Ed­u­ca­tion & Training 2020 – dig­i­tal and on­line learn­ing

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

ex­clu­sive competence of mem­ber states. How­ever, there is still an EU pol­icy de­signed to sup­port ac­tion taken at a na­tional level. This pol­icy is en­shrined in the Ed­u­ca­tion and Training 2020 plan and helps mem­ber states ad­dress com­mon chal­lenges such as “age­ing so­ci­eties, skills deficits in the work­force, tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and global com­pe­ti­tion”.

The sur­vey, which in­cludes data from Malta, was pre­pared by the Dan­ish Tech­no­log­i­cal In­sti­tute on be­half of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion (through the Work­ing Group on Dig­i­tal and On­line Learn­ing). The study specif­i­cally fo­cuses on how tech­nolo­gies and ICT can bring in­no­va­tion into teach­ing and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments in Europe. More­over, the ques­tions also fo­cused on the cur­rent state of such poli­cies in the re­spon­dents’ coun­try of ori­gin.

The re­sults of the sur­vey show that progress has been reg­is­tered on the in­te­gra­tion of dig­i­tal and on­line tech­nolo­gies to im­prove teach­ing and learn­ing pro­cesses as well as learn­ing out­comes. How­ever, for both na­tional and re­gional level pol­icy frame­works, the ma­jor­ity of the global sur­vey re­spon­dents replied that there were no for­mu­lated poli­cies at present (29% and 51% re­spec­tively). These two points mean that the progress has been lim­ited. An­other as­pect in­cluded in the sur­vey re­sults is that it is “not sur­pris­ing that gov­ern­ments have played a ma­jor role in stim­u­lat­ing the up­take of dig­i­tal and on­line learn­ing over time, in par­tic­u­lar be­cause of the ma­jor in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture that are re­quired also to en­sure suf­fi­cient band­width”.

A salient re­sult which emerged is that dig­i­tal skills and dig­i­tal on­line learn­ing are in­ter­twined. To quote the find­ings, de­vel­op­ments in “band­width, hard­ware, soft­ware, dig­i­tal con­tent, and es­pe­cially teach­ers’ skills and com­pe­tences have re­sulted in dig­i­tal and on­line learn­ing de­vel­op­ing from pri­mar­ily be­ing an add-on to ex­ist­ing ed­u­ca­tional prac­tices (...) to now, when dig­i­tal and on­line learn­ing is grad­u­ally in­te­grated into ed­u­ca­tional prac­tices”.

This point is sig­nif­i­cant when one con­sid­ers the spill-over ef­fect that poli­cies such as the Ed­u­ca­tion and Training 2020 plan might carry on to other wider poli­cies such as the Europe 2020 strat­egy and its tar­gets for the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, apart from the achieve­ment of a Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket (a pol­icy un­der the Euro­pean Sin­gle Mar­ket which cov­ers as­pects such as E-com­merce). In fact, the Ed­u­ca­tion and Training 2020 plan adds to other ob­jec­tives in­cluded in other strate­gies.

Re­duc­ing the rates of early school leav­ing be­low 10% and reach­ing the level of at least 40% of 30 to 34-year-olds com­plet­ing third level ed­u­ca­tion can be ad­dressed in the long run if dig­i­tal and on­line ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards are fur­ther en­hanced, thus fur­ther de­vel­op­ing the skills of Euro­pean cit­i­zens within the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem.

Fur­ther­more, the Dig­i­tal Agenda Score­board (mea­sur­ing the progress to­wards a dig­i­tal econ­omy) shows that “lim­ited ac­cess to high-speed broad­band still con­sti­tutes a bar­rier to wider uni­ver­sal ac­cess to dig­i­tal and on­line learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments in some parts of Europe”.

Over­all, the sur­vey shows that there has been some progress in EU mem­ber states and beyond. Yet, “re­sponses pro­vided by the par­tic­i­pants also sug­gest that there is still room for im­prove­ment in a range of ar­eas that con­sti­tute key build­ing blocks of a dig­i­tally com­pe­tent ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion”.

Con­tin­ued sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the shar­ing of best prac­tices be­tween mem­ber states may en­sure that these de­vel­op­ments oc­cur in the best pos­si­ble way in or­der to fur­ther im­prove the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem in Europe.

James Az­zopardi, MEUSAC Ex­ec­u­tive

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.