Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir, Héctor Hernández Gassó, Juan Carlos Colomer Rubio and Ove Edvard Hatlevik
Information and communication technology (ICT) has become an important component of initial teacher education (ITE) in Europe and in the continuous professional development of practicing teachers. The development of professional digital competence (PDC) is emerging as an essential part of teacher education. Due to the increasing use of ICT and the growing number of online teaching and learning resources, the responsible use of ICT has become one of the key aspects of PDC. For the purpose of this paper, the responsible use of ICT includes privacy issues, cyberbullying and the ability to evaluate digital content. We examine Spanish and Norwegian student teachers’ perceived competence in privacy issues and in handling cyberbullying and their ability to evaluate digital content. In a survey conducted in autumn 2017, 681 Spanish and 563 Norwegian first-year student teachers in Spain and Norway answered questions on the responsible use of ICT. The findings show that in both countries the three concepts are recognised as distinct and that there is a positive relationship between student teachers’ perceived understanding of the concepts. This implies that these concepts should be taught as separate components of PDC. However, it is challenging to compare student teachers’ perceived knowledge of the concepts across two countries and to create an integration model that fit both countries. This is partly due to cultural and language differences. The study provides a baseline in terms of knowledge about responsible use at the participating universities. It also details general implications for policy, practice and ITE programmes.