New paper based on the Irish data from the project

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.

New paper

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.

Special issue: Digital Competence for Teachers. Perspectives and foresights for a new school

Vol. XXVII, n. 61, 4th quarter, October 1 2019

Thematic Editors
Dr. Juan Carlos Colomer Rubio – Universidad de Valencia – España
Dr. Héctor Hernández Gassó – Universidad de Valencia – España
Dr. Bård Ketil Engen – Universidad Metropolitana de Oslo – Noruega

This special issue is presented as a contribution to the analysis and discussion of both the theoretical and practical aspects related to TDC, its impact on teacher training and the future challenges and difficulties that it presents. To this end, this monographic reflects on the need for technology in future teachers’ initial and ongoing training from different perspectives. Such reflection will surely allows the different models for handling TDC that have been developed in recent years to be considered in more depth and, in addition, it propose specific experiences that could be applied in different educational contexts.

Literature review – Output 1

Our Output 1 – Literature review about the concept of Digital competence has been finalised by the Irish partner from Limerick.

The literature review deals with three key areas, namely:

  • The first part of the review aims to problematise the concept of Digital competence and unpack the many assumptions underpinning the term. Through this analysis the review aims to arrive at a robust working definition that encompasses the complex set of knowledge, skills and competencies encompassed by the term.
  • The second part of the review aims to examine what is recognised as digital competence in teacher education internationally. Specifically it aims to explore how other jurisdictions define the concept and what skills, knowledge and attitudes encompass digital competence for teachers in other countries, cognisant of their national socio-historical and cultural contexts.
  • The third section will explore research that has studied intervention programmes within teacher education that have evaluated the impact of different approaches to equipping pre-service teachers with digital competence. This section aims to explore the types of programmes offered, the mode(s) of delivery and how levels of digital competence was ultimately assessed and determined.

ECER 2018 – Bolzano, Italy

Dicte symposium
From the left: Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir (UiO), Tonje Hilde Gæver, Louise Mifsud, Bård Ketil Engen (OsloMet), Oliver McGarr (UoL), Ole Edvard Hatlevik (OsloMet), Adrian McDonagh (UoL).

The collaboration between the five institutions has so far resulted in a pilot survey in the autumn 2017 where 1463 first-year student teachers were asked to answer the same questions, in their local language, on self-reported digital competence, attitudes towards the use of ICT in teaching and learning and fincluding questions on cyber ethics.

In the symposium at ECER we gave a short introduction to the DICTE project, our objectives and methods.

Developing Student Teachers’ Digital Competence (DiCTE) An Introduction to the Project

This was followed by three paper presentations that each explored targeted areas of developing ICT in teacher education. These are all areas of general relevance for developing ICT in teacher education throughout Europe.

The first paper was based on the first output, a literature review of the concept of digital competence,  highlighting some of the current debates within the field as well as the historical roots of the concept digital competence. The review will serve as a foundation for the survey tool that is being developed.

Digital Competence in Teacher Education: Historical roots and current manifestations.

The second and third papers were based on a pilot survey from autumn 2017 in the participating countries Ireland, Norway and Spain. The second paper examined student teachers’ attitude towards ICT in learning, focusing  on discussing the validity of the questions on attitude toward ICT to ensure that variation in results across countries are not due to the existence of measurement bias. The last paper explored cyber ethics through a cross-country analysis.

Student teachers’ attitude towards ICT: An analysis of perceived usefulness

Student across teachers , ICT and cyber four European ethics countries