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

1.2 What can apps and tools do for you?

So far this week you have looked at those areas of work, study or home life where you feel a bit disorganised, or where you might be aware that there could be better ways of doing things. You have also had a chance to think about the sorts of tools you already use to help you get things done.

There is now a bewildering array of apps and tools available that can be used in many different areas of life. We are now going to look at some tools and applications that you might not be aware of.

Have a look at this The Internet in Real-Time [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] infographic (Penny Stocks Lab, n.d.) which shows the estimated amount of data generated in real time by the most commonly used apps; it can give you are a real sense of the scale of activity.

Same tools: different uses

You’ll have seen from the definition of an app that they are designed to do one thing very well.

Perhaps that is a bit of an oversimplification, because people usually discover that they can use them in all sorts of different contexts and situations. One app will be used differently by people, depending on their situations and circumstances. Take the teenagers who use a Facebook group chat to complain about their maths homework, but who then use that same chat to work through how to do that difficult homework by working collaboratively.

The first use of this Facebook group chat is purely social. The second, with largely the same group of people, is helping them study. The ability to communicate and collaborate with lots of people who are all engaged on a similar task can help understanding and completion of that task.

Using apps you can agree meeting times, book a work visit, review hotels, book hotels, book flights and other transport, review and book restaurants, and then share that information with colleagues around the world. You could even meet online using video conferencing if you couldn’t get together in the real world. This can be useful not just at work, but also for social activities. You could use exactly the same tools to plan your business meetings or sales conference, as you would to plan a holiday itinerary with friends.


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