Teacher’s digital competence among final year Pedagogy students in Chile and Uruguay

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  The development of Teacher’s Digital Competence (TDC) should start in initial teacher training, and continue throughout the following years of practice. All this with the purpose of using Digital Technologies (DT) to improve teaching and professional
  Comunicar, n. 61, v. XXVII, 2019  |  Media Education Research Journal  |  ISSN: 1134-3478; e-ISSN: 1988-3478www.comunicarjournal.com   Teacher’s digital competence among final yearPedagogystudents in Chile and Uruguay Competencia digital docente en estudiantes de último año dePedagogía de Chile y Uruguay   Dr. Juan Silva is Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Director of the Center for Researchand Innovation in Education and ICT at the University of Santiago (Chile) (juan.silva@usach.cl)(https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9817-402X)   Dr. Mireia Usart is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Pedagogy at University Rovira i Virgili inTarragona (Spain) (mireia.usart@urv.cat) (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4372-9312)   Dr. José-Luis Lázaro-Cantabrana is Professor in the Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology atUniversity Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Spain) (joseluis.lazaro@urv.cat)(https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9689-603X)  ABSTRACT The development of Teacher’s Digital Competence (TDC) should start in initial teacher training, and continue throughout thefollowing years of practice. All this with the purpose of using Digital Technologies (DT) to improve teaching and professionaldevelopment. ThispaperpresentsastudyfocusedonthediagnosisofTDCamongITTseniorstudentsfromChileandUruguay. Aquantitativemethodology,witharepresentativesampleof568students(N=273fromChileandN=295fromUruguay)wasdesigned and implemented. TDC was also studied and discussed in relation to gender and educational level. Results showed a mostly basic level for the four dimensions of the TDC in the sample. Regarding the relationship between the variables and theTDC, the planning, organization and management of spaces and technological resources’ dimension is the only one showing significant differences. In particular, male students achieved a higher TDC level compared with female students. Furthermore,the proportion of Primary Education students with a low TDC level was significantly higher than other students. In conclusion,it is necessary, for teacher training institutions in Chile and Uruguay, to implement policies at different moments and in differentareas of the ITT process in order to improve the development of the TDC. RESUMEN El desarrollo de la Competencia Digital Docente (CDD) debe iniciarse en la etapa de formación inicial docente (FID) yextenderse durante los años de ejercicio. Todo ello con el propósito de usar las Tecnologías Digitales (TD) de manera quepermitan enriquecer la docencia y el propio desarrollo profesional. El presente artículo expone los resultados de un trabajocon estudiantes de último año de FID de Chile y Uruguay para determinar su nivel de CDD. Para realizar el estudio seutilizó una metodología cuantitativa, con una muestra representativa estratificada de 568 estudiantes (n=273, Chile; n=295,Uruguay). Losdatosseanalizaronenrelaciónalgéneroyniveleducativo. Losresultadosmostraron,paralascuatrodimensionesde la CDD, un desarrollo básico. Respecto a la relación entre las variables estudiadas y la CDD, destaca el porcentaje dehombres que alcanza competencias digitales avanzadas para la dimensión de Planificación, organización y gestión de espacios y recursos tecnológicos. También para esta dimensión la proporción de estudiantes de Educación Primaria con un desarrollode CDD básico es significativamente superior al del resto de estudiantes. Como conclusión destacamos que es necesario quelas instituciones formadoras de docentes implementen políticas a diferentes plazos y en diversos ámbitos de la FID como elsistema educativo, la formación y la docencia, para mejorar el nivel de desarrollo de la CDD. KEYWORDS | PALABRAS CLAVE ICT standards, digital competence, teachers training, assessment, educational technology, high education, pedagogy,educational system.Estándares TIC, competencia digital, formación de profesores, evaluación, tecnología educativa, educación superior,pedagogía, sistema educativo. Received: 2019-02-28 | Reviewed: 2019-03-25 | Accepted: 2019-05-10 | Preprint: 2019-07-15 | Published: 2019-10-01DOI https://doi.org/10.3916/C61-2019-03 | Pages: 31-401       C   o   m   u   n     i   c   a   r ,     6     1 ,     X     X     V     I     I ,     2     0     1     9 321.Introduction Digital competence (DC) is one of the key competences of the modern citizen. Over a decade ago,the European Commission (2018) considered that