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

3.1 Understand and engage

Described image
Figure 4 Words associated with understanding and engaging online

In order to understand and engage with your digital environment, you need to know what digital information is and what you can do with the information you find. You also need to be able to find and select the most appropriate online tools, websites and software for your needs. Figure 3 illustrates the words you might use to describe activities in this skills area.

Engaging with a digital environment can also mean being able find people with similar interests to you. If you can do this, you’ll be able to communicate with a wide network of people, and avoid anyone who might be malicious.

A very important aspect of understanding and engaging is being aware of how you come across online. You will find out more about this in Week 3.

Activity 3 Understanding and engaging in an online environment

Timing: 15 minutes

This activity provides you with some practical examples of what understanding and engaging in an online environment involves.

In each of the areas covered, read the description and use the text box to write a sentence or two on how confident you feel in that area.

Then read the feedback, which lists resources you can use to develop skills in that area. Copy any useful links into your Digital plan, and make a note of how they might help you. This will be a good reminder when you return to your plan at a later date.

Connecting with others online

How confident are you in your ability to connect with people online, for example on Facebook or other social media? Do you know where to find people with similar interests to your own?

How well do you judge the people you meet online? Can you tell if they are genuine and trustworthy, or if their motives should be questioned? For example do they have commercial interests or malicious intent?

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Feedback

If you know where to look online for people with similar interests to you, you’ll be able to communicate with a wide network of people.

Try to pick up some tips that will help you to avoid anyone who might be malicious.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Your digital identity

How confident are you when it comes to understanding what your digital identity is, and what it says about you? Can you track your digital footprint?

Think about how aware you are of the image you are projecting online and how it affects your online reputation.

Also consider how much you know about what happens to information you put online.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Feedback

The term ‘digital footprint’ refers to any information about you that is available online, for example, photos, comments or personal details. Information that appears online about you could be something you’ve posted yourself or something someone else has posted about you.

Whenever you write or post anything online, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or a blog, you need to be aware of who has access to it. You can use privacy settings to control who sees what, and to ensure that you keep your online reputation intact.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Sources

How confident are you at being able to find reliable information, written by experts, online? Think about whether you know how to judge if information you find online comes from a reliable source.

Do you know how to find out who owns the information?

Would you know where you stand legally if you reuse information that has been provided by someone else?

Do you know what Creative Commons is?

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Feedback

There are many instances when you might want to contact an expert or find reliable professional information – for work, research, study, or to find a tradesman to do some work at your home.

Developing the ways you search will help you to find the right person quickly, and establish their contact details.

When you put anything online that you’ve created yourself, your rights are automatically protected. You will find out more about this in Week 4.

There are many reasons for knowing how to find out who owns information. The main reason is to ensure that you don’t break the law if you use content or material that have been created by someone else.

We’ll be looking at working within the law more closely in Week 4.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Media

How confident do you feel about using information in different forms of media? For example, do you know when a video or podcast would be a more appropriate source of information for your needs?

Also think about how confident you are in finding and choosing the right online tools for your requirements. A tool is something that enables you to perform a task or activity. In this case, it could be a search engine, some software or a website. It could be software that helps you to create audio or video, or manipulate photographs.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Feedback

It’s fairly easy to find a variety of tools that will help you to find, use or create information online. With such a wide range on offer, it’s important to know how to assess which one will best meet your needs.

The following resources will help you to identify tools that can assist you in this area.

Resources to help you develop your skills

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