Digital skills may seem like a broad and hard-to-define set of skills, but at BSD, we believe that being able to create with digital skills is the ultimate goal.
For example, instead of just learning how to use a digital word processing software like Microsoft Word, we want students to learn how to build their own software or to use the current software in innovative ways to solve problems.
This approach helps students become builders and creators of technology instead of just technology users.
Digital skills can also be broken down into a linear set of sub-skills like content creation, data visualization, programming/coding, engineering, etc.
We teach these skills at BSD but do so in an indirect way that focuses more on the outcome of a project rather than focusing on skill practice.
For example, if the goal were to teach HTML, a traditional approach would be to study HTML syntax to learn all the elements. We build a simple web page with HTML as a project at BSD. The completion of the project and overall effort are more important than the individual skills gained, such as what the <button> tag in HTML does.
A student’s ability to synthesize and use knowledge is more valuable than the knowledge itself. We also don’t require students to memorize facts such as “what does the <button> tag in HTML do?”, instead we provide a glossary of all technical terms and encourage students to copy and paste.
Copy and paste is an essential digital skill that all professional programmers use. Knowing when, where, and how to paste is where real learning comes into play.
At BSD, we have developed a 3-tier approach to Digital Skills. These skills are Future Proof and Fundamental.
- Creative Skills
- Hard Skills
- Soft Skills
The Creative Skills sit at the top of this tier as a formula to synthesize the other skills. We combine the power of Design Thinking and Computational Thinking to solve problems or complete projects.
These two skills are used professionally and have supporting research to show their effectiveness in solving problems.
Design Thinking is a type of divergent thinking that involves generating potential ideas and possible solutions using the power of empathy.
Computational Thinking is a convergent process that involves narrowing the ideas into actionable designs that can be accomplished by breaking down the problem into smaller chunks.
We teach basic web design, game development, AI, VR, Web3, and more. We also realize that learning hard skills without context isn’t useful to the learner, so we design learning content that pairs learning to code combined with content creation and other necessary skills to provide a fulfilling and enriching experience.
We have developed a soft skills framework called CARE (Curiosity, Adaptability, Resilience, and Empathy) that is a part of the fabric of our company ethos, how we design curriculum, how we interact with customers, and how we teach students to CARE about their work.
Students receive a well-rounded digital skills education by infusing this framework and digital citizenship concepts into our curriculum.