A skill represents a learnt ability to perform a specific task or activity to a level of proficiency, whilst competencies are defined as the knowledge, awareness and behaviours needed to operate within a specific context. Examples of digital competencies can be found within the European Commission’s DigComp 2: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens and the ambitions for Europe’s Digital Decades.
In addition, the Commission has published a Digital Competence Framework for Educators as represented below, which describes educator-specific digital competences:
This document acknowledges the challenge for educators to develop their own digital competence, as well as being able to facilitate the development of digital competencies in young people, and that this is much broader than just being able to use digital spaces and tools for learning.
Facilitating Young People’s Digital Competence Development
Learning to Swim in the Digital Ocean, an infographic taken from DigComp 2.1, illustrates the competencies of a digital citizen that can be applied at different levels. These can also be applied within the specific areas listed below (Digital Competence Framework for Educators), and can provide a framework for the development of digital competencies in young people:
- Information and
- Seeking and interpreting digital information and sources, and using critical thinking or ‘crap detection’ to evaluate and apply information and sources.
- Digital communication and collaboration
- Using digital tools collaboratively, respectfully and ethically and to positively promote young people’s voice.
- Digital content creation
- Enabling young people to communicate, market and promote their creativity and voice whilst using different digital formats, in the context of technical specifications such as privacy and copyright.
- Responsible use
- Raising awareness with regard to physical, psychological and social well-being, for themselves and others in digital contexts, and empowering them to minimise risks and develop protective behaviours.
- Digital problem solving
- Developing resourceful behaviours in order to resolve issues and problems.