online education

twenty first century digital and data abilities on a worldwide scale

Digital technologies have taken hold around the world and the ability to use these technologies has become an almost universal requirement.

In the document “Qualitative analysis of 21st century digital and information skills frameworks: global trends observed”, researchers Chantal Tremblay from UQAM and Bruno Poellhuber from the University of Montreal analyzed more than 70 digital and information from Europe (33), North America (30 ) and 10 from Africa, Asia and Oceania.

This resulted in 5 main classes of skills:

  • Research and evaluation of information in the context of digital use
  • Digital citizenship: responsible behavior and ethical issues
  • Digital Citizenship: Interacting with the World by Mobilizing the Digital
  • Appropriate use of digital tools to accomplish various tasks
  • Learn or teach digitally

Analyzing these skills, the authors note:

“Among the 56 reference systems dealing with information literacy, the most commonly observed skills relate to accessing and searching for information in the context of using digital technologies to conduct that search.

For example, 47 reference systems suggest that individuals need to know, understand and be able to use search engines and specialized research tools that enable them to search for information. Individuals must be able to choose the methods that are appropriate to their information needs. They must be able to develop an effective search strategy, taking into account their needs, the context and purpose of their search, and to plan their search for information appropriately.

These repositories attach great importance to the evaluation of the information collected as they contain almost all statements showing that individuals must be able to evaluate the credibility, validity and relevance of information or digital data as appropriate… “

Each of the classes is divided into subcategories that indicate which skills are desired and whose authors wish to establish the level of mastery to be achieved and the indicators of assessment.

  • Information (main category) 875

    Accessing and finding information 292
    Information management 124
    Information analysis 68
    Information Rating 200
    Use of Information 89
    Other information 102

  • 21st Century Citizens (Main Category) 1132

    Responsible behavior 328
    Digital identity 92
    Security and Protection 172
    Communicate 235
    Send and share 97
    Cooperation and participation 161
    Other citizen 47

  • Digital tools (main category) 641

    knowledge 65
    Use tools 287
    Create multimedia content 83
    schedule 30
    Assessment and mobilization of instruments 67
    Solve technical problems 50

  • Digital Enabled Learning (core category) 331

    Digital Learning 86
    Numerical ratings 31
    Teaching practice 156
    Other learning 58

  • Other categories (main category) 137

    Professional development 72
    Inclusive education 17
    problem solving 35
    critical thinking 8
    creativity 5

Teachers and stakeholders in this field should consider these elements when planning learning these skills or developing a competency framework.


Tremblay, C. and Poellhuber, B. (2022). Qualitative analysis of the framework conditions for digital and informational skills in the 21st century: Global trends observed. in Education and Work, 30(2), 1-26.

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