you grab a coffee before logging on! However, once you see the detail of the results afterwards you will appreciate why the tool took longer than expected.

Overall, the tool is useful for those who want to seek development on their digital skills. When I took the tool last year; honestly, I did not use it because I thought it was irrelevant to me. That was a huge mistake I made! If I give you any advice it is to try out the assessment and to start working on your digital skills as early as possible. As I am getting closer to finishing my degree I am seeing the importance of being digitally competent, especially within a competitive job market, and I wish I would have used the tool earlier! After my degree I wish to go into a career working with young people, either in an educational setting or a support environment. Due to this, I will need to be able to use digital communication effectively and use digital resources to reflect upon my own performance as well as the young people I will work with. The JISC assessment makes you realise just how much technology is involved in the workplace as well as our daily lives. The tool can aid any future career, as basic digital skills (such as sending an email or writing a report) are needed in every job!

Get digital for your future, use the JISC Digital Discovery Tool!

Jess Miller (Digital Champion)