Transforming University Teaching: Keys to Developing Digital Competencies in Educators

Transforming University Teaching: Keys to Developing Digital Competencies in Educators


Professional skill development, such as communicative, ethical, or interpersonal competencies, remains key for educators’ professional growth. However, these are no longer enough to ensure good performance in the educational environment due to our constant digital evolution. The technological era compels us to transform and become competent innovative professionals.

Higher education has seen a massive transformation in recent decades, moving from analog classrooms to a digitalized educational landscape. As UNESCO’s global report (2018) stated, “Digital competencies, once ‘optional,’ have become ‘essential’.” 

This swift transformation poses significant challenges for both educators and institutions, requiring them to continually renew their processes and acquire new skills and approaches aligned with more digital learning.

The importance of digital competencies in university teaching

The importance of these competencies lies in their ability to enhance educational quality and, above all, prepare students for the constantly evolving digital world. From traditional chalkboards to today’s digital landscape, the educational transition demands digital capabilites that go beyond merely transmitting academic knowledge.

Educators’ ability to effectively navigate and use digital tools becomes essential, not only to meet the environment’s demands but also to connect effectively with how students learn today and to foster their motivation.

Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Teaching Methods

For many educators, adapting to this change is a significant challenge, largely due to the more analog environment in which they have honed their pedagogical skills over the years. Moving from a traditional to a digital environment is complex and requires a profound reevaluation of their teaching methods and the incorporation of specific skills that support and accompany these professionals in effectively integrating this new learning into their regular practices.

In this context, institutions play a crucial active role in this transformation, becoming the main facilitators responsible for offering tools and professional development programs that address each employee’s ongoing individual needs.

“Digital competence involves the safe, critical, and responsible use of digital technologies and engagement with them for learning, work, and participation in society. It includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and cybersecurity skills), intellectual property issues, problem-solving, and critical thinking.” (European Union, 2018).

Bridging the gap between the analog and digital worlds presents an opportunity to enrich the educational experience. Adapting to new technologies, learning to integrate them effectively, innovatively, and creatively in the classroom and teaching methods, would align with the demands of future professions. Identifying the specific digital competencies that will allow educators not only to survive but also to thrive in the future digital classroom, making them feel comfortable and integrated with the community, is crucial.

It’s essential to consider the transformation in the student profile currently accessing higher education and understand the evolution in how they learn, communicate, and develop. Today, these students are known as digital natives, a generation that has grown up immersed in technology as a primary source of knowledge and digital immediacy. They have developed their skills using digital devices to obtain information, communicate, collaborate online, and actively participate in virtual learning environments.

Student motivation and engagement are driven by digitally enriched educational experiences. As indicated in the recent study conducted on the HeDiCom reference framework: “The integration of ICT in education requires higher education teachers to reconsider their educational designs, implement new or improved designs, evaluate the outcomes, and then potentially redesign them, starting the process again” (Tondeur, J., Howard, S., Van Zanten, M., et al., 2023).

Educators, therefore, must develop a solid mastery of the available educational technological tools, being autonomous in using learning platforms or working with material creation tools for their subjects. This skill not only involves knowing these tools but also knowing how to use them effectively to enrich the teaching-learning process.

Development of Digital Competencies through ODILO

In response to these challenges, at ODILO we position ourselves as a strategic ally for the development of digital competencies for teachers. We provide institutions with customized career plans for their teachers, with which they can develop the necessary skills for their continuous training.

Our strength is that we provide specialized training to educators in higher education, offering an unlimited teaching-learning ecosystem, where they can be trained at their own pace, with multi-format materials and without limits, in key topics such as new emerging technologies, creation of multimedia teaching materials and resources, online collaboration or digital assessment, among others.

We do not just offer a content platform; we provide institutions with a unique unlimited learning ecosystem that provides a complete solution adapted to the level of digital awareness of each teacher, providing constantly updated content and continuous training in one place. Each teacher, starting from beginner level, will be able to access their corresponding career plan, and focus on developing those skills they need to improve and/or learn.

Once the training is complete, teachers will be able to obtain their certificates of professionalism that demonstrate their acquired skills and share them with the rest of their educational community. We accompany educational institutions towards their digital transformation, offering training and dynamizations to familiarize them with their new ecosystem, and to get the most out of the content and training we offer.

At ODILO we are committed to institutions and to the quality of education, so we offer a solution to equip educators with the best practical knowledge. We are committed to generating a community of digital teachers, agents of change with whom we not only improve the quality of teaching, but also strengthen the competitive position of educational institutions in an increasingly digital world.