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New EU Digital Education Plan learns some lessons from the COVID crisis

Third European Education Summit will be organized on 10 December, this time virtually

  • November 04, 2020 16:00
  • Author Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov
Medium european commission

The European Commission has released an outline of its new Digital Education Plan for the programme period 2021-2027. This comes in the footsteps of a concerted effort towards digitization in recent years, however, there is an admission that the dynamic changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have also heavily influenced the plan.

Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Education and Youth, who is in charge of the initiative, has stated on her Facebook that the proposals of the plan will be discussed with the education ministers and other stakeholders from the member states at a virtual summit on 10 December.

The new plan was designed following public consultations during the summer of 2020

Overall, it was pointed out that the new strategy has two priorities that the Commission would like to concentrate on during the implementation of the plan.

The first priority focuses on making sure that the digital education ecosystem that would come out, as a result, will be highly capable, resilient and efficient. This will require the participation of all member states and their respective educational authorities.

The vision of the EU Commission is to have a common understanding, guidelines and policies across the Union on how to carry out distance education in an efficient and engaging way by the end of 2021.

A central part of this is relegated to the teachers, whose competence in using digital platforms and content should be drastically bettered. This will be possible with the introduction of specialized training programmes, such as Erasmus Teacher Academy and SELFIE (Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational technologies) for Teachers.

Exchange of skills and competence is also expected to be supplemented by exchange of educational content through a European Digital Education Content Framework, which will use the benefit of diversity provided from 27 different educational systems.

The second pillar of the Action Plan is the enhancement of digital skills among students, starting from the youngest age possible. Part of this priority means updating the European Digital Competence Framework to include the learning of Artificial Intelligence and data skills, and the creation of a European Digital Skills Certificate (EDSC) that will be commonly accepted and recognized in all member states.

The Commission would also like to take measures towards equalizing the playing field in the tech sphere by having more participation of women in it. This would be achieved by encouraging universities to develop STEM curricula that are more appealing to young women.

The summer consultations with the public on the question of digital education revealed that 60% had not used online learning tools before the pandemic, and over 60% feel that during the crisis they have improved their digital skills and that this is the right track to go on in the future.

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