Universities have a responsibility to develop students who can engage in digital technologies and are capable of being successful in digital work environments. Innovative organisations integrate digital approaches within their organisational strategy, seeking work ready graduates who can enhance digital services. Yet, many graduates are not digitally fluent, which has contributed to nearly half (44 percent) of companies being unprepared for the digital delivery of services (Kane et al., 2016).
The role of the educator is to address the learning needs of the student and create an environment where students can develop the capability to navigate their future personal and professional lives. Recent theoretical work has sought to understand the role of authentic leader behaviours in managers to develop digital empowerment in their employees (Crawford & Butler-Henderson, 2019). Authentic leader behaviours comprise the synthesis of awareness, sincerity, balanced processing, positive moral perspectives, and informal influence (Crawford et al., 2019). These can facilitate the development of four dynamic digital fluency attributes in employees: awareness, creativity, agility, and learning orientation.
In this presentation, we discuss the transferability of the work on developing digital empowerment from manager to employee into the higher education sector by exploring how teacher behaviours can influence digital empowerment in their students. For this, we begin by explaining how educators are often considered leaders (Muijs & Harris, 2003), and how their behaviours can influence student development. We will conclude by presenting a model of digital fluency in students, informed by an educatorís authentic leader behaviour development.
digital literacy, digital fluency, authenticity, leaders, authentic followers, digital empowerment, digital leadership