Action 62: EU-wide indicators of digital competences

What is the problem? The danger of digital illiteracy

The inability to access or use ICT (Information and Communication technology) has become a barrier to social integration and personal development. The digitally illiterate are missing out on social and economic opportunities and on easy access to online public services that can save time and money. The importance of spreading digital literacy couldn’t be clearer: those without sufficient ICT skills are disadvantaged in the labour market and have less access to information to empower themselves as consumers or as citizens.

Why is EU Action required? Measuring of digital competencies

We need to equip people with sufficient digital skills and in order to do that effectively, we first need to develop appropriate indicators of digital competences and media literacy. Such indicators will help us to measure and benchmark the competencies and can help us in developing further plans to guarantee social cohesion and eInclusion across Europe.

What has the Commission done so far?

  • Carried out a Study on "Survey of Schools: ICT in Education" to collect up to date information on the availability and use of ICT in schools for the purpose of learning.
    The main results show that while improvements in infrastructure provision and use have been made, it remains insufficient in some schools and Member States. Furthermore, while teachers are generally positive towards the use of ICT in learning, they mainly use it for preparation of classes. More needs to be done to provide the training and support to teachers to make the most out of the pedagogical use of ICT.
  • Developed a draft paper on indicators discussed in 2011 at an international workshop of high level experts
    A draft paper outlining a conceptual framework for Digital Competence and a potential set of indicators to be used for the construction of composite indicator on indicators has been developed and reported on the Digital Agenda Scoreboard. Further work has been undertaken within the Commission to map the skills needed to be digitally competent and a workshop was held with experts to gain their feedback on this mapping. Going forward, the results of the mapping will be used as input for the development of indicators.

What will the Commission do?

In 2013:

  • The Commission will issue a final paper proposing indicators on digital competences and media literacy to be discussed in the context of the review of the benchmarking framework with Member States and National Statistical Institutes.