After a critical review of the „digital competences” concept (Lankshear, Knobel, 2008), and the argumentation of the importance of studying them in the context of the second level digital divide (Hargittai, 2001), in our study we aimed to analyze the digital competences of Romanian children and adolescents (9–16) as they emerged from the qualitative data of the EU Kids Online project (Smahel, Wright, 2014). Following the theoretical framework of the EU Kids Online project, we assessed the digital competences of Romanian Youth at three levels: as 1. the range of online activities, 2. the attitudes towards the internet and 3. the self-efficacy perception (Sonck et al., 2012).

The results of our study confirm in broad lines the statistical evidences of the EU Kids Online survey (Sonck et al., 2011),  also offering a contextual and in depth understanding of the phenomenon by showing that the passage from the repetitive and passive consumption of the internet to the more creative activities – which top the „ladder of opportunities” (Livingstone, Haddon, 2009) – requires parental and/or school active mediation (Velicu, Barbovschi, further-coming). It is obvious, that in default of useful advisement, Romanian youth generally acquires their digital competences on their own, by trial and error processes. 

Keywords:. digital competences, online activities, attitudes towards the internet, EU Kids Online, Romanian Youth.

Full text