Through Marjorie Cuerrier, doctoral student in educational sciences at the University of Montreal and member of the Canada Research Chair in Digital Education.
The growing role of digital in education is unequivocal, whether for learning, collaboration, communication, content production, inclusion, personal development and so on. In the wake of the ministerial announcements on digital in education, one question remains: is it a question of digital competence or digital skills?
More than ever, technological knowledge and skills are needed for teaching and learning. To support the educational success of students, a Digital action plan was deployed by the Government of Quebec in 2018 and among these actions, the publication of the Reference framework for digital competence (2019). Thus, compared to France where it is a question of digital skills, in Quebec, only one jurisdiction is identified.
Why are we talking about a single digital skill in Quebec?
In the digital age, it is true that several skills are necessary considering the multiplicity of knowledge and skills to be acquired in order to use technologies to their full potential. So why are we talking about digital competence rather than digital skills? They have not been forgotten, but rather regrouped in order to ensure a better understanding as well as a better harmonization of the existing reference documents. In order to avoid offering a new skill for each knowledge or skill associated with digital technology, they are presented in the form of 12 interrelated dimensions. In fact, they are plots that form a whole.
We must not lose sight of the fact that 12 skills professional must be mastered by teachers at the end of their initial training and throughout their career, including competence 8, associated with information and communication technologies (ICT). Whether it is in addition, in complementarity or in replacement of this one, possibly, the digital competence is part of this logic and this format.
For many teachers, digital competence is a big challenge, but it is all the more important at the time of this global pandemic, when distance education and online learning are central. Better knowledge of Reference framework for digital competence can prove to be a valuable tool for teachers. To this end, webinars are available: