Launched last year, the Europe 2020 strategy is an intricate ten-year plan to revive employment and stimulate the economy of the European Union. Such a plan requires educational goals that are simultaneously ambitious yet tenable, explains Lieve Van den Brande, a Principal Administrator at the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Her focus areas are “ICT for Learning” and the Lifelong Learning Programme. She spoke to ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN about the educational dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy and how creativity and innovation in classrooms will be essential for the success of Europe 2020.
What is the role of education in meeting the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy? What are the targets of Europe 2020 in relation to education?
Education, training and skills are really crucial areas for development if the goals of Europe 2020 are to be met, and this has become even more important since the financial crisis. For instance, by 2020, at least one third of all the jobs in the EU will require fairly high skills, so we need a significant and sustained investment in training people. Looking at the five benchmarks of the Europe 2020 strategy, we now have an education benchmark set at European level. That benchmark states that by 2020, early school leaving (dropping out before completing compulsory schooling) should be reduced to less than ten per cent. And 40% of the people aged between 30 and 35 years old should have a tertiary education degree.
Is there a strategy to ensure that that these goals are met?
Both benchmarks are being analysed, and implementation measures are being looked into by the [individual] countries, so very soon we will have country recommendations which will be published, showing which countries are committing themselves in order to reach those two benchmarks. As for how effective Education and Training Europe 2020 has been so far, we are still at the [preliminary] stage where we are working with the individual countries to ensure that their country recommendations are leading to that benchmark.
What plans are in place for ensuring that the EU has enough of those high skills noted in the Europe 2020 strategy?
Well, it’s not just about more skills; it’s also about the right mix of skills, a good variety. We need to focus on skills that up until now have been less stressed in education, and this is where we need good communication and the coming together of the world of work (industry) and the world of education which, to date, largely have different discourses. What education is trying to achieve and what industry is trying to achieve don’t always fit. We need to listen to business and industry, telling us that Europe is suffering from a very serious skills shortage in certain sectors, in particular in healthcare, ICTs and several vocations like technicians and carpenters. We also need many more entrepreneurs, and thus entrepreneurship education, creativity and innovation are becoming essential competences which are requested by industry and often called “soft skills”. So to develop these transversal competencies and to ensure that there is variety in the overall skill set, we need better forecasting for future jobs and to find new forms of cooperation between business and training. In bridging the gap between education and stakeholders, we have established higher education-business forums and school-business forums as a way to look at how those two worlds can cooperate better.
The last domain we work on, which is very important, is employee mobility. In the case of true mobility, you are looking at developing skills necessary on a global scale, such as being autonomous, learning languages and developing team-working skills. These are the sorts of skills addressed by the Erasmus and Leonardo programmes. In sum, it is important to keep investing in education and training. It is a shared responsibility between Europe’s members.
Do you see any major challenges to achieving these ends?
Achieving those benchmarks is indeed challenging. For example, the profile of an early school leaver is complex. It’s not only educational problems that are to blame. Social matters influence early school leaving. There is never any one cause, so if a country wants to act, it has to take multiple measures. All the same, attainment is improving, and though that 40% target for tertiary schooling is quite a challenge, it is still not as high as in the United States which is perhaps close to 47%, I think.
Innovation is an important feature of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The last few years have seen a number of promising technological developments for the classroom, but their uptake has often been limited. What is preventing the use of more innovative methods in the classroom, and what can the European Commission do about this?
People recognise that the role of ICT is important, but it’s not yet used widely for daily learning and teaching. In other sectors, like e-government, e-health and e-inclusion, technology has really transformed the sector much more in such a way that new services and new ways of working have developed. This is not the case in education. There is a serious implementation gap in formal education. There have been a number of studies outlining the extent of the problem, for example the Schoolnet study and the EURYDICE survey on the uptake of ICT in schools in Europe. They all describe the seriousness of this implementation gap and the huge difference between the use of ICT by youngsters at home and at school. The difference is really shocking in that at home with their parents, children use ICT extensively and innovatively, but this isn’t the case in the educational setting. It’s not only in primary and secondary schooling; even in higher education ICT use is limited or used only in very traditional ways.
A key problem behind the poor uptake of ICT use is insufficient pedagogical training and teacher professional development. There is not enough focus on the use of ICT to change their teaching practices, so they simply never acquire sound pedagogical strategies to use ICTs in the classroom. With only basic ICT skills, teachers lack confidence and feel that they are underperforming. They may even feel their students are more able than they are.
So you’re saying that the main problem of poor ICT uptake lies in teacher education?
