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Comunicar Journal 61: Digital Competence for Teachers. Perspectives and foresights for a new school (Vol. 27 - 2019)

Understanding social and cultural aspects of teachers’ digital competencies


Bård-Ketil Engen


Many European governments, including Norway, have ambitious educational policies regarding digitalisation. Many businesses and policymakers pay great attention to the use of digital technologies in education in order to meet the future demands for a competent and qualified workforce. Among researchers and policymakers, there is a general consensus that the professional teacher is a key figure for the successful implementation of digital technologies in schools. Many expectations have been placed upon professional teachers regarding the implementation and use of digital technologies. The professional teacher is, to a certain degree, supposed to independently decide how digital technologies should be used in the classroom. This paper discusses what the concept of a ‘professional digitally competent teacher’ may mean in the context of schools. It also argues the need for a greater understanding of professional digital competence, one which takes into consideration various social and cultural aspects with regard to technology, schools and the teaching profession. In unpacking the social and cultural conditions for implementing technology in a professional teaching context, I will draw on concepts from the constructivist understanding of technology, namely, the ‘domestication of technology’.


Cultural values, digital competence, digitalisation, domestication of technology, moral economy, social conditions, teacher professional competence, technology adaption

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