Last March 18th I had the opportunity to offer a virtual lecture to the eTwinning community thanks to the invitation of Rute Baptista, Pedagogical and Professional Development Officer at EUN. The whole eTwinning project is one the most successful and fruitful educational strategies run in the European Union: it combines the power of Project Based Learning with the strengths of ICT, a well-oiled organization and thousands of teachers and students willing to create knowledge and values together across Europe.
The topic of my lecture was digital competence and how to make it real in the classroom. To start with, I needed to adopt a critical stance here: the point about this competence in particular is that probably it is the only competence which is business-driven. That is, the competence is inoculated in society via the consumption of electronic goods and devices, not at school or through educational practices. In fact, technology is much more present at home and workplaces than at school (should we say “unfortunately” here?).
This provokes a double tension: on the one hand, we feel the lure to keep up with electronic firms and their yearly presentations of new devices and electronic solutions; on the other hand, school must remain in control of the presence, the use and the functions of ICT at education because the industry may want to use more but we may need better instead.
Anyway, the digital competence is here to stay. In this lecture I have tried to review Anusca Ferrari’s definition of the digital competence together with some of the ways we in Conecta13 have been working on to develop it and make it useful for our students and society in general: the generation of a personal/professional learning environment in which ICT play an important role, the use of ICT to manage learning and teaching and for the creation of digital artifacts and, finally, the importance of a school project to guarantee the efficient development of all the students’ digital competence (and their parents’ and the whole community’s competence as well).
I hope you will find this lecture (and its presentation) interesting. Your comments are welcome!