Monday, 5 December 2016

Towards a Digital Competence Portfolio For Teachers

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Between November 17 and 18, the Expert Meeting in Education Networking (Eminent 2016) was held in Prague, in quest for European Digital Citizenship.

This annual educational meeting brought together experts, representatives of European Ministries of Education, and companies in the sector to exchange experiences and discuss how to improve the digital competence of teachers and students, search for common models to promote safe use habits of the Internet, to develop good practices of digital citizenship and to see forms of collaboration that, in the format of leading European projects in this field, support the construction and development of a global and connected digital Europan citizenship.


I have had the honour to represent The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (Ministry of Education - Spain) presenting the minimum viable product of the Digital Competence Portfolio For Teachers, on which intense work has been carried out over the past months. 

This portfolio is organised in different sections, which you can overview below, but its core is the Common Digital Competence Framework For Teachers, that defines this competence in 5 Areas, 21 Competences and 6 Levels of Competence:

Towards an online portfolio of teachers' digital competence from Jefe de Área de Formación en Red y Redes Sociales. INTEF

Here you are the summary of the presentation delivered in Prague:

Slide 1

What I am presenting here today is an online service born to be a means to acknowledge teachers digital competence.
In Spain we have been working on a framework of digital competence for teachers since 2012, when a workgroup of educational experts and stakeholders from Automous Communities gathered with the aim of publishing a common document to be later adopted as a reference to certify digital competence for the teaching profession.
The first draft was published in February 2013, and distributed for debate, after which the second draft was produced in June. Both were based on the European framework of digital competence for citizens.
The project came to a halt until 2016, when the framework was translated into English, the descriptors of the framework started being developed, the levels of competence defined, and the portfolio designed. Once again the workgroup met and contributed to these advances I am sharing with you now.

Slide 2

The portfolio is a beta version now, bilingual Spanish-English, and by the end of next week we are distributing access to it for a limited period of time, for validation and feedback. So, if anybody is interested in having a say, you are welcome to ask for access and I will be more than happy to provide you with both the access details and the validation survey, which also includes the latest version of our updated framework of digital competence for teachers with the levels of competence and the descriptors for each competence within the 5 areas: information, communicstion, content creation, safety and problem solving.

Slide 3

The portfolio is divided into 3 main sections: biography, dossier and passport.

Slide 4

The biography is the section including the self assessment tool, which is the core of the portfolio. Besides, it shows a timeline for teachers’ experiences regarding digital pedagogy, communication and the other areas of the Mentep project, inspired by Spain’s partnertship in this European project.

Slide 5

The timeline records the teachers history of digital competence in chronological order. It can be updated any time and will show the latest date.

Slide 6

This is the most important part of the portfolio as it guides teachers to be aware of their level of competence, self assessing themselves, reflecting on what they have acomplished and what they have ahead.
We have defined 3 overall levels: A, B and C, with 2 sublevels: A1 and A2; B1 and B2; C1 and C2.

Why going for these levels? Because they are familiar for teachers as they are inspired in the European framework for languages.
Depending on how many descriptors a teacher checks, they will reach one level of competence or other, and they will be able to update it as they improve.

Slide 7

Of course, in order for digital competence to be acknowlegded and certified to teachers, self assessment is not enough and that is why there is a dossier, an evidence folder where to place proof that the levels you have said you have, can be contrasted. Here teachers can upload badges, projects, own created resources, publications, school work and so forth.This section is also important since, connected with the self assessment tool, is what yields the passport of digital competence.

Slide 8

The passport is the result of the previous sections; it shows your current level of digital competence, together with the evidence that showcases that level, as well as the descriptors one has checked in order to accomplish it. IT will automatically change as improvement is achieved by the users.

Slide 9

It is printable, sharable at social networks, and open to validation by the various educational administrations.
Privacy is decided by the users. You can make it totally public, partially public; for instance, just for your ecucational administration, or absolutely private.
We have also connected it technologocially speaking with our own open badge backpack, also developed at INTEF, just like the portfolio, so that we can acknowledge teachers’ digital competence with badges as well.

Slide 10

What might be most interesting, apart from certifying digital competence for teachers, of course, is that the portfolio offers an improvement roadmap to the teacher according to the level accomplished so that they can go ahead and keep up overcoming levels. This roadmap is mainly based on online training actions at the moment but other initiatives are welcome and under study.

Slide 11

Last but not least, just a friendly reminder of the importance of continuous update for a service like this, both on the users’ end and on our end, as a Ministry.

Slide 12

Thank you very much for your attention!

If interested in taking part in the portfolio and the framework validation survey, please contact me before 15 December 2016.

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