I often look at how others are attempting to frame what’s happening around ‘developing online voice and identity and using it to connect with other people’.

Here is a slide from Helen Beetham’s presentation Wellbeing and Responsibility: A new ethics for digital educators. Thanks to Josie Fraser for posting it today.

Screenshot from 2015-06-25 08:39:52

The presentation doesn’t specify this but seeing how much learning and scholarship are emphasised, it looks like it’s for people who teach academics ‘digital skills’.

I find the three boxes on the upper right very helpful, because that’s what I focus on. It might help me talk about what I do. As all attempts at framing something quite complex in one slide, it has its limitations.

The box on the bottom right has probably changed in the last six years. If we consider how much the word ‘digital’ has moved to mean what, for example, the Government Digital Service frames it to mean, this little box – ‘adopt and adapt technology’ – would now fill the screen and the rest of the slide would fill about a third of the size of this box.

Has the rest of the ‘digital skills’, as framed by this original slide, become less important? No, not at all, in fact it’s probably more important, as it’s become more mainstream to attempt to connect with people online.

Has the landscape of ‘digital’ become more confusing for lay people because of our continued failure to really say what we mean, with the result of them hesitating in adopting good ‘online identity and voice’ skills that are essential to how we work today? Yes, I do think so. (That’s what my book is about, by the way. #massiveplug)

An illustration of how confusing this can be: Local Digital was launched in 2015, just like Digital Councils. Now Local Digital thinks of Digital in terms of what the Government Digital Service does: Build new services, make things work better. While Digital Councils is purely about using various digital tools for communication. I know this because I can see who’s behind it. Will anyone else?


Another reflection on the 2009 slide is that there is no ‘marketing’. While, if we talked about these skills to anyone anywhere in 2015, they immediately think ‘yes, of course, marketing.’ I try to get them away from that kind of thinking, and it’s very difficult.

How and why has it become the mindset for everyone that having digital literacy is all about marketing? Anyone?

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