Our LEARN Ped team, with our local RÉCIT collaborators, have been throwing around ideas to better understand the Digital Competency Framework. We have been drilling down into the 12 dimensions and trying to articulate their place within respective subject areas. As we struggled to make authentic connections in our practices, we realized that Teachers and Students are experiencing the same obstacles.

We needed a more practical way to learn, understand and adopt the Digital Competency. And, who knows….perhaps it could even be fun!

We decided to take an informal direction by making connections to the DCF, as it applies to a hobby, craft or leisure activity. The outcomes were very interesting and included dance, real-estate, baking bread, snooker, and creative writing. I hope our experiences can shed light on your understanding and inspire you to try the activity with colleagues and students.

Our Process for the Activity

We invited our consultants to join a collaborative slide deck and claim one slide to use for their individual reflection. Each slide contained a blank template containing the 12 dimensions of the digital competency. The center of the slide contained a blank box for participants to enter any craft, hobby, or leisure activity. In other words, anything we would consider non-academic.

We asked participants to quickly populate one or two of the dimensions on their respective slides and then share back with the group. The purpose was to expose the dimensions which immediately come to mind, to get them out of the way, and warm up our thinking. The deeper intention was to get beyond the most used dimensions and address those which are more difficult to contextualize. We ended our session at this point with homework to complete the slides and allow time for participants to percolate their understanding.

As mentioned in a previous blog post Understanding and Applying the Digital Competency Framework, we can’t be mindful of every dimension in every learning situation. However, it is important to articulate a few of them each time. You will see that some of the shared samples do elaborate on several of the dimensions. The knitting example was able to address all 12. I believe that this particular sample provides a great starting point to help anyone better assimilate digital competency.

Take a crack at the exercise with your colleagues or students and see how things emerge for you. Since your participants will be the most knowledgeable of their chosen hobby, it will help them to dig a little deeper by addressing dimensions beyond the one or two they typically fall back on.

12 Dimensions of Knitting: An Example

For the purposes of this blog, I have highlighted the knitting example which emerged as the most comprehensive during our group exercise. In fact, we used the knitting example as a launching point to help subsequent groups move forward in applying the DCF to their own hobby.

The table below highlights a description as the digital competency is applied to knitting. I have also tried to identify an overarching question for each of the 12 dimensions. I hope the questions can provide guidance as you try the activity with your schools.

1. Ethical Citizenship

Respecting copyright for patterns. Ex: No posting of commercial patterns, no commercializing products using copyrighted patterns without permission. Awareness of where materials come from, reuse of unused materials.
Where did your information come from and what are you sharing?

2. Tech Skills

Creation of charts using apps and online tools. Ex: stitchfiddle.com
What tech tools, apps, platforms, and interfaces did you use?

3. Digital Resources for Learning

Using online classes, videos, and blogs to learn new techniques. Ex. https://www.craftsy.com/
What helped you to learn more about your topic?

4. Information Literacy

Finding the best sources of technical information, research, related Twitter feeds, and newsletters
Managing information – bookmarks, apps, photos, patterns
How did you know your sources were reliable?

5. Collaboration

Online knitting clubs – forums, Zoom clubs, culture of community projects – knitting hats for preemies, blankets, mittens
Who helped you in the learning process?

6. Communication

Community forums and platforms such as www.ravelry.com, Knitting Paradise, pattern reviews, comments on projects.
Who did you interact with to learn about your topic?

7. Content Production

Documentation of projects in progress and finished pieces. Blogs, sites and online communities to share work. Links between knitting and coding:
– Chart design
– Scratch/MB project
– Knitting touch pads with conductive yarn
What did you create to demonstrate your learning?

8. Inclusion and Diverse Needs

Adapted tools and methods for people with limited dexterity. Charts vs written patterns. Continental vs English methods. Guidelines for Transcribing Knit and Crochet Patterns, 2014
What are some obstacles which you or other learners may encounter?

9. Personal and Professional Empowerment

RWT Art practice – Link between coding and textiles.
Advocacy for creative computing, makerspaces, coding as creation, and role of the arts in tech.
Advanced Textiles Research Group. Contemporary fiber artists.
How did this experience contribute to your skill-set?

10. Problem Solving

Troubleshooting mistakes – YouTube videos, blogs, forums
Conversions for patterns, sizes, needles, techniques – various apps such as Knitting Genius, My Row Counter, Counter, Bellish.
How did you overcome obstacles?

11. Critical Thinking

Selecting reputable sources for supplies and patterns. Reading reviews on non-sponsored sites. Selecting appropriate apps – ad-free, non-commercial, etc.
How is info being used and shared? Comparing different approaches.
How did you determine what was useful to help you learn?

12. Innovation and Creativity

Getting inspiration:

Designing patterns based on digital sound recordings
– Elisabetta Matsumoto, Georgia Tech
– Parabolic knitting
– Online exhibits and archives

How did you go beyond what you learned and put your personal touch on the topic?

I hope this activity provides a starting place to jump into digital competency for your own practices. The next step will be to transition from a non-academic example and to articulate how digital competency applies in all other academic subjects.

We would love to hear your experiences in applying the digital competency in your practices. Comment on this post or include us in your professional learning communities, so we can continue the conversation.


Digital Competency in Action:
Slide Deck

Featured Image is Slide #3

Digital Competency 12 Questions:
PDF Document


Compare 9 CCCs and DCF dimensions:

YT video intro for students:

Dimensions with description and examples:

Compilation of DCF resources: