Digital Competences (VIII). Cristóbal Cobo: e-Competences in the European Framework: literacies in the XXIst Century

Notes from the course Competencias digitales: conocimientos, habilidades y actitudes para la Sociedad Red (Digital competences: Knowledge, skills and attitudes for the Network Society), organized by the CUIMPB, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on July 16th and 17h, 2009. More notes on this event: competencias_digitales_cuimpb_2009.

e-Competences in the European Framework: literacies in the XXIst Century
Cristóbal Cobo

Europe is doing pretty well (in relationship with the rest of the World) in broadband adoption and Internet users. But… what do people do with broadband in the Internet? For instance, the Chinese blogosphere (with much lower Internet adoption) is larger than the US and EU blogospheres combined.

Social networking sites have become platforms where to informally develop digital skills.

Digital skills might be related with the educational level, but there is contradictory data to validate this statement. Indeed, we quite often find no relationship at all. What is nevertheless clear is that the digital divide and the e-competences divide have much in common with other development divides.

There’s been a huge concern to bring equipment inside schools, to bring computers and connectivity into the classrooms. The question being: are them students learning more? In general, we do not find any evidence between more access and usage of ICTs and higher performance in education. And not only this, but also ICTs haven’t brought any change at the methodological level, any pedagogical innovation. If any relationship was found, it is between performance at school and access and usage at home.

Indeed, beyond a specific threshold, more ICT availability does not imply higher ICT usage… but, quite often, just the contrary.

e-Competences are meta competences: a compendium of several competences, including their own framework: a long-term agenda, stakeholder partnerships, research and development.

Though youngsters show an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, the impact of ICTs in youngsters has been overrated.

e-Awareness as the most important of e-competences:

  • understand the importance of e-competences
  • promote a constant update of such competences
  • promote a professional use or application of them
  • promote the acquisition of such abilities

e-Inclusion: the Information Society does not work if we only support the ones that had the best chances to be educated, to have a good job, etc. And a good starting point is de-elitize the advanced ICT users.

Some proposals for e-competences acquisition:

  • Uniformity vs. consistency
  • Constant updating
  • Do not reduce them to ICT usage
  • Validate informal e-skills
  • Incentives

Some final thoughs

  • The impact of ICTs in education has not been the one expected
  • Integration of ICTs in education demands deep changes
  • The potential of ICTs to develop a continuous learning is huge

Proposals for policies in e-competences

  • Integral adoption of ICTs in education, including innovative pedagogy, teacher training, new learning environments, etc.;
  • Use ICTs to enrich informal learning spaces, contextual learning, collaborative learning, blended learning, innovative and continuous learning;
  • Forget about instrumental standards, but go in the direction of building principles and standards based on actualization and recognition, related with digital citizenship
  • Move towards e-maturity: find the proper application for ICTs. ICTs are not for everything and everyone and everywhere. And unlink e-competences with the number of computers and usage time.

[click here to enlarge]


Q: The abolition of censorship and other restrictive practices, will it help in e-competences adoption? A: Yes, it would help, but we also have to forget about a 1:1 relationship between people and computers, or that ICTs are going to bring solutions to each and every problem (like lack of democracy). But, yes, of course, it is a necessary condition (not sufficient) that governments become e-aware.

Jordi Palau: sure the new generation of Web 2.0 technologies won’t help education? They’ll help, but the change, the real change, is at another level.

More information


Course on Digital Competences (2009)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2009) “Digital Competences (VIII). Cristóbal Cobo: e-Competences in the European Framework: literacies in the XXIst Century” In ICTlogy, #70, July 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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5 Comments to “Digital Competences (VIII). Cristóbal Cobo: e-Competences in the European Framework: literacies in the XXIst Century” »

  1. Pingback: e-competencias en el marco europeo [presentación] « e-rgonomic

  2. Hola Ismael;

    Únicamente quiero darte la enhorabuena por el curso sobre competencias digitales en el CCCB. Ha sido un placer asistir y me he quedado con ganas de más. Así que, cualquier evento similar, mantenme informado.

    Un abrazo,

    Ramón García

  3. Bones !!!
    …feia temps ke no anava a un Curs a “aprendre” : e-awareness, presència digital, las 8 de las competències digitales, “sin conocimientos no hay competencias”, “pasar de la “potencialidad” a la realidad a la acción inmediata”, programa compartim, competencias para el trabajo colaborativo, digitalización, cambio competencial de los trabajajadores y las empresas, virtaula 2.0, inteligencia colectiva, de la transmisión del conocimiento a la construcción del conocimiento, del aprendizaje autónomo al aprendizaje colectivo, domesticación de las tecnologías, e-competences, e-madurez….creo que tenemos más ke suficiente para seguir impulsando la Xarxa Òmnia, quizás me ha faltado conectar más el mundo de los telecentros con todas estrategias o aportaciones.
    bonna sort,
    cuida’t i gracies pèr tot,

  4. Gràcies a tu, Cesk :)

    La veritat és que hagués estat bé tenir un tercer cas pràctic més centrat en la societat civil, on els telecentres (i biblioteques i…) hi haguessin tingut un paper rellevant, però ja no teníem més espai :P

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