European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) has just been published to guide educators at all levels of education with a model that would allow them to assess and develop their digital competences in teaching.
The framework is based on work carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), on behalf of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission. Christine Redecker and Yves Punie are the authors of the report that explains the updated model.
JRC has made it clear that the DigCompEdu framework is a synthesis of existing frameworks and policies by different countries and therefore it is not intended to interfere in their individual efforts. It is the result of consultation with educators and institutions across the EU.
The framework “aims to provide a common ground for this debate, with a common language and logic as a starting point for developing, comparing and discussing different instruments for developing educators’ digital competence, at national, regional or local levels”.
As such, the DigCompEdu framework can guide policies at different levels. It provides a template with a conceptual basis and a common language with the aim of promoting discussion and exchange on the subject. It acts also as a reference point with which countries and organisations can compare their own frameworks and tools.
Areas and competences
The DigCompEdu framework distinguishes six different areas in which educators’ digital competence is expressed with a total of 22 competences. The six areas are: 1) professional engagement, 2) digital resources, 3) assessment, 4) teaching and learning, 5) empowering learning, and 6) facilitating learners’ digital competencies.
The JRC report explains how the core of the DigCompEdu framework is defined by areas 2 to 5. Together these areas explain educators’ digital pedagogic competence, i.e. the digital competences educators need to foster efficient, inclusive and innovative teaching and learning strategies.
Areas 1, 2 and 3 are anchored in the stages characteristic of any teaching process, whether supported by technologies or not. The competences listed in these areas detail how to make efficient and innovative use of digital technologies when planning (area 2), implementing (area 3) and assessing (area 4) teaching and learning.
Area 5 acknowledges the potential of digital technologies for learner-centred teaching and learning strategies. This area is transversal to areas 2, 3 and 4 by providing a set of guiding principles relevant for and complementary to the competences specified in these areas.
However the most important competence in the whole framework – as highlighted by JRC – is in area 3: “Teaching and Learning”. This competence refers to designing, planning and implementing the use of digital technologies in the different stages of the learning process.
Stages of progression
Competence in each area is divided into six stages with a cumulative progression from one level to another. The levels are: Newcomer (A1), Explorer (A2), Integrator (B1), Expert (B2), Leader (C1), Pioneer (C2). Newcomers usually lack the basic competences but once the initial doubts and hesitation are overcome the educator goes to level A2 (Explorer). From there the educator continues to progress until the final level where the educator has mastered all the competences.
At the end of the document there is a glossary of the most commonly-used technical terms in this area.
Further Information & Report Download
The report can be accessed from the JRC website.