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From digital capability to digital wellbeing: thriving in the network (Helen Beetham)
Cloud created by:
13 February 2016
This cloud supports my keynote presentation for the OU H818 conference 'The Networked Practitioner.
The presentation draws on several years of work for Jisc, but in particular two recent projects. The Digital Student project has explored the experiences and expectations of 'digital' students, largely in mainstream colleges and universities - though a new study of online learners is starting soon. Over 1000 students have been involved to date, and student bodies such as the NUS have endorsed the outcomes.
The Digital Capabilities Framework is a high-level description of the capabilities required by educational staff - and also by students and researchers - to thrive in today's digital places of learning. It has been developed in collaboration with a wide range of professional bodies in the UK HE, FE and skills sectors, and with reference to many existing frameworks and descriptors.
Drawing on the findings of both projects, I argue that we should look beyond access and technical skills to ask how digital technologies are shaping new educational and professional identities, and new relationships between learners and teaching staff. 'Digital' students expect their digital environment to be robust and its resources easy to use. But the experiences that transform them are often unexpected and challenging: discussion and collaboration, exploring new ideas in digital media, building a digital portfolio or personal blog, acquiring specialist practices of a subject area. These challenging experiences require that learners feel nurtured, supported and recognised when they participate in educational spaces online.
'Digital wellbeing' is a term I use for this group of issues, encompassing access and inclusion, digital identity work, motivation and self-regulation in digital spaces, and affective issues in the online environment. Educators have an increaasing responsibility for learners' overall development and wellbeing. We have only just begun to explore what this means in digital settings.
The key question I ask in my presentation is: how can we help our learners to thrive in a digital society?
In addition to the two projects I have referenced, you might find the following resources useful.
Resources for developing digital literacies in the curriculum from the Design Studio (mainly HE)
Other presentations from my slideshare account