Does Context Matter?: Examining Personal, Pedagogical, and Professional Digital Competence

Does Context Matter?: Examining Personal, Pedagogical, and Professional Digital Competence

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-9089-1.ch001
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Digital competence is one of the most fundamental competences pre-service teachers should have. Training programs have been carried out to support digital competence. It is also important to examine how pre-service teachers plan to use the knowledge and skills that they have gained from the digital competence training in different contexts. Thus, this case study examined the pre-service teachers' perspectives on personal, pedagogical, and professional digital competence in digital competence training. The study was conducted with 30 pre-service teachers. As a result, the digital competence training supported pre-service teachers to develop a perspective for reaching their personal, pedagogical, and professional goals through activating their information and data literacy, communication, and collaboration, digital content creation, safety, and problem-solving competence areas.
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Nowadays, education systems are in a transformation due to social changes created by digital technologies. In this process, the roles and competences of teachers have been redefined. The rapid spread of digital technologies calls for teachers to use these technologies in their professional lives (Guillén-Gámez et al., 2021). Thus, teachers need to be digitally competent and use digital technologies effectively in learning environments (Tondeur et al., 2018). On the other hand, some environmental challenges arise as a result of technological transformations such as climate change and loss of biodiversity (Bianchi et al., 2022). Thus, teachers need to be aware of the environmental impact of digital technologies and their use as a digitally competent citizen. Also teachers should be role models for their students in using technology safely to protect the environment, such as knowing the environmental impact of energy use and carbon emissions caused by online video viewing or creating digital material to be shared online platforms regarding the sustainable use of digital devices at school and home (Vuorikari, et al., 2022).

Digital competence (DC) is essential for teachers to deal with challenging situations such as ensuring safety in the digital world, assessing the legal consequences of actions carried out through digital tools, or dealing with cyberbullying behaviors of students (Tomczyk, 2019). In addition, teachers need DC to create solutions to solve complex problems that they encounter in the learning environment. The transformation of education during the coronavirus outbreak can be a notable example of this. In fact, the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 announced by the European Commission highlighted that the COVID-19 crisis revealed the importance of having digital competences for digital transformation (European Commission, 2020). Researchers similarly noted that the digital competences of pre-service teachers have become even more important in the pandemic because of the required qualifications during transition to online learning. Beyond the pandemic, pre-service teachers need to develop new skills to sustain their profession in the digital learning environments and to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process by using digital technologies (Damşa et al., 2021). On the other hand, teachers with insufficient digital competencies may have difficulties in using technology to support students with diverse needs (Montenegro-Rueda & Fernández-Batanero, 2022). Therefore, it is important to (re)think about the preparation of future teachers (Flores & Swennen, 2020). Pre-service teachers need to have personal DC in order to participate in a democratic society. Accordingly, pedagogical and professional DC is important for pre-service teachers to design their learning-teaching, assessment, and evaluation activities, to select and develop digital content, and communicate and interact with other stakeholders in the educational process (Gudmundsdottir et al., 2020). Because, using digital technologies in an educational context requires specific competencies that differ from other contexts (Pettersson, 2018). Previous research has revealed that pre-service teachers are not sufficiently trained in terms of pedagogical and professional DC in teacher training programs (Gudmundsdottir & Hatlevik, 2018; Lund et al., 2014). It is stated that pre-service teachers do not have sufficient practical experience in the pedagogical use of digital technologies in the classroom environment, in the evaluation of the use of digital technologies in accordance with learning objectives, and in the use of digital technologies in the realization of administrative procedures at school. It is also noted that pre-service teachers do not acquire sufficient knowledge and experience in the development of content in different formats, behavioral norms in the use of digital media, and collaborative work through technology (Gudmundsdottir & Hatlevik, 2018). Accordingly, there is a need to examine different types of DC of pre-service teachers (Tondeur et al., 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Problem-Solving: Solving problems encountered in digital environments and providing solutions by using digital technologies.

Communication and Collaboration: Communicate and collaborate using digital technologies and participate in digital networks properly.

Personal Digital Competence: Attitude, knowledge, and skills in using digital technologies for daily activities.

Safety: Protecting devices, personal data and privacy, health and well-being, and environment while using digital technologies.

Training Programs: Short educational programs aimed developing specific skills or abilities.

Teachers’ Perspectives: Teachers’ point of view regarding to a specific issue based on their experiences.

Professional Teacher Competence: Attitude, knowledge, and skills in using digital technologies in a related profession.

Information and Data Literacy: Accessing, using, and managing the digital content in a proper way.

Digital Competence: Attitude, knowledge, and skills in using digital technologies for various purposes to successfully participate in a digital society.

Pedagogical Digital Competence: Attitude, knowledge, and skills in using digital technologies for teaching and learning related activities.

Digital Content Creation: Creating materials using digital technologies and editing.

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