Resetting Education

EU Digital Education Action Plan Announced

Brussels (B), October 2020 - The Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027) outlines the European Commission's vision for high-quality, inclusive, and accessible digital education in Europe. It is a call to action for stronger cooperation at the European level to learn from the COVID-19 crisis, during which technology is being used at a scale never seen before in education and training and to make education and training systems fit for the digital age.

The new Action Plan has two strategic priorities:

1. Helping develop a high-performing digital education ecosystem.

This requires

  • infrastructure, connectivity, and digital equipment
  • effective digital capacity planning and development, including up-to-date organisational capabilities
  • digitally competent and confident teachers and education and training staff
  • high-quality learning content, user-friendly tools, and secure platforms that respect privacy and ethical standards

The Commission will

  • launch a strategic dialogue with EU Member States to prepare a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the enabling factors for successful digital education
  • propose a Council Recommendation on online and distance learning for primary and secondary education. Its focus should be an EU-wide common understanding of how to make distance, online, and blended learning effective, inclusive, and engaging.
  • develop a European Digital Education Content Framework that will build on European cultural and creative diversity, and launch a feasibility study on a possible European exchange platform to share certified online resources and link up education platforms
  • support gigabit connectivity of schools, as well as connectivity in schools; carry out Connectivity4Schools awareness on funding opportunities; and encourage Member States to make the most of EU support with regard to internet access, purchase of digital equipment, and eLearning applications and platforms
  • support digital transformation plans at all levels of education and training through Erasmus cooperation projects; support digital pedagogy and expertise in the use of digital tools for teachers through Erasmus Teacher Academies; and launch an online self-assessment tool for teachers - SELFIE for Teachers
  • develop ethical guidelines on artificial intelligence (AI) and data usage in teaching and learning for educators, and support Horizon Europe research and innovation in this area


2. Enhancing digital skills and digital transformation competences

This requires

  • basic digital skills and competences from an early age
  • digital literacy, including fighting disinformation
  • computing education
  • good knowledge and understanding of data-intensive technologies such as artificial intelligence
  • advanced digital skills that produce more digital specialists and also ensure that girls and young women are equally represented in digital studies and careers

The Commission will

  • develop common guidelines for teachers and educational staff to foster digital literacy and tackle disinformation through education and training, as well as working with civil society; European technology companies and carriers; broadcasters; and  parents, students, and young people
  • update the European Digital Competence Framework to include AI and data-related skills, and also support development of AI learning resources for schools, VET organisations, and other training providers
  • create a European Digital Skills Certificate (EDSC) that is recognised and accepted by governments, employers, and others across Europe
  • propose a Council recommendation on improving the provision of digital skills in education and training. This would include using EU tools to invest in professional development for teachers, sharing best practice on instructional methods in high- quality computing education, and working with industry to identify and update skills needs as they emerge
  • encourage more participation in the International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS), which gathers cross-national data on student digital skills, and introduce an EU target for student digital competence of under 15% by 2030 for 13-14 year old students who underperform in computer and information literacy
  • target advanced digital skills development though steps such as extending the Digital Opportunity traineeships to VET learners and apprentices, and offer professional development opportunities for teachers, trainers, and other educational staff
  • encourage women's participation in STEM with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as well as support the EU STEM Coalition to develop higher education curricula that attract women to engineering and ITC based on the STEAM approach