2 IT competency framework for teachers - Kennisnet


2 IT competency framework for teachers - Kennisnet

IT competency Framework

for Teachers

Version 2012

Developed in

cooperation with:


Digivaardig & Digiveilig



Kohnstamm Instituut

MBO Raad





Samenwerkende LPC

Stichting Schoolinfo

Vakvereniging i&i



1 Introduction 4

2 IT competency framework for teachers 6

3 Basic digital skills 8

4 Effective use of IT 9

Key Task A: Pedagogical approach 9

Key Task B: Working in the school context 12

Key Task C: Professional development 13

5 Accountability 14

References 16



1 Introduction

Finding information on the internet, applying for a

job online, emailing, chatting, and tweeting. IT is

increasingly integrated into our society. What do these

changes mean for the school as a place to learn and

work? And what do they mean for teachers, who gain a

range of new possibilities to enrich their education?

IT competency framework for teachers

Kennisnet has developed the “IT Competency

Framework for teachers”, to help schools answer

these questions. In this Framework, we describe

which skills teachers need, to integrate IT in such a

way that it makes their education more attractive,

more efficient, and/or more effective.

For us IT is not a goal but a means, it can support

teachers. IT competent teachers are able to judge

when IT has added value to the practice of their

profession. The Framework applies to teachers in

primary, secondary, and vocational education.

There are various approaches to describe

this competence, both nationally as well as

internationally. However, many of these approaches

are focused on the IT application (technology-driven)

and not focused on learning goals. In this way,

IT always seems the goal rather than the means.

Within the framework that Kennisnet has developed

we do it differently and approach IT competency

from the profession of the teacher, describing how

IT can support each key task.

The added value of IT in education

Research shows that the correct use of IT in

education ensures that:

In the primary process:

• the motivation increases.

• the learning outcome increases.

• the learning process becomes more efficient.

In the secondary process there is less research to the

added value of IT in education, but based on experience

and research outcomes in other industries we see the

following benefits:

• time saving: by automatising certain tasks and

the re-use of data.

• improved transparency: more insight into

the performance of students, teachers, and the

institute itself.

• better control: more opportunities to

deploy means effectively due to the improved


• more professionalism: IT as a medium and as a

means for the professional development of staff.

The teaching profession enriched with IT

The condition for the effective use of IT in education

is the balanced and coherent deployment of the

4 components: vision, expertise, digital learning

materials, and IT infrastructure (Kennisnet, 2011). In

this paper we will focus on the component of expertise:

what knowledge and skills do you need as a teacher?

In doing so we took the profession of the teacher as

a starting point. In the general skill requirements for

teachers, as defined by the Education Cooperative

(Onderwijscoöperatie 2012), the following is said

about IT: “Teachers are considered to be IT competent

when they have knowledge of digital learning

materials and resources, whilst understanding their

pedagogical possibilities and limitations.

In addition, they can make efficient use of available

digital learning materials and resources.” In short,

an IT competent teacher has knowledge and skills

coupled with a professional attitude towards IT. Just

like curiosity and readiness for lifelong learning,

responding to the possibilities of new technological

developments is part of a professional attitude.

Three key tasks

This has led to a threefold division of key tasks:

pedagogical approach, working in the school

organization and professional development in which

we describe the IT competency of teachers. To use IT

effectively within these 3 key tasks, the teacher must first

possess basic digital skills. The basic digital skills are a

summary of 3 sources:

1. The 10 Media Literacy Competencies (Mediawijzer.net,


2. The internet skills as applied in the E-skills model of

ECP, based on research by Van Deursen (University of

Twente, 2010).

3. The instrumental skills from the Kennisbasis ICT of

IT ADEF (2009).

An IT competent teacher has knowledge and

skills coupled with a professional attitude

towards IT.”

In Chapter 2 we describe the IT competency

framework. In chapter 3 we present the digital basic

skills. To make it clear how schools can use this

framework, in Chapter 4 we present examples of

effective IT use and how teachers can show that they

are IT competent.



2 IT competency framework

for teachers

Good education requires good teachers. Research

shows that the IT competence of teachers is essential

to improve the learning outcome of students (OECD,

2010; UNESCO, 2011; Kennisnet, 2011). Teachers can use

IT as an aid to enable students to develop themselves

into citizens who can co-operate, solve problems,

and effectively function in society. IT can support in

various facets of the teacher’s profession. Kennisnet

distinguishes three key tasks, which are in line with

the 3 professional contexts as stated by the Education

Cooperative (Onderwijscoöperatie 2012):

A. Pedagogical approach

B. Working in the school context

C. Professional development






working in

the school


For every key task, we describe how IT can support







working in

the school


A. Pedagogical approach

Teachers support their education with IT tools. They

are able to assess where IT has added value and

combine their knowledge and skills in the fields of

educational content, pedagogy and technology.

