The growing task of educators to meet up with global trends has made it essential that they do not only equip themselves with digital skills but also learn how to measure their digital competence.
Recently, this task has turned out to become part of the fundamental criteria for professional education careers, as digital literacy seems to become an advancing doorway to economic upgrades, societal stabilities, and human development. And as an educator in the twenty-first century, it becomes necessary that you are familiar with the flow of digital trends and the mastery of digital skills.
With the introduction of technological devices; computers, artificial intelligence, interactive boards and simulations, and their incorporation in man’s daily life, it is of great importance that every educator understands their stand and level of instrumental knowledge with these gadgets and utilities. And this growing innovation ensures the growth of social networking, and harnessing the power of the internet to create more opportunities, and solve more problems.
This concept is also beneficial in education as more educational resources can be created, evaluated, stored, and accessed over the internet. However, educators can only ascertain their level of digital literacy when they can measure their level of digital competence.
This article will act as a guide to enable you to measure your digital competence as an educator.
What is digital competence?
Digital Competence is the quality of having or accumulating sufficient and relevant knowledge, information, and skill that enable you confidently and efficiently make use of digital, electronic, and technological devices and systems as problem-solving machines or to achieve a specified goal.
Following the introduction of the digital competence framework by the European Commission in 2015, there is an increasing need to evaluate and access educators on their proficiency with the digital economy.
What does digital competence mean in education?
Several global economies have decided that it is essential that citizens are equipped and monitored on their usage of digital skills. This developmental trend is to drive a high level of progress to see digital skill acquisition as a measure of human capital and development.
This goal was also structured to position citizens to take advantage of the possibilities in the digital society and harness the unending potentials of the digital economy. And the easiest way to do this is to develop a digital competence framework.
The European Digital Competence framework is divided into eight levels which are geared at handling simple, complex tasks, remembering, understanding, application, integration, and creation are all structured at providing the learner with computational thinking skills, ability to produce and work on digital systems, and the skill to interact digitally.
Digital Competence in education also requires having a defined vision for digital learning. It involves incorporating school activities for digital skill acquisition, equipping staff with professional teaching skills, and setting up policies to ensure the effectiveness of the digital training.
These procedures are to ensure that each learner is technically equipped to function independently or collaboratively as a digital service provider. Nevertheless how do you conclude the level of digital competencies as an educator?
How to measure digital competence
Digital competence is measured in line with the eight key ICT areas. These areas encompass over 40 digital skills and are an assured level to test your level of proficiency with the digital society.
These eight ICT areas include:
- Defining Information needs
- Access to Information
- Information assessment
- Integration of Information
- Communication and Information sharing
- Information management
- Technological self-reliance
- Creating Information
Measuring digital competence involves a self-assessment of the digital skills possessed in line with these key areas and on a scale of zero to three which entails:
Digital competence scale
- 0 for no experience
- 1 for limited experience
- 2 for certain experience
- 3 for comprehensive experience
Most times, the level of experience of an individual on a skill is regarded as his level of competence. However, digital competence levels are split into four categories.
- Weak Users
- Intermediate Users
- Strong Users
Categorizing individuals to a digital competence scale using their groups and levels makes it easy to score them appropriately on their level of proficiency and experience on a skill as regards the eight key ICT areas.
Categories of Digital Skills along the eight ICT areas are:
General Information identification and research on the web. This could also include; defining information needs, performing common tasks like shopping, or contacting personnel over the web.
Access to Information
The use of search engines, websites, and internet surfing.
Email creation, installation and usage of computer programs, use of antivirus, homepage creation, and independent self-induced task that involves the computer. This could involve transferring pictures from a digital camera to a PC.
Spreadsheet management and Organization of data on the computer.
Internet Quality assessment and the safety of information on the web.
Integration of information
Compiling, Editing, and transfer of words, graphics, and slides using the computer.
Creating new information
Some Digital Competence Assessment tools
Below are some digital literacy assessment tools for better understanding.
- UNESCO Assessment Tools for monitoring Digital Literacy
- All Digital week Useful Tools
- Digital Skills Assessment Guidebook
- The Digital competence Wheel.
- Models and Instruments for Assessing Digital Literacy.