citizens should have some key skills to prepare them for adult life, to enable them to actively participate in society and to continue to learn throughout their lives. As one of these skills, DC must be considered broadly, in all educational systems (curricula, resources andsupport for training, continuous competency updates, teacher training, equity, special needs, educationalpolicies, etc.). In a broader context, UNESCO (2015: 40-47), within the Education 2030 Framework for  Action, highlights the potential of digital technology (DT) and the importance of technological skills training as part of programs to enter the labor market. In this reality, the teaching staff plays a key role to ensure thatfuture citizens make effective use of digital technologies for their personal and professional development. Variousinternationalreportshighlighttheneedforwell-trainededucatorsintheusetheDTforteaching (INTEF, 2017: 2; Redecker & Punie, 2017: 12; UNESCO, 2015: 55; 2017: 20), Teachers with anadequate level of Teacher’s Digital Competence (TDC), which is understood as the “set of abilities, skills,and attitudes that teachers must develop in order to be able to incorporate digital technologies into their practice and their professional development” (Lázaro, Usart, & Gisbert, 2019: 73). This concept is in linewith proposals concerning recent developments, which define TDC, and emphasize the need to harnessthe potential of DT in the learning processes of future citizens of a digital society. Teachers themselvesdemonstrate, in their training needs, that TDC is one of their priorities (European Commission, 2015: 11).Specifically, the collection of knowledge, attitudes and skills that make up TDC are defined in differentframeworks and standards that serve as referents for the training and evaluation of this competency:MINEDUC-Enlaces (2008; 2011), ISTE (2008), Unesco (2008 y 2018), Fraser, Atkins, & Richard(2013), Ministerio Educación Nacional (2013), INTEF (2014; 2017), DigiComp (Redecker & Punie,2017). If we analyze the dimensions of TDC considered here, we can see that the focus is on didactic-pedagogicalaspects,teacherprofessionaldevelopment,ethicalandsafetyaspects,searchandmanagementofinformation, andinthecreationandcommunicationofcontent. MostofthemaredirectedtowardTDCof in-service teachers, who may be able to assimilate initial or basic levels as a minimum requirement as a student pursuing a degree in education or pedagogy to complete their training at university. 1.1.TDC in initial teacher training In education degree programs, DC has a different hue than in other areas of education. Initial Teacher Training should include digital training for the future teachers, so they are able to use digital technologyin their professional activity (Escudero, Martínez-Domínguez, & Nieto, 2018; Papanikolaou, Makri, &Roussos, 2017; Prendes, Castañeda, & Gutiérrez, 2010).Teacher training is one of the key factors for incorporating DT in pedagogical practices. This aspecttakes on greater relevance in ITT, as they could enter the education system with an adequate level of TDC. In this way, future teachers would be able to enrich the learning environments through DT andincorporate them naturally into their future professional practice (Castañeda, Esteve, & Adell, 2018). ITTin Latin America has been incorporating DT in the study plans with little or no guidance and support fromthe ministries of education. In fact, the policy has focused on delivering infrastructure and training toteachers in the educational system, without offering support and guidance to teacher-training institutions.It is necessary to systematize and share experiences involving the inclusion of DT in the ITT curriculum(Brun, 2011), in alignment with international standards (Brushed & Prada, 2012).InChile,giventheautonomyofinstitutionsthattrainteachersandtheshortageofpoliciesandguidelinesfor including DT in ITT, there are a variety of specific subjects on DT distributed along different semestersof the syllabus. However, they are more focused on digital literacy, than on teaching with DT (Rodriguez& Silva, 2006). This fact has not hindered the development of particular initiatives created by someinstitutions, in line with guiding the development of the TDC. They use some national standards and, atthe same time, integrate elements of other international frameworks (Cerda, Huete, Molina, Ruminot &Saiz, 2017). In this context, the level of self-perception of students with regard to TDC (MINEDUC-Enlaces, 2011). It has been observed that the level of TDC development of ITT students is based ontechnical and ethical aspects, rather than those related to teaching and knowledge management (Badilla, ©  ISSN: 1134-3478  • e-ISSN: 1988-3293  • Pages 31-40       C   o   m   u   n     i   c   a   r ,     6     1 ,     X     X     V     I     I ,     2     0     1     9 33 Jiménez, & Careaga, 2013; Ascencio, Garay, & Seguic, 2016). In the case of Uruguay, because thereis an entity that controls teacher training, there are two ITT subjects: “Information and education” and“integrating digital technologies,” which include education in TDC of future teachers (Rombys, 2012). Inboth countries, no specific cross-sectional formulations are observed to guide the integration of DT inother subjects. Their work is subjected to the competencies and skills of the teaching staff itself (Silva &al., 2017). 