Schools, teachers and education ministries are aware of this and are increasingly focusing on developing curricula, guidelines or materials to ensure that students use technology creatively and critically, effectively, meaningfully and responsibly.
As programmes focusing on students' digital competence are taking off, the call for equipping teachers – or more generally: educators at all levels – with digital skills is getting louder. But what are the digital competences educators need to have? Are we talking about dealing with digital devices or compiling digital learning resources? Are we talking about technical skills or pedagogical competences? What is it that makes an educator – as educator – digitally competent?
The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) intends to answer these questions. And its answer is easy: Yes, educators do need to have a good level of overall digital competence (as captured for example in the 'DigComp' general Digital Competence Framework for Citizens), because they are citizens in a digital age and role models for the next generation. However, to be digitally competent educators, they need a specific set of competences that focuses on their professional activities.
Therefore, the DigCompEdu framework considers six areas of professional activity and describes how digital competence is expressed in each of them. Area 1 focuses on the professional environment, on using digital technologies to support communication and collaboration within the organisation and beyond it, for professional expression and development ; Areas 2 to 5 focus on the different aspects relevant to teaching: Area 2 on sourcing, creating and sharing digital resources; Area 3 on managing and orchestrating the use of digital tools in teaching and learning; Area 4 on using digital tools and strategies to enhance assessment; and Area 5 on the use of digital tools to empower learners. Area 6 links educators' digital competence back to learners', by postulating that it is an expression of educators' digital competence to facilitate that of their learners'.
Once completed, this framework will help to guide policy making and the definition of teacher training curricula and courses across the EU.
You are not convinced? You would like to know more? You want to influence how teachers will be trained in the future?
Now is the time to speak up!
This framework is not yet finalised. Until 1 May you can still change and shape it!
Just participate in our two online stakeholder consultations:
This is an opportunity for you to reshape the framework and future education policy in this field across Europe.
Educators' digital competence is important and we have to make sure that this framework captures it well.
More news later this year on the final framework!