Navigating Digital Wellbeing: A Personal Journey in the Digital Age

Blogpost by Noel Czempik (Student Digital Champion)

As a Student Digital Champion, I embarked on a quest to better understand our digital world and its impact on our lives. Despite acquiring knowledge about the tools and resources it offers, I was discontent with my relationship with technology. This discontent prompted deeper introspection and a lot of research, leading to a profound realisation: Digital Wellbeing isn’t a fixed destination but an ongoing journey demanding a diverse set of skills for navigation.

The Digital Revolution: Embracing Change Through History

Technological progress in recent decades has reshaped our lives. We’ve transitioned from clunky landlines to sleek, multifunctional devices that fit snugly in our pockets. This shift isn’t solely about convenience; it’s a fundamental change that has redefined how we communicate, learn, work and unwind. It has also brought concerns – digital reliance, information overload, and the impact on the health and wellbeing of digital natives.

Although not entirely novel, our current experiences echo past technological revolutions. Similar anxieties existed during historical milestones, such as the reading panic caused by the printing press; back then, the world grappled with an information explosion, much like we face today. Understanding this historical perspective sheds light on our contemporary challenges.

Unravelling the Intricacies of Digital Wellbeing

Digital wellbeing encompasses all facets of life affected by technology. Its complexity is fueled by the pace of digital evolution, individual differences in how we respond to technology and diverse circumstances. Thriving in the digital world demands a nuanced and continually adaptive approach. It’s not solely about restricting screen time; in fact, challenging the superficiality of such limitations might prompt us to engage with our devices mindfully and with empowerment.

Our Digital Wellbeing Matters

In a world where screens are omnipresent and connectivity is perpetual, our digital habits can profoundly impact our mental, emotional, and physical health. Harnessing the advantages of living in a digital era with healthy boundaries ensures technology enriches rather than overwhelms our lives. Prioritising digital wellbeing is an investment in our overall quality of life, empowering us to navigate the digital landscape with resilience, mindfulness, and a sense of control.

Exploring Digital Wellbeing Together

This blog post initiates a series focused on digital wellbeing. In the upcoming blogposts, we’ll delve into specific aspects, including maintaining ergonomic practices while using devices, understanding the impact of technology on mental and emotional health, and strategies for enhancing productivity in a digitally driven world. Our aim is to equip you with insights and tools to navigate your personal journey.

We hope to inspire you to identify the areas where improvements are possible and those where you find contentment. Let’s navigate this digital landscape together!

DigiTip 12 – Getting Microsoft Word to Read Aloud to you 🔊

Do you find it easier to proofread a document or an email when you can hear what you’ve written? Luckily, there’s a useful function called Read Aloud that will play back written text as spoken words, and this is available in several Microsoft 365 apps, including Word and Outlook. It can read both Welsh and English text, in addition to several other languages. Watch the video below or follow these instructions: 

  • The first step is to ensure that your text is in the correct proofing language. Highlight the text and select Review 
  • Select Language, and then Set Proofing Language 
  • Select your chosen language and then click OK 
  • Navigate your cursor to the start of the passage you want to read aloud 
  • Select Review and then Read Aloud 
  • You can change the language and the voice of the playback 

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!  

DigiTip 10 – Brainstorm new ideas using the whiteboard in MS Teams 💡

Do you need to brainstorm new ideas with your peers for a group assignment? Or perhaps you have a work project that you want to discuss new ideas for with colleagues? The whiteboard in Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool for this and provides you with a range of templates to choose from.  

Watch the video below to learn how to get started, or please click on this link if you wish to view the below video with closed captions.

We’ll also be showing how to use the whiteboard during our Mastering group work with online tools and strategies session this afternoon (7 November, 15:00-16:00) as part of the Digital Skills Festival! You can join this session directly from the festival programme.

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!  

Join us next week for the Digital Skills Festival! 🎆

Aberystwyth University’s first Digital Skills Festival for students will take place next week from 6 to 10 November 2023!  

Throughout the week, there will be 28 events covering an array of topical digital areas. Events will include presentations on Artificial Intelligence, online safety, digital wellbeing, managing your digital footprint, and using Welsh on your computer. Additionally, external speakers from companies like Barclays and Clicky Media will discuss the digital skills necessary to excel in their own and similar companies. Finally, there will also be several interactive workshops on topics such as using software such as Microsoft Excel and mastering group work with an array of online tools.  

All students who attend three online sessions will be entered into a raffle where they will have the opportunity of winning one of two £50 vouchers.

You can view each session and book through the Digital Skills Festival programme, or take a look at the images below to find out what’s on each day of the week!  

DigiTip 9 – Record your screen directly in PowerPoint 🎥

If you need to include a screen-recording in your PowerPoint presentation, you can do this directly in PowerPoint without having to use any other software! Open PowerPoint and then watch the video below or follow these instructions: 

  • Select Record 
  • Select Screen Recording 
  • Open the page that you want to record 
  • Click on Select Area and choose the exact part of the screen that you want to record 
  • Select Audio if you want to record audio with your video 
  • Select Record (you should see a countdown before your recording starts) and complete your recording 
  • Once you’ve finished your recording, hover your mouse over the top of the screen and select Stop 
  • Your screen-recording will be automatically pasted into your PowerPoint presentation 
  • You can edit your recording by clicking on your recording and selecting Playback 

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!  

Learn to code for free with CoderPad in LinkedIn Learning

There may be many different reasons why you want to learn to code. It may be a skill that you want to practice for your degree; it could be a hobby of yours; or your may be interested in developing this skill to enhance your employability.

