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Digital Education Action Plan – Action 7

Guidelines for teachers and educators to foster digital literacy and tackle disinformation through education and training.

Digital literacy has never been as important as in today’s increasingly digitalised world.

The rapidly changing media and information landscape, together with the great number of online media platforms and sources of information, requires that people are not only confident, but also knowledgeable and critical in the digital world.

Digital literacy and disinformation challenges

In times of crisis, challenges related to the spread of disinformation and harmful content increase, putting strain on our democracies and individuals’ wellbeing.

In a recent Eurobarometer survey, 70% of Europeans who responded shared that they come across news that they believe to misrepresent reality or even be false often.

In another survey (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2020), 74% of respondents expressed concerns about the presence of fake news in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, respondents to the European Commission’s Open Public Consultation on the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 highlighted that skills related to digital literacy, such as identifying facts from fake information, managing ‘information overload’ and navigating safely online, are recognised as the top three digital skills needed for the 21st century.

Education and training has a crucial role to play in equipping citizens with the critical thinking skills required to exercise judgment in the online world, taking into consideration its particular phenomena, related to the presence of algorithms, ‘information bubbles’ and ‘echo chambers’.

To ensure the effective development of digital literacy and tackling disinformation through the education and training process, teachers and educators need to be further supported with guidance and hands-on examples.

Key activities

To help tackle these challenges, in October 2022 the Commission launched guidelines to help teachers and educators to promote digital literacy and address disinformation through education and training.

The guidelines provide hands-on guidance for teachers and educators, including practical tips and activity plans. They are designed for primary and secondary teachers with or without specialist knowledge of digital education. They are accompanied by a final report which brings together the Expert Group’s main findings and recommendations.

The Guidelines and the Final Report were developed with the support of an informal Commission expert group bringing together expertise from the education and training community, academia, broadcasting, the private sector and others.  

More information about the Guidelines can be found in the factsheet, infographic and the short explanatory video below.

 

Expected results

  • better public awareness and knowledge regarding disinformation
  • a broader understanding of digital literacy achieved through education and training
  • responsible and safe use of digital technologies

Outputs

  • Guidelines to help teachers and educators to promote digital literacy and address disinformation through education and training
  • Final report of the Commission expert group on tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy through education and training

Timeline

  • October 2021 - July 2022 - meetings of the Commission expert group
  • October 2022 - publication of the guidelines and the final report of the expert group

Funding

This action is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

Get in touch

If you are interested to find out more about this action, you can get in touch with us by email at EAC-DIGITALEDUCATION@ec.europa.eu.

Follow @EUDigitalEdu on Twitter for the latest news and developments on this action and the whole Digital Education Action Plan.