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  • Print publication year: 2018
  • Online publication date: September 2019

Conclusion

Summary

The chapters in this book have broadly addressed the question of what it means to live, learn, work, play, interact and exercise leadership in the contemporary world. Through the wide-ranging perspectives presented here we have seen that digital literacy is a collective, collaborative and creative endeavour spanning all stages of life. In this final section we draw together some of the threads which run throughout the whole volume.

An important insight is the way in which digital literacy is not just or even primarily about technical expertise, but rather involves a shift in mindset. This is about an openness to doing things differently. It is also about the capacity to draw on a range of skills and practices in situ. Context is crucial, and a number of our contributors (Secker, Nicholls, Bennett and Folley, Fraser with Reedy, Micklethwaite) highlight the need for digital practices to be relevant and embedded in authentic and meaningful ways. The motivation to get online and develop digital skills and capabilities comes from having a clear purpose, whether that is getting a job, creating excellent learning experiences or achieving company goals.

Developing digital literacy is a personal learning journey and a collaborative project. Many of our contributors highlight the need for partnership between different stakeholders. This results in the blurring of traditional boundaries – between formal and informal learning, between students and their teachers, between staff hierarchies and across geographical zones. Learners and teachers are in it together, with teachers adopting a more facilitative role. Playful learning and games are being used to good effect (Walton et al). Digital leaders must be human, vulnerable and willing to admit and learn from their mistakes. Building relationships and trust is key (Killen, Secker, Nerantzi and Jackson, Fraser with Reedy, Cheuk and Reedy, Micklethwaite). Community-building, peer coaching and individual support all have a role to play.

Alongside this there is a clear message about the importance of highlevel backing from stakeholders at organisational or national level to provide the necessary strategic direction and resource for grassroots initiatives to flourish. In this way, pockets of innovation and good practice can be scaled up and put on a sustainable footing.