Digital Creativity and Digital Skills

Digital Creativity vs Digital Skills

There is a distinct difference between Digital skills and Digital creativity, especially a digital context. Some roles rely on digital skills, take an sql developer. They rely heavily on digital skills; coding, interpreting data and accessing databases, but there is little creativity there. Now take a web designer, they rely heavily on digital creativity, using a few skills, but may hand over to a web developer for building their creation.

Now sometimes, and I believe more and more, that these roles are being thrown into one position. Or maybe it is that people are amalgamating these roles due to interest or to get ahead. Either way, it’s happening, and I think eLearning Developers, learning technologists, digital education people, or whatever else the job title may be, are embracing this phenomenon.

So to understand this better, let’s try and define digital creativity. I think creativity is the concept of coming up with an idea, or being given an idea and bringing to life. So take this in a digital context, it’s simply being abe to apply this to technology. Designing a website, drawing in illustrator, editing photos, creating a game. And that’s where the blend comes in…

To define digital skills we can just look at that last sentence. Being able to code; digital skill. Being able to use photoshop; digital skill. Simply being able to use a computer; digital skill. Basically anything done on a computer, using software, is a digital skill.

As people amalgamate these roles into one, there is therfore a lot of learning taking place; learning to be creative or learning the skills. Some of this comes naturally and some takes time and practice. As I work on a daily basis, I often wonder about this as I would say I am not natural at either. But I love learning.

So here is the main point of the post. Which should come first? In this chicken and egg situation, if I am starting on a new topic area, which should come first. In a real-life scenario, should I look to come up with a creative idea first or learn the skills to implement it? I know nothing about games, but it’s something I want to explore. Do I learn C# first, or do I come up with a game that could be the next flappy bird?

After many years of trying both, I still cannot decide. Sometimes I like to play with a new skill, just killing a few hours getting my head around a bit of Python, without needing to actually use it. Or more recently coming up with an analysis tool then learning Javascript to build it.

I’m starting to prefer the latter, feeling like this helps to accelerate my learning. But if I have no major need, I will still probably develop my skills in my spare hours. It’s just an interesting thing to think about and I wonder if I am or just how much different I am from the rest?

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