Integrating Digital Literacy in Competency-Based Curriculum

Integrating Digital Literacy in Competency-Based Curriculum

Daniel Otieno (Kenyatta University, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1461-0.ch008

Abstract

This chapter discusses the integration of digital literacy in competency-based curriculum (CBC). In the introduction, the authors discuss the 21st century skills and their relevance to the competency-based curriculum. The discussion funnels from global, regional, and local contexts. Theoretical perspectives in ICT and the CBC are dealt with to provide a background. Multiple approaches of integrating digital literacy within the curriculum are highlighted later in the chapter. These issues are discussed in the light of the extant literature on digital literacy and the competency-based curriculum. The discussion revolves around the trends, controversies of digital literacy in the CBC with possible solutions put forth towards the end of the chapter. Finally, recommendations and future research directions are made. The chapter concludes with a summary of the major issues discussed in the chapter and recommendations for further reading.
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Background

ICT in Education

The aim of education is to prepare a labour force that will meet the requirements of the labour market. Information communication and technology has received adequate attention in education. The United Nations and other global partners in education have mainstreamed ICT in their developmental agendas. The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers was developed to support countries to put in place policies and standards that provide guidelines for national teacher ICT competency. It aimed at providing an important component for governments to develop legal frameworks for the integration of ICT in Education Masterplans (Olsson, 2006). The framework has three different approaches to developing teachers’ competencies. These are: the development of technology literacy, enhancing knowledge deepening and eventually the creation of knowledge. The use of ICT in teaching is essential because it makes learning to occur more efficiently and effectively. Through the use of ICTs, students are able to deepen their understanding and create new knowledge in their subject areas. They can innovatively apply this to solve the complex problems that face modern societies (UNESCO, 2011).

The use of technology in education necessitates the equipping of teachers with new pedagogical competencies and new approaches in teacher education. Teachers should become aware of policy goals and be able to identify the various areas of education reform that are related to these policy goals. The policy goals identified in the UNESCO ICT framework are technology literacy, knowledge deepening and knowledge creation. These policy goals are discussed in the followings sections under the broad sub-heading of digital citizenry, collaborative learning/teaching and lifelong learning. They provide essential building blocks for erecting the digital edifice in educational institutions that will provide a basis for efficiency and effectiveness.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Literacy: The advocacy and application of information communication technologies in online settings.

Competency-Based Curriculum: This is the curriculum whose content areas place more emphasis on the acquisitions of transversal competencies rather than the acquisition of knowledge for the sake of it.

Digital Citizenship: This is the demonstration of behaviours necessary for appropriate use of information communication technologies in online environments.

Lifelong Learning: This involves learning that is continuous and never ending which continues even after individuals exit formal schooling and proceed to adult life.

Collaborative Learning: This involves learners’ participation in the learning process in a joint and interactive manner. They share variety of learning experiences and support each other in the learning process through questions and answers and group discussions.

21st Century Skills: These are skills that have been recognised as being essential for a person to live meaningfully and succeed in the 21 st century.

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