--- Posted by Javier Hernández-Ros, DG INFSO, Head of unit: Cultural Heritage and Technology Enhanced Learning
On 16 June, in the framework of the Digital Agenda Assembly , we will have the opportunity to discuss with Member States' representatives, experts and stakeholders how to support the mainstreaming of eLearning in national policies as an agent for modernization of education, for all subjects and skills. Mainstreaming eLearning is one of the key actions of the Digital agenda for Europe .
President Obama recently stated, “we're sending today our children out into a 21st century economy by sending them through the doors of 20th century schools”. This applies to a large extent to schools in Europe as well. If we want to ensure a bright future for our young generations and build the knowledge economy of the twenty first century, Europe has no choice than to continue modernizing its education and training systems, making full use of the potential of ICT.
ICT in learning increases motivation and engagement of pupils. It stimulates interest and creativity and contributes decisively to the mastery of digital literacy: Many goals achieved with one single objective! I believe that eLearning will help us close the digital divide by ensuring wider access to learning opportunities. It can profoundly transform our educational systems by enriching teaching and learning practices. It helps to personalize learning experiences.
In our workshop we will be hearing the views of experts and successful implementers of past projects; we will gather the views of key stakeholders; teachers, students, parents, eLearning industries, schools associations. Collectively we will work towards defining the way forward, what would be our targets, how would we measure progress and success, what actions to be undertaken. We have asked all participants to propose clear recommendations and actions for the future.
Today we use ICT tools widely in our jobs, we use them widely "after hours", our children use them extensively… but only after school. We have to bring ICT into the classroom to improve how our children learn, to allow more interesting classes, better education. And this is to be done with the involvement of all actors, and notably teachers, who have to become the key actors for change.
The Digital Agenda Assembly workshop dedicated to the eLearning thematic  is a good opportunity to build momentum for change; the times are difficult, budget cuts are present everywhere. The challenge is greater ...