State-of-play on the digitalization in the EU


Overview of the conference on Digital Education Action Plan review.

On Monday 29 April, the European Commission held a day-long conference focusing on the achievements of the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027. The morning part of the conference was open to the general public via an online stream, while the afternoon part was for specifically invited participants only, discussing specific topics (the impact of artificial intelligence on education, digital well-being and gender equality in informatics and ICT) and the future of digitalization in education.  

At the opening of the conference, Antoaneta Angelova-Krastova, on behalf of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), summarised the achievements of the Action Plan so far, the implementation of which is currently halfway through. Following the so-called Structured Dialogue with Member States, the Council of the EU last year adopted two recommendations focusing on enenabling factors for digital education and on the provision of digital skills (basic and advanced) for all EU citizens from kindergarten to adult lifelong learning. For primary and secondary school teachers, the European Commission has published two guidelines in 2022 on the ethical use of artificial intelligence and on misinformation and media literacy. School teachers can also use the SELFIE tool and the SELFIE for Teachers to assess their digital skills (and the situation in individual schools).  

One of the achievements of the Action Plan is the establishment of the European Digital Education Hub and in particular its Community of Practice. Since its launch, more than 4,000 experts and stakeholders in digital education from all fields (universities, schools, school founders, policymakers, private companies, enterprises and many others) have registered for the Community of Practice. The activities of the Community and the themes of its events are co-created by its members, ensuring that the activities implemented are relevant and address the current challenges related to digitalization in education. The community offers a large number of events, webinars, opportunities for discussion or mentoring and online clinics. Last but not least, its members also actively share relevant news, publications, events, examples of good practice and innovative methods with each other.  

After this introduction, students, teachers and other experts presented their specific involvement in the activities implemented within the Action Plan. Teachers from Portugal and Ireland showed how they have used the aforementioned guidelines, while students from Finland and Bulgaria presented their experience with the Digital Opportunity Traineeships and Girls Go Circular initiatives. The aforementioned Community of Practice and the ESTEAM Fest initiative were also presented.  

The mid-term evaluation of the Action Plan will continue throughout this year through consultations with Member States, relevant stakeholders and specific focus groups (with teachers, students, local and national authorities, parents, social partners, industry and others). Members of the European Digital Education Hub will also have the opportunity to express their opinion. The aim of the consultations is to assess the opportunities, but also to identify the main challenges and risks that the EU should address in the further implementation of the Action Plan.  

The morning part of the conference concluded with the presentation of the winning teams of the last edition of the Digital Education Hackathon and the award ceremony. From over 200 solutions, the jury selected 11 finalists and then 4 winners who presented their projects in short "pitch sessions". This year's edition will take place in November.   

More information, including a recording of the conference, can be found on the European Education Area portal