The resulting checklist made use of two key documents that summarise what is known about (i) key digital competences teachers need in order to seize the potential of ICT for enhancing and innovating education, and (ii) success factors for organisations that provide vocational education and training (VET) to become more inclusive:
The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) looks particularly on the intersection of education and digitalisation, from the perspective of teachers. It aims to capture and describe educator-specific digital competences. These are organised along 6 areas with 22 elementary competences. For the focus of the first project meeting, areas 2 (digital resources), 3 (teaching and learning) and 4 (assessment) are of relevance, plus area 5 (empowering learners) as a transversal area (Link to the Framework). Based on this, EICON discusses quality attributes ICT and its application in education need to show so that the result contributes to inclusion.
The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (EASNIE) project 'European Patterns of Successful Practice in Vocational Education and Training' identified and investigated the key aspects of vocational education and training for learners with special educational needs (SEN)/disabilities from an organisational perspective. In particular, the project had analysed 'what works' in VET for learners with SEN/disabilities, 'why it works' and 'how it works' (Link to the report).
EICON explored the inherent potential in the overlapping section between education, inclusion and digitalisation.
The checklist is consisting of three parts. Each part is influenced by different sources. Furthermore, the public consultation process that involved project-external experts into the creation of the results influenced the final results.
The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) looks particularly on the intersection of education and digitalisation, from the perspective of teachers. For the focus of the first project meeting, areas 2 (digital resources), 3 (teaching and learning) and 4 (assessment) are of relevance, plus area 5 (empowering learners) as a transversal area. Below, quality attributes for ICT, digital media and digitalisation strategies are derived from this model so that they contribute to inclusion.
Figure 1: DigCompEdu: Areas and scope (Source: European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators 2017, p. 15)
This latter mentioned area 5 deals with empowering learners. According to the DigCompEdu, an educator proficient in this area will select, create and adapt digital resources to empower learners, will make resources accessible to all learners, foresee different, personalised learning pathways and design resources as to actively involve and engage all learners. The underlying competences are:
Remark: Although DigCompEdu names the first competence in this area “accessibility and inclusion”, the content relates rather to a traditional understanding of accessibility. Also differentiation, personalisation, or the active engagement of all learners are equally relevant components of inclusive education. Hence, all competences in area 5 will be used to scrutinise the other competence areas to ensure that if teachers learn the needed ‘digital’ skills, they always look through their 'inclusive glasses' and select and use appropriate ICT, digital media or digitalisation strategies.
The EASNIE project had identified a few strong levers to promote inclusion in VET. Those relevant for this topic are: learner-centred approaches, using individual plans for education, learning, training and transition, dropout reduction strategy and focusing on learners' capabilities. This part of the checklist looks at requirements of these specific levers for inclusive education in VET towards ICT, digital media and digitalisation strategies. The guiding question is: what quality attributes shall ICT / digital media / digitalisation strategies have so that they contribute to inclusive VET?
Furthermore, various other success factors impact on the strong levers mentioned above. Strengthening these factors will also contribute to impact positively on inclusive VET.
For each competence area or success factor, questions have been phrased for the checklist to assess whether a specific ICT / digital media / digitalisation strategy shows the required quality attributes in order to support inclusion.