Digital Competence© Rawpixel

Digital Competence

by Prof. Dr. Anabel Ternès - Social entrepreneur, author, speaker and managing director

If you ask in German schools after the use of computers and the Internet in classrooms, the skepticism is great. The demands on the educators have increased enormously. Not only that they have to deal with growing student classes, intercultural differences and the associated inclusion. Also, the lack of know-how about digital security standards and IT often leads schools to doubt or even reject digitization.

What is often seen from the outside as a hostility to technology, turns out to be a necessary measure to not jeopardize the operation of a school.

It's a pity, because as digitization progresses it would of course be advantageous if digital natives are not only able to deal with technology, but also understand their background.


Digital competence: Strengthen from the start!

Some organizations have set themselves the task of tackling this very issue. The staff should be able to handle technology safely - that is the credo of some organizations, the majority of which are conspicuously close to software and hardware companies like Microsoft or Google.

The technologies should be understood, tried and not just consumed.

Take the Haba Digital Workshop for example. Here, even toddlers learn how to use digital technologies. Through trial and error and "Aha" moments, they playfully acquire digital skills. "Children will inevitably come in contact with technology, but it's better if they can shape the digital world themselves," says Julia Eckhoff, director of the Haba Digital Workshop in Berlin.

The non-profit organization GetYourWings even goes a step further. The children learn programming and the responsible handling of hardware and software, the internet, social media and online games. They also develop an awareness of the connection between the digital world and the environment.


Digital competence affects each one of us.

Digital transformation is visible everywhere, so even adults should know what it means and how to handle it.

Today, employees are expected not only to have technical skills, but also to deal with digital transformation and the associated flood of information. The rapidly growing number of people with psychosomatic illnesses indicates that many people are overwhelmed by the consequences of digitalization. Frequently people suffer from burnout, stress symptoms such as back pain, headaches, but also panic attacks, phobias and mental illness, especially depression.

Burnout and depression are one of the main health issues of modern society. Increasingly, companies are using workplace health management to provide opportunities for employees with courses, advice, nutrition and sports opportunities in the company itself, in order to find more energy, motivation and relaxation.

Learning about techniques on how to deal with digitization the right way is crucial. For example, when dealing with email processing, without giving employees an awareness of the reasons.

Digital competence also means developing an awareness of one's own health.

Creating awareness about ones own health is not easy in a fast-paced world of information overload. But there are a lot of techniques that help to develop your own personality, skills and abilities: So you should stop every now and then and at least for a few moments interrupt the current work and change into a different perspective to create room for something new.

This is best done offline.

In addition, it is useful to question retracted routines and keep a conscious eye on yourself.


published: 06/07/2018

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