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Foundations and access

Understanding digital foundations is a prerequisite for finding your way around in a digital world. Here you will find an illustrative and exemplary description of the partial competences included in the competence area “Foundations and access” of the Digital Competence Framework for Austria:


Understanding the concepts of digitalisation

This is the partial competence 0.1 in the competence area 0 “Foundations and access” of the Digital Competence Framework for Austria.

What is it about?

This competence area includes understanding the technical difference between “analogue” and “digital”, as well as the basic structures, characteristics and terminology of the internet.

What does it mean in practice?

Digitally competent people know, for example, that analogue signals are infinitely variable. This means that they contain infinitely accurate information. Their digitisation, therefore, is always a reduction (you notice that, for example, when comparing a concert recording with the original in the concert hall). At the same time, however, digitised data is always available in the same quality: While a printed photo in an album may yellow over the years, a digital image will always look the same. Another advantage of digital data is that it can also be stored and shared more easily. Many technologies (e.g. watch, telephone and television) currently exist in an analogue and digital variant.

Why is that important?

Today, the digital and analogue worlds are becoming increasingly blurred. This is particularly evident in the fact that the internet is omnipresent and can no longer be ignored in our analogue world. The more social, economic and private processes (such as communication) are shifted to the internet, the more important it is to understand this new space sufficiently. Therefore, knowledge about the basic characteristics and functional mechanisms of the internet is essential.

Where can I continue learning?

On the homepage of fit4internet, you will find further background information on the Digital Competence Framework for Austria under the heading “Understanding”. In the section “Learning”, you will find learning offers to increase your digital competence.


Handling digital devices

This is the partial competence 0.2 in the competence area 0 “Foundations and access” of the Digital Competence Framework for Austria.

What is it about?

To be able to handle digital devices means to acquire, understand and apply different operating possibilities and concepts of new technologies.

What does it mean in practice?

For example: being able to operate a smartphone is a competence that is often required both in everyday and professional life. At levels 1-4, it means to be able to turn on the device, call up apps and perform other routine activities. With increasing levels of competence, the use of the device becomes more and more independent. Thus, at levels 1-2, the appropriation process takes place through remembering what is shown, i.e. imitation. At competence levels 3-4, you have already understood the basic application concepts and you can operate the device independently.

Why is that important?

In order to be able to act in a digitally competent manner, a fundamental understanding of basic concepts of digitalisation and application opportunities of digital devices is required. The competence area 0 is therefore the prerequisite for all other areas of competence and thus, has been added to the Austrian Competence Framework in comparison to the DigComp 2.1.

Where can I continue learning?

On the homepage of fit4internet, you will find further background information on the Digital Competence Framework for Austria under the heading “Understanding”. In the section “Learning”, you will find learning offers to increase your digital competence.


Using and providing inclusive forms of access to digital content

This is the partial competence 0.3 in the competence area 0 “Foundations and access” of the Digital Competence Framework for Austria.

What is it about?

This competence comprises knowledge about technical opportunities of digital accessibility and the ability to apply and provide them. In addition, the competence area includes awareness of various discriminating factors such as gender, culture or disability in using digital technologies.

What does it mean in practice?

Not everyone has the same opportunities to use digital technologies. Even with very basic things, barriers may occur. For example, people with a motor impairment of their hands cannot easily use touch screens or keyboards. Therefore, there are digital voice assistants that provide an alternative way of using the device, which can also be useful for people without impairments. For blind or visually impaired people, the use of digital technologies can also be associated with some hurdles. For this reason, programs called screen readers have been developed that read the content on the screen to blind people and enable them to surf the internet, "read" and write documents, etc.

Why is that important?

In the digital age, social participation is increasingly associated with digital participation. Since key aspects of social life are already taking place online and digitised, all people must at least be given the same chances to participate and contribute.

Where can I continue learning?

On the homepage of fit4internet, you will find further background information on the Digital Competence Framework for Austria under the heading “Understanding”. In the section “Learning”, you will find learning offers to increase your digital competence.

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