Monday, 11 December 2017

Free report on #digital competences of educators #EUpolicy #education @EU_ScienceHub

This 95 page report on Digital Competences of Educators was brought to my attention by the fabulous Yannis Angelis, who is also a great twitter networker (@YannisAngelis). This recently published report offers a European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators and is written by Christine Redecker and Yves Puni.

This is a really strong framework (really good read) and it does touch all the competences a contemporary educator should have (and already has in many occasions). I think this framework can easily be tailored for practical use inside educational institutions. Another thought that crossed my mind: look at the competencies and than try to come up with any profession that includes all of these competencies as well... not easy, as it implies communication skills, technological skills, social skills and pedagogical skills.... and all in an increasingly complex world of learners. So what I hope is that this report will see the start of a reappreasal of the educator in the whole of society... I mean, you got to love the teachers!

The tagline of the report is: the European Framework for the Digital Competence of (DigCompEdu) responds to the growing awareness among many European Member States that educators need a set
of digital competences specific to their profession in order to be able to seize the potential of
digital technologies for enhancing and innovating education.

Content of the report
The report focuses on 22 competences, organised in 6 areas:
Area 1: Professional engagement, using digital technologies for communication, collaboration
and professional development.
Area 2: Digital Resources sourcing, creating and sharing digital resources.
Area 3: Teaching and Learning Managing and orchestrating the use of digital technologies
in teaching and learning.
Area 4: Assessment using digital technologies and strategies to enhance assessment.
Area 5: Empowering learners using digital technologies to enhance inclusion,
personalisation and learners’ active engagement.
Area 6: Facilitating learners’ digital competence, enabling learners to creatively and responsibly use digital technologies for information, communication, content creation, wellbeing and problem-solving.

For each of these competences more information is given, including a description of what the authors define the competence to be, and how to achieve it.

Nice side note: self-regulated learning is part of the competences of an educator. I really like the addition of this aspect to the teaching and learning competence.

Take into account competence levels of the educators
Another nice point of attention used in this report is the levels given to the competences in relation to the digital experience of the educator: in the first two stages of DigCompEdu, Newcomer (A1) and Explorer (A2), educators assimilate new information and develop basic digital practices; at the following two stages, Integrator (B1) and Expert (B2), educators apply, further expand and reflect
on their digital practices; at the highest stages, Leader (C1) and Pioneer (C2), educators pass on their knowledge, critique existing practice and develop new practices.
The labels for each competence level were selected to capture the particular focus of digital technology use typical for the competence stage. the descriptors also relate to an educator’s
relative strengths and roles within a professional community. And within the report a clear proficiency progression by area is also provided (page 31). Adding examples to make this theoretical framework a practical document (e.g. finding digital resources and what this entails for all 6 competency levels). A lot of work is put into making this theoretical framework accessible for practical implementation, an aspect I really appreciate and like a lot.

background of publication
This publication is a Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, which you can follow @EU_ScienceHub. It aims to provide evidence-based scientific support to the European policymaking process, but it also offers great insight into what policy makers find of interest, and where they think educators will benefit from in order to ensure digitally competent education.

Abstract from the report
As educators face rapidly changing demands, they require an increasingly broader and more sophisticated set of competences than before. In particular, the ubiquity of digital devices and the duty to help students become digitally competent requires educators to develop their own digital competence. On an international and national level a number of frameworks, self-assessment tools and training programmes have been developed to describe the facets of digital competence for educators and to help them assess their competence, identify their training needs and offer targeted training. Based on the analysis and comparison of these instruments, this report presents a common European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu). DigCompEdu is a scientifically sound background framework which helps to guide policy and can be directly adapted to implementing regional and national tools and training programmes. In addition, it provides a common language and approach that will help the dialogue and exchange of best practices across borders.
The DigCompEdu framework is directed towards educators at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher and adult education, including general and vocational education and training, special needs education, and non-formal learning contexts. It aims to provide a general reference frame for developers of Digital Competence models, i.e. Member States, regional governments, relevant national and regional agencies, educational organisations themselves, and public or private professional training providers.