What are competencies and digital skills technological
What are digital technology skills, why are they essential and how can you learn them?
Read on to discover everything you need to know about digital skills.
What is personal competence
Personal skills are those behaviors that some people dominate better than others and, therefore, make them more effective in a given situation.
They are a set of knowledge, attitudes, values and skills that differentiate us from each other and allow us to be unique.
And although many of these competencies are associated with personality types, it has been shown that they can be learned and developed throughout our lives.
Competence VS Skill
Do you have trouble differentiating between skills and abilities? It is normal, since they are two very similar terms.
The Dictionary of the Spanish language (hereinafter, “DLE”) defines them as:
Ability: “Capacity and disposition for something”.
Competence: “Expertise, aptitude or suitability to do something or intervene in a certain matter”.
Not only are you capable of performing the task, but you do it with mastery.
Not just being able to do it, but doing it well.
Capacities and competencies
Let’s check the DLE again :
Capacity: “Opportunity, place or means to execute something”.
This means that capacity is a person’s potential to learn.
In this case, neither the ability nor the competence would still be present, but it is detected that this person would be able to acquire them with adequate training.
competition for life
In this way, when we talk about skills for life, we refer to developing the optimal skills to face day-to-day situations successfully.
They can be personal, professional or social skills. And thanks to them we can achieve all the purposes we want.
There is no specific list of human skills, but there is unanimity in recognizing the most important to achieve well-being.
Five skills for life
As we said before, the skills for life can be infinite, depending on the specific situation of each person. But these are the five basic skills for a full life:
Adaptability: the world changes faster than ever, so it is essential to learn to adapt to new situations quickly.
Communication: we are social beings and, therefore, we need to know how to relate to others effectively.
Troubleshooting: conflicts are not optional. They are going to happen and we must know how to act before them.
Critical Thinking: it is the ability to not be “just another sheep”.
Creativity: especially in the work environment, knowledge is less and less important and the ability to innovate is more important.
Competence to develop
There is a belief that competencies are immovable and a matter of character. But no, any competence (personal, professional or digital) can be developed.
In addition, it is never too late to develop skills.
While it is true that during childhood we are real sponges of knowledge, it is possible to develop skills at any age.
What is a learning competition
Now that we are clear about the concept of competence, we are going to talk about how to apply it in learning.
A learning competence refers to applying knowledge, skills and behaviors in a creative, flexible and context-adapted way.
There are six learning competencies: linguistics, mathematics, digital, social, entrepreneurship and cultural awareness.
In this way, digital refers to any object related to binary digits.
We speak of digital as opposed to analog, that simpler machinery, developed without software language. For example, an analog clock is one that shows the time by means of hands, and a digital one through a screen with numbers.
What are digital skills
Digital skills are a set of transversal skills to use technological tools in everyday life.
In the 21st century, it is an essential skill to successfully form part of today’s society.
And it is that digital skills are applied to personal life, school, leisure and work.
Correct digital skills are the best tool to access information, learn new ideas and put them into practice.
When we talk about technological skills, we are not just referring to knowing how to handle digital programs.
At this point, skills must go further, especially in the workplace: programming, 3D design, robotics or digital content creation are some of the technological skills most in demand by companies.
Because classic IT skills are already a thing of the past.
It is not enough to handle office automation solutions, dominate email and have experience in management tools.
When we talk about digital skills, we refer to going one step further: it is not managing the digital world, it is creating it.
Types of digital skills
And it is that despite living in a 100% technological world, more than half of the Spanish population still does not master digital skills.
First of all, we can divide the skills into basic, medium and advanced. Let’s see them:
It is important to differentiate between basic and advanced digital skills.
Within the basic skills we can find those related to information and digital data literacy.
Being able to find the information required for personal interest. Browse the internet, search for data, texts and images, and select the most relevant ones, as well as store and share them.
Intermediate and advanced knowledge set
Once the basic skills have been mastered, those that save us from being “digitally illiterate”, it is important to go deeper and acquire more advanced skills.
For example, learning to use tools for collaborative processes, creating resources together with other people anywhere in the world thanks to the Internet.
Other advanced skills would be knowing how to protect the privacy of our online data or understanding the environmental impact of using digital technology.
There are 5 areas of digital competence:
Literacy: knowing how to search, store and analyze information.
Communication: knowing how to communicate with other people appropriately.
Creation: knowing how to design new digital content.
Security: knowing how to protect devices and people.
Digital skills Examples :
Some examples of these digital skills are:
Perform Google searches.
Share digital news.
Detect fake news .
Manage a profile on social networks.
Share large videos.
Understand how an algorithm works.
Program a robot.
Edit a photo.
Detect the best tool to solve a problem.
Digital skills in education
It is essential to work on the development of digital skills in current education.
And it is that the students of the present are already digital natives and the classrooms must be aware of this.
The first step is to equip teachers with the necessary digital skills. Then educational policies must be adapted to new technologies. This is the only way to fully develop the digital potential of students.
When we speak of teaching competencies, we refer to all the knowledge, skills and attitudes that an educator must have for the proper performance of their work.