They are able to:

• take into account the impact the digital world has

on a developing child.

• make the connection between learning goals,

teaching method, and the use of IT tools (TPACK,

model integration of IT in education).

• explain the added value that IT offers to their







working in

the school


B. Working in the school context

Teachers organise and publicly substantiate their

work using IT tools. They make use of the IT systems

their school has chosen to organise their own work,

to communicate with students, colleagues as well as

parents and to justify their own actions.

They are able to:

• digitally capture, manage, and share

administrative items.

• capture, monitor and digitally visualize the

progress of students and follow it.

• communicate digitally.






working in

the school


C. Professional Development

Teachers maintain and develop their own skills using

IT tools. They can find the latest information online

and know how they can use IT to remain competent


They are able to:

• find and access the relevant digital resources in

their field of profession.

• follow the latest developments in their field

of profession and exchange knowledge and

experiences through digital platforms.



3 Basic digital skills

If teachers wish to support their teaching using IT,

they need to have at least some basic digital skills.

These basic skills are conditional to effectively use

IT in education, on the three key tasks, and are based

on the basic digital skills that apply to the entire

population of the Netherlands (Mediawijzer.net, 2012;

van Deursen, 2010; ADEF, 2009). In this chapter we

make a translation in the educational field.

This means that teachers are able to:

• use devices, software and applications:

– in the educational context: projector,

interactive whiteboard, digital video/audio


– manage digital files;

– work with the standard office applications such

as a word processor and presentation software;

– work with the specific education applications,

which apply in their school, such as a digital

learning environment and a student monitoring


– digitize photos, videos, and audio.

• work with digital communication tools.

• participate in social networks.

• find their way on the internet: using an internet

browser and applying an internet search engine

(find, evaluate, and process information).

4 Effective use of IT

In this chapter we will describe examples of

effective use of IT in education. Where possible,

the examples are illustrated with video clips (see

also ictbekwaamheid.kennisnet.nl). This list is

not exhaustive and does not determine the final

requirements that a school sets for its teachers. This

may vary from school to school.

When are teachers considered IT competent and how

can they demonstrate this? What arrangements do

they have to make with their manager? Once it is

clear what expectations the school has of teachers

in the area of IT, the teacher and his manager must

agree on the way the IT competency framework is

reviewed. Such agreements fit into, for example,

in the PDP cycle (draw up, implementation and

evaluation of a personal development plan). An

arrangement can be that the teacher demonstrates

one or more examples of effective IT use per key task

and explains the added value.


Pedagogical approach

This key task concerns both pedagogical as well as

didactic aspects. The pedagogical aspect primarily

focussed on taking into account the impact of the

digital world on a developing child. Such as creating

a safe learning environment in a world enriched

with IT. A safe learning environment does not only

include aspects such as digital bullying, but also

concerns the awareness of what online data is visible

to whom, and how personal information can be

protected by, for example, a password. In addition,

teachers have to take into account the new ways

of gathering information that the internet offers

in their classrooms. How to find information and

how to assess this for reliability and usability? A

basic digital skill for the teacher himself, but also a

competence to teach it to students.

We will define the pedagogical approach into 3

actions for teachers which relate to the primary

educational process: instruction, let learn, and



IT supports teachers in providing instruction because

it offers different opportunities to combine text,

images and audio. This is especially visible in the use

of multimedia learning materials, which can be

made accessible by means of a computer or tablet. The

combination of text, image, and sound not only provides

increased motivation but also leads to students to

understand complex concepts faster. In addition,

the interactive whiteboard is a good example of

multimedia IT use (see also digiborden.kennisnet.nl).

Research shows that this tool enriches classroom

instruction. Teachers can functionally support their

classroom explanation on an interactive whiteboard

with images and sounds, which helps students to

remember the teaching material and to stay focused

in class (Fisser, 2007; Van Ast, 2010, Heemskerk, 2010;

Somekh, 2007; Marzano, 2009; Oberon, 2010).



• http://leraar24.nl/video/2401 (Video storybooks)

• http://leraar24.nl/video/638

(Possibilities interactive whiteboard)

• http://leraar24.nl/dossier/74

(File “The interactive whiteboard”)

Another working example of instruction supported by

IT, is distance education (Benschop, 2005). By means

of video conferencing a teacher, or other expert,

can instruct students at different locations. Research

shows that students achieve the same results with

distance education as with face-to-face teaching.

However, it does require adequate preparation on

the part of teachers and students and it demands a

lot of a teacher’s skills to keep order and monitor

progress at a distance.

