What are some technological skills
The initiative Future Skills sharpens the difference between digital skills, which on the one hand refer to technical skills for some new future professions, and on the other hand fundamental digital skills as a key qualification for "working cooperatively and agilely in an increasingly digital world" (Kirchherr et al. 2018, 5) to be able to. The focus is on the ability to collaborate with the help of digital technologies, the conscious handling of personal data, technical operating competence, digital interaction and communication as well as the evaluation and questioning of digital information and one's own actions.
Digital competence was also dealt with at the European level and, with DigCompEdu, a competence framework for teachers at all educational levels was developed (see European Union 2017). The comprehensive competence framework serves as a reference framework for teachers to visualize their own skills in the use of digital media to improve and innovate educational offers and to identify the areas in which there is a need for further training. The competence framework is dedicated to the three areas professional competences of teachers, pedagogical and didactic competences of teachers and Learner competencies.
Challenge for the universities
"It is crucial that the education, higher education and vocational training system is more closely oriented towards the skills that will be required in the future and that appropriate educational offers are developed" (Kirchherr et al. 2018, 11).
The university faces the challenge of focusing the (future) core competencies presented here in the training of students and preparing them for the world of work. The Stifterverband and McKinsey formulate seven demands on universities:
“Future-oriented innovations and more resources are needed in seven areas (see Figure 2). Learning content should be further developed by 1. designing new courses, 2. further developing existing curricula and 3. imparting data literacy as a cross-sectional competence in all courses. New learning locations can help impart future skills, especially through new learning environments and agile innovation spaces. Universities should 5. position themselves on the continuing education market and 6. also use platform models for lifelong learning for this. Finally, it is important to 7. develop new forms of proof of qualification through new forms of certification, particularly in the area of continuing education ”(Meyer-Guckel 2019, 5).
The models presented here can help universities prepare students for the demands of living and working in an increasingly digitized society. This requires the (re) design of both subject-specific and interdisciplinary teaching-learning offers (see Meyer-Guckel 2019, 13).
At the same time, these processes, as well as the general change to a university that puts future and digital skills at the center of its teaching, should take place through the participation and co-determination of the students themselves: “The digital transformation is seen as an opportunity to create a learning environment for the students can design. By including them in the design and decision-making processes, universities will be able to adapt future developments to the needs of their users - the students. (Böckel 2020, 1).
These changed framework conditions also have an impact on the architecture and interior design of the universities. "In order to develop these competencies, with the appropriate teaching-learning formats, appropriate physical and virtual learning spaces are required that function integratively" (Günther et al. 2019, 8). A close interlinking of competence-based teaching concepts, room design and university organization should support this development and thus enable the imparting of new "competencies in content, learning settings and research environments" (Meyer-Guckel 2019, 13).
In this context, the universities are faced with fundamental changes in academic education, which will have an impact on the existing courses of study and the structure of the university. This is accompanied by the idea and demand for a greater opening of universities and the change to the possibility of lifelong academic education (cf. Ehlers 2020, 292).
Sources and references
Böckel, Alexa (2020): Student Perspectives on the Digital Transformation of Universities - Structures, Networking and Participation. In: Stang, Richard; Becker, Alexandra (2020): Future learning world of universities - perspectives and options for a realignment. DE Gruyter Saur. Available online at: https://www.degruyter.com/view/title/552482, last checked on June 8th, 2020.
Davies Anna; Fidler, Devin; Gorbi, Marina (2011): Future Work Skills 2020, Institute for the Future for University of Phoenix Research Institute. Available online at http://www.iftf.org/uploads/media/SR-1382A_UPRI_future_work_skills_sm.pdf, last checked on June 8th, 2020.
Ehlers, Ulf-Daniel (2020): Future Skills: Learning of the Future - University of the Future. Springer publishing house.
European Union (2017): Digital Competence Teachers. Available online at: Available online at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/digcompedu_leaflet_de-2018-09-21pdf.pdf, last checked on June 8th, 2020.
Günther, Dorit; Kirschbaum, Marc; Kruse, Rolf; Ladwig, Tina; Prill, Anne; Stang, Richard; Wertz, Inka (2019). Sustainable learning space design in the digital age. Theses and recommendations of the ad hoc working group on learning architectures of the Hochschulforum Digitisierung. Working paper No. 44. Berlin: University Forum Digitization. Available online at: https://hochschulforumdigitalisierung.de/sites/default/files/daten/HFD_AP_44-Zukunftsfaehige_Lernraumgestaltung_Web.pdf, last checked on March 18, 2020.
Kirchherr, Julian; Klier, Julia; Lehmann-Brauns, Cornels; Winde, Mathias (2018): Future Skills: Which skills are missing in Germany. Discussion paper 1. Stifterverband (Ed.). Available online at: https://www.future-skills.net/download/file/fid/118, last checked on March 18, 2020.
Manifesto, media education. No education without media! (2009). Available online at www.keine-bildung-ohne-medien.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/manifest.pdf, last checked on March 20, 2020.
Meyer-Guckel, Volker; Klier, Julia; Kirchherr, Julian; Winde, Mathias (2019): Future Skills: Strategic Potential for Universities. Discussion paper 3rd Stifterverband (ed.). Available online at https://www.future-skills.net/download/file/fid/231, last checked on March 18, 2020.
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2008): 21stCentury Skills: How can you prepare students for the new Global Economy? Available online at: http://www.oecd.org/site/educeri21st/40756908.pdf, last checked on March 24, 2020.
Partnership for 21st Century Learning (2019): Framework for 21st Century Learning Definitions. Available online at: http://static.battelleforkids.org/documents/p21/P21_Framework_DefinitionsBFK.pdf, last checked on March 24th, 2020.
Schnabel, Deborah (2017): Competencies for the working world of today and tomorrow: 21st Century Skills and beyond. Available online at: https://hochschulforumdigitalisierung.de/de/blog/kompetenzen-21st-century-skills, last checked on March 18, 2020.
Wikipedia: 21st century skills, available online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century_skills, last checked on March 24, 2020.
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