Now More Than Ever: The Need for Digital Skills Frameworks

Common frameworks and skill definitions provide a venue for the community and private sectors to reach an agreement on digital skills needs and to ensure training, assessment, and related micro-credentials or badges teach the in-demand skills to maximize opportunities for adult learners and workers (Digital US, 2020). And with increased investment and momentum in skills-based hiring practices that remove degree requirements by screening individuals into opportunities through skill demonstration, now more than ever there is a need for a shared common language to define in-demand digital skills.

In April 2022, the EdTech Center’s Jen Vanek wrote the brief Digital Skills Frameworks and Assessments: A Foundation for Understanding Adult Learners’ Strengths and Learning Needs for the CREATE Adult Skills Network.

The EdTech Center’s earlier October 2021 brief Building Common Language – Review of Digital Skills Frameworks provides a compilation of various frameworks for defining the skills and competencies for digital literacy and digital resilience.

An additional collection of digital skills frameworks is shared in the resource Defining Digital Literacy that was created for the Digital US coalition in 2019 it looked to define its mission of advancing digital skills and digital resilience.

The EdTech Center @ World Education’s research into diverse local, national, and international efforts to develop digital skill and competency frameworks have informed our work forming and coordinating Digital US and its Employer Network Advancing Digital Skills and Equity, the IDEAL Consortium on digital skills development and technology integration in adult education, and more.

These resources offer a starting point in identifying and reviewing some of the main efforts to develop definitions and frameworks for adult foundational digital skills in the U.S.

Source: Digital US, 2020