• http://leraar24.nl/video/2274

(Regional video lessons)

• http://leraar24.nl/video/2077

(Expert in the classroom)

Other forms of instruction using video are canned

lessons and instructional videos. In these forms

of instruction, students can independently watch the

video instruction, which makes the learning process

time and location independent. Examples of these are

The Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.com) and

Flipping the Classroom (http://flippingtheclassroom.

kennisnet.nl). Hereby, it is of importance that teachers

continue to play an active role in guiding students: not

all students will start to watch a video by themselves.

Also, the quality of the video is crucial to a good

learning outcome.

• http://leraar24.nl/video/1954

(The expert video for comparison)

• http://leraar24.nl/video/3353

(Flipping the Classroom)

Let learn

Not only giving instructions, but also letting students

learn is part of the didactic teaching approach. We

will distinguish three types of learning: structured

practice, inquiry learning, and learning to learn.

Structured practice

Structured practice is primarily about application

and repetition. For example, learning new words

or facts by heart, applying learned rules (e.g.

grammar rules) or practising skills (e.g. learning to

touch type). The use of digital exercise programmes

helps teachers to let their students practise this a

structured way. The use of good digital exercise

programmes leads to increased motivation, task

orientation and greater self-confidence, especially

in literacy and numeracy for which we have a lot of

working examples (van Rijn, 2009).

Digital exercise programmes make it easier to offer

differentiated, tailor made education. There are

many digital exercise programmes that give students

feedback on their results and adapt the difficulty

level of training materials based on these results

and, because the progress is accurately recorded,

teachers receive a better insight into which parts

have been sufficiently mastered by students and

which have not. Research shows that students are

able to independently work with such programmes

(Meijer, 2009). This frees up time for teachers which

they can then devote to activities like additional

counseling for particular students or giving specific

instruction. The condition is that teachers are able

to keep a good digital record of students’ progress

and to intervene where necessary.

• http://leraar24.nl/video/3342

(Maths in an adaptive digital garden)

• http://leraar24.nl/video/1509

(Working at proficiency at your own pace)

Also students with disabilities (physical, cognitive,

or behavioural) benefit greatly from digital exercise

programmes. Research shows that for students with

a specific need, digital exercise programmes have

a positive effect on the learning outcome (EXSO,

2011). For these students, it is a great advantage to

practise at their own pace and at their own level so

they can repeat the exercises several times over if

necessary. Thereby making the learning process more


Inquiry-based learning

Inquiry-based learning consists of teaching methods

where students are more or less free to find an

answer to a question, look for information on a

certain topic or gain insight into a concept or

skills. It often involves complex issues with multiple

answers, whereby the process (how the student comes

to the solution) is part of the learning objective.

In this regard IT can be very helpful, but as with

exercise programmes, applications have to be well

thought out, have a professional didactic design and

require the constant attention of the teacher.

Inquiry learning, for example by using computer

simulations. Computer simulations enable students

to experiment in an environment that mimics reality

using educational models. In such an environment

students can develop practical skills, such as learning

to dredge with a dredging simulation (Oomens, 2011)

or familiarise themselves with research principles,

such as composing a hypothesis (De Jong, 2009).

Another example is working with webquests.

Students get a meaningful, functional assignment to

find, acquire and then integrate information. The

main idea is that so-called ‘higher order thinking

skills’ (such as analysing, logical reasoning, and

problem solving) are encouraged. This way, the

student is not a passive knowledge acquirer, but

will actively look for information in different

sources and will know how to integrate them (Abbit

& Orphus, 2008). A webquest can be very effective,

mainly due to the independent role of the student

in a multimedia, challenging environment. But the

real power is determined by the way the teachers

use the webquest, often adopting the role of a coach

(Leu et al, 2004). The teacher’s page of a webquest,

with supporting information about the didactic and

organisational use, will help them to achieve this.

A specific application of the webquest is the

mobile webquest where students use a device,

such as a mobile phone, to perform assignments and

play games in an environment outside the school

premises. Here, the same previously mentioned

principles of multimedia advantages apply, only

they are then combined with an (more) inspiring


• http://leraar24.nl/video/3232

(GPS tour in nature)

Learning to learn

With ‘learning to learn’ we mean forms of education

that are primarily focused on the learning process

and the respective awareness where students learn

to reflect on the way they learn and acquire general

skills. All important aspects of ‘learning to learn’.



Therefore, the learning content is subordinate to the

learning process. An example of how IT can support

learning is the digital portfolio. Students can save

their work in the digital portfolio before getting

feedback to give them an overview of what they have

done. Some schools extend this kind of application

even further by providing all students with their

own laptop so that the digital portfolio is always at

hand (Weijs, 2010). Other examples of stimulating

reflection are: teaching methods whereby students

record their own presentation on video and discuss

it in class (Verbey, 2009; Heemskerk, Meijer, van Eck,

Volman, Karssen & Kuiper, 2011) as well as the use of

weblogs (Wopereis, 2009).

