From digital literacy to digital competence

towards an inclusive framework for initial teacher education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Over a number of years, a variety of frameworks, models and literacies have been developed to guide teacher educators in their efforts to build digital capabilities in students, that will support them to use new and emerging technologies in their future classrooms. Generally, these focus on advancing students’ technical skills in using ‘educational’ applications, or understanding effective blends of pedagogical, content and technological knowledge seen as supporting the integration of digital resources into teaching programmes, to enhance subject-based learning outcomes. Within teacher education institutions, courses developing this knowledge are commonly delivered as standalone entities, or there is an assumption that it will be generated by inclusion in other disciplines or through mandated assessment. However, significant research exists suggesting this approach is largely ineffective, and that its narrow concentration on subject-related technical and information skills does not prepare students adequately for the complex knowledge needing to be developed in today’s classrooms. This article presents a framework that introduces an expanded view of teacher digital competence (TDC). It moves beyond prevailing literacies conceptualisations, arguing for more holistic and broader-based understandings that acknowledge 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 for initial teacher education are discussed, with specific reference to its interdisciplinary nature and the requirement of all Faculty to engage purposefully and deliberately in delivering its objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Publication statusSubmitted - 2 Oct 2018


  • digital competence
  • digital literacy
  • technology
  • integration
  • teacher education

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