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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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3.3 Problem-solving

The final skill to consider is problem-solving. Online resources and networks can be very useful when it comes to solving everyday conundrums. This includes:

  • teaching yourself simple tasks using video tutorials
  • using feedback from other internet users to solve common problems
  • accessing support services.

The ‘What type of digital user are you?’ activity you did near the beginning of this week included some of the typical scenarios you might encounter in everyday life, such as putting together flat-pack furniture or doing an online job application. Often, the most useful solution is probably for someone to show you.

Later in this course, you’ll explore some of the online tools and applications (apps) that can help you to solve particular problems quickly. You’ll also learn how to assess the reliability of information you find online. For now though, you will focus on the potential of videos to help with all kinds of practical tasks, whether that’s putting up a shelf or learning to play the ukulele. The following activity gives you the opportunity to solve an everyday household problem using resources available on the internet.

Activity 5 How to make profiteroles

Timing: 10 minutes

John has been asked by a friend to provide the food for a special birthday party. His friend’s favourite dessert is profiteroles, but John has never made them before. He needs to find out quickly as the party is tomorrow.

Your task is to find a video that takes him through the process.

Image of profiteroles
Figure 3 Profiteroles


It is possible to find a variety of videos on how to make profiteroles on sites like YouTube. You should have been able to identify one or two suitable ones fairly quickly. The number of times a video has been viewed may be an indication of quality, or just of entertainment value.

In future weeks of this course, you will find out more about how to assess the reliability and trustworthiness of resources you find online. For John’s purposes though, high production values are not required.

Problem-solving is not just relevant to these kinds of practical questions. It is also highly important in the workplace. In fact, in John’s case, cooking is his profession, so the link is clear. The other skills you have looked at, such as finding and managing information, and communicating and creating, are also applicable at work. All of these digital skills can help you when studying. In Week 2, you will explore in more depth some of the ways in which your digital skills are useful in different areas of life.