1 Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki and University of Macedonia (GREECE)
2 University of Macedonia (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 11109-11116
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.2743
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Various definitions have been proposed regarding digital skills, digital competence and related terms. However, there is confusion as to what abilities these terms actually refer to and what a person should study in order to develop these abilities. This paper provides a solid definition of digital competence as well a framework that describes these fundamental digital competences.

European authorities point out that today 90% of jobs require some kind of digital skills, while almost half (44%) of the EU workforce has low basic digital skills, of which 22% has no digital skills at all (European Council, 2018). Consequently, reskilling and upskilling is a priority to prevent the digital divide. Therefore, European Commission (2017) decided to promote digital literacy and digital skills in all forms of education and life-long learning.

The concepts of ‘Digital Skills’ and ‘Digital Competence’ have passed through various phases and corresponding definitions. ITU (2018a) defined digital skills as the ability to use ICTs in ways that help individuals to achieve beneficial, high-quality outcomes in everyday life for themselves and others, now and in an increasingly digital future. Ferrari (2012) defined digital competence as a “set of knowledge, skills, attitudes, strategies and awareness which are required when ICT and digital media are used to perform tasks, resolve problems, communicate, manage information, collaborate, create and share content, and build knowledge in an effective, efficient and adequate way, in a critical, creative, autonomous, flexible, ethical and a sensible form for work, entertainment, participation, learning, socialization, consumption and empowerment.

All these definitions cause a confusion and misunderstanding with regards to their actual meaning. A common language and understanding is needed in order to define, teach, and assess such skills of students, citizen, employees. “This will make it easier for citizens and employers to see what digital competence entails and how it is relevant to their jobs and lives more generally” (Janssen, et al., 2013). So, in this paper we propose a new definition for Digital Competence.

Various frameworks have been proposed to describe Digital Competence. One of the most respected and widespread is DIGCOMP that was proposed by European Commission (Carretero et al., 2017; DigComp, 2018). UNESCO (2018) extended it by adding the following competence:
i) Devices and software operations, and
ii) Career-related competences.

The UK National Standards for Essential Digital Skills (2019) proposed the Essential Digital Skills Framework (EDSF), while the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) proposed the International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) (Fraillon et al., 2013, 2019). In parallel, the European Skills>Competences, Qualifications and Occupations defined the Digital Competencies (ESCO, 2019) and the Irish Government proposed the Digital Skills Framework (All Aboard!, 2015).

All these frameworks are built on the basis of fundamental processes that a person should be able to do. Such processes include Info Handling, Digital Content Creation, Communication and Collaboration. In the paper, we take a different approach, and propose a new framework of Digital Competence.
Assessment, Digital Competence, Digital Skills, Education, Evaluation.