In one hand, the rapid developments in all the fields of technology and the impact of the ICT, on the other hand social, economic, environmental deterioration forces individuals to have (re)new skills to sustain their lives. Education systems in any level and in any field should help individuals to cope with all these changes.
VET education in this regard is more critical since technical knowledge is prone to expire with all these rapid developments, business can be outdated easily and thus sustaining their profession is usually a challenge especially for those who are employed in SME’s. Hence curriculum in VET education should be revised in two folds: contents wise and mean wise.
In the case of CNC education, when the technical contents are examined it is seen that fundamental technical content is very similar among the partner countries and in general. In developing the curriculum, the clear definition of the learning objectives assessment of learning outcomes is important. In the previous phases of the project, it is found out that these objectives and outcomes are implicitly exist in the curricula. However, these objectives and outcomes are the essential components of designed curricula and they should be clear and explicit. In this regard, in the proposed curriculum, learning objectives and outcomes are re-defined based on the qualities and skills listed in EQVET and MYK which are also responding the needs of the sector in a direct way.
In the scope of the present project, existing CNC curriculum is extended to cover low to medium level digital literacy to help learners developing generic digital skills, which every individual should develop during formal and informal education. Today these skills are accepted as the must for all and they should be a part of the core curriculum. UK is one of the leading countries having a digital strategy and several reports have been published on what digital literacy and what digital skill are. One of the reports prepared by The House of Lords Digital Skills Committee “Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future” in February 2015 extensively discuss the role of digital literacy and thus digital skills and sustainable economy. Several aspects of digital literacy and its impact on the economy and social sustainability have been pinpointed in this report. The role of education and inclusion of digital literacy as a part of the core curriculum has been emphasized throughout the report.
“…There was consensus that the long-term solution to the medium- and high-level skills shortage (digital ‘workers’ and ‘makers’) lies in the ‘talent pipeline’—namely, primary, secondary, further and higher level education…”
“…The evidence showed a strong consensus on the need for digital literacy to be embedded within the curriculum not just as a separate subject, but as a third core subject underpinning all others…”
Digital literacy is can be shortly defined as “the ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information” or in a more generic way “the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society”. Since technology is changing faster than societies and education, the importance of the digital literacy for sustainable economies is very clear.
Figure 1. 6 Elements of Digital Literacy (https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-students-digital-literacy) Last visited 6th of April 2016.
Digital literacy in CNC education aims to develop low to medium digital skills enabling learners to use ICT in their profession, being able to reach information whenever and wherever they need, being able to be a part of community of practice in sharing and solving the problems, follow up the technology. These skills are also accepted as fundamental skills for digital economies in which productivity, creativity, sustainability are discussed in the realm of ICT. A digital literate person has the following generic qualities:
Being able to understand evaluate, create and digital information in various formats
Being able to use diverse ICT technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, judge the quality of the information
Being able to understand the relationship between technology and life-long learning
Being able to use these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family and in general with public
Being able to use these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute to informed and engaged community
These skills are also the learning outcomes of the prosed digital literacy curriculum.
Content should be structured as:
Chapter 1: BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF COMPUTERS
- Introduction to computer terminology and hardware components
- Introduction to external devices
- Basics of troubleshooting hardware
- Introduction to operating software
- Introduction to operating systems
- Fundamentals of file management (Minimize, maximize and move windows; identify common types of file extensions; identify and use icons)
- Introduction to troubleshooting
- Introduction to installation/uninstallation of software
- System updates
- System back up
Chapter 2: PROFICIENCY IN USING SOFTWARE
- Basics of creating new documents in various formats
- Manipulating existing documents
- Basics of file editing (select, copy, and paste text, printing)
- Fundamentals of office programs
- Word processing
- PDF reader
- Compression software
Chapter 3: ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- Electronic mailing
- Composing, Sending, Replying, Forwarding messages
- Adding attachments to a message
- Retrieving attachments from an email message
- Editing message content
- Organizing email folders
- Understanding electronic discussion lists
Chapter 4: INTERNET SKILLS
- Setting up internet connection
- World Wide Web and its functions, including basic site navigation, searching, and installing and upgrading a Web browser
- Using a browser effectively, including bookmarks, history, toolbar, forward and back buttons
- Efficient use of search engines and directories to find information on the Web
- Downloading files and images from web
- Understanding and effectively navigating the hyperlink structure of the Web
- Data safety while using the Internet
Chapter 5: MOVING FILES
- Understanding Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and Secure Copy Protocol (SCP)
- Logging in and connecting to a distant server using Secure Shell client (SSH)
- File transfer by uploading/downloading
- Viewing and changing folder/document security settings