### What research says

A competence or a skill is the association of a knowledge and a task. A
knowledge is an academic resource necessary to perform one or more tasks.

For example, from the Pythagorean theorem we can define

**three**skills as the association of this academic knowledge and several tasks:**Knowledge**: Pythagorean theorem,**Task**: calculating a distance**Knowledge**: Pythagorean theorem,**Task**: proving an angle is right**Knowledge**: Pythagorean theorem,**Task**: proving an angle is not right

Indeed, each of these tasks uses the theorem differently: its direct
implication, its converse and its contra-position. Therefore there are
different skills that may be trained specifically. The academic knowledge is
necessary but not sufficient to conduct the task, and one skill does not
transfer automatically to another.

The approach of teaching by competences has certain not been ignored by
teachers: it specifically identifies what needs to be taught. But when pushed
to an extreme, this approach brings the problem of an overwhelming list of
competences to teach.

### Dynabook implications

Competences are strongly tied to the domain to be taught. The Dynabook could
propose a generic tool to represent such competences as the association of
knowledge and task. This representation could take the form of a network of
competences as explored in iStoa[1]. The links in the
iStoa network are of two types: sufficient or precedence. A sufficient link
between two competences A and B models a transfer in competence from A to B. A
precedence links between two competences X and Y models the necessity to master
X before Y. These relations are numerically tied to a learner cognitive model,
they could be simplified without these numeric weights.

Such networks of competences could be shared among teachers or at least a
local group of teachers. Then a teacher could adjust it to his or her specific
vision.

The teaching resources available in the Dynabook will be linked to one or
several nodes in this network of competences. New resources created by the
teacher could be associated as well. This is expected to ease the search for
specific resource to teach a given skill.

Any opinion on the topic? If so leave a comment for further reflection.

*Thanks to David T Lewis for his editing.*

[1] H. Fernandes, iStoa, modèle notionnel de guidage
macroscopique de l'apprentissage (Phd thesis), 2010

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