1.2.Evaluation of TDC Evaluating TDC in ITT presents important challenges that relate to the complexity of evaluating competencies and the assessment system used. Objective assessment tools are required, that are notbased only on the perception of the user but measure the level of TDC by solving situations or problemsin line with the indicators to be evaluated (Villar & Poblete, 2011: 150). Currently, there are TDC self-assessment tools that are based on self-perception (Redecker & Punie, 2017; Tourón, Martín, Navarro,Pradas & Íñigo, 2018). INTEF (2017) presents a proposal that uses a technological solution and alsoincorporates the use of a portfolio for evaluation. In our view, the challenge is to use an objective, reliableand valid TDC evaluation test that measures the knowledge of the future teacher. For this purpose, thisstudy sets forth to analyze the development level of TDC in a sample of senior students of ITT in Chileand Uruguay, through a previously validated instrument (see section 2.2), which allows us to make anassessment aligned to TDC, using the indicators and dimensions proposed by Lázaro and Gisbert (2015)(Figure 1). At the same time, through the data obtained, research will also examine the relationship of theTDC level with other key variables. 1.3.Objectives and research questions In order to determine the development level of TDC of the ITT senior students in Chile and Uruguay,the study will present and discuss the results for a representative sample in both countries, throughquantitative analysis of the data obtained using the described instruments, and also with regard to thevariables of gender and educational level. Specifically:• O1. Assess the level of TDC in a sample of students from Chile and Uruguay.• O2. Study the relationship between the level of TDC and the factors of gender and educationallevel.The following research questions are established to guide the process and will be used to present anddiscuss the results: ©  ISSN: 1134-3478  • e-ISSN: 1988-3293  • Pages 31-40       C   o   m   u   n     i   c   a   r ,     6     1 ,     X     X     V     I     I ,     2     0     1     9 34 • Q1. What is the distribution in the four dimensions of TDC of the sample studied?• Q2. Are there significant differences for TDC in terms of gender?• Q3. Are there differences in TDC among future teachers of primary and secondary education? 2.Material and methods2.1.Sample  With the aim of studying the TDC of senior students of ITT in Chile and Uruguay, we chose a representative stratified sample composed of 568 students of both countries. We performed a stratifiedrandom sampling with p=5%. The sample was drawn from a population of 2,467 students for Uruguayand an estimated population of 12,928 in Chile, considering the public universities that provide ITT. Toperform the stratified sample, the relative weight of the population was taken into account, of the variousITTinstitutionsUruguayanddifferentpublicuniversitiesinChile, consideringeachinstitutionasastratum.In the case of Uruguay (there are two institutions —with a center for each stratum— in the capitalcity of the country, and the remaining 2 institutions with 28 centers scattered throughout the rest of theterritory), in 2 of the 4 strata, a multistage sample was conducted, in which the centers were chosen first,and then, the students within these centers. Eleven centers participated of a total of 30. First, the samplewas divided by strata, according to the number of students present in each center. Then, depending onfeasibility decisions, students were drawn in the institutions of the capital and the centers of the rest of the country. Within these centers, students to be surveyed were drawn by an assigned number in thestudent lists. To select the individuals of the samples, another 10% was drawn for substitution, respecting the relative weight of each subsample.In the Chilean case, after dividing the sample in strata —by number of students present in each one of them— there was one drawing per university, while the instrument was applied by full classroom, withthe participation of seven universities, of a total of 16. The universe and the samples are shown on Table1. Table 2 characterizes the sample of 568 students who participated in the study. It is made up of 273Chilean students (48.1%) and 295 Uruguayan students (51.9%). 2.2.Instruments and procedure To study the TDC of the sample, a test-type assessment instrument was used to present problemsituations that novel teachers may encounter during their professional practice. This instrument is ©  ISSN: 1134-3478  • e-ISSN: 1988-3293  • Pages 31-40       C   o   m   u   n     i   c   a   r ,     6     1 ,     X     X     V     I     I ,     2     0     1     9 35 composed of closed questions with hierarchical or weighted responses, with several answer options. Theresponseswerescoredaccordingtotheirlevelofprecision: 1,0.75,0.5,0.25points. Thisdifferentiationisexplained because, faced with the same problem situation, there may be several correct answers, but withdifferent levels of precision, depending on the situation. This was constructed from an array of indicatorstoassessTDCinITTintheChilean-Uruguayancontext(Silva, Miranda, Gisbert, Moral, &Oneto, 2016)basedprimarilyonICTstandardsinITTfromMINEDUC-Enlaces(2008)andtheproposedTDCrubricby Lázaro & Gisbert (2015).The specifications table was reviewed by a panel of experts, both in Chile and Uruguay. This is a proposal of TDC contextualized to ITT, which is based on different international standards (Fraser, Atkins&Richard, 2013; INTEF,2014; ISTE,2008andUNESCO,2008), toensuretheconstructvalidityoftheinstrument. Inordertoensurecontentvalidityintheevaluationquestionnaire, the56initialquestionswerevalidated through expert judgment which included nine experts in the field of Higher Education linkedto ITT in Uruguay, Chile and Spain (3 per country). This process was carried out through validationmatrices, where each expert individually answered yes or no to the conditions of validity of each question.Of the 56 questions, 51 obtained a quality assessment of over 75%, while only six questions wereevaluated with scores under 75%, making them unsuitable for the final evaluation instrument. Theassessment instrumentwas madeup of thefour top ratedquestions by expertsfor each ofthe 10indicators.In this way, the final instrument was composed of 40 questions, distributed in four dimensions: D1.Curriculum, Didactics and Methodology: 16 questions; D2. Planning, Organizing and Managing DigitalTechnology Spaces and Resources: eight questions; D3. Ethical, legal and security aspects: eight questionsand D4. Personal and Professional Development: eight questions. Meanwhile, each correct answer wasassigned one point and the instrument awarded 40 points maximum.Below is an example of an item or question: ”If you want your students to perform a CIICT(curricular integration of information and communication technologies) activity, which of the following digital technologies do you or would you use: (a) Educational Video (0.50); (b) Blog with curricular topic(0.75); (c) Specific software for the subject (1.00); (d) Presentation with curricular contents (0.25). Theinternal consistency of the instrument was studied (Silva & al., 2017), and interpreted on the basis of thecriterion cited by Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2007). In our case,  α =0.60, which indicates ”good”internal reliability for scales between 0.6 and 0.8 points.Theprocessofadministeringthetesttooktwomonths. Theinstrumentwasadministeredtothesampleof students in the last year of pedagogy in Chile and Uruguay (see Section 2.1) online, from any place anddevice (tablet, cell phone, computer). Data from the test was downloaded and saved to a Microsoft Excel(2007) spreadsheet, taking into account the ethical aspects relating to anonymity and conformity of data transfer. 2.3.Statistical tests To analyze the implementation results of the instrument and to respond to the research questions, a descriptive data analysis of the assessment instrument for TDC at the level of dimensions and indicators,was performed. Later, different statistical tests were administered. In particular, to perform the analysis,thecreationof”IndicatorsofTeacher’sDigitalCompetences(ITDC)”wasproposedtocategorizestudentsin initial teacher training by level of TDC, into: basic, intermediate and advanced, for the dimensions, bycrossing of variables: sex and educational level, with the purpose of identifying statistically significantdifferences with the chi-square ( χ 2) test and the comparison of distributions (Z test). Data were analyzedwith SPSS for Windows, Version 24.For the construction of each indicator, all the scores obtained for each item were added. The resultsof this sum of scores were categorized (recoded) according to a theoretical estimate that considers theactual distribution of the scores obtained: minimum score obtained. Analysis, maximum score obtainedand the scores in the position 33 and 66 if the scores are sorted in ascending order. Considering the scoresfor each indicator that make up the dimensions mentioned above, the TDC indicator of classification wascreated, as described below in Table 3. ©  ISSN: 1134-3478  • e-ISSN: 1988-3293  • Pages 31-40
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