Building digital capability for new digital leadership, pedagogy and efficiency

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I am sat in Birmingham listening to another of James Clay’s greatest hits. If you don’t know what I’m talking about read James’s blog. I am happy to call it a greatest hits keynote because I never tire of hearing it.

(I am writing this on my phone as the WiFi here is awful!)

James talks about the digital capabilities discovery tool. The tool has broken some of his perceptions about his online behaviour. He scored low on promotion. Clearly his perceptions of himself were wrong. The tool will be available to everyone in the summer.

The most valuable thing about the tool will be the development of the resources to accompany it. It’s all well and good showing what you can’t do. But we need to.make sure we have a solution available.

So what does digital capability mean? We need to gain a shared understanding within organisations. For example to some just being able to use Office is capable to some.

We need to understand that people who don’t engage with social media will struggle to use other communications tools. It’s not about Twitter. It’s about the transferable skills gained through its use.

James used the example of the release of HIV patient data to demonstrate that it wasn’t caused by human error, it’s lack of digital capabilities. How can we expect people to know how to deal with data if they’ve never had training?

An interesting observation is that academic staff job descriptions do not include digital or technology. What does that say about our expectations and the seriousness with which we take the digital?

“How do we know what we know?”

James asks “where is Barclay’s biggest branch?”

The answer. Their app. A modern organisation needs to be digitally capable.

It’s so true look at HE. Where is the biggest classroom? It’s the VLE. It is the most visited resource (aside from the pub) at Universities.

We need to take advantage of it and do it well. Staff need support to do that. They weren’t born with those skills. We need to facilitate their gaining them.

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