Communication using digital tools

“You're talking about a younger generation, Generation Y, whose interpersonal communication skills are different from Generation X. The younger generation is more comfortable saying something through a digital mechanism than even face to face.”
Erik Qualman

 

This quote highlights the importance and increasing need to use digital communication in all facets of life, including education and work-based learning.

The way young people learn has significantly changed in the last decade, mainly through the ubiquity of ICT.  Generation Y have been using digital tools for their learning since early childhood. These changes in education largely influence their preferred methods to communicate, search for information, but also as a way to test and assess their knowledge. At the same time, digital communication tools and channels also represent effective and flexible ways for online communication between different stakeholders.

Considering the fast-paced environment of companies and increasing workload of their employees (including mentors/coaches/instructors involved in WBL on daily basis), using digital communication tools to communicate with WBL students and support their learning by using these tools offers new possibilities that has proven to be effective and time-efficient. Although, face to face interaction remains important and somewhat inevitable, the application of digital communication tools if used correctly could supplement and support learning and coaching; the consideration therefore is to select which tool or tools fit best with the company and learners’ need, taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of these tools.

 

How digital communication works and why is it to effective?

Digital communications tools represent channels having a capacity to transfer information to a large number of end users at the same time.

This feature can be very effectively used in work-based learning scenarios by developing online tutorials, demonstrations or presentations, but also to communicate changes, give feedback, share updates, follow-up on the progress of students and/or their assessment. Digital communication tools also represent new, more flexible ways to initiate and develop collaboration among the students during their studies.

This kind of communication also allows all stakeholders to stay up-to-date and communicate in a very flexible way and has a high potential to increase the quality and intensity of communication between the companies, VET institutions, and students involved in the process.

 

Which are the tools preferred by young people?

Findings of the Research conducted within an Erasmus+ Project, PROMOVET which aimed at improving the quality, professionalism and modernisation of VET training for young low-skilled learners through modern ICT use, reflected that the preferences of young people may vary country to country, however, the most common and preferred digital communication channels used to communicate and learn are:

 

To learn more about IT-based and social-media based tools that can be used in education, including work-based learning, please visit: