Our Future City - Developing 'Digital Skillfulness'

Our Future City, the Local Cultural Education Partnership for Brighton & Hove aims to transform the lives and life chances of children and young people through cultural engagement and creative skills development.

As a partnership we have developed five strategic goals, one of which is focused on the development of ‘digital skillfulness’.

Our aim is to foster a vibrant 21st century city through digitally savvy citizens who are able to harness, exploit and determine the opportunities that digital brings to their talent, creativity and innovation.

The goal is to develop children and young people’s ‘digital skillfulness’ – their ability to apply digital skills through competencies, behaviours and practices that can enhance their lives positively, confidently and safely; and to enable this through a personal development programme (#BeDigital) that encourages and facilitates their imaginative and enterprising ability alongside their wellbeing, and interconnects with their wider creative skills acquisition.

Further information can be found on our website: http://www.ourfuturecity.org.uk/be-digital




Why the contribution is important

It is widely acknowledged that ‘the world is being transformed by a series of profound technological changes dominated by digital’, and it is obvious that the digital is impacting on all our lives, changing how we work, live, behave and learn.  Brighton & Hove is recognised as a hub for creative and digital industries: creative, design and IT firms are growing faster than the local and national economy. This creates significant opportunities for our children and young people. This is why digital skills run through all our goals.

However, it is also clear that the digital is impacting suddenly and possibly in profound ways on childhood, friendship and the experience of living our lives. Much of this is exciting and clearly creating opportunities, some is worrying and yet to be fully understood: at times it is calling into question young people’s levels of resilience and impacting on their emotional health and wellbeing. This is all playing out in children’s daily lives over an immediate and incredibly short time span.

Children and young people's lives across Brighton & Hove are a blur of real-life, offline, online, virtual, and digital interactions, with ever-decreasing dividing lines to distinguish them. It's possible that digital technology 'is changing the way we think and feel', and that we now experience our lives and relationships with each other in very new ways. Is it possible that 'we are standing on the brink of a mind makeover more cataclysmic that anything in our history' ? Anecdotal stories suggest that children and young people in our City are now interacting with friends, families and adults in different ways that are directly related to the digital technologies that are on hand to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are yet to understand the impact of this in Brighton & Hove, and how it will change and develop over time. 

A robust approach to this revolution must be to foster a new ‘skillfulness’ – not simply the technical skills of say coding, but the personal, social and creative behaviours of making this revolution work for yourself and others.  We are calling this ‘digital skillfulness’.

by EmmaCollins on July 29, 2017 at 04:24PM

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