IT competency Framework
Digivaardig & Digiveilig
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
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
• time saving: by automatising certain tasks and
the re-use of data.
• improved transparency: more insight into
the performance of students, teachers, and the
• 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
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
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
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
For every key task, we describe how IT can support
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
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
• capture, monitor and digitally visualize the
progress of students and follow it.
• communicate digitally.
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.
KEY TASK A
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)
(Possibilities interactive whiteboard)
(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.
(Regional video lessons)
(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
(The expert video for comparison)
(Flipping the Classroom)
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 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.
(Maths in an adaptive digital garden)
(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 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
(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 &
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.
(Digital testing and assessing)
KEY TASK B:
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)
(Important messages per SMS)
KEY TASK C
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
(Leraar24; platform for professionalisation)
(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
(Collegial consultation with IT)
(Coaching with an earpiece)
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
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
For more information, please visit ictbekwaamheid.kennisnet.nl.
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