Digital Literacy And AI

I've been thinking about what the arrival of Generative AI means for digital literacy. And I searched to find some older publications from the UK Jisc on Digital Literacies. Most have been archived but it is possible to access them on a single web page or to use the WayBack Machine to see the original publication format. One of the publications looked at was 'Digital Literacies: Provides ideas and resources to inspire the strategic development of digital literacies - those capabilities which support living, learning and working in a digital society.' It was originally published in 2014 and was written - if my memory serves me well, by Helen Beetham and Rhona Sharp (sadly Jisc don't give the authors). The section which most interested me was about change management. It is interesting to see the kind of issues at the fore in 2014 - for instance should universities be supporting students own machines including mobile phones. It seems that AI is posing much the same questions for change management in universities today: The change management detailed guide looks at culture and approaches to change in detail but here are some key messages from the existing digital literacy initiatives: The change management detailed guide looks at culture and approaches to change in detail but here are some key messages from the existing digital literacy initiatives:
  • Invest in partnership approaches which engage staff, students and other stakeholders across the institution – students as change agents are particularly effective
  • Create opportunities for conversation and development through workshops, events and other development opportunities
  • Work digital literacies into other change agendas is more effective than pursuing a consensus through more isolated initiatives
  • Understand what influences and motivates different groups ie forms of communication, reward and recognition etc
  • Know your audience and always talk about digital literacy in context ie what it means to different subject disciplines, professional roles etc
  • Enable communities of practice or peer networks to develop and encourage links across departments and roles while maintaining a strategic overview
  • Provide seed funding for mini projects
I think this is a good list of key messages for AI for educational institutions and educational management.

Online Recruitment and the Digital Divide

Job Interview, Woman, Female, JobThere's an interesting article today in WONKHE, the UK online higher education newspaper. Clare Adams in an article entitled "Digital capital is a whole-system issue – building it takes more than hardware", says universities must confront the scale and impact of the digital divide in ways they have not had to do before.

She proposes building on the six key elements of “digital access” including infrastructure, connectivity, expert instruction and a quiet place to study, as well as the requisite hardware and software, identified by the recent Gravity Assist report on digital learning and teaching.

And although hardware and software are onbioulsy important, she says that research and "reflection on the employer response to the opportunities presented by digital recruitment, finds that technology, which ought to be a huge leveller in terms of creating new pathways into employment and connections with employers for graduating students, is not delivering on its promise."

She says that this "research suggests that inclusion is very much a mindset, not a toolkit. We recommend that students be supported to access the technology they need – and while laptops may be in scarce supply in some households, 98 per cent of people aged 16-24 have access to a mobile device, which indicates the importance of mobile-enabled technologies."

The main proposal is recognising "the importance of developing digital capital – competence and confidence in using, not just recruitment tools, but social networking sites, knowing what to say to make a connection with an employer and online interview and assessment centre hygiene and etiquette – an area where careers services can certainly play a useful role."

"But the capitals lens also suggests measures to boost students’ digital access and competence can only ever chip away at entrenched inequalities.| But with this in mind they they recommend that "employers consider a more proactive approach to recruitment using technology to cast their net  connect with possible recruits, and "actively scrutinising whether established recruitment practices are inadvertently excluding potentially great candidates from consideration."

With davancing technology and the Covid 19 pandemic there is a growing trend towards online interviews. But unless active steps are taken this trend might only deepen teh digital divide rather than realising the potential of digital technology to deliver diverse and dynamic graduate recruitment.