Knowing how to code is an incredibly valuable skill, but it if you’re new to coding, it may be difficult to know how to make a start. Luckily, LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform which all students and staff at AU have free access to (learn how to get started), have launched a new partnership with CoderPad.

They have launched an array of new Code Challenge courses on Python, Java, SQL, JavaScript, C#, and Go, designed to help beginner to advanced learners develop their coding skills through interactive exercises and real-time feedback.

Take a look at the video below to learn more about these challenges:

There are currently 33 Code Challenges (but this is continually increasing), and you can also learn how to code and practice your skills with additional GitHub programming courses in LinkedIn Learnings.

Here are a couple of Code Challenge courses for you to get started with!

Beginner Code Challenges

Advanced Code Challenges

If you have any queries about any of the content mentioned in this blogpost, or if you have any general queries about LinkedIn Learning, please contact the Digital Skills Team (

DigiTip 6: Set your status for a set time in MS Teams to show that you’re busy 🔕

Sometimes, you may need to set some time aside to concentrate on a particular piece of work, but how can you show other people who are also online that you’re busy? Microsoft Teams allows you to set your status to Do not disturb, meaning that you won’t be interrupted by Teams notifications or calls (unless you choose to receive these from specific people), but it can be too easy to forget to turn this status off once you’re finished.  

Luckily, Teams allows you to set your status for a set duration. Take a look at the video below or follow these instructions:  

  • Open MS Teams and click on your profile picture 
  • Click on your current status 
  • Select Duration 
  • Choose Do not Disturb (or whichever status you want to appear) 
  • Choose for how long you want this status to appear
  • Click Done 

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!  

Come to our Digital Skills Drop-ins throughout Semester 1

A member of the team will be available each week to support both students and staff at one of our weekly Digital Skills drop-ins.

We can help you find resources that you can use to develop your digital skills; give you general advice about developing your digital skills; and we are also very happy to discuss your Digital Discovery Tool reports. 

📍 We’ll be at the Skills Hub (indicated by the star on the image below) on Level D of the Hugh Owen library on the below Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout Semester 1. If you have any questions, please email

October ’2311 October ’23
17 October ’2325 October ’23
31 October ’23November ’23
14 November ’2322 November ’23
28 November ’23December ’23
12 December ’23

Welcome to our Student Digital Champions for ’23-24!

Banner with Student Digital Champion

A warm welcome to our Student Digital Champions who joined the Digital Skills Team at the start of September! They will be working with us throughout the academic year to encourage students across the university to develop their digital skills and to provide valuable insights into what support students want.

Noel Czempik

“Hi! I’m Noel, I’m an undergraduate Genetics student with a particular interest in personalised medicine. I’m also a musician and enjoy being creative at work, whether in a lab or a recording studio. My hobbies include painting, interior design, live music, road trips, nature walks, foraging and cooking. I also collect records and ghost figurines.

I applied for the Student Digital Champion role to engage in creative and meaningful work and further develop my digital skills. I’m passionate about the student experience at university and curious about the health and social implications of digital living. I look forward to supporting the Digital Skills Team, particularly in advocating for digital wellbeing.”

Joel Williams

“Hi, I’m Joel Williams, I am a 3rd year student studying geography. My areas of interest are volcanology and the impacts of climate change, focussing on how both impact people. I applied to become a Student Digital Champion because it gave me the opportunity to build upon my own digital skills, whilst also improving the student experience at Aberystwyth University for others.

Since my second year I have been an Academic Rep for my department. I have really enjoyed this role as it enabled me and my peers to voice our opinions to University and then see the tangible results of this. My hobbies include, photographing landscapes and wildlife, Swimming (normally in a pool), and until recently I played American Football for the University.”

Laurie Stevenson

“Hi, I am Laurie and I am in my fourth year of a Wildlife Conservation degree. I am looking forward to working with the Digital Skills Team again this year as a returning Student Digital Champion. I really enjoyed the role last year and how it helped me to develop skills in communication and digital creativity as well as pushing me out of my comfort zone in leading focus groups and conducting interviews. I am hoping to continue to learn new skills this year and I am very excited to be working alongside two new champions!”

🔔 Follow our Student Digital Champion category to keep up-to-date with all the exciting content that the champions will be publishing on our blog throughout the year, in addition to across the Information Services’ social media channels!

Launch of the new ‘IS Digital Essentials for teaching’ Blackboard site

We are pleased to announce the launch of the IS Digital Essentials for teaching, a new Blackboard Learn Ultra site designed to support new teaching staff at Aberystwyth University. 

This site brings together all of the advice and helpful information from Information Services that new teaching staff will need, ensuring that they are ‘digitally’ prepared for teaching. Whether that’s guidance on using the OneDrive to store work; how to set up a new module in Blackboard Learn Ultra; or finding guidance on lecture capture.  

With a helpful checklist and automatic access for all through Blackboard Learn Ultra, we hope that the site will save valuable time for staff, as well as being a helpful resource for all departmental staff. 

Please take a look at the introduction to the Blackboard site to learn how to get started. 

On Wednesday 11 October (2-3pm), we would like to invite new teaching staff to join us for a cup of tea or coffee in D54, Hugh Owen (instructions on how to find the room). This will be an opportunity for new teaching staff to meet each other and to meet colleagues from Information Services. There is no need to book for this event.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to provide any feedback, please contact the Digital Skills Team (