Digital literacy, one of the 24 fundamental skills of aviators

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As citizens of the digital age, we can freely access information at any time through different types of platforms. But knowing how to use technology is more than texting with emojis or roaming your favorite social networking site. It is about using the Internet to learn, communicate and, most importantly, to be responsible while using technology.

“Our Airmen today have access to valuable resources to help them grow and become the future Airmen we need to accelerate change in our Air Force,” said Jamal Qaiyyim. “Modernizing the learning services environment will enhance the overall development of Airmen and ensure they are able to reach their full potential, adapting quickly to changes in the strategic and tactical environment. “

Communicating in the digital age using digital tools like email, texting, video chat, and social media is very different from in-person interaction. Understanding the purpose of communication is essential to make messages clear. By asking yourself questions such as: who is your audience? Is this a one-on-one conversation or a team meeting? Is it professional or personal? How urgent is the message? Do you need a quick response? The answers to these questions help a communicator determine the method of communication.

Understanding each digital tool will make it easier to approach engaging with an audience. Sending a text message or a phone call can be faster than sending an email because most people have an easily accessible phone and can answer faster. When communicating with a team, using platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Skype ensures that everyone receives the information at the same time. Team meeting reduces communication problems between teammates due to second hand information.

Communicating and learning in digital environments is not without responsibility. Digital citizenship is the way we safely interact in this digital age. Everyone should be diligent about how information is used. Check that the information comes from credible sources. Know what information to avoid when it infringes copyright.

Do not transmit information if it has not been verified. As a leader, you should not share information that is not credible. Most importantly, before posting, think about how it will affect others and understand individual responsibility when posting.

“It is the responsibility of every aviator to understand proper etiquette when operating in the digital environment,” said Isabel Hodges. “Operational security, credible sources and a second look at posting or sharing are ways to ensure safe use of the digital environment. “

MyVector now provides access to a digital literacy self-assessment. Using this self-assessment tool, Airmen will receive instant feedback on distinct aspects of digital literacy, such as information literacy, social media awareness, and digital communication. Airmen also have free access to over 5,500 Udemy courses across the Digital university and can use MyVector to identify online resources that help align with personal goals.

Airmen can also choose to take the Pathfinder 2021 assessment to get feedback on other foundational skills such as resilience, teamwork, and analytical thinking. The Pathfinder tool allows for feedback from supervisors and 360-degree feedback to gain valuable insight from peers, subordinates and higher ranks. These tools can be used by Airmen at all levels.

“The Air Force’s core competencies are the common currency of force development and are a powerful tool that Airmen can use as a path to success,” said Coble.


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