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Scholarship in the digital age

How has digital technology impacted upon the modern student? Millie Beach discusses her impressions in this video.
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I’m Millie the Student Union President,
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which means I do a whole host of things: so I help out with activities, sports, RAG and volunteering – so RAG is Raising And Giving – and I also manage four other sabbatical officers at the same time. And as a sabbatical officer I have just graduated, so that’s exciting! So essentially my whole role is to represent students to the university, local area, and potentially nationally, depending on the issue.
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Okay, so this is a really interesting question. So we believe that digital citizenship for students means that the way that students learn to socialise and study has all developed quite a lot in the last 10-20 years. So students learn differently because so much is available online and so many of those learning conversations take place online as well. It’s far easier to share documents and things like that. They also socialise differently, undoubtedly because so many things are organised, pulled together, and everything like that, on Facebook. And you also have those conversations where they might have been phone calls 20 years ago but they’re now about talking to each other online.
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It also changes the way that students study because the way that they set out their time and the way that they procrastinate, definitely, is very different. I would also say that digital citizenship for students means that they are becoming more aware of the current affairs and situations around them. So for example Brexit, which is all too popular, but the information that was available online meant that students were far more engaged and were far more willing to share their thoughts, and feeling informed about those throughs as well. And lastly I would say that digital citizenship encourages students to really be creative.
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Platforms like Instagram, and things like that, really encourage students to tap into a creative side that previously they wouldn’t have experienced. YouTube, as well, which allows you to express yourself in a different way.
In the digital age, the ability to engage in learning has been opened up to everyone who has an internet connection and the means to get online. Just take a look at what you’re doing right now: this form of scholarship wouldn’t have been available to us as recently as a couple of decades ago.
We are, if only by our engagement on this course, digital students. What additional dimension does this bring to our identity as digital citizens? Do we take on additional responsibilities? Are we using digital tools in new ways and contributing to learning communities? Or are our academic endeavours separate and distinct to our social and political actions as citizens? The University of York Students’ Union president, Millie Beach, discusses her perceptions.
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Becoming a Digital Citizen: an Introduction to the Digital Society

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