They go beyond technical knowledge and are transversal skills that facilitate the transmission of educational knowledge at any level and on any subject.
But the education sector requires specific skills.
And it is that a professional competence is not the same as an educational competence.
Working as a teacher requires specific skills that foster the learning capacity of students.
Some examples of teaching skills are: lesson planning, supervision skills, empathy, authority, group management, effective communication, conflict resolution or teamwork.
But if we have to highlight a single teaching competence as essential, it is communication capacity.
It is not enough to have the knowledge. The key is knowing how to pass it on.
Digital skills for teachers
As the world advances, classrooms are digitized and with it the need for teachers who have specific digital skills for education.
Such is the importance of these digital skills, that the Ministry of Education includes it within its key skills, defining it as follows:
“Digital competence (CD) is one that involves the creative, critical and safe use of information and communication technologies to achieve objectives related to work, employability, learning, the use of free time, inclusion and participation in society.”
Digital skills for students
Now it’s time to talk about the other part of the educational process: the students.
And it is that a common mistake is to assume that students, being digital natives, have advanced digital skills.
It is true that the new generations dominate technology, but do they know how to use it creatively, consciously and safely?
The teaching task is to encourage the use of these skills to achieve the students’ personal goals.
Digital skills for children
Children can begin to acquire digital skills as early as 5 or 6 years of age.
In this case it is important to acquire digital skills in a playful and creative way.
And a surprising fact is that digital skills can be developed for children without having to place them in front of a screen. For example, learning to program a robot sequentially.
Digital skills for high school
From the age of 16, it is interesting to encourage adolescents to use technology to make their ideas come true through digital design and coding.
In this way, a high-level line of thought is developed that encourages autonomous learning and the resolution of complex problems.
Digital skills for all
Age does not matter when the desire to learn is present.
That’s why it’s never too late to acquire digital skills. There is a real tendency among people over 65 to approach new technologies with curiosity.
Whether it’s learning to use smartphones , shopping online , finding information in real time or communicating digitally with your grandchildren.
And it is that a competent student in digital skills is not one who knows how to post a tweet or spends hours hooked on the mobile.
It is the one who is capable not only of mastering technology, but of knowing how to create new realities from it. To use it strategically for his professional goals, as a competitive advantage.
This means that they are fundamental skills for daily life that, if not developed correctly at school, will make proper social inclusion and achievement of personal goals impossible.
ICT is the acronym that corresponds to Information and Communication Technologies.
It refers to all the computer tools that store, manage, create and share any type of multimedia information: texts, videos, images, infographics.
A digital ICT is any device that helps us communicate with other people or allows us to inform ourselves through a screen: computers, smartphones , digital televisions, smart watches, etc., as well as their networks or software.
UNESCO digital skills
UNESCO in its document ICT Competence Standards , details a series of digital competences focused especially on teachers.
This manual details the technological resources necessary for teachers to integrate ICT into their teaching method and to be able to teach their subjects more effectively.
Although it is intended primarily for primary and secondary teachers, it is a reference framework for the entire education sector.
If you want to learn more about the use of ICT in education, we encourage you to consult the UNESCO website, where you can consult the ICT Competency Framework for teachers .
You will also find research, advice and success stories on the application of new technologies to promote learning.
It is normal for teachers to feel overwhelmed by technological advances and worried about how to integrate them into their teaching program.
But you don’t need to know everything. Only master some basic ICT skills such as the creation of digital content (which will make the classes more dynamic), knowledge of virtual learning platforms or collaborative tools.
The result? A teacher 2.0.
Management for the development of digital skills
Such is the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the development of countries, that UNESCO proposes to implement a management strategy based on four pillars:
Materials: development of digital tools that facilitate learning.
Infrastructure: ensure adequate connectivity in the facilities.
Documentary: have organized and systematized information.
Orientation: support teachers in their doubts and promote their continuous training.
The use of technical knowledge and ICT for problem solving
Technology is a key tool in problem solving. Thanks to it we can obtain more information about the situation, and resolve it more quickly and efficiently.
But let’s not forget: technology is at the service of our human intelligence. That is why we must learn to develop the capacity for observation, analysis and abstraction.
ICTs are a first-rate resource for solving problems, since they allow statistics, simulations and calculations to be carried out in a simple way, making it easier for us to concentrate on the creative part of the problem.
Digital literacy definition
The arrival of the internet and the new digital technologies has meant an unprecedented rupture in the history of humanity.
So much so that a new term has been coined: digital literacy.
The acquisition of a series of basic skills in handling technological equipment, programs, languages and forms of communication is required.
But not only that, it is also necessary to know how to evaluate and analyze the information obtained through digital technology.
Digital literacy is, therefore, the combination of knowing how to use technology and understanding what to do it for.
Let’s start by seeing what definition the DLE gives us :
Digital: “Said of a device or system: That creates, presents, transports or stores information through the combination of bits.
We could then say that digital technologies are those techniques or instruments that work through binary combination.
But this very academic definition does not represent the real impact that digital technology has had on our lives.
