UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers

Information about this is available from the UNESCO website.

The PDF is available here

The framework as a whole is clearly, to InLOC, the LOCstructure.

The abbreviation "ICT-CFT" is used in the documentation.


The Framework is arranged in three different approaches to teaching (three successive stages of a teacher’s development). The first is Technology Literacy, enabling students to use ICT in order to learn more efficiently. The second is Knowledge Deepening, enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge of their school subjects and apply it to complex, real-world problems. The third is Knowledge Creation, enabling students, citizens and the workforce they become, to create the new knowledge required for more harmonious, fulfilling and prosperous societies.

Are these three really are successive stages, or not? Does reaching the second or third stage imply mastery of the first, etc.? This is not entirely clear.

These could be taken as the descriptions of the approaches:

Technology Literacy (TL) (could be level 1)

The policy goal of the technology literacy approach is to enable learners, citizens and the workforce to use ICT to support social development and improve economic productivity. Related policy goals include increasing enrolments, making high-quality resources available to all, and improving literacy skills. Teachers should be aware of these goals and be able to identify the components of education reform programmes that correspond to these policy goals. Corresponding changes in the curriculum entailed by this approach might include improving basic literacy skills through technology and adding the development of ICT skills into relevant curriculum contexts.

This will involve setting aside time within the traditional curricula of other subjects for the incorporation of a range of relevant productivity tools and technology resources. Changes in pedagogical practice involve the use of various ICT tools and digital content as part of whole class, group and individual student activities. Changes in teacher practice involve knowing where and when (as well as when not) to use technology for classroom activities and presentations, for management tasks, and for acquisition of additional subject matter and pedagogical knowledge in support of the teachers’ own professional learning. Little change in social structure of the class occurs in this approach, other than perhaps the placement and integration of technology resources in the classroom or in labs to ensure equitable access. The technologies involved may include computers along with productivity software; drill and practice software, tutorials, and web content; and the use of networks for management purposes.

In the early stages of development, teacher competences related to the technology literacy approach include basic digital literacy skills and digital citizenship, along with the ability to select and use appropriate off-the-shelf educational tutorials, games, drill-and-practice software, and web content in computer laboratories or with limited classroom facilities to complement standard curriculum objectives, assessment approaches, unit plans, and didactic teaching methods. Teachers must also be able to use ICT to manage classroom data and support their own professional learning.

Knowledge Deepening (KD) (could be level 2)

The aim of the knowledge deepening approach is to increase the ability of students, citizens, and the workforce to add value to society and to the economy by applying the knowledge gained in school subjects to solve complex, high-priority problems encountered in real world situations of work, society and in life generally. Such problems might relate to the environment, food security, health, and conflict resolution. With this approach, teachers should understand policy goals and social priorities and be able to identify, design and use specific classroom activities that address these goals and priorities. This approach often requires changes in the curriculum that emphasize depth of understanding over coverage of content and assessments that emphasize the application of understanding to real-world problems. Assessment focuses on complex problem-solving and incorporating assessments into learning activities. The pedagogy associated with this approach includes collaborative problem- and project-based learning in which students explore a subject deeply and bring their knowledge to bear on complex, everyday questions, issues, and problems. Teaching is student-centred and the teacher’s role is to structure tasks, guide student understanding and to support students as they tackle collaborative projects. Teachers help students create, implement and monitor project plans and solutions. Lessons and classroom structure are more dynamic, with students working in groups for extended periods of time. In guiding students’ understanding of key concepts, teachers will employ open-ended ICT tools that are specific to their subject area, such as visualizations in science, data analysis tools in mathematics and role play simulations in social studies.

Teacher competencies related to the knowledge deepening approach include the ability to manage information, structure problem tasks, and integrate open-ended software tools and subject-specific applications with student-centred teaching methods and collaborative projects in support of students’ in-depth understanding of key concepts and their application to complex, real-world problems. To support collaborative projects, teachers should use networked and web-based resources to help students collaborate, access information, and communicate with external experts to analyze and solve their selected problems. Teachers should also be able to use ICT to create and monitor individual and group student project plans, as well as to access information and experts and collaborate with other teachers to support their own professional learning.

