Are Academics Relevant in the Digital Age?
Digital technology is now more accessible than ever and has become an integral part of our daily lives. As a result, a new type of student has emerged; the digital native who is technologically savvy and digitally literate. They are able to adapt and evolve through self-learning as they 'like to parallel process and multitask" (McNamara, 2015 p58). This is creating disparity between the student experience, teaching practices and expectations of the creative industry. The digital natives have formed creative identities and hubs which thrive independently of Higher Education. They are often found across digital and social media platforms and contain a mixture of multi-faceted designers who engage in multidisciplinary global projects across the creative sector (Bria, 2015). Therefore the creative sector is now looking for “graduates who can source, filter and use existing knowledge to create new knowledge.” (Anyangwe, 2012). As HE institutions have been to slow to embrace this change, the misalignment is forcing a shift in the primary focus of education. Student employability has become a key metric and universities have to question "what are we educating them for?" (Newbigin, 2014). This raises the subsequent question how do universities and in particular academics enhance the digital native’s skill base? Can academics nurture a collaborative creative approach in the digital landscape using digital technology to cultivate “creativity, flexibility, teamwork and learning to learn” (Newbigin, 2014)? This paper will explore the question if academics are relevant in the digital age?
Presented at a Conference for Doctoral Candidates and Early Career Researchers in The Arts and Creative Industries. Held at University of West London
Citation : Bazaz, P. (2016) Are Academics Relevant in the Digital Age?
Peer Reviewed : No
- School of Design