Strategies for Creating the Best Workspace

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

The environment you have around you whilst working can significantly impact how efficiently you work and the quality of your work. A good working environment can also reduce stress; you can read more about this here.  

However, it can be challenging to recommend a good working environment as this is subjective and varies from person to person. In this blogpost, I aim to provide some tips and tools that will enable you to find the best working environment. 

Location, Location, Location 📍

Finding the best location to complete your work is often the first hurdle; this space could be a desk in your room or a table in the kitchen; or you could use one of the many spots on campus, such as the Hugh Owen Library or the Arts Centre. Or, perhaps you sometimes prefer to work away from campus in spaces such as the National Library of Wales or a café. It’s also worth considering the noise level of your chosen location, for example the working environment in the Food Hall will be drastically different to that of Level F of the Hugh Owen Library. 

I’ve always preferred a quieter working environment, and I have always struggled working at home. Therefore, Hugh Owen Library has always been my preferred choice; however, I frequently find that different rooms suit my needs better on different days. While equipment can often decide which space I use, the noise almost always influences my decision. 

Making the Most of the Hugh Owen Library 📚 

This interactive map of the Hugh Owen Library makes picking a space to work easier and saves you from getting lost, especially as there are numerous options of where to work within the three floors of the library. Spaces like the Iris de Freitas room on Level E are brilliant for group study but can get reasonably loud, especially when busy. If you’re looking for a quieter space to work from then Level F may be better for you, or if want a more private space for individual or group work, the Library also has bookable rooms; you can reserve these and view their availability online.

The power of sound 🎧

Music and audio can be powerful tools at your disposal to help you when working if used correctly. Personally, I’ve always found I do my best work when listening to music using services like Spotify. However, members of the Digital Skills Team suggested white noise applications like Noisli, which can be used to play weather patterns and even has its own playlists while offering many customisation options.  

Audiobooks are also a popular option and can be accessed using services like Libby or Audible. These are especially useful whilst completing more mundane tasks, especially those requiring much repetition. 

Come to our Digital Skills Drop-ins throughout Semester 2

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 with:

  • Finding resources that you can use to develop your digital skills
  • Providing basic support for using Microsoft software (e.g. PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Teams and Outlook)
  • Giving general advice about developing your digital skills
  • Discussing your Digital Discovery Tool report 

📍 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 from 11:00-12:00 throughout Semester 2. If you have any questions, please email digi@aber.ac.uk.

Tuesday
⏰ 11:00-12:00
Wednesday
⏰ 11:00-12:00
16 January ’2424 January ’24
30 January ’247 February ’24
13 February ’2421 February ’24
27 February ’246 March ’24
12 March ’2420 March ’24
No drop-in sessions over EasterNo drop-in sessions over Easter
16 April ’2424 April ’24
30 April ’248 May ’24

Merry Christmas from the Digital Skills Team! 🎄✨

It has been a very busy year for us all at the Digital Skills Team! Over the past year we’ve created a range of new resources and events, including:

We hope that some of the resources above have been useful in supporting you to develop your own digital skills, and we’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to continuing to support you in the new year!

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!

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 digi@aber.ac.uk.

Tuesdays
11:00-12:00
Wednesdays
10:00-11:00
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

New Member of the team! 

Hello everyone! My name is Jia Ping Lee and I have joined the Digital Skills team as a digital capabilities and skills development coordinator.  

I completed my undergraduate studies in Genetics at Aberystwyth and recently returned home from China after 4 years as an English Teacher for young children. 

I am looking forward to supporting and working with staff and students at the university to help develop their digital skills and become digitally confident, as we all try to navigate and keep up with our constantly evolving digital society. 

New Team Member!

Hello everyone, my name is Shân Saunders, and I am the new digital capabilities and skills development coordinator. I completed my undergraduate and MPhil at Aberystwyth and since graduating in 2022 I have been looking to work with student engagement and satisfaction. I have also been a member of the Your Voice Matters team since September 2021. I have been working with the digital skills team since August 2022 and have so far worked on JISC’s Digital Discovery Tool and the Digital Skills Library. I’m really looking forward to working on the Digital Skills Festival in November 2023 and overall discussing what we offer to students and how we can improve the delivery of our resources. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to conduct more focus groups and training with students and staff surrounding digital skills and resources.