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What is the importance of Digital Competences for 21st century education?

What is the importance of Digital Competences for 21st century education?
What is the importance of Digital Competences for 21st century education?

A small reflection of how education has been changing and how it should be faced after 2020. We are currently in the information age, considered this way due to the scope that digitization has had and the influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). For many, those who have access to and can handle these tools in the best way have the best opportunities. It is not a surprise then that one of the most demanded competences for teachers is digital. What is the importance of Digital Competences for 21st century education.

For a long time now, ICT has been considered a necessity for teaching professionals —as well as for many others—, not only because it will allow them to better face emerging challenges, but also to prepare their students for the demands 21st century jobs.

And although the education sector has tried to respond to this demand, never so much and in such a violent way as in 2020, after the inexorable expansion of the coronavirus disease forced thousands of teachers and students to depend solely on the digital world.

21st century education

Digital competences, understood as the set of skills and knowledge that allow the safe and efficient use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have ceased to be a simple recommendation to become an essential part of 21st century education.

Not only because of the current context, but also because they promote social inclusion, leaving aside spatial and social barriers. This, in turn, allows for equal employment and, consequently, economic opportunities.

The digital skills of teachers not only stimulate creativity and innovation, “they also [contribute to] intercultural dialogue and play an important role in overcoming individual learning problems.

As mentioned before, this is a fact that for many years has concerned many groups dedicated to promoting education equally, but also those who recognize the changes that have transformed the labor market.

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The demand for digital skills in teachers is a response to the need for education to prepare young people for the demands of the world of work.

Now professionals need to be able to work in a team, solve problems, have a creative but also critical and logical thinking, innovate, have good oral communication, leadership, determination, perseverance and more. Just reading it is quite exhausting, can you imagine applying it in a classroom?

Fortunately, there is currently a lot of knowledge (digital and printed) whose main objective is to present ICT as a pedagogical method of integration and as a didactic tool, in addition to the positive and negative impacts they have on the teaching and learning process. We see self-regulatory courses or courses taught by other teachers, YouTube channels, webinars, events and thousands of other options that only need the interest of the teacher.

Education after 2020

This is, perhaps, the only good thing that may have resulted from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Teachers have seen the need to face this reality and understand that they must promote their digital skills.

The truth is that one must understand the importance of learning taking place in any context and for this it is necessary to structure a responsible society and, above all, knowledgeable about the functioning of the digital world.

In the absence of a short-term cure, we must recognize that the ways of teaching and working will change forever. Although many ask the question of whether we are ready for it, it is likely that the most important thing is if all those who were still resistant to the idea are ready to try it. The rest will come with time and effort.