Mapping Digital Skills in HE

A few weeks ago this image/infographic was doing the rounds and being tweeted in my network (thank you Catherine Cronin!) – mapping digital skills in Irish Higher Education.

Bringing together themes of ‘tools and technology, ‘create and innovate’, ‘communicate and collaborate, this is a wonderful resource that can help map and highlight how skills cross sectors and areas of knowledge and capabilities. Examples include the humble (?) VLE … crossing ‘tools and technology’, ‘teach and learn’, and ‘communicate and collaborate’. 

Technology is now part of everyday life for all of us, whether as a student, teacher, administrator, technical specialist, or even just as an ordinary citizen.  The pace in which new technologies emerge from initial concept to widespread adoption is also much faster than ever before, new words being added to the dictionary each year and new websites and apps to get our heads around for anything from paying tax to ordering pizza; from watching the latest movies to speaking with distant relatives; or for learning a new skill and collaborating with others.

As part of the National Digital Skills Framework AllAboard are building, this is intended to be a flexible ‘organic’ (I don’t like phrase) document able to adapt as the learning technology environment changes.

What do you think – do they have everything here? Are the right kind of links and relationships represented?

Mapping Digital Skills in HE[click to enlarge]

Banner image: clement127 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

  • michaladdric

    I believe that online learning has the potential to revolutionize higher education. Students will be able to learn at their own pace.

  • Have you seen Helen Beetham’s work on digital capability for Jisc?

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  • Catherine_C

    Hi David – thanks for sharing this work from Ireland’s All Aboard project! This objective of this multi-institution initiative (funded by our National Forum for the Enhancement of T+L) is to be a “collaborative enquiry that will build on the many excellent examples of high quality research, training and cooperative projects that have gone before us or which are currently underway.” I am not on the project team, but am closely connected with progress via its coordinator, Iain MacLaren (director of CELT here at NUI Galway). I see that James has mentioned Helen Beetham’s wonderful work — I know that Iain and the team are collaborating with Helen and with Jisc, so those connecting conversations are taking place. Networked practice! Thanks again :)

    • Looking forward to the result (as such that they can be in such a fast moving field) and seeing the wider scope for the work (i.e. further afield than just Irish HE). All the best, David

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  • Don Presant

    I really like this subway map metaphor. It’s fun to follow the routes through and see the intersections and twinned sections.

    I’m less happy with the amount of separation between Teaching and Learning and Communicating and Collaborating…opportunities for more twinning?

    • Good feedback. I’d have thought that ‘tools’ like smartphones or tablets would have more connections with the lines/themes like Create & Innovate, Identity & Wellbeing, Find & Use … in fact all the lines?

      • iainmacl

        Hi there. Thanks for the kind words. As you can imagine, it’s possible to have lots of debate and discussion over which ‘stations’ and which ‘lines’ crossover or should be placed in which position, and as a member of the team I can assure you we do!! The approach that we’ve taken though is just to get the basic concept out there as a way of thinking about the complex digital landscape and use this as a way of getting discussions (like this one!) going. We’re not fixated at this stage on the details and we expect a revised version might look a bit different, but the general approach has been helpful to us in organising our own ideas and our planned work for the next stage of the project. Another part of the challenge we set ourselves is that we’re looking for a means of providing a resource for everyone in HE, whether that be students, academics, admin , technical staff, etc, and so different folk might cross over different lines at various times, but at least here they can see the full extent of what’s happening around their institutions and their sector. Interestingly, the discussion re the Teaching & Learning track from other folk, Don, was that they should be two tracks, or that they shouldn’t be there at all – so in a ‘crowdsourced’ model like this, it can be head-scratchingly tricky to sort out. So we’ve just gone for this as the June 2015 release and we’ll continue to develop, improve and map across to all sorts of other fun things such as competency frameworks, graduate attributes, etc….oh , ok, not exactly ‘fun’…the real fun is on the learning materials and digital badging that comes next. Many thanks all for your comments and suggestions. We genuinely will feed them in to our suggestions box. And also we’re very grateful to you, David, for producing this post and bringing in so many more great ideas. Follow us on twitter at @allaboardhe and the website at , where we’ll be doing a paired-blog article with some JISCy people shortly ;-)

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  • Brad Gallagher

    Hi David – Thanks for sharing such a neat resource. I just discovered your blog recently and will be checking out your book and digging deeper into All Aboard. I had a chance to see the NIU campus last time I was in Galway, which is one of my favorite cities. Wonderful architecture, nice people, and great music.

    • iainmacl

      Nice to hear that, Brad. All visitors are very welcome. Something special about the place, I agree – and I’m only an incomer. ;-)

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  • Brian Burns

    A very interesting view of technology use and implementation on campus. I would have made e-portfolios overlap both the blue “teaching and learning track” and the gray “tools and technologies track” as it is definitely both. That’s the only glaring error in my mind.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • iainmacl

      thnx Brian

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