We’ve seen that in the northern countries teachers in primary schools are starting to receive better training, but we need to promote a new pedagogical approach because if you don’t know how to bring it into your teaching practice, you can’t get to the point of uptake. Digital competences are not really part of the curricula at present and don’t appear in the learning outcomes, and if you look to assessment on its own, you don’t find ICT supporting assessment. Surmounting this barrier requires a systematic approach to engage all the actors in education: the school, the parents, the learners, the support people, the head teacher and the teachers. Everyone has to have a view and vision of ICT and how it can enhance teaching and learning. But it must also show up in assessment methods, in professional development, in curricula and in leadership. So you need a whole system approach because if you don’t do that, if you just focus on one barrier, you don’t get there, and that’s maybe why this area has such a huge problem. It is a complex issue.
That gives us a fair understanding of the underlying issues in teacher training, but what practical steps are needed to remedy this? What is the European Commission doing to assist teachers, trainers and policymakers in integrating ICT in education and training?
Empowering Educators for Creative Learning is the title of the ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2011 session where the European Union will launch a new initiative entitled Creative Classrooms / Creative Learning Environments. The second term refers not only to primary and secondary education but all formal learning settings. So we’ll be looking at the diversity of innovative classroom practices all over Europe. One of them, One Laptop Per Child, opens the way for increasing ICT uptake by enabling a child to own a computer for use at home and at school. While policymakers and decision makers have lots of ideas, they don’t necessarily know what works in practice at grassroots level.
Creative Classrooms / Creative Learning Environments will be about dialogue between all stakeholders, using a bottom-up approach for people to share ideas about the strategies being implemented in classrooms across the Continent. We’re focusing on current practices rather than what might be possible in the future.
We also have the Lifelong Learning Programme for education and training, encouraging open coordination between member states. For example, we have new a working group ICT and Education, launched in October 2011, where 24 member states discuss the major barriers, teacher professional development and how to bring better digital competence into the curricula. We’re looking at how each country tackles the issues by discussing what works in practice so that we learn from each other. This working group will ultimately develop an evidence-based policy handbook, so it ties in neatly with the Creative Classrooms initiatives where we look at practical, grassroots approaches for improving education and training.
There is also the Training of the Teacher programme, and under the Lifelong Learning Programme, we have the e-twinning project which promotes bilateral cooperation. It involves about 150 000 teachers learning how others use ICT in the classroom. The final instrument of note is the e-learning portal which is an excellent resource for those seeking information, ideas and access to the many research papers conducted on these important matters of ICTs, education and training towards Europe 2020.
POL26 Empowering Educators for Creative Learning: A European View will be held on Thursday, December 1st at 14.00 – 16.00. Lieve Van den Brande will present a paper entitled EU Policy for ICT in Education: A New Initiative on Creative Classrooms / Creative Learning Environments.
The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) situated in Moscow is conducting a study on how ICT is reshaping the teaching and learning processes of children in primary education.
With respect to the expectations, requirements and challenges of the 21st century, the team of nine UNESCO experts from around the world will work for 3 years, beginning in 2011, to analyze different approaches, priorities, obstacles and strategies for integrating ICT into the everyday work and play of primary children and their teachers.
On 17-18 April 2011 an opening meeting of the project was held in Poitiers, France, co-organized by CNED, the French National Centre for Distance Education. In the meeting the project expert team was established together with mechanisms of coordination among the team members. The role of each expert was discussed and project’s strategy and implementation plan was defined.
Goals of the project
Analyzing changes in the teaching and learning processes in primary education due to the integration of ICT is a challenge: there are many different factors, strategies, and approaches, as well as positive and negative experience to examine. Through the project’s work on existing literature, policy reports, empirical studies, and contact with sample schools, we want to support primary teachers and school policy makers in all countries and regions to learn more about the process – while either trying to initiate it or promote it further in their schools. They plan to:
- Collect, analyze and document local idiosyncrasies and shared approaches to the complex process of integrating ICT in primary children’s learning experiences,
- Demonstrate why governments should invest in integrating ICT into the learning processes of children and why many of them do,
- Investigate reasons why teachers and leaders use ICT in their everyday pedagogy and what for and, especially, why they should use it in primary education,
- Study the roles of the teachers, children, parents and school leaders in this process,
- Study and document opportunities provided by ICT for teaching and learning (supporting the development of literacy, numeracy, science, 21st century competencies in primary schools,
- ollect and share a range of learning outcomes reported, identify learning outcomes that could be planned and expected because of ICT,
- Disseminate the experiences of the leading primary schools IITE will collaborate with during the project,
- Examine the limitations of ICT and the associated concerns in primary education.
