The development of our digital society has created a modern professional environment which demands competence in various digital medias. Glynda A. Hull describes in her article, “At Last: Youth Culture and Digital Media: New Literacies for New Times,” the term Digital Literacy as “the capabilities that enable someone to live, learn, and work in digital society.” Employers and industry leaders are looking for individuals that possess a high level of “digital literacy.”
Specifically in the field of marketing, companies focus on the visual presentation of their brand and how to control branding strategy and design based on the desired audience. The application of digital technology also applies to how you are able to market yourself and your personal brand, be it to employers, peers, or any audience.
Furman University acknowledges the need for its students to be competent in the language of the developing digital age. The Digital Communications course offered by the Communication Studied Department addresses this need by discussing several media types and how to best design and implement them. As students in this course, we have leaned how convey impactful messages with still images, audio, video and the combination of all three. To do this we used developed skills using software like Adobe Photoshop, Audacity, Adobe Premiere Elements, and creative software suite provided by Apple.
After learning media creation, we expanded these digital literacies by developing our own multimedia projects consisting of a blog series. Our blog posts exemplify each of the creative tools we have learned to use. We also created websites functioning as e-portfolios, marketing our own personal brand.
Looking back on all that I have learned this semester I have gained considerable knowledge in the field of Digital Communication and also about myself. Acknowledging the importance of digital literacy, as stated by Glynda Hull in her article, I see now how far I have come, where I can improve, and how much more I am prepared for life in the digital age.
The first things we learned involved visual storytelling with text and photographs. We applied our new knowledge by working in photoshop to develop posts on the Blogs we had all started, mine being the Paladin Auto Blog. My first post, 21 Tickets, focused on Furman parking. It includes several pictures of parking citations, parking lots, and the campus police all in an attempt to express student discontent with Campus policy. My second post highlighted the importance of one of my favorite cars, the Jeep Wrangler, in the automotive community. it incorporated Photoshop work with page design. Looking back now I see that I could improve on my captions in order to improve. The third post of in my multimedia project focused on hybrid cars on campus and implemented elements of Photoshop and graphic design with the creation of an infographic.
We developed groups in order to develop more comprehensive projects that would further build on our competencies by granting experiences that would not be had working individually. My group chose do create a podcast that addressed the presence of undocumented/illegal students on campus. The creation of the podcast involved conducting interviews, constructing and recording a script, and using audio software to fine tune what we recorded. In terms of digital literacy this was where I personally developed the most.
We learned about video in the same manner as audio and still images – studying and then practical application. I created two short films this semester, one with my group, “Hidden Heroes: Furman Police,” and an individual video as part of my fourth multimedia post, “Driving Diversity.” Of the two, I defiantly got more experience from producing “Driving Diversity.” By conducting pre-production, production, and post-production all on my own, not only did I gain an appreciation for the time it takes to produce video, I also gained a ton of experience with software, speaking skills, and interviewing.
At the end of the semester each student was to create a website utilizing marketing and branding knowledge we had gained throughout the semester. My site is oriented around marketing myself to employers and peers by showcasing some of my academic work and experiences. In all the project really helped me develop an effective resume.
Lastly, an most importantly, this class has taught me a lot about myself and improved my digital literacy. I have acquiredskills working with software as well as the educational tools to review and improve my work. Digital Communication has taught me how to present my image to individuals in a way the best represents who I am and my personal brand. Because this course has increased my digital literacy, I am now more competitive in the labor market and ready to present myself to employers and leaders in my chosen career paths.