The digital revolution has undoubtedly been the most important technological discovery of the modern era. We have gone from a mechanical world to a numerical one, which allows man to live in a faster, simpler and more productive world.
Digital technology has substantially impacted and modified every corner of our daily lives; and mastering it is essential to understanding society.
The digital revolution becomes tangible through the appearance of a multitude of binary technologies. Every day a new form of communication seems to emerge. A new tool. A new language.
But there are certain basic digital technologies that do not go out of style and are the pillar of all the others:
What are the digital tools
It seems that every day an essential digital tool emerges. And it can be exhausting.
Don’t you know the new app to gamify classes? Google just released a new feature for quizzes!
Although Covid-19 has suddenly accelerated the adoption of digital tools by the education sector, there is still a lot of ignorance.
And it is essential to have the optimal tools to improve the experience of digital native students.
Digital tools in education
And it is that in the educational context of the 21st century, a classroom that is not digital is not a productive classroom.
A teacher must make use of ICT tools to increase the creativity, commitment and results of their students.
Some of these basic digital tools for education are Google Classroom, Genially, Keynote or Kahoot.
Classification of digital tools
Depending on your educational objectives, we can divide the digital tools into 5 blocks:
Creation: to design digital elements such as videos, photos, websites or infographics.
Gamification: promote the participation of students in a playful way.
Communication: video calls, conferences or transmission of documents.
Management: office automation tools such as word processors, spreadsheets or databases.
Evaluation: to qualify or evaluate students online .
Digital culture for teaching in the 21st century
Thanks to all this we can speak of the fact that we are witnessing the transformation of the 21st century school.
A digital culture is being developed in educational centers through the adoption of digital tools that encourage creativity and accelerated student learning.
Only schools that adopt this digital culture will train the new generations that change the world.
In this way, the children and young people of the present will be able to transform the world in a way that we could never have imagined.
Thanks to their digital knowledge, they will have an optimal ability to enter the labor market in strategic jobs.
Digital knowledge will thus be the language of the new generations.
Body of knowledge
It is important to note that digital skills in isolation do not have the necessary impact to transform reality.
It is necessary to obtain a set of knowledge to develop digital thinking.
Mathematical thinking, programming languages, electronics, robotics or design. All areas are part of a set of heuristic knowledge.
And from school to the professional world. If there were still doubts, the Covid-19 has changed everything.
Analog companies are doomed. The future belongs to digital companies.
Big data, industry 4.0, automated marketing or simulated environments. Successful businesses require more than ever digital professionals, who actively recruit directly from leading digital learning centers.
Digital skills definition
We can then define digital skills as the ability of a person to handle Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
It is a key competence to develop for people of any age, since it allows them to take advantage of technology to improve life.
Having basic digital skills allows us to integrate and interact in today’s society.
While acquiring advanced digital skills facilitates high-level employability thanks to the development of soft skills such as leadership, creativity or innovation.
What are digital skills
Such is the importance of acquiring digital skills that the European Union has created a common reference framework detailing the 21 skills required for correct digital literacy:
Collaborate through digital technologies.
Netiquette and online behavior.
Digital identity management.
Develop digital content.
Integrate and rework digital content.
Copyright and licenses.
Protection of health and well-being.
Solve technical problems.
Identification of technological needs and responses.
Creative use of digital technologies.
Identification of digital competence gaps.
Tech Skills: Examples
Some practical examples of these skills especially valued in the professional environment are:
Big data analytics.
Administration of security networks.
Design Thinking .
Content Management Systems (CMS).
Digital skills and capabilities
And it is that having purely digital skills and abilities is a key factor to stand out in the labor market.
In a business environment that changes at the speed of light, formal training matters less and less.
Leading organizations need people with digital soft skills to help them adapt and innovate.
Tech Skills: CV
That is why we encourage you to include a section on technological skills in your resume .
Divide your knowledge between official studies and acquired skills.
Reserve a specific section for the technological skills you master. Although they are not directly related to the job, they will help you demonstrate your global digital skills.
It is an infallible resource to differentiate yourself from other candidates and demonstrate your digital potential.
Education and Training
To reach adulthood with these abilities, it is essential to train children from an early age.
The problem is that official education often lacks the technical resources to implement these courses.
It is then necessary to find alternative solutions that allow the education and training of children in digital skills.
Because as with languages or any other training discipline, what was learned in childhood is anchored as a base knowledge.
Learning strategies and digital skills
The important thing when teaching digital skills is to understand the skills as a whole and in depth.
Acquiring skills such as programming, robotics, design, audiovisual communication, 3D printing, video game design, entrepreneurship, digital marketing… The child acquires key non-digital skills such as leadership, creativity, innovation, empathy, negotiation and public speaking.
We hope we have clarified in depth the scope and importance of developing digital skills in the current environment.
Do you have doubts? Do you want us to provide you with more information about a concept?
Leave us your query in comments and we will be happy to help you.
And if you want to develop your digital skills, we encourage you to take a look at our courses for children, adolescents, teachers and adults of any age.
Develop your digital skills now and design your future world.