What is it about?

Rapid digital change in our society and economy means more demand for digital skills and competences. Education and training must address this need, which requires investment in infrastructure (eg broadband, digital devices), training for teachers, organisational change and the development of high quality educational resources, including apps and software.

Technology, when used correctly, can also help us learn better, more efficiently and creatively and to access wider more up-to-date knowledge.

Why is it needed?

There is an urgent need to boost digital skills and competences in Europe:

  • 37% of the EU workforce has low digital skills, or none at all.
  • Less than half of children are in schools which are highly equipped digitally – and only 20-25% of them are taught by teachers who are confident using technology in the classroom.
  • Between 50% and 80% of students never use digital textbooks, exercise software or learning games.

What has been done so far?

Policy cooperation

The Commission works closely with national education ministries and education stakeholders to increase digital skills by sharing good practice and developing practical tools for digital skills and competence. This cooperation takes place through the working group on digital skills and competences which meets regularly in Brussels and the Member States.

More about the working group.

Frameworks for assessing digital skills and competences

The Commission has, in consultation with the Member States, developed a number of frameworks to help policy makers, learners and organisations in assessing digital skills and 'readiness'. Frameworks have been developed for citizens and organisations, and a similar one is currently being developed for teachers.

Digital skills and competences framework for citizens.  

The European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, also known as DigComp, offers a tool to improve people's digital competence. It was first published in 2013 and has become a reference for many digital competence initiatives at both European and Member State levels. The framework is currently being updated and new version was released in June.

DigComp 2.0: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens.

Digital skills and competences framework for educational organisations

The purpose of this framework (published in December 2015) is to allow organisations to assess their progress in integrating digital learning and pedagogies and to help policy makers to design, implement and evaluate policy interventions for the integration and effective use of digital learning technologies. Work is underway to create a practical self-assessment questionnaire for schools based on the framework.

Promoting Effective Digital-Age Learning: A European Framework for Digitally-Competent Educational Organisations

Research

The Commission finances research on digital skills and competences and the uptake of innovation and new opportunities in education institutions. Research reports and studies are regularly published by the Commission's Joint Research Centre

Recent studies include:

Project funding

The Erasmus+ programme funds exchanges in support of teacher education in digital skills as well as projects aiming to explore and develop the potential of technology use in education and it promotes the creation and availability of new digital pedagogies and educational resources.

Erasmus + funding opportunities

European Structural and Investment Funds support the provision of connectivity and devices for educational institutions and skills training for young people and adults.

More on the contribution of the structural funds to digital skills

Sharing good practice on innovative education

Open Education Europa and School Education Gateway are websites run by the Commission that aim to share best practice on innovative education. OpenEducationEuropa.eu is currently being restructured and improved.

Find out more