The EU and the Importance of Digital Education in the 21st Century
Digital media and technology are becoming ever more present in society. Dubbed ‘Europe’s digital transformation’ by the European Union (EU), countries are preparing to adapt their education systems to provide young people with the best digital education and training.
The DigiBlox Digital Media course contributes to this aim by covering a wide range of applicable and transferrable digital media skills. But why are these skills so important in the 21st century?
The digital and technological landscape is changing faster and faster every day, which is one of the key reasons it’s important to keep up to date with digital education. The EU’s Digital Education Action Plan sets out a vision, while being cautious of the risks:
“While there are many opportunities arising from digital transformation, the biggest risk today is of a society ill-prepared for the future.”
As technology improves and changes, preparing people across Europe to make the most of opportunities and challenges that arise from this ever-changing world has never been more important. This is shown by one of the key priorities in the EU’s Action Plan:
‘Developing relevant digital skills and competences for the digital transformation’
The EU plan on meeting this aim by supporting the digital readiness of general and vocational schools in their digital capacity, reaching one million teachers, trainers and learners in all EU countries with their SELFIE self-assessment tool for digital readiness. They are also preparing a framework for issuing digitally-certified qualifications and validating digitally-acquired skills.
SELFIE (Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational technologies) is a free tool designed to help schools embed digital technologies into teaching, learning and assessment.
Lack of access to technology and the skills to use it is both a cause and effect of inequality across the EU and further afield. Digital competence is a part of the new European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning and encouraged for all, from an early age and throughout life. Vulnerable groups, however, are particularly affected by issues concerning access.
“A key part of digital education is ensuring equity and quality of access and infrastructure.”
The EU plans on tackling this ‘connectivity divide’ by raising awareness of available funding benefits and opportunities for schools, supporting connectivity through voucher schemes focussed on disadvantaged areas, and ensuring full implementation of their toolkit and guidance for digital education in rural areas.
“In addition, the lack of interest among girls to pursue studies in information and communication technologies (ICT) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) , which remains a clear problem. This leads to lost social and economic opportunities and risks reinforcing gender inequality.”
“EU-wide cooperation through exchange of best practice, peer learning and evidence sharing is a proven way to support EU Member States’ education and training systems.”
Streamlining and broadening knowledge within digital education improves efficiency, particularly between countries. This will be guided by the EU’s new frameworks for digital readiness, digitally-certified qualifications and digitally-acquired skills validation. Digital technology also allows for a rapid increase in information sharing and increases learning opportunities.
“Innovation in education systems, understood as the adoption of new services, technologies, competences by education organisations, can help to improve learning outcomes, enhance equity and improve efficiency.”
Having a thorough knowledge of digital media and the way businesses use the internet to target individuals, which is covered in the third unit of our course, allows individuals to protect themselves from harm online. Engaging positively with this type of media now requires critical thinking skills more than ever.
“Algorithms used by social media sites and news portals can be powerful amplifiers of bias or fake news, while data privacy has become a key concern in the digital society.”
In addition, young people are at further risk of harm from cyber bullying and harassment if they are not equipped with the tools to identify and deal with risks online.
Training on Digital Media
The DigiBlox Digital Media course offers digital training to address these issues and supports the EU in their aim to educate society in digital media, from the role of social media and data-driven marketing to entrepreneurship and international legislation. Its European character and focus on the international scene makes it a qualification that can respond to today’s digital demands. Soon you will be able to learn more about how the course is being delivered in five European countries and gain insight from students across our DigiBlox platforms.