UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers


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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been playing an increasingly significant role in education during the last years. There is a set of abilities that students need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. These abilities, defined as 21st century skills, are: critical thinking, problem solving, good communication, collaboration, information and technology literacy, flexibility and adaptability, innovativeness and creativity. In order for teachers to be able to teach these skills to their students they must possess themselves the appropriate digital competencies. Digital Competence can be broadly defined as the confident and creative use of ICT to achieve goals related to an activity. Many frameworks that defined ICT competencies have been developed and used in European countries.

UNESCO, in the context of “Education for All” (EFA) program, has developed the UNESCO ICT-Competence Framework for Teachers (UNESCO, 2011)1. This framework outlines the competencies that teachers need in order to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their professional practice. The framework aims to provide guidelines and a basic set of qualifications to develop courses for pre-service or in-service teachers, in order to enable teachers to integrate ICT in a pedagogically effective way. The required competencies are defined as the intersections of the three approaches to teaching —  technology literacy, knowledge deepening, and knowledge creation — with the six aspects of a teacher’s work, namely, understanding ICT in education, curriculum assessment, pedagogy, ICT, organization and administration and teacher professional learning. Therefore there are 18 modules defined, as the following table (UNESCO, 2011) shows:

UNESCO ICT-Competence Framework for Teachers has the potential to play a unified and very important role in teacher professional development, since it can be equally applied in different economies and in different aspects of everyday teaching practice. For example advanced economies may focus on Knowledge Creation while low-income countries may start with the Technology Literacy approach. Also each national policy can choose to leverage different aspects, according each time to its own educational conditions, i.e. curriculum, pedagogy, assessment. Each national educational policy can follow its own individualized path towards educational reform, based on the nation’s economic and social development goals and the educational priorities.

The UNESCO ICT-CFT is a powerful framework  that can be  used not only for surveys to compare the teachers’ competencies in different countries but  most importantly, to analyze and develop educational programs and training courses of teacher professional development (at national or regional level). It is important not to forget that the quality of teachers and their continuing professional development plays a critical role   to the achievement of the quality education and sustainable development.


1 UNESCO. (2011). UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. Retrieved from  http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002134/213475e.pdf

Article written by: Stavros Nikou, Scientix Deputy Ambassador

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2 Responses to “UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers”

  1. Benard Ogolah says:

    How can I be incorporated in your programs of ICT Competency Standards For Teacher Capacity building, such as training since I’m interested as a STEM teacher in Kenya.

  2. Zeng Yihua says:

    Guided by UNESCO’s ICT-CFT framework, the Teachers’ Development Plan for Teachers in Kenya before and after employment is developed, and specific training requirements are proposed, which will be successful for managers, teacher educators, teachers, and normal students Use ICT to support an understandable framework and learning path for high-quality teaching and learning.
    1. Set up 2 compulsory courses to train teachers on information technology. One is to introduce information and communication technology to teachers; the other is to introduce ICT in education in detail, and the content mainly focuses on the technical literacy in the ICT-CFT framework.
    2. Carry out targeted teacher training based on teacher development stage and characteristics
    The three teaching methods proposed by ICT-CFT are also three typical stages of teacher development. Teachers have certain development stages and cycles in professional development and the application of information and communication technology in teaching. From the perspective of educational information ecology, it can be roughly divided into four stages: learning, imitating period, confusion, doubt period, professional evolution integration period and innovation development period. There are different needs and characteristics at different stages, and teachers have different needs for training content and training methods. For example, teachers in the period of learning and imitation need to observe cases and go out for visits; teachers in the period of confusion and doubt also need targeted guidance and help. In the project of carrying out teacher training or promoting teacher development, not only should we pay attention to the overall goal and direction of teacher education, but also provide targeted help and guidance according to the personality characteristics and stages of different teachers.

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