Knowledge Creation (KC) (could be level 3)

The aim of the knowledge creation approach is to increase productivity by creating students, citizens, and a workforce that is continually engaged in, and benefits from, knowledge creation, innovation and life-long learning. Teachers, in this approach, should not only be able to design classroom activities that advance these policy goals but also participate in the development of programmes within their school that advance these goals. With this approach the curriculum goes beyond a focus on knowledge of school subjects to explicitly include the knowledge society skills that are needed to create new knowledge. These are skills such as problem solving, communication, collaboration, experimentation, critical thinking and creative expression. These skills become curricular goals in themselves and the objects of new assessment methods. Perhaps the most significant aim is for students to be able to create their own learning goals and plans—to establish what they already know, assess their strengths and weaknesses, design a learning plan, stay on-task, track their own progress, build on successes and adjust to failures. These are skills that can be used throughout a lifetime to participate in a learning society. The role for teachers is to overtly model these processes, structure situations in which students apply these skills, and assist students in their skill acquisition. Teachers build a learning community in the classroom in which students are continuously engaged in developing their own and each others’ learning skills. Indeed, schools are transformed into learning organizations in which all its members are involved in learning. Teachers can then be seen as model learners and knowledge producers who are constantly engaged in educational experimentation and innovation in collaboration with their colleagues and outside experts to produce new knowledge about learning and teaching practice. A variety of networked devices, digital resources, and electronic environments are used to create and support this community in its production of knowledge and anytime, anywhere collaborative learning.

Teachers who are competent in the knowledge creation approach will be able to design ICT-based learning resources and environments; use ICT to support the development of knowledge creation and the critical thinking skills of students; support students’ continuous, reflective learning; and create knowledge communities for students and colleagues. They will also be able to play a leading role with colleagues in creating and implementing a vision of their school as a community based on innovation and continuous learning, enriched by ICT.

The three approaches seem to be areas of potential competence, thus LOCdefinitions. They would appear to be top-level LOCdefinitions in the framework.


The framework comprises 6 "aspects of a teacher's work":

  1. Understanding ICT in education
  2. Curriculum and assessment
  3. Pedagogy
  4. ICT
  5. Organisation and administration
  6. Teacher professional learning

The "aspects" also appear to correspond to areas of competence, thus LOCdefinitions. The "aspects" are also top-level LOCdefinitions in the framework.


The three "approaches" and six "aspects" form a "module framework" of 18 "modules":

UNDERSTANDING ICT IN EDUCATION Policy awareness Policy understanding Policy innovation
CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT Basic knowledge Knowledge application Knowledge society skills
PEDAGOGY Integrate technology Complex problem solving Self management
ICT Basic tools Complex tools Pervasive Tools
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION Standard classroom Collaborative groups Learning organizations
TEACHER PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Digital literacy Manage and guide Teacher as model learner

Each "module" looks very much like a smaller area of competence, or at least includes areas of competence.

If the "approaches" TL, KD and KC are taken as stages, or levels, then each "aspect" hasDefinedLevels for its row of 3 "modules".

As well as this, it could well be that each "approach" hasLOCpart each of the "modules" in its column.

Each "module" is described in more detail. Here are the details for "Knowledge application".

Example module: "Knowledge application"

"Curricular goals"

This approach [KD] often requires changes in the curriculum that emphasize depth of understanding over coverage of content, and assessments that emphasize the application of understanding to real-world problems and social priorities. Assessment change focuses on complex problem-solving and embeds assessments into the ongoing activities of the class.

(could be furtherInformation about the module)

"Teacher competencies"

Teachers must have a deep knowledge of their subject and the ability to apply it flexibly in a variety of situations. They must also be able to create complex problems whose solutions measure students’ understanding.

(looks like the description of the module]


(could be the module's narrower LOCdefinitions)

Teachers should be able to:


(Internal identifier of the objective.)

Identify key concepts and processes in the subject area, describe the function and purpose of subject-specific tools and how they support students’ understanding of these key concepts and processes and their application to the world outside the classroom.

(the description of the objective)

example methods (for teacher education or professional learning):

  • Demonstrate a variety of software packages in the subject area (such visualizations in science, data analysis packages in mathematics, role-play simulations in social studies, and references resources in language).
  • Engage with an expert online, visit an online museum, or run a web based simulation, and describe how these support student understanding of key concepts in the subject and their application to solve complex problems.
  • Have participants analyze specific packages in their subject area and describe how they support concepts and complex problem solving in a learner-centred environment.

(could be either furtherInformation about the objective, or split out so that the objective hasExamples)


(internal identifier of the objective)

Develop and apply knowledge- and performance-based rubrics that allow teachers to assess students’ understanding of key subject matter concepts, skills, and processes.

(the description of the objective)

example methods (for teacher education or professional learning):

  • Discuss characteristics of student responses and products of different levels of quality.
  • Develop rubrics that convey these characteristics and examine examples of such assessment rubrics.
  • Have participants generate and apply rubrics to sample products, such as student reports of results of a chemistry experiment.

(could be either furtherInformation about the objective, or split out so that the objective hasExamples)

There is nothing else underneath each module.

There is a large amount of extra material in the ICT-CFT documentation. Some of the structured information could probably be split out as LOCassociations, and the rest could simply be furtherInformation of the LOCstructure.