Assessing Digital Fluency Among Teacher-Educators in University Schools of Education: The Case of Tanzania
This study assesses digital fluency among university teacher educators given its relevance in education industry. Digital fluency refers to educators’ knowledge about digital tools and ability to make critical, creative, and autonomous blending of their potentials to realize teaching and learning objectives. Largely, the teacher education curriculum the educators studied did not integrate digital fluency as a key competence making the subject of interest to explore. The study established dimensions of digital fluency as a concept through literature review. The study used SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) model with its four levels of technology integration as a framework for assessing teacher educators’ digital fluency. Data were collected through survey and interviews from 90 teacher educators at the university level including the management in schools of education. Findings show that most of the teacher educators perceive to have digital fluency at the substitution level, which is the lowest level. Educators with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and science backgrounds sound to be more digitally fluent compared to the ones from the fields of humanities and social sciences, partly due to discipline exposure. The study contributes knowledge towards digital fluency as a key competence for teacher educators. Higher Education Institutions need to explore mechanisms for developing digital fluency skills in line with the preparation of 21st century teachers taking into consideration variations among educators’ disciplines. Further research can shed light on the competence profile of digitally fluent teacher educators.
Keywords - Digital Fluency, Teacher Educators, Tanzania