At first blush, adding things to your digital and technological toolkit might seem intimidating, particularly in a world where technology seems to evolve at an exponential rate and cyber threats are very real. But, if you focus on best practice, build and incorporate with intention and take a 'scientific approach', you will end up with the makings of a pretty great approach for upping your game in the digital literacy department. Read on...
Do your research and explore what your peers in other organizations are doing! You can gain valuable insight about how a particular tool is working for them, prepare for and understand any potential ‘growing pains’, and spark some thoughts of your own on what makes the most sense for your environment.
There is a lot happening related to digital literacy around leveraging new tools and building capacity amongst students (and, ourselves). Why not benefit from the experience of your colleagues and keep connected to members of the CACEE family all at the same time?!
And, look beyond campus recruitment and career education! Perhaps there is something to be learned in our broader organizations (e.g. L & D departments, Executive Education, Professional Associations, Centres for Teaching & Learning, etc,) or through research that is outside of our day-to-day line of sight. This may take some additional time, but if you are really looking to keep up with trends, evidence informed practice, and innovative ideas, it is useful to get a ‘higher altitude’ perspective as well.
Chances are that this kind of environmental scan will be important in building your case for a new tool or aspect of your programming – so, having this focus from the outset is a solid approach!
It can sometimes feel like there is always something shiny and new when it comes to digital tools, strategy, and ‘must have’ skills in this space. The trick is to build and incorporate elements into your work with students in ways that will actually have impact, are sustainable, and are scalable if needed.
Consider the what! What are the needs of the business or our department? What do students want? What skills are required? Etc.
Define the why! Why is this tool, strategy or approach the most effective in meeting what we identified as the “What”?
Develop the How! How will you meet the needs stemming from the what and the why?
Take Action! Do it. And, map out a robust plan to ensure it is not just a one off or relies solely on the expertise of one team member.
Let’s work an example:
Career Centre/Student Needs
A career centre is looking to broaden the reach of its practice interview program. Career Centre staff also identified a need for students to become comfortable and confident in participating in video interviews as they are often being used for first-round screening. Employers and students may not always be able to participate in f2f practice interviews due to limited time, geography, or scheduling conflicts.
Small to medium sized employers may not always have access to the tools to conduct video interviewing, even though it would be helpful from a time and resource perspective. Employers also need to ensure they are fluent in the use of these tools should they wish to implement them as a part of their recruiting process.
Broaden the reach of the centre’s programming (ie more students could participate, broader employer engagement), build capacity amongst students and employers, and provide small-to-medium sized (SME) employers with added value and a new tool to support their campus recruitment.
Select and implement an interview tool that will meet the identified needs (e.g. multi-user, easy to use, secure feedback mechanisms, etc. .)
Orchestrate a virtual practice interview window that is broader than face to face would allow.
Ensure career centre team is comfortable and confident with the tool.
Host training sessions via on-demand webinar for both students and employers.
Evaluate success of the event and comfort with tool.
Offer up tool for use by SME employers at no cost /nominal fee to assist with campus recruiting
If you leap before you look, you might not be successful. If you spend too much time looking, nothing happens or changes. Balance. Eventually, you need to try something! Test your hypothesis. Refine your ‘experiment’ based on your observations and what the data is telling you. And, most of all… share what you have learned! This will feed into helping others with the first two points and ensure we are all well on our way to taking our digital literacy to the next level!
How are you modelling digital literacy on your team? What approaches or tools have proven to be most useful? How did you get there?
Look forward to continuing to conversation on digital literacy in the months ahead!