Technological advancements are revolutionizing the way we communicate, digest information, work, recruit, shop etc. Everywhere we look there is evidence of digitization and I have always believed it’s important children, students and adults capitalize on the latest opportunities to improve their digital literacy and master principal 21st century skills.
In the new National Curriculum in England for Computing it states ‘A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through, in information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world’ (Computing at School, 2013). Some level of digital literacy is required for almost every job in today’s economy, and most employers will assume some level of computer proficiency as a prerequisite. Thus, I chose to study Living and Working on the Web because I was ardent to refine my digital literacy skills. The online structure of the module, the essential development of online profiles and the stimulating topics covered were ideal stepping stones onto the journey of establishing my digital footprint.
Areas of Improvement
Assessing, managing and evaluating online information: Before this module I spent a great deal of time searching Google for various Psychiatry studies and articles as a form of leisure. It had occurred to me a few weeks before the initiation that I should start writing and sharing my findings and perceptions online. The module encouraged us to manipulate media to construct our own conceptualizations which was crucial for development in this area. Furthermore, the discussions on Open Access materials led me too find new platforms i.e. Directory of Open Access Journals that are ideal for scientific research.
Participating in online communities: Initially, I had set up networks on art and poem sharing websites. I was quiet in the early stages and didn’t share many posts on my new Twitter, but as time went by and I begun discussions with peers on this course I started to share relevant links and videos with others.
I also set up a LinkedIn profile and worked on making connections over the course of the module. I plan to dedicate more time to this area over the coming months. The peer review tasks were interesting and thought provoking and allowed us to gain insight from different standpoints before writing our summaries.
Building online networks around an area of interest: Initially, this blog was solely dedicated to Living and Working on the Web and I have now started posts on Psychology, Psychiatry, Behavioural Neuroscience and Socioeconomics, which I intend to enhance significantly over the coming months. I have written up an editorial schedule to cover topics well into next year.
I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’m ecstatic that I finally started blogging. The online structure enabled us to share our learning with teachers, peers and family with ease. Twitter and WordPress has allowed me to engage with other activists, read up on their work and keep up to date on industry news and research.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video): The module gave us the opportunity to explore technological mediums which inevitably increase job skills that employers look for in the workplace. My course is significantly Maths based and my grammar and Writing were rusty, but now I can disseminate information and write a post with ease. I enjoy selecting imagery and videos appropriate for information as it makes it easier for the brain to digest. Though, my greatest achievement in this area was the graphical development of my blog.
I chose to upgrade my wordpress to Custom Design which enabled me to manipulate the interface extensively. I thoroughly enjoyed hours spent learning CSS codes, and I aspire to become competent in coding over the next two years.
Final thoughts: Managing my online identity
As a second year Economics and Finance student and ‘Psychiatry Devotee’ it was clearly apparent to me that people generally tend to look online first for everything these days. It was useful that the module allowed us to create and design profiles reflective of our personalities and learning styles. This was my first opportunity to study online, but I quickly adapted to the pace of the course and drew up an Editorial Schedule for other parts of the blog. I learnt the importance of accurate and welcoming information and concluded; Social media training can make it easier for students, workers and firms to be found online, consequently increasing sales revenue and the generation of positive online content that helps to make a difference in awareness of various social and political issues.
Computing at School, (2013). Computing in the national curriculum. A guide for primary teachers. Bedford. The Chartered Institute for IT, p.5