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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

2 How digital are you?

The following short activity is designed to provide you with a light-hearted look at how digital you are in everyday life.

In Week 2 you will have the opportunity to explore in greater depth those areas where you’d like to become more skilled and confident.

Activity 2 What type of digital user are you?

Timing: 10 minutes

There are no right or wrong answers in this quiz, rather, the aim is to get a feel for the extent to which using technology and the internet are a part of your life and what kinds of things you tend to do at the moment. Keep a note of how many As, Bs etc. you choose.

Question 1: Your flat-pack wardrobe came without any instructions and you are stumped. Do you:

  • a.Go to YouTube and find a video that shows you exactly what to do?
  • b.Google it?
  • c.Ring your friend who is really good at DIY and ask them to come over?
  • d.Stop and make a cup of tea – it can wait till another day?

Question 2: You’re planning a holiday to Spain and need to book accommodation and flights. Do you:

  • a.Go online and compare prices using comparison websites?
  • b.Email your friends and family who’ve been there and ask them for recommendations?
  • c.Get hold of a brochure and ring up the hotel and airline you want to use?
  • d.Ask the local travel agent to arrange it all for you?

Question 3: You want to find out the latest football results. Do you:

  • a.Look it up on your smartphone or tablet?
  • b.Switch on the television and go to the sports channel?
  • c.Ask your friend, who always keeps up with the latest?
  • d.Buy a newspaper and turn to the sports pages.

Question 4: You’ve just had some great news. What is the first thing you do?

  • a.Post it on Facebook with a photo (selfie) of you celebrating?
  • b.Email everyone in your list of contacts?
  • c.Ring your best friend?
  • d.Go out for dinner?

Question 5: You have cousins in America who you are planning to visit this year. You want to discuss arrangements for your stay. Do you:

  • a.Set up a time to have a video call (e.g. Skype) with them?
  • b.Email back and forth?
  • c.Do it all by phone, on your landline?
  • d.Write a letter?

Question 6: You have taken lots of holiday photographs on your phone or digital camera and want to share them with friends and family. Do you:

  • a.Store them online on a site where you can share with others virtually?
  • b.Save them in a folder on your computer and email them in batches?
  • c.Store them in a folder on your computer and show visitors when they come to your house?
  • d.Print off the ones you like the best and send them by post to one or two people who you think would be interested?

Question 7: You are watching television and there’s an ad break. Do you:

  • a.Update your Facebook status on your smartphone?
  • b.Text a friend or family member?
  • c.Talk to the other people in the room?
  • d.Go and make a drink?

Question 8: You’ve been asked to plan the staff Christmas party at work and you’re trying to find the best date for everyone. Do you:

  • a.Set up an online poll with some options and get everybody to vote?
  • b.Send an email to everybody in the office, responding to each person as they reply?
  • c.Go round and ask everybody in person and write down the answers?
  • d.Just set a date and tell people when it is – democracy is overrated?

Question 9: Your boiler has broken down and you need to get hold of an engineer quickly. Do you:

  • a.Consult the app on your smartphone or tablet for finding a tradesman?
  • b.Do an internet search?
  • c.Visit your neighbour and ask who they would recommend?
  • d.Look through the telephone directory yellow pages?

Question 10: You are applying for a job and the application process is all online. You are not sure how to go about it. Do you:

  • a.Look up the Help facility on the relevant website to read more detailed guidance?
  • b.Have a go at working it out by trial and error?
  • c.Ask a friend or family member who knows what to do?
  • d.Decide not to apply – it doesn’t seem worth the trouble?

Feedback

Mostly As: ‘Appy’ and adventurous

You have embraced technology and social media and use it confidently in all sorts of everyday situations. You may sometimes need to be reminded that face-to-face communication is important too.

Mostly Bs: Online and aware

You are aware of the sorts of information you can get from the internet and you are comfortable using email. This usually serves you well and you haven’t found it necessary to use social media much (or at all) so far. It would be worth getting to know other ways to use online tools as it could save you time in some situations.

Mostly Cs: Face-to-face and friendly

You like to interact with people face-to-face and so far haven’t seen the need to use technology in a big way. Face-to-face is best sometimes, but there may be occasions when talking to someone in person is not an option. It is worth thinking about those tasks and situations that come up regularly where going online could make life easier.

Mostly Ds: Paper-based and pragmatic

You prefer to just get on with life and not waste time going online when it would be easier to find another way round the problem. Sometimes, the pragmatic solution makes most sense. In other cases, mastering the basics of technology and online communication could open some new doors for you.

The technology you use is likely to depend on your individual needs and preferences as well as any requirements of your job, if you are currently employed. It may also be influenced by your family and friends. It could include any or all of the following:

  • mobile or smartphone
  • mp3 player (e.g. iPod)
  • tablet (e.g. iPad)
  • laptop or desktop computer
  • assistive technology
  • games console.

The types of activities mentioned in the quiz reflect some everyday uses of technology. During the rest of this week you will look in more detail at some of the skills involved in these activities, as preparation for the rest of the course.

It’s likely that you will only do some tasks once in a while – for example, applying for a job. It may therefore take some time to feel confident about what you’re doing and, of course, every site will be slightly different. Succeeding in a digital world is about developing your confidence so that you can take on new challenges as they arise. Like learning a language, this kind of fluency will build up with practice.

Now is a good time to make a note in your Digital plan of anything you have come across so far that you want to learn more about.

SDW_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371