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Title: Evaluation of Pre-service and In-service Teachers´ Digital Competence in Anhui Province, China
Authors: Yang, L.
Keywords: Digital competence
In-service teachers
Pre-service teachers
Teacher training
Issue Date: 22-May-2023
Publisher: Programa de Doctorado Formación en la Sociedad del Conocimiento
Abstract: With the integration of technologies in education, every country has proposed technology development plans in the educational field and increased investment. China has fully realized that ICT has played a significant role in promoting future educational development and has determined the status of technology development for education from a national strategy. Therefore, it has created great changes in the teachers´ teaching and learning environments. This changing process in education is creating and will continue to create new challenges for teachers' working methods in pedagogical, didactic, and administrative contexts and their specialized knowledge and basic skills. The teacher is the key element in the whole educational process, particularly in educational action for transformation and improvement of education in fostering students' digital skills, specialized knowledge, and basic skills. Under these circumstances, the digital competence of teachers has received world attention that requires developing learning skills and receiving knowledge from various sources available in modern society, producing new demands for understanding and using digital learning opportunities in the educational field. Serval concepts have been used to describe the teachers´ use of ICT, such as teachers´ information literacy, teachers´ digital literacy, teachers´ ICT skills, teachers´ information technology skills, teachers´ ICT competency, and teachers´ digital competence. There is a close connection between these commonly used concepts. However, based on the definition of digital competence, we concluded that digital competence is a boundary concept underpinned by digital literacy, media literacy, information, and data literacy. Hence, the concept of digital competence is used for describing the use of ICT in the present study because it offers a more comprehensive view of the use of technology. Many nations and organizations have set considerable demands concerning teachers´ digital competence, and the theoretical framework related to teachers´ digital competence has been launched. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the six main national and international frameworks published. There are various Europe-supported frameworks, one China-supported framework, one United States-supported framework, two UNESCO-supported frameworks, as well as A Global Framework of Reference on Digital Literacy Skills for Indicator 4.4.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals. There is an overview of efforts and challenges on teachers' digital competence in China, which provides the starting points for a subject of reflection and analysis of the Chinese teachers' digital competence status. The overview mainly focuses on the main terms used to talk about teachers' use of technology for teaching and learning, the main purposes of the previous studies related to the digital competence of teachers, the main characteristics of the research methods, and the main proposals made to improve the digital competence. This study proposed a diagnostic evaluation from a quantitative paradigm, which used a non-experimental-cross-sectional design. Thus, an ex-post-facto methodology based on survey studies was implemented to assess and analyze Chinese pre-service and in-service teachers' perception of digital competence in Anhui province. Moreover, this quantitative study explores the relationship between sociodemographic factors (age, educational degree level, ICT courses, years of teaching experience) and their digital competence level. The results of this study firstly demonstrated that both pre-service and in-service teachers in Anhui province have an excellent perception of digital competence in the three measured areas. Secondly, factors such as age, years of teaching, and educational background influence pre-and in-service teachers’ digital competence. Finally, our primary recommendation for improving Chinese teachers´ digital competence is teachers’ training. After the theoretical support for pre-service and in-service K-12 teacher training was investigated, the training program was designed. Five clear strategies on excellence or best practice for teacher training integrated approach to improving Chinese teacher training: 1). teacher educators as role models; 2). scaffolding of authentic technology experiences; 3). learning instructional design with technology; 4). the reflection on the role of technology in education; and 5). the training modality. The 3rd edition of the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers was selected as the framework used. The training program is divided into five training modules depending on the different levels of digital competence of the population. The formative assessment with 12 practices was designed for the training program, as well as the summative assessment.
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