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Developing Digital Career Literacy

Digital career literacy is concerned with your student’s ability to use the online environment to search, to make contacts, to get questions answered and to build a positive professional reputation.  The internet offers new opportunities to give and receive career support. There are however limitations to what access to information can achieve without informed students. An increasing number of schools are creating or purchasing a digital careers resource library… but do their students have the appropriate skills to use this to find, source and manage information?  If they are going to be using your library as a marketplace, do their students have the ability to collect and critique information? 

What skills and knowledge will your students need in order to pursue their careers effectively using the internet?  In summarising the skills and knowledge required for your students to pursue their careers effectively through using the internet, Tristram Hooley identified seven elements for developing digital career literacy, which he called the ‘seven C’s’.

  • Changing - the ability to understand and adapt to changing career contexts
  • Collecting -the ability to find and retrieve career information
  • Critiquing -the ability to evaluate, analyse the provenance of and assess the usefulness pg career information
  • Connecting (networking) - the ability to make contacts, build relationships and establish networks online that support career development.
  • Communicating (skype, social media) - the ability to interact effectively across a range of different platforms, to understand the ‘netiquette’ of different interactions and netiquette of different interactions and to use them in the context of career.
  • Creating - the ability to create online content that effectively represents your interests, skills and career history.
  • Curating - the ability to develop, review and edit your online presence

Professor Tristram Hooley, the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) 2012

The Seven C’s offers a simple framework for careers professionals to deliver this message to their students….. most of us can relate to it on both a personal and a professional level as we actively take steps to enhance our careers through online engagement. However, do you see the development of digital career literacy as part of your role in school and will you need to work on your own digital career literacy first to allow you to provide your students with the kind of support they need? 

Careers education and guidance can provide interventions that support the development of informed students and address the inequitable distribution of digital skills. One thing to consider is a ‘starter activity’ inviting your students to undertake an audit of their own digital career literacy using the  7Cs framework and producing a personal plan about how they are going to improve their practice.  This might involve the following:

  • Changing - show the Shift Happens video and discuss what it means for careers.
  • Collecting – students using a digital careers library to collect information on a particular career
  • Critiquing -  students review 5 websites using specific criteria.
  • Connecting – students review their existing social network and think about how to expand them to support their career development.
  • Communicating - students write an initial contact to an employer in a number of different formats (tweet, Linkedin group message, email).
  • Creating  - students create a Linkedin style profile as the first step towards creating an online profile (see https://pages.kloodle.com/ for further details)

You might also consider case studies involving some of your more technologically savvy students who currently use the internet to promote something they are doing. 

The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby has produced  a resource for teachers and career development practitioners which will help you enhance learners’ digital career literacy skills.  The resource entitled ‘Digitise My Career’ includes lesson plans, worksheets and presentation slides based around the seven ‘C’s  of digital career literacy. Go to  https://www.derby.ac.uk/research/icegs/commercialproductsforicegs/digitisemycareer/ for further details. 

Careers for School Blog - Ideas, thoughts, news, opinion

Our blog is a place where leaders, careers managers, advisers and teachers can share their thoughts about careers work in schools and colleges.  The main focus is on practical day-to-day issues in your school or college:

  • raising the profile of careers
  • access to resources
  • using online tools and resources to make your job easier
  • developing digital careers literacy skills
  • encouraging young people to become more proactive and develop their independent research skills
  • helping non-specialists deliver the careers agenda
  • engaging parents
  • monitoring and tracking

Our experts will also keep you up-to-date with the reports relating to CEIAG. 

If you would like to contribute to our blog email us at enquires@careersforschools.co.uk