While the use of digital content for education purposes is not a new topic, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the production and use of such resources.
In parallel, we are observing a deep transformation of habits regarding the use of digital education content, both among actors on the ‘supply side’ – industry and the public sector – and those on the ‘demand side’ – teachers, students and pupils.
The digital transition is bringing about many changes
- digital education content is becoming more creative, engaging and embodied in diverse formats
- new technological developments, such as immersive reality and artificial intelligence (AI), are helping to deliver new types of education content
- there is an exponential increase in the production of digital education content
Along with these developments come some of the following challenges
- digital platforms and their algorithms could act as ‘gatekeepers’ of digital education content, potentially impacting access to these resources in different ways
- it is more difficult for users to verify the quality and trustworthiness of digital education resources than traditional content
- the long-term preservation of these educational resources
- cybersecurity, data protection and e-privacy risks
Further challenges include
- a lack of data and analysis about the ongoing situation and the (potential) changes that will result from it
- identifying together with stakeholders priority areas for support from the European Union (EU) to improve the quality of education
- promoting multilingualism and cultural diversity in a globalised market and preventing the exclusion of pupils in disadvantaged situations
- co-creating solutions with stakeholders that they will embrace and can be fully implemented
The purpose of this action is to identify the areas in which EU action would bring added value and to work closely with stakeholders to find the most effective solutions.
Key activities and expected results
Throughout 2021 and 2022, the European Commission will put in place an intensive stakeholder dialogue process, including bilateral meetings and a community of practice, to ensure that all actors feel ownership of the proposed solutions and that their full implementation is achievable.
A dedicated study will be launched as of the start of 2022. This study will take into account the needs of learners, educators and relevant education and training stakeholders, as well as the supply of digital education content. It will also assess in detail the impact on education emerging as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation and technological innovation.
These activities will result in the creation of a European Framework for Digital Education Content, with solutions co-created and embraced by stakeholders. The final outcome will be a combination of measures, articulated under the umbrella of a Framework.
A parallel action consisting of an ongoing feasibility study will provide the Commission with reliable knowledge, evidence, analysis and guidance on the possible creation of a European exchange platform. The purpose of the European exchange platform would be to collect and promote certified online education resources and platforms.
- 2023 – propose a European Digital Education Content Framework
- End of 2021 – feasibility study and decision on the creation of a European exchange platform
This action is funded by the EU’s Erasmus + programme.
Get in touch
If you are interested in knowing more about this action, you can get in touch with us by email at EAC-DIGITALEDUCATION@ec.europa.eu.
Header image: © European Union, 2021.