THE INFLUENCE OF DIGITAL LITERACY LEVEL OF PRINCIPALS ON THE SCHOOL'S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROCESS: RESEARCHED USING THE ESHET-ALKALAI MODEL
In a wider context of digital competence, digital literacy means the attitudes and abilities of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and resources to locate, access, manage, evaluate, analyze, create content, expression in the media and to communicate. According to Eshet-Alkalai, digital literacy is a survival skill in the digital age that significantly depends on the level of certain types of digital skills: photo-visual literacy, reproduction literacy, branching literacy, information literacy, socio-emotional literacy and real-time thinking skills. Whether, and how, does the level of digital literacy of school principals affects the management of digital transformation of the school is a research question addressed by the authors of this paper, the aim of which was to determine the strength of the correlation between variables determining management experience and their digital literacy using the Eshet-Alkalai model. The research was conducted in two phases on a sample of primary school principals from three geographically and economically related regions of the Republic of Croatia, which have similar educational policies, in order to examine management practices in the digital transformation of schools. The first phase of the research was conducted using a questionnaire method that contains original metrics of influencing factors of information and data literacy. The results show the need for incremental steps in the context of informatic literacy, which were used to design the reference framework and were the starting point for the second phase. The second phase of the research was conducted with the method of a focus group, created from the same sample, using the semi-structured interview method to examine the attitudes and opinion of principals on the importance of applying certain digital skills in the process of managing digital transformation of schools, by interpreting the latter a conclusion arises that information and photo-visual literacy, due to the specifics in which the educational system functions, are the most important predictors of the successfulness of the process of digital transformation of schools. The combined comparative analysis of the results of both phases of the research set the foundation for the conceptual model of systematic education of leaders in educational establishments in the field of digital literacy by using constructs contained in the Eshet-Alkalai model, since the level of digital literacy significantly affects the management of digital transformation of schools which represents a starting point for further similar research.