DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL SKILLS IN EDUCATION
Introduction: The advent of Information Society has induced substantial changes in the way we perceive our personal, social and work life. The ongoing changes that are observed in the frame of the globalised economical and technological environment, contribute in the development of a new social scene.
The Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are creating a new environment in the field of education, work and communication, by developing new challenges and opportunities. Researches on the evaluation of inadequacies in digital skills in Europe have concluded that the demand for people that are qualified with some basic ICT skills will be increased. Currently, the field of education is assessed as critical for the development of digital skills.
Methods: Greek data derived from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 were used to evaluate whether availability of computers and access to the internet may be related with students’ reading performance. In particular, 4969 Greek students (160.28 years, 49% boys) were participating in the PISA 2009 and were asked to answer a computer familiarity questionnaire focusing on the availability and use of information and communications technology (ICT). Questions were combined in six main categories that reflect the availability and use of equipment (i.e., PCs, printers, USB sticks etc) at home and at school and the frequency of using internet both for entertaining or educational purposes at home and at school. One way analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression models were used to answer the research hypothesis.
Results: Among participants, 2% reported no computer use and were excluded from the analysis. Students who were familiar with the use of ICTs had higher mean reading performance as compared to the overall mean (4864.3 vs 4834.3, p<0.0001). Results revealed that students who have access and use a PC at home had higher mean reading performance as compared to those who don’t use a PC (4953.7 vs. 4657.3, p<0.0001). In addition, the higher mean reading performance was noticed for students that have PC access at their school, but they don’t use it. Furthermore, students who use rarely their internet access (either for educational or entertaining purposes) seemed to have the mean higher reading performance, as compared to those with daily use. Results from multivariate, age and gender adjusted, logistic model revealed that students who use a PC at home have twice odds of mean reading performance above country’s overall mean performance as compared to those who don’t have a PC (OR=2.04, 95% CI: 1.90-2.18). The same trend was also observed for students who use a PC at school (OR=1.62, 95% CI: 1.51-1.73). On the contrary, the frequent use of internet either for educational or entertaining purposes has been positively related with mean reading performance below country’s overall mean performance (OR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.47-0.51; OR=0.44, 95% CI: 0.41-0.46, respectivelly).
Conclusion: By the data analysis of the research, it is detected that ICT use by students in home and/or school, their familiarisation and development of digital skills seems to be correlated to their performance.