Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

3 What are digital skills?

Digital skills are about using technology to achieve your goals, whether those are related to work, everyday life or study.

Digital skills include things like:

  • presenting yourself to your best advantage online and managing how you appear online - your digital identity
  • making the most of online networks
  • knowing who and what to trust online
  • evaluating and using online tools
  • searching online effectively.

Watch this short animation to understand more about what being digital might mean for you:

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_s4_digital_skills_1.mp4
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Why are digital skills such a big deal? People use the internet more and more, whether buying things online, booking a holiday, or connecting via social media. In work and life, you need to find things out, communicate, and manage information. You're probably already using digital skills more than you think. But if you're not confident, then studying with the Open University will really help you develop your abilities.
From day one, there are always places where you can ask for support, both online and using the telephone. We can help you make sure you have the right equipment and explain the way that different devices and technologies can support your learning in different situations. Learning online will give you maximum flexibility to fit learning around your life and manage your time effectively.
Think of what you'd do in a traditional classroom. You'd speak to your neighbour and ask the teacher if you don't understand something. The Open University offers safe online forums and tutorials where you can do just this-- communicate simply with other students and with your tutor. It may be daunting at first, but soon you'll find that online discussion is a really valuable part of learning. So don't be afraid to join in. If you've a question, it's likely your fellow students are thinking the same. So ask it. By learning and communicating digitally in your studies, you'll improve your digital skills, empowering you to get the very best out of life, work, and study.
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As illustrated in the animation you’re probably already using digital skills in other aspects of your life and can bring these into your studies. Likewise, the digital skills you develop while studying will help you in other places.

Don’t worry, however, if you’re not used to working digitally – there are plenty of resources available to help you.

What digital skills are needed for study? Find out in the next section.


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