How can L&D contribute to Digital Fluency?
Automaton is here to stay, and there is no denying it. Companies have to focus on how to reskill their workforce in the wake of this change. One of the ways to do so is to make them digitally literate so that they can operate the machines run by software. Hence, Digital literacy is an important skill needed in today’s times. When an employee knows how to handle all the software in the company, he does not have to be trained.
Digital literacy has expanded these days. Earlier, it only meant the ability to use computers. But now it also includes the caliber to operate smartphones and the various apps installed in them. If someone can’t operate the mobile phone apps, he loses access to many things. For example, someone unfamiliar with a PDF document might have trouble opening it on a smartphone. So, his means of communication is cut because he can’t decipher the document. Apart from smartphones, IoT devices also require digital literacy to operate.
Digital fluency has superseded digital literacy
Digital literacy ensures that he can easily use different technologies. But digital literacy is not enough now. The employees can’t be taught every software extensively as new technological developments happen with time. They must ensure that they adapt to the nuances of any new software. This is known as Digital Fluency.
Over some time, the employees must be able to understand new technologies through internal training(L&D). Therefore, adaptability to technology is the need of the hour.
How to build digital fluency?
Innovation is also another important quality that is required nowadays. The focus of the company should encourage employees to come up with innovative ideas often. In fact, L&D programs should teach employees how to give the best solutions to companies and not do everything the way it has been done before. Without being creative, employees can’t get ahead in their careers.
Companies’ use of Saas platforms to have productive operations has increased substantially, and hence digital literacy can’t be ignored. The employees can only move from one software to other if they are digitally literate to some extent.
Digital fluency can’t be expected without digital literacy. To build digital fluency, organizations must try to make their employees digitally literate. Therefore, Digital literacy can make or break it for companies these days. If the employees are not trained in using any software, it can be a hindrance.The reason for digital literacy among employees could be the dearth of such education in formative years. Hence a company needs to focus on training such employees.
Also, another reason could be that the employees didn’t have any employment previously and are freshers. Hence this is also a reason why a company needs to train such employees digitally.The lack of digital literacy is also common among older employees.
Need for digital fluency
An employee can only be digitally fluent once he knows how to be agile. He can be agile once he knows how to analyze things. With good critical thinking, he does not have to worry about a company implementing new technology. After the pandemic, employees have to adjust to new roles; when employees are not agile, they can’t be shifted to these roles. The pandemic is just the beginning; employees must become resilient to changes in their job duties.
Employees are now being trained and shifted by companies to roles that are not the same as their current ones. This is only possible when employees have decision-making capabilities.
Hence if an organization does not want to face the negative consequences of digital illiteracy, like lost business and wasted man-hours, it must digitally train employees through L&D.
Moreover, having digital literacy is quite useful in online learning because it helps the learners to explore the e-learning documents quite carefully. They can ensure that all the facts in e-learning are correct before learning anything. He can use search engines to verify the facts stated in any elearning document.
How can e-learning foster digital literacy?
Learners who are taught how to use software through e-learning fill their digital literacy gaps.
- Through discussion forums:
Apart from that, digitally literate learners can benefit others by sharing their knowledge and vice-versa when discussion forums require them to answer questions requiring further investigation into the workings of the software.
Elearning also helps in supporting digital literacy. Learners who complete eLearning assessments can also gain a lot, especially in drag-and-drop quizzes. Sometimes, learners also have to go online to gain the knowledge to complete the assignments. This also helps them in building their computing skills. For example, they learn how to bookmark websites for further reference.
When the eLearning resources are not enough, they browse through the internet to acquire more information and, in the process, become digitally proficient.
Online learning(L&D) can benefit learners when they are asked to prepare a PowerPoint presentation or create a blog from all they have learned. This helps them strengthen their knowledge about such software and also helps them in better retention of newly gained knowledge.
You can also ask the learners to present their knowledge through a webinar. For the presentation, they may need to post on social media accounts. Hence, they start understanding the importance of hashtags.
When hosting a webinar, the learners also comprehend how to use the video conferencing tools and set up a meeting through them. Learners also browse through video channels to find the best information for a webinar.