Broadband is ubiquitous in higher education.  From the start of the application process to the final filing for graduation, the processes, course work, and interactions in college will all depend on digital technologies. Even those taking art or drama classes will still use broadband and digital tools to complete research, study technique, and review their own performances. And most schools now see elements of traditional research and writing skills in terms of their digital counterparts.

digitallitIn 2016, almost all schools offered some courses in an online format. For many, the wide availability for learning that online classes makes possible seems to open a wealth of opportunities.  But participation in these opportunities, and even in the simpler aspects of university learning, all require access to reliable, fast internet and the devices needed to produce sophisticated digital products.  Participation in online courses requires experience with interactive learning platforms, and “failing to possess these skills may be the difference between a passing and a failing grade in these courses.” [1]  These and other tasks will only be possible for students who can afford a broadband subscription and who come to school digitally prepared.

Skills alone are not enough for to succeed in an institution of higher education.  In the age of widespread knowledge creation and content recycling, the ability to assess the validity and quality of information is seen as one of the most important skills colleges can impart.  Schools across the nation are implementing frameworks that will allow them to inculcate strong information literacy skills across the curriculum.

 

[1] Lisa Richards, “Necessary Computer Skills for College Students.”  Accessed 21 November 2016.