Digital Fluency A Language for ALL Majors


April O’Brien Clemson University Ph.D. Student Graduate Teacher of Record

These are exciting times, but they can be a little scary, too...

Here Be Dragons...

Challenges, past, present and future

When I was a teacher, my biggest challenge was convincing students how important it was to learn skills beyond their major. For journalism students, it was photography and digital imaging, for advertising students, it was digital imaging and web design. I was helping to prepare them for the future, for the needs of the employers they would meet upon graduation.

And very often, learning these new and seemingly unrelated skills went unappreciated until that time where they went looking for a job. I've lost count of the number of students who contacted me, telling me that the skills they learned in my classes gave them the leg up they needed, to separate themselves from other graduates.

I've been with Adobe for over 5 years now and I have to say, this need for T-shaped professionals is only growing. It's not enough to know your major inside out. There's a need - an expectation - that employers have for people who can do a variety of things beyond their core skill set.

Digital literacy = transformative learning

Beating Back the Dragons

A successful education today means preparing students for careers that don’t even exist yet.

“Creative Cloud is not just for work in art and design and digital media departments but, increasingly on our campus, it’s being employed by Psychology, Social Work, History and English faculty.”

Kyle Dickson, Professor of English, Abilene Christian University

The ability to create more effective Storytelling gains recognition and credibility in a Global marketplace. It is so critical to develop that Digital Profile/Persona and to start the process early.
Want to be a Journalist? Superhero Powers Required

There is a strong market for journalists who are not only good at reporting, but also have transformational skills:

  • Expertise in coding and development
  • Know-how in audience development, especially as it relates to the impact of social media and social platforms
  • Experience in visual storytelling, particularly video
  • Editorial graphics, animation
  • Digital design

From a recent report created for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

Yesterday's Superhero Powers are Today's Normal

Skills that only a few years ago were considered to be transformational, are now foundation skills:

  • Blogging
  • Digital essentials - understanding changing audience expectations
  • Data reporting - think infographics

From a recent report created for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

From School...

To the Workplace...

Think, Create, Evolve

Getting out there

Where Do You Begin?

It's not just about a web site and a logo.

  • Find the right ONLINE community of PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE for your area of interest
  • FOLLOW the leaders
  • EMULATE best practices
  • ENGAGE by joining the conversation

Prof. Jim Kinney (George Brown College) on creating a personal brand.


A service provided by Adobe, an evolving community of creative professionals.

Behance is a free service.

This evolution includes creativity beyond the usual expectations:

  • Essays
  • Research papers
  • Scientific reports
  • Poetry
  • Business plan concepts
  • Data manipulation
  • Fiction
  • Engineering prototypes
  • Technical schematics
  • and more...
Created By
Jim Babbage


Adobe Remix images by:   NJ(L.A.)™  |  Craig Ward  |  Christopher Bettig  |  Ash Thorp  |  Other images sourced from Adobe Stock

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