Anyone involved in education who wants to learn more about digital literacy, the capabilities, attitudes and behaviours that define it and how it can be assessed and harnessed to enhance workforce development.
- How is digital literacy defined? Film and discussion;
- How has HEE tackled digital literacy for healthcare learners? What has been learned? Discussion;
- In what ways is being digitally literate empowering? Group work;
- How can the digital literacy of the workforce be assessed? Group work;
- How digitally literate are you? Group work.
Delegates will be able to:
- define digital literacy and understand the importance of empowering individuals;
- understand the digital literacy work of HEE;
- identify specific capabilities, attitudes and behaviours associated with different levels of digital capability;
- assess their own and others’ digital literacy.
It is no longer possible to think about digital literacy as just technical proficiency or the preserve of a few informatics professionals. In health and social care particularly, the workforce must have sound digital skills to provide the best care and ensure effective personal and professional development (NIB, 2015).
Innovations in education and technology will require the existing workforce to adapt to and adopt new ways of working. By building excellent digital skills and the right attitudes and behaviours, the adoption of new digital tools and technologies can be dramatically improved (Ecorys UK, 2016).
Health Education England’s work involved exploring what is meant by the term “digital literacy” and what skills the current and future workforce might need, drawing on previous work by Jisc (2014) and Beetham (2010). From this initial research, a definition and domains of capability were established and tested with a number of healthcare workforce groups, including nurses and pharmacists.
Health Education England defines digital literacy as “the capabilities that fit individuals for living, working, participating and thriving in a digital workplace and society” and has identified six domains which support individuals in health and care to become digitally literate. Individuals who took part in the testing identified strengths and weaknesses against each of the domains and developed “I can” statements to understand how the domains may translate to their role, for example “I can edit patient notes on a laptop”.
Based on the testing of these domains, it has become clear that there are varying levels of confidence and competence in digital and there are relatively few support mechanisms and learning materials available to help individuals in health and care to improve their digital literacy. Future work in the field will need to establish what learning tools could be used to support and improve the uptake of digital.
Beetham, H. (2010) Review and Scoping Study for a cross-Jisc Learning and Digital Literacies Programme: Sept 2010 [online]. Jisc. http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140614144922/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearning/DigitalLiteraciesReview.pdf (Accessed: 06/06/2017)
Ecorys UK. (2016) Digital skills for the UK economy [online]. Department of Business Innovation & Skills and Department of Culture Media & Sport. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492889/DCMSDigitalSkillsReportJan2016.pdf(Accessed: 06/06/2017)
Jisc. (2014) Developing digital literacies [online]. https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-digital-literacies (Accessed: 06/06/2017)
NIB. (2015) Building a Digital Ready Workforce (BDRW) Roadmap: Support care professionals to make the best use of data and technology. Chapter 10 of Personalised Health and Care 2020 [online]. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/442827/Work_Stream_6.pdf (Accessed: 06/06/2017)