New online tool to support teacher digital skills

Publication date: 05/10/2021

SELFIEforTEACHERS launches today in Ljubljana.

On World Teachers Day, the European Commission is launching an online tool to help teachers to review and get feedback on how they are currently using digital tools and technologies. The tool, ‘SELFIEforTEACHERS’ is designed to support primary and secondary teachers to understand their current situation regarding how they use digital technology in their work. Results from the review can help teachers identify where they need further training and support.

The tool is being launched today in Ljubljana, Slovenia in cooperation with the Slovenian Presidency of the EU. Initially in English, French, German and Slovenian, versions of the tool in all official EU languages will be made available over the coming weeks.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said:

Like all professionals, teachers need to understand how, where and when digital tools and technologies can help them in their work. The public health crisis has given teachers a new understanding of the potential, benefits and challenges of using technology. They are keen to keep on improving and to help their students to use technology in critical and creative ways. The tool we are launching today, on World Teachers Day, can help teachers to take a snapshot, a ‘selfie’ of where they stand with technology use and get feedback and advice on levelling up.

How does the new tool work?

Any primary and secondary teacher can sign-up to use the tool. To use the tool teachers will need to create an EU Login account.

Once registered on EU Login, the teachers can then use SELFIEforTEACHERS. They answer a series of reflective statements on how they are using technology which takes around 25 minutes to complete. Questions and statements are in six different areas where technology can potentially be used:

  • teaching and learning
  • finding, using and creating digital resources
  • personalising learning and engaging students with hands-on learning
  • assessment and student feedback
  • communication and collaboration with students, families and colleagues
  • developing student digital skills

The teacher then receives an automated report with their results (from ‘beginner’ to ‘innovator’) with suggestions on how they could level up.

Using the tool can be a good first step to identify strengths and to pinpoint where further professional development and support is needed. All teachers completing their self-reflection can receive a certificate and digital badge for taking part.

Personal or team reflection

Teachers can use the tool either individually or as part of a team, for example with a group of teachers within their school or with a team of subject teachers in their region or country. This can help planning within a school, network of schools, teacher education institution or local education authority.

All responses to SELFIEforTEACHERS are anonymous and no personal data is shared. The data is not designed to rank or assess teacher performance but to empower teachers to learn how they can use technology effectively in their work and how they can foster digital skills of their students.

Reviews so far

A pilot version of SELFIEforTEACHERS was tested with more than 4,000 teachers in 5 countries (Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal) in spring 2021. Feedback was highly positive and teachers found the tool to be of high value and relevance to them.

Quotes from teachers who tested the tool

Using SELFIEforTEACHERS was really useful because of the individual focus. You get a unique picture of where you are at as a learner, not just a teacher.

The feedback report gave me a clear view of where I need to be. It made it easier for me to plan my learning pathway now I am aware of it. At my school we are planning workshops to discuss the results.

I saw my strengths and weaknesses. It was an interesting and rewarding experience for me. The feedback report showed me what I can improve in the future. This helped me to plan my activities for next year.

I now know where I stand – when I got the feedback report I was thrilled to see I was at ‘leader’ level. It felt good to see I am on the right path.

Background

SELFIEforTEACHERS, which is funded through the Erasmus+ programme, was developed by the Commission in cooperation with education experts from across Europe, including from Member State ministries of education.

SELFIEforTEACHERS can be used in conjunction with the SELFIE tool for whole school digital planning. SELFIE, which has been used by over 13,000 schools in 82 countries since its launch three years ago, focuses on the school as a whole. It gathers views from teaching staff, students and school leaders on technology use. The new SELFIEforTEACHERS tool allows for a deeper dive on staff digital skills and the results can be used to identify and prioritise where further training and support is needed.

The Commission is also working on developing resources and support material for teachers, including sharing of practices from teachers who have used the tool for their professional learning.

SELFIEforTEACHERS is based on the European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) which defines the various digital skills that educators increasingly require. It sets out 22 competences in six areas with six proficiency levels from beginner to pioneer.

Meeting the Digital Education Action Plan

SELFIEforTEACHERS, is one of the 13 actions of the Digital Education Action Plan. The Plan which started this year and runs to 2027 aims to support education systems in Europe in adapting to digital change. A key goal of the action plan is to support the effective use of technology for teaching and learning and central to this is empowering educators to use technology in their practice.