By-passing teachers in the marketing of digital technologies: the synergy of educational technology discourse and new public management practices

Oliver McGarr & Bård Ketil Engen

This paper examines the online marketing of digital technologies in education from three multi-national technology corporations’ websites focusing on both the language used in the text and the nature of the accompanying images. Through a content analysis, the paper shows the ways in which the need for technology investment is rationalised. It also highlights how the need for educational reform drives much of the discourse in relation to K-12 education whereas, within the higher education sites, alignment with existing practices is emphasised. The analysis of the sites highlights the veiled ways in which digital futures are presented and how the corporations and their products and services are positioned. The paper highlights how educational technology advertising capitalises on new public management practices in education to a target school and university management in the promotion and marketing of educational technology – largely by-passing those working at the coalface of education.

Learning, Media and Technology:

Special Issue Vol. 5 No. 4 (2021): Digital Competence in Teacher Education across Europe

Guest editors: Tonje H. Giæver, Adrian McDonagh, Louise Mifsud, Josephine Milton

This special issue focuses on the increasingly important concern of digital competence in initial teacher education and examines the range of digital competencies required by educators in a rapidly evolving digital context.  Teacher education plays a critical role in preparing teachers to integrate digital technologies in teaching and learning and needs to equip teachers with the skills to adapt to changing technologies and curricula in the future.

The issue is available from:

Digital competence in teacher education: comparing national policies in Norway, Ireland and Spain

Oliver McGarr, Louise Mifsud & Juan Carlos Colomer Rubio

This paper explores the development of policies dealing with teachers’ digital competence in Norway, Ireland and Spain. Using a documentary research approach, the study analysed relevant policy documents from each country over a thirty-year period to the present day. Analysis of the documents highlights historical differences and similarities in how technology in education policies developed during that period and differences in how teacher education was addressed. Despite these differences, the analysis indicates a convergence in recent years towards a common understanding and the importance of teachers’ digital competence influenced by supranational frameworks. The paper discusses the potential influence of these supranational frameworks and examines the opportunities and challenges of this policy convergence.

Sharing good practices across Europe when developing ICT in teacher education (DICTE)

Overall the Sharing practices (O4) report provides reflections on the insights the DICTE (Developing ICT in Teacher Education) group has gained in the project by sharing digital practices in teacher education. The complete templates with practice examples from each country, are attached in the appendix. The report summarizes the main points of the practices and connects to the PEAT model which has been developed by the project group.

Download the report

Responsible coordinating partners: Greta Gudmundsdottir & Anubha Rohatgi University of Oslo and Tonje Giæver & Louise Mifsud Oslo Metropolitan University with contributions from the whole project team which includes in alphabetical order:

  • Patrick Camilleri University of Malta,
  • Juan Carlos Colomer University of Valencia,
  • Bård Ketil Engen Oslo Metropolitan University,
  • Ove Edvard Hatlevik Oslo Metropolitan University,
  • Hector Hernandez Gassó University of Valencia,
  • José Ramón Insa University of Valencia,
  • Adrian McDonagh University of Limerick,
  • Oliver McGarr University of Limerick,
  • Josephine Milton University of Malta.

Exploring the digital competence of pre-service teachers on entry onto an initial teacher education programme in Ireland

Oliver McGarr & Adrian McDonagh


This study aimed to explore the digital competence of recent entrants into a pre-service teacher education programme in an Irish University. The participants were drawn from a cohort of 208 undergraduate teacher education students. The study employed an online survey that captured both self-reported levels of digital competence and knowledge of key areas of cyber ethics and digital technology. The respondents were active users of technology and very frequent users of social media but reported levels of skills in the use of other digital technologies were lower. In addition, their knowledge of cyber-ethics and associated practices varied. The study also found that they were positively disposed to technology in teaching. The paper argues that, while there are limitations to surveys that aim to capture one’s level of digital competence, they can help guide teacher educators in responding to pre-service teachers. However, digital competence is an evolving concept and care must be taken to ensure that frameworks and tools used to assess it do not stifle teachers’ autonomy in relation to their utilisation of technology.

Student teachers’ responsible use of ICT: Examining two samples in Spain and Norway

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.

The PEAT model

peat model

To cite this model: Dicte (2019), Pedagogical, Ethical, Attitudinal and Technical dimensions of Digital Competence in Teacher Education. Developing ICT in Teacher Education Erasmus+ project

Bård Ketil Engen, Tonje Hilde Giæver Ove Edvard Hatlevik and Louise Mifsud, Oslo Metropolitan University.

Adrian McDonagh and Oliver McGarr University of Limerick.

Patrick Camilleri and Josephine Milton University of Malta.

Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir and Anubha Rohatgi, University of Oslo.

Juan Carlos Colomer, Héctor Hernández Gassó and José Ramón Insa, University of Valencia.

The PEAT model was developed as part of the ERASMUS+ funded project DICTE. The PEAT model is a model that conceptualises digital competence for teachers and student teachers through four key dimensions. Each dimension is equally important.

The pedagogical dimension incorporates pedagogical practices that technology can offer particular to different subjects as well as broader professional practices.  The ethical dimension includes issues related to privacy, copyright, source criticism, freedom of expression as well as personal ethics related to a professional understanding and use of digital technology. The attitudinal dimension includes the ability to adopt and adapt new technologies in a professional context, to be able to creatively use digital technologies to support teaching and learning processes, creative use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning processes, the ability to adapt new technologies to a professional context, as well as forming a deep understanding of the role of digital technologies in society. The technical dimension refers both to the practical skills and competencies needed to use software and hardware in specific educational situations as well as an understanding of technological networks as well as knowledge of how digital devices operate and communicate with each other.