• http://leraar24.nl/video/3328 (The e-portfolio)


Apart from new forms of learning, IT also makes

new ways of testing possible. Digital tests appear

to be a reliable substitute for paper tests and are

both time-saving and easy to use (Luyten, Ehren &

Meelissen, 2011).

Teachers can save time by checking answers

automatically or by setting up a database with test

questions whereby they can continuously generate

new tests. In order to take digital tests, teachers

have to have certain knowledge and, for example,

they need to be alert to blocking information when a

student does an online test. Being able to continuously

generate new tests has the additional advantage that

the tests offered are tailor made and therefore do

not necessarily have to be taken in class. The teacher

can generate new tests from an item bank for every

student and, in this way, students can no longer

exchange answers. Therefore, it no longer matters if

one student does a test on the same subject one week

later than another student.

• leraar24.nl/video/2290

(Digital testing and assessing)


Working in the school context

In addition to the actual teaching, teachers spend

a lot of time on administrative tasks such as

absenteeism and grade registration. A large part of

these secondary tasks can be digitized. Digitization

not only saves time but also makes it easier to

share data between teams (file creation of students,

tracking students, etc.). When data is available

online, teachers are also able to keep records

whenever and wherever they want.

IT also plays an increasingly important role in

communication within and outside the school

organization. Therefore, teachers are expected to be

able to digitally communicate with each other, with

students and with parents (through websites, email,

digital newsletter, etc.).

• leraar24.nl/video/2395 (Electronic overview)

• leraar24.nl/video/2623 (Tracking students)

• leraar24.nl/video/847

(Important messages per SMS)


Professional development

Finally, teachers must be active with their own

professional competency: not only being competent,

but also remaining competent. IT can play an

assisting role in this key task. Firstly, because

teachers can access information and sources on the

internet with regard to teaching and developments

in the teaching profession. A lot of professional

information can be found on the internet about

and for teachers all over the world. However, the

internet is so vast that it is important for teachers

to know how they can search for relevant sources and

platforms in a targeted way.

There are online platforms and forums for knowledge

sharing, such as communities on specific topics,

but social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter that

can aldo be used for professional purposes. In this

regard it is important that teachers know how they

can acquire information as well as how to bring and

share knowledge online. An important advantage

of this online exchange is that the communities are

larger than their own school or private region and

therefore much wider knowledge and experience

can be exchanged. In addition to sharing knowledge

and experience on the topic of teaching, the online

platforms and communities can also deploy shared

output: sharing self-developed or found learning

materials with colleagues, receiving feedback, and

giving feedback.

• leraar24.nl/video/1315

(Leraar24; platform for professionalisation)

• leraar24.nl/video/1356

(Contact with international colleagues)

Finally, we would like to mention the more local

IT resources, such as coaching with video or with

an earpiece, which can support teachers in their

professional development.

• leraar24.nl/video/3204

(Collegial consultation with IT)

• leraar24.nl/video/1577

(Coaching with an earpiece)



5 Accountability

Kennisnet has worked towards the creation of this

document over the course of one and a half years.

The IT competency framework for teachers is based

on Kennisnet research into the effective use of IT in

education (http://onderzoek.kennisnet.nl), literature

studies on national and international sources

relating to this subject, workshops, and discussions

with representatives from various levels in the

educational field, review sessions with stakeholders

and also on feedback from an active LinkedIn group.

The framework is a national guideline which

education institutes (primary, secondary, and

vocational education) can use to professionalise their

staff in the field of IT. This directive is necessary

because teachers in the Netherlands are not yet

skilled enough in IT and thus miss opportunities

to improve education. The didactic use of IT

(primary process) in particular is not self-evident,

but improvements can also be made in the fields

of administration and professional development

(secondary processes). In addition, the framework is

necessary because there is still a lot of uncertainty

about what can be expected from a teacher: i.e. what

a school manager may expect of his staff.


• General Competency requirements


IT Competency Framework


The framework makes clear that every teacher

should be aware of the added value of IT, recognise

it and act accordingly. The general competency

requirements for teachers as defined by the

Education Co-operative (2012) provide the basis for

the IT competency framework and the IT competency

framework defines the general competence in the

field of IT.

The IT working group of ADEF (unified teacher

educators) indicates that it is willing to use the

framework for IT competency to revise its document

of ‘Basic Knowledge IT’ from 2009. Therefore, the

document of ‘Basic Knowledge IT’ can be regarded as

a specification of the IT competency framework for

teacher educators.

Another specification of the frameworks has to take

place within the schools. Kennisnet develops tools for

schools to get started with this.


• Basic Knowledge IT Teacher Educators ADEF

• Specific Competency requirements in School

More information

For more information, please visit ictbekwaamheid.kennisnet.nl.




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November 2012

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