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Digital Competence Development in Higher Education

An International Perspective


Edited By Maria Luisa Pérez Cañado and Juan Ráez Padilla

This book seeks to foster the successful incorporation of digital competence in Bologna-adapted language degrees. To this end, it pools the insights of a set of international practitioners and investigators who report on classroom- and research-based experiences which have integrated ICT (information and communication technology) for specific and generic competence development within the Higher Education language context. Their research has evinced that digital competence can act as a catalyst for the development of other linguistic and generic competencies of crucial relevance in Higher Education language degrees, as well as the multiple literacies involved not only in digital and linguistic skills, but also cooperative learning, critical thinking and literary aspects. Thus, the contributions included in this volume seem to make a compelling case for the incorporation of ICT into the new language learning scenario provided by the implementation of the European Credit Transfer System.
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Introduction and Overview


María Luisa Pérez-Cañado & Juan Ráez-Padilla

The creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has deeply impacted tertiary education across the continent at all curricular and organizational levels. Objectives are now formulated in terms of learning outcomes, methodologies are becoming more student-centered, groupings and learning modalities are increasingly diversified, teacher and learner roles are being reconfigured, and assessment is more authentic, formative, and criterion-referenced (Pérez Cañado, 2010). Within didactic materials and resources, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are now acquiring a particularly sharp relief.

Indeed, in addition to being one the core generic competencies which most European universities have worked into all their Bologna-adapted degrees, the potential of technological or digital competence for enhancing the student-centered learning process has been underscored in the official EHEA literature. According to Benito & Cruz (2007: 104), ICT is not a new fad, but a crucial tool which, in combination with the EHEA, will foster pedagogical innovation and allow all the agents involved in the teaching-learning process to expedite knowledge-building and competency development. Much the same is claimed by Pennock-Speck (2008: 70):

ICT in the field of education is an exciting opportunity for teachers and students. With more and more teachers being expected to apply more student-centred teaching, even if they do not particularly want to (Bailey, 2008), practically all teachers will end up using ICT to teach or at least to communicate with or evaluate students to a...

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