Digital Skills and Behaviours of Youth That Are Relevant for Digital Culture: A Two-Country Self-Evaluation Perspective

Digital Skills and Behaviours of Youth That Are Relevant for Digital Culture: A Two-Country Self-Evaluation Perspective

Miroslav D. Vujičić, Uglješa Stankov, Sanja Kovačić, Đorđije A. Vasiljević, Tatjana Pivac, Jana Čarkadžić, Dino Mujkić, Marija Cimbaljević
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2104-5.ch006
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With the proliferation of ICT and ubiquitous access to the internet, the cultural sector has been strongly affected. It had to rethink its new role by moving from a process of transforming from analogue to digital, to more engaging actions within the digital transformation. Here, one of the most important constituents was digital competencies of cultural sector employees. There is a need to provide the cultural sector with an insight into digital skills of youth that are relevant for digital culture, both in terms of their future employability and the way they consume culture. To this end, the chapter introduces the basics of digital culture and skills needed in the digital era. An exploratory study in two countries was done – Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the self-evaluation of youth digital skills. This chapter evaluates basic, specialized, and advanced digital skills and identifies the gaps and gives propositions relevant to the cultural sector.
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The computerization of culture, seen as the translation from analogue to digital sphere, is a permanent process in many countries (Ruthven & Chowdhury, 2015). In particular, the cultural heritage of Europe is a rich and diverse mix of cultural and creative expressions, inheritance from previous generations that is seen as a legacy for the future (Rochards, 1996). The year of 2018 has even been proclaimed by the EU as the European Year of Cultural Heritage aiming at enabling more people to discover and engage with Europe’s cultural heritage (Schreiber, 2019). Here, digital technologies are seen as an important asset in reaching this goal, having in mind that previously quite expensive techniques, such as 3D scanning, multi-spectral imaging, virtual reality (VR) are now becoming more affordable to institutions and citizens as well (Ruthven & Chowdhury, 2015). However, digital competencies often pose a significant limitation, both from the side of potential end-users of digital cultural goods and from the side of cultural providers (Stankov & Filimonau, 2019). For example, 44% of Europeans lack basic digital skills necessary for everyday life and 37% lack digital skills for work (Filippaios & Benson, 2019). At the same time, ICT prevalence also reshapes the understanding of the role of a cultural institution in the digital era. Most importantly, there is a need to equip a growing young workforce with skills required for the jobs of the future, not to mention re-equipping the current workforce with the skills required to keep up with a changing world (Cedefop, 2016).

On the highly competitive labour market, cultural institutions in Europe have to compete for skilled workers within more competitive sectors. While this is still a major issue for the EU, there is a need to understand the problem in the pan-European context. Therefore, this two-country study was conducted in Serbia (115 students) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (101 students) in order to investigate digital skills and digital behaviour of youth that are relevant for digital culture employability.

Despite existing efforts on establishing holistic reference models to measure digital skills, there is a constant need for evaluation considering the dynamic nature of digital technology, educational settings where a significant part of the digital skills are created and characteristics of a specific area of applications. For example, several studies found that the chosen vocation of students interferes with their online behaviour. For example, the study of Stankov, Jovanović, and Dragićević (2014) found out significant differences between students of tourism and psychology in terms of their Facebook travel related usage patterns that could indicate that this behaviour of tourism students is influenced by their tourism educational orientation. Similarly, geography students showed an understanding of the importance of using geographical information systems (GIS) before their actual engagement with the subject after their enrolment in the geography studies (Stankov, Durdev, Marković, & Arsenović, 2012). Therefore, this study will primarily evaluate digital skills and behaviours of youth relevant for digital culture, and secondly, it will look for the influence of chosen type of education of students on their digital competencies, starting from the premise that the needs for different types of skills will be more diverse than ever in the future of digital culture (Tibbo & Lee, 2010; Vaikutytė-Paškauskė, Vaičiukynaitė, & Pocius, 2018)

The chapter first examines basic computer literacy that refers to hardware, software and online operations. The second part focuses on specialized IT skills that allow youth to critically evaluate the technology or create content using specialized software. Thirdly, advanced skills related to specialists in ICT professions and digital entrepreneurship are examined. Finally, the chapter also evaluates the preferences towards learning digital skills.

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