The Digital Soft Skills Framework for educators and students has been developed as part of the Digital Soft Skills @Ulysseus (D2S) project, a joint initiative of the Ulysseus European Universities Alliance with co-funding from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
A skill is a specific learned ability that one needs to perform a given job well; a soft skill is a non-technical skill that is less rooted in specific vocations. For the purpose of this project, we choose to leave a degree of flexibility in conceptualizing digital soft skills, distinguishing between two key dimensions:
Relates to using technology and includes traditional ICT skills.
Relates to social, emotional, and interpersonal effects of using technology.
Relies on four key aspects that encompass core digital soft skills, both for teachers and for students. Four categories of skills. In each category we limit our focus to three soft skills that also reflect the degree of fluency/proficiency. We believe that the advanced digital soft skills address the needs of both higher education students and teachers as users and actors of digital education, as well as more broadly as digital citizens. An extra layer – Personal Development – combines both digital education related skills, but also more general digital citizens skills and professional skills.
The circle surrounding the four categories highlights broader competences, which are considered as necessary to succeed in any modern education setting, and in which the digital soft skills are embedded, alongside knowledge and attitudes. These are Flexibility in Learning, Reflective Practice, and Intercultural Empathy. An extra layer – Personal Development – combines both digital education related skills, but also more general digital citizens skills and professional skills.
The Framework for Teachers adds one further layer of overarching critical teaching practice. Also, the digital soft skills and the three broader competences closely relate to pedagogical competences, such as the ones provided in the European Framework for the Digital Competency of Educators1 or the EdDiCo project2.
Information literacy (digital search, analysis, research skills).
Manipulating and reproducing information (including knowledge of data rights, licencing, open resources, etc.)
Effectively and ethically using digital information (including research data management for educators).
Being aware of one’s digital footprint
Creating a successful digital identity
Managing a positive digital reputation
Understanding the different aspects of digital wellbeing
Charting one’s personal technology use
Looking after one’s health in a digital environment
· Including dealing with risks and challenges in digital contexts (e.g. addiction, bullying, etc.)
Working in digital teams
Finding, evaluating, selecting and using appropriate collaboration tools
Moderating online meetings
Managing own and team priorities in digital collaboration
Finding, evaluating, selecting, and using appropriate communication tools and formats
Communicating within the rules of Netiquette
Being able to adapt one’s message to different digital media, audiences, and purposes
Ensuring accessibility and inclusion of all learners
Engaging and building relationships online
Negotiating with others in online spaces
Understanding a variety of perspectives
Empowering learners through their active and creative online engagement (for Educators)
Critically analyzing digital sources, information.
Considering different perspectives, and positions
Identifying and articulating own position and views in digital contexts
Using agile working methods to adapt to changes in the learning process (for educators)
Incorporate teaching and learning activities that boost critical and analytical thinking (for educators)
Identifying and defining a problem in a digital context
Developing appropriate options and strategies
Creatively using digital technologies to solve problems
Fostering learners' digital problem solving and real-world complex problems(for educators)
Thinking about a problem in a new or different way
Using the imagination to generate new and unique ideas
Employing digital tools for creative thinking and acting
Design activities that increase students' creative expression(for Educators).
Engaging and participating in an (online) community to address issues of public concern
Using suitable digital media to raise public awareness
Using suitable digital media to promote important societal causes
Ability to develop a holistic approach to digital and green transition (integrative thinking and practice)
Envisioning change: critically assessing societal changes and envisioning sustainable futures
Ability to live together: collaborate and negotiating with diverse groups (trans-disciplinary approach, inter-generational, intercultural, etc.)
Integrative thinking of economic, environmental and social goals of development (for educators).
Innovation / Design thinking
Combining tinkering with formal learning of new technologies
Ability to change and be forward-looking, to develop the currently given situations into other, new and unknown future concepts and to approach them creatively.
Ability to embrace innovation as an integral part of any organisational subject and process
Using methods to carry out creative development
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