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Are you familiar with the Digital Competence Framework?

I had the opportunity to discuss the Digital Competence Reference Framework recently. Here are four little-known, but unavoidable observations.

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Here are four little-known, but unavoidable, observations about Reference framework for digital competence.

Beyond the political

The Reference Framework has several particularities. Perhaps the most interesting one is that he survived the change of government. Indeed, the work was launched by the former Minister of Education Sébastien Proulx to be taken over by the current Minister, Jean-François Roberge. We can therefore conclude that if the work has been resumed by the new government, it is because there is a certain unanimity in Quebec in connection with the development of digital competence in education. Many will say “finally! », But beyond this sigh of relief, the Framework gives a basis of legitimacy to the work in progress in several schools or in several classes. Quebec teachers have been carrying this issue at arm's length for the past ten years. The plan now supports them in their drive for innovation.

Based on research and practices from other countries

First, the Framework is based on educational research. A growing body of research shows that technologies can have a positive impact on student learning. Others discuss the importance of so-called “human” skills (soft-skills). The Framework draws on these research findings.

It also draws on the experience of other education systems in this area. Indeed, the team that worked on the Framework took a look at what is being done in other countries with regard to digital skills.

Learn for life

The Framework is relevant to all levels of education, from preschool to postgraduate studies. It is therefore a matter of a frame of reference which is “interorder”.

The optics at the base of this approach place the importance of using technologies to learn by going beyond the simple use of various tools. Technologies are seen as levers that facilitate learning. In short, they are not only a means of carrying out any task in an educational setting; above all, they are lifelong learning facilitators. In short, digital competence is not just for school, but to help ensure that our pupils and students become lifelong learners.

Human skills

Several observers from both schools and the general public feared that the “technical” aspect of the design exercise would take up too much space, to a point where the human aspect would be eliminated. However, you will notice that human skills, which are also transversal, hold a special place in the Framework: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. In short, digital technology is a lever for learning, of course, but it also makes it possible to increase the quality of the human experience as a whole. Ten years ago, many feared that technologies would harm humanity. Now, however, the two are considered in complementary ways.

It is from this perspective that digital citizenship is approached: too often, the use of technologies is done without critical distancing, without reflection. The Framework advocates the training of a critical learner in the face of the tools he uses and the establishment of a holistic approach. In other words, technologies are breaking down the barriers that we ourselves have established in education and pedagogy.

The Framework is a unique reference tool: it reflects what we could call the “new education”: that focused on disciplinary skills, but also on human skills. What is the point of instructing a learner if he cannot transfer his new knowledge into practical settings and develop competences? What good would any step be if it was not to improve the lot of humanity?

Would you like to know more about the Digital Competence Reference Framework? Carrefour education offers you this video:

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About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in social studies education (1999), a master's degree in history education (2003), a master's degree in education management (2013) and a doctorate in education (2022). He specializes in school-based change management and educational leadership. He is also interested in the 21st century competencies to be developed in education. He is a principal in a public high school and gives conferences on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in schools and the professionalization of teaching. He has participated in educational expeditions in France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book "Le changement en milieu scolaire québécois" with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the 21st century school with the same publisher. He is a frequent contributor to L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and principals as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement. He is a recipient of the Régent-Fortin 2022 scholarship awarded by ADERAE for the significant contribution of his doctoral studies to the development of practice and knowledge in educational administration.

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