Digital competencies and DigComp framework

The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens – DigComp - is a framework implemented by the Joint Research Centre on behalf of the European Commission which provides a common understanding of what digital competence is.

What is digital competence?

Today more than ever, digital devices and technologies have been an unavoidable aspect of our lives and the need to acquire and foster adequate skills to use them in a safe and thoughtful way has become paramount. The concept of digital competence was developed to describe the “confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society. It is defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes.” (https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/digcomp_en). Digital competence is key for practically every aspect of our lives, employability, and active citizenship, which is why the European Union identified it as one of the eight key competences of lifelong learning.

What is DigComp?

Until a couple years ago, there was no common understanding of what digital skills, knowledge and attitudes are. In order to address this problem and create a common understanding of digital competency, its components and layers, as well as ways they should be implemented in our everyday lives, the European Union developed and published DigComp – European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens.

DigComp is used for multiple purposes, such as designing competence assessment tools, creating training courses and materials, and identifying professional digital profiles, in the contexts of employment, education and training, and social inclusion. DigComp 2.2., the fourth iteration of the framework, published in March 2022, provides more than 250 new examples of knowledge, skills and attitudes that help citizens engage confidently, critically and safely with digital technologies, and new and emerging ones such as systems driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

The DigComp framework identifies the key components of digital competence in five areas: information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving. It also presents 21 specific competences related to these areas, as seen in the figures below:

Image downloaded from https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/digcomp_en 

The framework also describes eight proficiency levels, examples of knowledge, skills and attitudes, and use cases in education and employment contexts. For anyone interested in mapping their own digital competencies using the DigComp framework, an online testing tool was developed and can be accessed here: https://digcomp.digital-competence.eu/

What is the relation between DigComp and BeWEEN?

DigComp framework is the basis for implementation of BeWEEN project and achieving its goals. BeWEEN focuses on Area 4 of the framework – Safety, more precisely, on competencies 4.3. Protecting health and well-being and 4.4. Protecting the environment. While DigComp has been used as a tool by a number of organizations to develop learning materials, to our knowledge, the area regarding safety and its components has been less explored and thought of in developing learning materials. Using DigComp as a base and delving into areas that are less explored and taken for granted, BeWEEN helps produce practical outputs that will enable teachers and educators to learn and transfer knowledge about digital safety and digital ecology to their students and colleagues.

Sources: 
https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/digcomp_en 
https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC128415 
https://digcomp.digital-competence.eu/ 

DigComp


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