Students’ digital skills, writes Gianna Barbieri (MI) to schools

by Anna Maria De Luca

The ministry is appealing to the schools. In a letter addressed to all state and equal youth education institutions, the daily manager Gianna Barbieri takes stock of the students’ digital skills and calls on “in the light of the planning of educational activities for the next school year” to raise awareness of digital animators, digital teams and members of reference-territorial teams for the development of their students’ digital skills. To do this, it will be necessary in this short period (ie up to the final phase of the ICILS 2023 survey) to implement all the possible activities aimed at ensuring that students and teachers become more aware of this international event. . In this way, it will be possible at the Italian level to measure a noticeable improvement in our 13-year-olds’ digital skills compared to what was found in the 2018 survey “

Not always in schools where one is taken by thousands of everyday life, it is easy to perceive the school’s development at international and national level, and therefore the director of the Directorate General for contracts, procurement and information systems and statistics reconstructs in a way I point out the history of recent years , the effort to follow the schools towards digitization, to explain well where we have reached today, but the digitization: “For us, the ministry has over the years launched numerous efforts in favor of digitization, in school and in teaching. Since 2015, the National Digital School Plan (PNSD), a pillar in the reform of the so-called Good School, has given a significant boost to the innovation of the national school system, which among other things warns of the need for a reference framework. for digital skills. Nevertheless, the results obtained by Italy, with reference to the digital skills of students between 13 and 14 years of age, in the International Study on Computer and Information Competence (ICILS 2018) are not encouraging “. Link.

Not encouraging results: in Italy, the gap between those who experience the school from the micro perspective of individual classrooms or individual complexes and those who experience it from the macro and security perspective of running the Italian school in Europe is often still low on international rankings. to remain unaffordable. But we still have a chance, and this time we must definitely not lose it. “ICILS 2023 – continues Dr. Barbieri – the third cycle of the study after ICILS 2013 and ICILS 2018, is currently underway”.

Barbieri refers to the European documents to emphasize the absolute importance of digital skills: “The European Commission, in its Council Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning, states that:” Digital competence presupposes interest in digital technologies and their application . with familiarity and a critical and responsible spirit to learn, work and participate in society. It includes computer and digital skills, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), security (including being comfortable in the digital world and possessing cybersecurity skills), intellectual property issues, problem solving and critical thinking. In the introduction to the latest version of DigComp, it is made clear that: “Digital competence is part of the framework for key competences for lifelong learning and is linked to other competences”, and these days version 2.2 has been released, which introduces an interesting update especially for the school world. The Digital Education Action Plan for 2021-2027, outlined by the European Commission following an open public consultation, has also included among its priorities the improvement of digital competences and skills for digital transformation in the Member States. Among the objectives of the plan, the Commission has identified increased participation in the International Computer and Information Skills Survey (ICILS), which collects transnational data on students ‘digital skills, introducing an EU target for students’ digital skills between the ages of 13 and 14. who have poor computer and information skills.

“If we want to be operational in today’s society – writes the daily manager – digital and information competence must be understood at the same time a requirement and a right for all citizens, including students. In the school area, however, there is a remarkable difference between the approach of the different countries and the role that teachers and schools have in the computer skills process ”.

And he explains: In the first phase of the study, some schools across the country were identified as part of the sample prepared by the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) for the field trial. This test took place in May 2022 and involved about 1,200 third-grade students in first grade. The Main Study itself will take place in 2023 (ICILS 2023) and will make it possible to measure new aspects related to digital citizenship, reflecting the growing opportunities for young people to participate in online citizenship and will examine two different aspects of IT competence:
• Digital literacy, which measures students’ ability to use computers, gather information, produce and communicate through new technologies;
• Computational Thinking, which measures students’ ability to use mental processes to define the various operations to be performed to solve a problem on a computer or digital device.

The schools and students participating in the survey will be selected by random sampling. The sample will be representative, both nationally and geographically (northwest, northeast, center, south, south islands), of the population of third-grade high school students.

“There is no doubt – clarifies in the letter – that the numerous initiatives and project activities of PNSD concerned most of the schools in the national area, but in the initial phase, which involved some students or classes, the subsequent phase of pollution and spread throughout the school did not always follow. In connection with the PNSD activities, an important role is played by the digital animator, the teacher, who has the task of disseminating innovation within his own institution by taking care of the education of the school community, the organization of activities on the topics, among other things. PNSD and the creation of innovative solutions to be proposed and disseminated throughout the school “. And the ministry’s call to schools goes in this direction: To improve our 13-year-olds’ digital skills in relation to the results in 2018, it is necessary for school leaders to sensitize digital animators, digital teams and members of the territorial reference teams, to the development of their students’ digital skills “.


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