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Digital literacy essential to graduate employability

Recent changes in the global media landscape and the future focus on online news and information delivery has highlighted a significant skills gap in what is now known as the ‘knowledge economy’.

According to mass communication and interactive media specialist, Dr Jeff Brand from Bond University, the brave new world of digital literacy will shift employer demand from skills to ‘creative knowledge’.

“Being digitally literate is less about writing code and programming, and more about understanding the language of digital communications and design,” said Dr Brand.

“Digital literacy is about getting machines to work for you – setting up alerts with news feeds, writing content and sharing it across multiple channels, producing audio and visual content in compelling and interactive ways.

“At Bond, through our multimedia, gaming, communication, journalism and IT programs, we are focused on developing a student’s conceptual knowledge and the ability to problem-solve creatively to give them an advantage in the knowledge economy.

“Students work on projects that use their creative capacity to produce real-world knowledge economy products such as podcasts and blogs. We then showcase this on social media; they get ‘published’ and start to build a researched portfolio of creative knowledge content.

“We even have our own mobile app to support students with information about resources on campus as well as allowing subject material to be updated continuously – sometimes even daily – as the industry evolves.

“They are immersed in digital communication and virtually connected to the classroom so they can learn wherever and whenever they want to,” he said.

Recent achievements and graduate placements are testament to the University’s successful integration of digital literacy theory and practise.

Bond students have published award-winning articles on national news websites, produced films that have been showcased at the Cannes International Film Festival and have created chart-topping apps.

Graduates have secured roles with international leaders such as Microsoft, gaming producers Binary Mill and Halfbrick, and corporations like Deloittes who recognise the importance of web and mobile app development.

Bond University’s global leadership in this arena was recently acknowledged as a Platinum winner in the category of Mobile Innovation for Teaching and Learning in the 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Awards.

Bond was the first Australian university to go live with the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and their research shows that students who used the app achieved, on average, better grades across a range of assessment pieces.

“It doesn’t matter where in the world a student calls home, contemporary competitiveness requires digital literacy,” said Dr Brand.

“The education and curriculum Bond offers speaks directly to the needs of both developed and developing economies by linking contemporary knowledge, modern work practices and socially-supported learning in a blended learning environment,” he said.

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