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The digital skills you will develop at university

Steph Jesper explores the digital skills that students will develop at university, skills that will help them learn and develop.
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So what with one thing and another, I’m
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recording this at home on some far from professional kit: just my tablets video camera (my tablets propped up on a stool over there) and a mobile phone which Ive had to shove down my cleavage because it was the only way I could get the sound to record at a reasonable quality. No, seriously. It’s terribly glamourous. When I’ve done all this I’ll tidy things up in a video editing program and then upload it to a shared cloud storage where somebody else can have a play with it and hopefully tidy it up even more. Oh, and I’ll probably remove the phone.
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The words Im saying right now were written in a Google Doc so that I might collaborate on them with other people, but then I copied them into a PowerPoint slide deck that I’m using as a sort of autocue (it took me ages to get the timings right but it’s holding up so far!). Now all of this requires digital skills, but not necessarily the skills I was expecting to be using this week. And you’ll probably have some digital skills of your own. You may even be full of them.
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Like knowing how to work all that stuff on your phone (this is a prop phone); Perhaps you’re communicating on social media and getting the jokes in all those memes; or maybe you’re finding some really cool stuff on the internet like a decent series on a streaming platform of your choice all the skills, right? I mean my special skill when I was transitioning to HE was being able to set the timer on the video.
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And now look at me: I work in IT! Higher Education has its own set of digital skills you have to pick up. You’ll need to be able to find academic texts in databases that don’t work anywhere near as smoothly as Google; you’ll have to know a word processor like Microsoft Word inside out, because page numbering alone is a very delicate science indeed. There are a load of collaborative tools out there that are really handy for groupworking, like the Google Docs thing I mentioned earlier. And there will be tools like reference managers that might make your life easier if you can get to grips with them, or harder if you cant.
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But thats where people like me come in: were there to offer help and advice, support and training, for all those weird and wonderful digital skills you’ll need in academia. In the next few steps my colleagues will be suggesting a few tools and offering up some starters on all this stuff. And I’ll be working out how to sync the pictures from that camera with the sound from this phone!

In this video, Stephanie Jesper from the University of York talks about how being at university will help you develop some essential digital skills for studying, skills you may not yet have, but ones that will help equip you in the wider world.

The next few steps will expand on this a bit further. Let’s go!

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