Students low digital competence

Solvable Challenge: Those that we understand and know how to solve

  • Despite a range of national and pan-European digital competence initiatives, the levels of digital competence in children and teenagers remain inadequate, especially with regards to where students do not just read content, but also engage with it and actively create their own responses to it.
  • Improving the abilities of students to interpret and create digital media is a problem that is understandable and solvable; much is known about the topic, both at the policy and practice levels.
  • Teacher education will be at the center of successful solutions.
  • The DIGCOMP project, released in 2013 was part of a multi-year policy effort to define digital competence in order to establish an umbrella for frameworks, curricula, and certifications in this area.
  • The project identified the key components of digital competence in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes; developed descriptors to inform a conceptual framework and/or guidelines; and proposed a roadmap for a digital competence framework.
  • The European Commission’s “Opening Up Education” initiative includes a comprehensive effort to solve identified deficiencies in digital competence and provide schools with the framework and tools necessary to prepare students for jobs in the growing European digital economy.
  • The EC has projected that by 2020, 90% of European jobs will require digital skills.

Three key initiatives have been identified as strategies to improve digital competence:

  • encourage teachers and educational institutions to test innovative digital approaches
  • ensure open access to educational materials
  • improve the digital infrastructures of schools.
  • The EU-funded project iTEC investigates how established and emerging technologies can be used effectively in classrooms over the next several years.
  • As part of the initiative, the ORT School in Milan will implement iTEC’s “Design of the Future Classroom” model. In this comprehensive digital competence project, a class of 15 year-old students will utilise collaborative video-making, a flipped classroom methodology, and Edmodo social media technology to develop video math tutorials for younger students.
  • Findings from the first three years of the iTEC project have revealed a positive impact on students’ knowledge, skills, and learning practices as well as improving teachers’ technology-supported pedagogy, digital competence, and motivation.

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