The European Union and digital education

26 February 2021

Education may not be a competence of the European Union (EU), however, the EU has developed and made available various strategies, frameworks, and tools to support the learning community.

Introducing the new Digital Education Action Plan

The European Commission launched a new Digital Education Action Plan (DEAP) in September 2020 with the aim of creating a high-quality, inclusive, and accessible digital education system in Europe. The plan outlines two priorities guiding their actions:

1.Fostering the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem

2.Enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation

Each priority outlines various areas of focus including basic digital skills and competences from an early age covering digital literacy, computing education, and knowledge of artificial intelligence and data-driven technologies amongst others.

eTwinning and libraries

The eTwinning platform offers educators a one-stop-shop to share, exchange, and network with the European learning community. In 2021, the eTwinning community is focusing on media literacy and combatting disinformation and fake news. Digital citizenship has been a focus of the eTwinning community since its inception in 2005 and in 2021, they will be paying specific attention to media literacy and disinformation and will promote this through their activities, publications and more!

Opportunities for the Digital Travellers project

As a European initiative, the Digital Travellers project fits right at home in the priorities set out in the DEAP as it fosters digital inclusion by equipping vulnerable groups with the basic digital skills needed for daily life and work. Additionally, the resource databases are organised in line with the DigComp 2.1: Digital Competence Framework for Citizens areas of competence making it easy to find resources on digital literacy and other digital skills.

Additionally, the Digital Travellers project is based on the methodology used by Bibliothèques sans Frontières France in their Voyageurs du Numérique (VDN) project. Their train-the-trainer approach led to the training of 30 000 facilitators in France alone. The notable difference between the Digital Travellers and the VDN project is the organisation of resources. The VDN project focused on three themes: digital skills for all, digital citizenship, and programming and new technologies. While there is a difference in the themes covered, many of the VDN resources have been mapped to the DigComp2.1 Framework and can be consulted in English.