Brussels, 19 April 2013
ICT in schools survey – many children not getting what they need; teachers need more training and support.
Students and teachers in Europe are keen to "go digital", computer numbers have doubled since 2006 and most schools are now "connected", but use of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and digital skill levels are very uneven. These skills and support for teachers to deliver them need a strong boost, according to a survey on the use of digital technologies in schools in Europe published by the Commission.
Key findings of the study:
Recommendations of the study:
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said: "ICT skills and training must be available to all students and teachers, not just a lucky few. We want our young people exposed to ICTs in school from the very beginning, and we want teachers who are confident to share their knowledge".
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "We need to invest more in the development and use of ICTs in schools. Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled ICT graduates and workers who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship".
Marc Durando, European Schoolnet’s Executive Director, said: “Policy makers and school heads should focus on concrete measures at school level to support the use and integration of ICTs in the classroom and invest in capacity building through new training models (online communities, blended learning, etc.)".
These findings and recommendations will feed into the Digital Agenda's effort to enhance every European's digital skills, so that they can all participate fully in society. They will assist the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs – see IP/13/182 (which plans, for example, to promote Massive Open Online Courses –MOOCs- for teachers, and spread the use of incentives and coordination in teacher ICT training), and other Commission initiatives for example the Rethinking Education Strategy and the forthcoming Opening Up Education proposal. These initiatives will work to ensure new generations know how to operate in a networked society where companies, the network and people are all interlinked - supporting the innovation, entrepreneurship and ICT skills that boost participation and creativity in society.
The study was undertaken by European Schoolnet and the University of Liège. This is the third European survey of ICT in schools, and the first to survey students directly. The previous study (eEurope 2005) focused mainly on infrastructure provision; this study has broadened into how ICTs are used and perceived and competences in using ICT. The survey was carried out between January 2011 and November 2012. In four countries (Germany, Iceland, The Netherlands and the UK) the response rate was too low to be able to make reliable conclusions, therefore findings are based on over 190,000 responses from the remaining 27 countries.