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ICT ACTION COMPETENCE IN TEACHER EDUCATION*

H.F. Odabaşı1, A.A. Kurt1, Y. Akbulut1, E. B. Kuzu1, O. Dönmez1, B. Ceylan1, Ö. Şahin İzmirli2

1Anadolu University (TURKEY)
2Eskişehir Osmangazi University (TURKEY)
The digital age brings about several advantages in our lives in addition to the societal problems like the climate change, global warming and the digital divide. These problems are rooted in the way we pursue our lives both at the individual and societal levels. Thus, solutions to these problems can flourish from both individual and social actions (Jensen & Schnack, 1997).

The action competence concept was coined as an inclusive term referring to potential solutions of such problems. Even though the concept comprised a wide research repertoire from a variety of fields like environment, sustainable development and health education (Cairns, 2001; Eamas et al, 2006; Mogensen & Schnack, 2010; Samuel & Sundar, 2007; Seezink, Poell & Kirschner, 2009); related literature has yet to offer an inclusive definition. According to the literature reviewed, action competence can be defined as “an individual’s capacity of critically selecting and conducting possible actions that may solve societal problems through democratic mechanisms” (Breiting & Mogensen, 1999; Jensen & Schnack, 1994; Mogensen, 1997)

In line with the emerging and changing technologies and demands, action competence is perceived to play a vital role in integrating ICTs into our social lives. To adopt these technological innovations and developments, there is a tremendous need for action competent ICT experts. This fact brings ICT action competence to the current agenda. In this regard, ICT action competence is defined as “the individual’s motivation and capacity to select and conduct democratic and responsible actions so that ICT-related or non-related societal problems can be solved in a critical and effective way”.

Expectations of ICT experts and modern pedestrians have been raised in line with rapid developments. Sufficient and innovative use of ICTs can bring about solutions for many problems the society is confronted with. In this regard, teacher training institutions should be obliged to undertake responsibilities regarding the education of future teachers who are supposed to equip next generations with the basics of digital citizenship. Among other fields of education, Computer Education and Instructional Technology (CEIT) Departments are expected to have critical roles to train ICT action competent teachers in Turkey. In this respect, this study aimed to draw a pedestrian model of ICT action competence, and to discuss action competent individuals’ commitments to the society. Suggestions for teacher training institutions and implications for further research will be provided as well.

*The present study is financially supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) within the scope of the research project entitled ‘ICT Action Competence’ (Project ID: 110K565).