Digital age

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The figures speak for themselves:A 2018 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study found that fewer than 40% of educators feel ready to use digital technologies in teaching, with wide differences across the EU.

more than a third of the 13- and 14-year-olds who participated in the International Study on Computer and Information Literacy (ICILS) in 2018 did not have the most basic level of competence in digital skillsa quarter of low-income households lack computers and access to broadband, with large differences within the EU as a function of household income (Eurostat, 2019).

The pandemic has accelerated the current trend of online and hybrid learning.

Thanks to this transformation, teachers and students have discovered new and innovative ways of teaching and studying online and the possibility of interacting in a more personal and flexible way.

These changes require a strong and coordinated effort at EU level to help education and training systems address the challenges identified and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while proposing a long-term vision for the future of digital education. European.
Political context

The need for a new action plan, to be developed building on the first action plan for digital education (2018-2020), was expressed in the political guidelines of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in July 2019 .

The renewed action plan for digital education contributes to the Commission’s priority “A Europe ready for the ” and the NextGenerationEU initiative. It also supports the Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience, which aims to create a greener, digital and resilient European Union.

The Digital Education Action Plan is a key factor in achieving a European Education Area by 2025. It contributes to achieving the goals of the Skills Agenda for Europe, the Action Plan for the Pillar and the “digital compass for 2030: the European model for the digital decade” initiative.Open public consultation

From July to September 2020, the Commission carried out an open public consultation to gather the views and experiences of citizens, institutions and organizations from the public and private sectors on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and training, its transition distance and online learning and their vision for the future of digital education in Europe.

The public consultation revealed that:

nearly 60% of respondents had not used distance and online learning before the crisis
95% believe the crisis caused by the pandemic represents a tipping point for the way technology is used in education and training

respondents said online educational resources and content need to be more relevant, interactive and user-friendly and not depend on the financial resources of a city or municipalityover 60% believe they have improved their digital skills during the crisis and over 50% want to improve them further.

With over 2 700 responses from 60 countries and 127 position papers submitted, the consultation helped guide the Commission’s proposal for a new digital education action plan, adopted by the College of Commissioners on 30 September 2020.

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