Learning Technology Adoption In European Businesses 2011, the Europe-wide study carried out by Towards Maturity in partnership with Online Educa Berlin, has found that a growing number of organisations are turning to new learning technologies to help them increase their business agility.
ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, the largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors, will take place from November 30th to December 2nd 2011 at the Hotel InterContinental, Berlin. A series of sessions will be dedicated to workplace learning and provide the ideal platform for discussing the latest in business learning needs and trends.
One technology which is expected to play a greater role in learning and development in the future is social media. There has been a marked shift in attitudes towards social media, with 35% of organisations actively encouraging and making time for social and informal learning, and 52% of organisations now comfortable with unblocking and leveraging third party sites such as Facebook to support learning, a move that is understandable since in-house social networks have registered a decline in popularity. However, 25% of organisations remain unconvinced by the benefits of social networks in workplace learning, and continue not to allow its use.
Nevertheless, the use of social media to support workplace learning is a growing trend, which organisations themselves predict will rise, by 20%, to 73% over the next two years. This review of how e-learning technologies are applied in the workplace also predicts that within the next two years, the workplace culture of learning will see an increased use of cloud-based content, mobile learning technologies and Web 2.0 tools.
This independent study was designed by Towards Maturity, a leading benchmarking company, in collaboration with ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, to understand the challenges and opportunities facing European organisations who are implementing learning technologies within their workplaces. The survey, which was completed by 182 organisations, sought to identify which learning technologies are in use and how, the drivers behind and barriers to their use, their impact, and successful approaches to their implementation.
Organisations agree that learning technologies are beneficial in increasing the efficiency, quality and adaptability of the workforce. The majority of respondents have reduced their training costs by implementing learning technologies, and 3 out of 5 organisations agree that learning technologies have enabled them to roll out new products and services more quickly than before.
However, despite the widespread use of learning technologies in workforces across Europe, many organisations are not ready to fully embrace new learning technologies just yet. Many organisations are being hindered by a lack of skills and confidence among their trainers, as well as the need to gain senior and line management buy-in.
The report will be discussed in detail at this year's ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, which will explore what learning and development will look like in the future and how to prepare for success in these new cultures of learning through its Business EDUCA programme. The Business EDUCA sessions will explore the future of learning today, and provide participants with practical insights and tools including using social media to enhance business performance, embracing mobile learning in business, and demonstrating value.
The report can be downloaded here: http://www.online-educa.com/business-educa.
This report has been compiled for ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN by independent benchmark specialists Towards Maturity as part of their annual Learning Technology Benchmark. The full 2011-12 Towards Maturity Benchmark was released on the 10th of November. Find out more at www.towardsmaturity.org/2011benchmark
ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2011
17th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training November 30th - December 2nd, 2011
Venue: Hotel InterContinental Berlin, Budapester Str. 2, 10787 Berlin, Germany
Organisers: ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstr. 32, 10625 Berlin, www.icwe.net
Learning Technology Adoption in European Businesses 2011, the Europe-wide report carried out by Towards Maturity in partnership with ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, has found that a growing number of organisations are turning to new learning technologies to help them increase their business agility. The report, which highlights statistics and data on what is driving investment and key trends in learning technologies, will be discussed in detail at this year’s ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN.
L'édition 2011 de "Repères et références statistiques sur les enseignements, la formation et la recherche" (RERS), publié par la direction de l’évaluation, de la prospective et de la performance (DEPP) présente des données statistiques sur l'ensemble des composantes du système éducatif français. Le deuxième chapitre, consacré aux établissements, aborde les usages des technologies de l'information et de la communication dans les établissements publics du second degré et les écoles publiques.
Cet état des lieux du développement des TICE au sein des établissements publics du second degré et des écoles publiques a été élaboré à partir de l'enquête annuelle sur les TICE menée entre février 2010 et juin 2011.
Équipements à usage pédagogique
En 2011, le nombre moyen d’élèves par ordinateur se situe au-dessus de 5 dans les collèges; il se rapproche de 3 dans les lycées d’enseignement généraux et technologiques (LEGT) et se situe légèrement au-dessus de 2 dans les lycées professionnels (LP). La situation est plus inégale dans le premier degré où le nombre moyen d’écoliers par ordinateur diffère grandement en fonction du type d’écoles : 24,1 pour les écoles maternelles, 10 pour les écoles élémentaires et 5,4 pour les écoles élémentaires participant à l'opération « École numérique rurale » (ENR).
Le nombre de tableaux numériques interactifs (TNI) dans le secondaire est en moyenne nettement supérieur à la situation dans le primaire à l'exception notable des écoles du plan ENR.
