Brian Kelly argues that digital literacy needs to go beyond student teaching and ensure that staff in FE and HE who may wish to continue their professional activities when they leave their current institution are able to migrate content and services to the Cloud, so that content and tools can be reused once access to institutional services is no longer available.
Many staff and researchers in higher educational institutions will make use of digital content and services and would regard themselves as digitally literate. Within the context of the services they use within their host institution this may be true. But what happens when they leave their host institution (which we all will at some stage) and wish to continue using content and services and their online communities? This may be particularly relevant for staff on short-term contracts.
Beyond the institution, highly skilled lecturers are able to contribute more widely to society through the commercialisation of new knowledge, delivery of professional training, consultancy and services – might the commercial value to the economy provided by the sector be undermined if members of staff leave their host institution and are hindered from continuing to make use of their digital content due to a lack of expertise?
Ensuring that staff were able to continue to make use of their digital content and manage their online communities was probably not of great importance in the past, when one’s content could often be transported on floppy disks or memory sticks and the digital services which were used were could only be accessed within the institution’s network. However there is now a need to be able to respond to the radically changed environment in which Cloud services can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, there is a much greater volatility in the job market and the increasing important of open content, open data and open source software is minimising licence barriers to reuse of digital content and tools.