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Digital Education Action Plan: the European commitment to digital education



Digital Education Action Plan: the European commitment to digital education


The digital education is one that uses content, platforms or digital tools to achieve its purpose. It is not incompatible with traditional education. On the contrary. Both can coexist, since they share the same objectives and some work dynamics. Nevertheless, the leap to digital it is inevitable if we stick to the reality that surrounds us as a digital society. It is not surprising that even the European Union is concerned with this purpose, achieving the transition from analog to digital within its borders.

Precisely, the European Union, through the European Commission, launched an Action Plan focused on Digital Education. Or rather, to achieve digital education is a reality in European schools, institutes and educational centers. A plan that covers the period of time 2021 2027 and that intends two things, mainly: “to promote the development of a digital educational ecosystem of high performance” and “improving the digital skills and abilities for digital transformation.

In short, the future education, or rather, of the closest present, you must take advantage of the resources and tools offered by the digital environment. And at the same time, it must teach how to use the digital tools that students will find throughout his life professional but also personal.

Figures that make you think

Although there are those who have taken it as such, digital education is not a fad. It is an important resource educators can and should take advantage to pass on knowledge to their students. And for this there is a lot of work to be done, according to the data compiled by the European Commission and that explains the reason for this Digital Education Action Plan.

To get started. According to a 2018 OECD study, less than 40% of educators in the European Union considered themselves prepared for use digital technologies in education. Precisely, it is something that has been seen during the pandemic. Teachers who have had to learn by forced marches the use of video calls and other technologies to teach remotely.

But the sticks are also taken by the students. We presuppose knowledge of technology because they handle smartphones and computers. But in reality, more than a third of the young people between 13 and 14 years old who participated in an international study in 2018, did not have the basic level of digital skills. The study involved 46,000 students and 26,000 teachers.

And from the economic and social point of view. According to Eurostat, in 2019 a quarter of low income households did not have access to computers or broadband. What prevents access to services, aids or resources of the Administration as well as knowledge and opportunities for children and young people in that situation.

A digital educational ecosystem

It is not about replacing traditional whiteboards with virtual or interactive whiteboards. Or to change the paper book for electronic books, videos and interactive resources. Not even bringing computers or tablets to class. The transition to digital education implies updating the methods and tools used by educators to pass on knowledge.

And for this, educational centers must provide an infrastructure in the form of broadband connections, connected devices, platforms that facilitate day to day organization and physical and distance communication… For their part, educators must receive training to have the same digital skills which they then have to pass on to their students. And finally, educators must have content adapted to facilitate the learning of regulated topics using digital tools.

For years, schools, colleges and universities have been incorporating technology and the practices of digital education in their daily lives. But not all at the same speed or with the same success. And precisely to help make migration useful for everyone, families, students and teachers, the European Union wants to promote free advice and help tools. We recently saw an example, SELFIE.

Digital skills for digital transformation

As we have seen, the education and technology binomial it has two faces. We have already seen the first: using technology to educate, which is known as digital education. But the second is just as important, educating in technology. Or put another way, teach how to use technology. Something that we take for granted but that generates many problems and that can prevent the citizens of tomorrow from having the same possibilities of accessing certain jobs or being able to carry out tasks as routine as communicating with the Public Administration.

In this regard, we speak of digital literacy, an aspect that is only brought up when talking about people of a certain age, but that also concerns the youngest. As I said, we take it for granted that young people know how to use the technologies that were born alongside them. But the fact that they know how to watch videos on a smartphone or post a photo on Instagram does not make them master a technology.

Computer education is key in the classroom. On the one hand, practices such as office automation, a part of computing that is taken for granted but that should teach you too. And at the same time, promote broader areas such as video editing, photo retouching or knowing how to get around the Internet. Precisely, in this last issue there is a novelty in which the European Union emphasizes from several areas: the fight against disinformation.

We all have access to the Internet, to a greater or lesser extent. But it is convenient to educate from a young age things that we believe are basic, such as know how to look for somethingdifferentiate between reliable and unreliable sources, contrast information, notions of privacy and security in social networks, etc.