Accès à Internet et sécurité
L'ensemble des EPLE (à l'exception de quelques établissements) et la grande majorité des écoles élémentaires (78,4) utilisent un dispositif de filtrage de l’accès à Internet. Les écoles (23,1 %) contractent peu d'abonnements payants à des ressources pédagogiques numériques en ligne contrairement aux établissements du second degré (collège 65,8 %, LEGT 81,3 %, LP 70,2 %).
La validation des compétences du Brevet informatique et internet est plus importante en école et en collège qu'en lycée. 50% des enseignants dans les écoles publiques sont impliqués dans la validation du B2i, 30,6% en collège, 14 % en LP et 8,9 en LEGT. La présente étude rappelle que cette validation est obligatoire dans le cadre du socle commun de connaissances et de compétences pour l’obtention finale du diplôme national du brevet.
Consulter l'ensemble des données de la publication à l'adresse suivante :
Les publications Repères et références statistiques sur les enseignements, la formation et la recherche
Toute l’information statistique disponible sur le système éducatif et de recherche français, déclinée en plus de 180 thématiques. Ce vaste ensemble de données contribue à étayer le débat sur le fonctionnement et les résultats de notre École.
This is the website for the Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission. Since 1973, the European Commission has been monitoring the evolution of public opinion in the Member States, thus helping the preparation of texts, decision-making and the evaluation of its work. Our surveys and studies address major topics concerning European citizenship: enlargement, social situation, health, culture, information technology, environment, etc.
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (OUC) will host its first international seminar on Higher Education Rankings and e-Learning. To take place in Barcelona, Spain, on 22–23 September 2011, the seminar will feature a range of international speakers, including ICDE President, Frits Pannekoek.
OUC is member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education.
University rankings have been around for at least a couple of decades now, with some sources making a case that they go as far back as the XIV century, implicit in the recognition of the Universities of Prague, Paris and Oxford as the sole of university textbooks of the time. Be that as it may, higher education performance evaluation tools have since proliferated, both at the regional and international level.
No matter what the criticism levied against the various rankings now being produced, it is undeniable that they provide, in one form or another, useful instruments for benchmarking.
Rankings, nonetheless, have so far not kept abreast of the profound changes in higher education brought about by the opportunities offered by the ICTs, and have not – with counted exceptions – included online education in their studies.
Today most universities have, to varying degrees, adopted the Internet as a delivery mode to complement their traditional teaching. A few universities, such our own, actually teach exclusively online, and there are staggering growth perspectives in the online student population as internet-based education gains legitimacy and is being identified as a rigorous, viable and economically sustainable alternative to residential universities.
Are rankings likely to focus on eLearning in the near future? If so, what parameters will be employed and who will be defining those? What impact will they have on online education? If not, are present rankings of any use to online education institutions for benchmarking purposes?
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya invites members of the university community the world over, policy makers, analysts and publishers to join experts and exchange views as they debate these issues at the 1st International Seminar on Higher Education Rankings and e-learning to be held in Barcelona, Spain on the 22nd and 23rd of September, 2011.
Online Educa Berlin and Towards Maturity launch new study that investigates technology-enhanced learning in organisations across Europe
Online Educa Berlin, the world's largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors, together with the UK-based consultancy Towards Maturity, invites HR professionals and corporate learning technology experts to take part in a unique benchmark study on learning approaches.
The study wants to uncover what learning approaches are making a difference in organisations across Europe, investigating what technologies are being used in corporate environments and what skills are most likely to be e-enabled. How is social media changing the face of learning and development? How can organisations develop and build their learning culture? These and other questions should be answered in an online questionnaire at:
The research targets those responsible for implementing learning technologies in businesses. Participants will receive a free copy of the final report providing an industry comparison that helps to improve business results. The survey closes on June 15th. The final report will be published by mid July.
About Online Educa Berlin
Online Educa Berlin is the key annual networking event for the international e-learning and technology-supported learning and training industry, attracting and bringing together experts in the vanguard of technology-enhanced learning from around the world. Online Educa Berlin attracts over 2000 participants from more than 100 countries world-wide.
Online Educa Berlin 2011
17th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training November 30th - December 2nd, 2011
Organisers: ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstr. 32, 10625 Berlin
Contact: Ms Katharina Goetze, email@example.com, Tel: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0,
This Report is the first out of 5 reports that will be published on a six-monthly basis containing the results of the Study - Benchmarking of parental control tools for the online protection of children - SIP-Bench II - funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Safer Internet Programme.