Digital Competences for Smart Learning During COVID-19 in Higher Education Students from Spain and Latin America




Digital skills, Smart education, Higher education, Learning, COVID-19, lockdown.


Networked society has become the context of a technology-supported environment for learning and teaching. The access to knowledge is essentially mediated through connected smart devices that nurture digital skills and define a new learning concept: Smart learning, moreover during COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to present a descriptive and correlational analysis focusing on the development of smart learning in three different areas when using the Internet: use, learning and critical thinking from the perspective of digital competences during pandemic lockdown. The study was designed under a non-experimental quantitative methodology in which 926 students in higher education from four countries participated. After an in-depth literature review, a questionnaire was designed including not only these three areas mentioned but a deeper analysis of each one in five areas of digital skills development. Results show significant differences among countries that could help to improve not only formal education in Higher Education, but the digital skills needed for lifelong learning for citizenship in a next future conditioned by recent situation. Based on findings, several suggestions are proposed for achieving a smart education supported by digital skills in online environments.

Author Biographies

Ana Pérez Escoda, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

Department of Communication, Lecturer

Francisco Lena-Acebo, Universidad de Cantabria

Department of Business Administration

Rosa García-Ruiz, Universidad de Cantabria

Department of Education


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