From digital literacy to digital competence: the teacher digital competency (TDC) framework

Garry Falloon*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    228 Citations (Scopus)
    344 Downloads (Pure)


    Over the years, a variety of frameworks, models and literacies have been developed to guide teacher educators in their efforts to build digital capabilities in their students, that will support them to use new and emerging technologies in their future classrooms. Generally, these focus on advancing students’ skills in using ‘educational’ applications and digitally-sourced information, or understanding effective blends of pedagogical, content and technological knowledge seen as supporting the integration of digital resources into teaching, to enhance subject learning outcomes. Within teacher education institutions courses developing these capabilities are commonly delivered as standalone entities, or there is an assumption that they will be generated by technology’s integration in other disciplines or through mandated assessment. However, significant research exists suggesting the current narrow focus on subject-related technical and information skills does not prepare students adequately with the breadth of knowledge and capabilities needed in today’s classrooms, and beyond. This article presents a conceptual framework introducing an expanded view of teacher digital competence (TDC). It moves beyond prevailing technical and literacies conceptualisations, arguing for more holistic and broader-based understandings that recognise the increasingly complex knowledge and skills young people need to function ethically, safely and productively in diverse, digitally-mediated environments. The implications of the framework are discussed, with specific reference to its interdisciplinary nature and the requirement of all faculty to engage purposefully and deliberately in delivering its objectives. Practical suggestions on how the framework might be used by faculty, are presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2449–2472
    Number of pages31
    JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
    Issue number5
    Early online date29 Mar 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • digital competence
    • digital literacy
    • technology Integration
    • teacher education
    • TPACK
    • SAMR


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