henrik Sievers blogi
02.02.2024 Kirjoittaja Innolink Henrik Sievers

Digital transformation in EU education sector- massive programs and active implementation in different countries

Digital transformation in EU education sector- massive programs and active implementation in different countries


  1. The vast EU context in digital transformation

This study examines the European Union’s initiatives for digital transformation within its educational sector. It focuses on the strategies and policies implemented to integrate digital technologies in educational systems, aiming to understand their impact on teaching methodologies and student engagement. The research explores various EU programs and directives, assessing their effectiveness and challenges in fostering a digitally competent education system.

Specifically, we studied how digital technology is being used in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programs. This study included looking at what these programs are doing and producing. There was a lot of information from academic articles and important EU documents about digital education, like the Digital Education Action Plan and the Digital Decade 2030.

We studied the key academic papers on digital education in Europe. Two extensive ideas stood out: the European Digital Education area should be a major focus in Europe’s digital education, and we shouldn’t just assume that Erasmus+ will automatically help build a European identity. What really surprised me was the substantial number of programs (over 12) and their massive budgets in European education. This raises questions about the allocation of resources and finding data and metrics if the execution of these programs is successful.

  1. Executing EU vision

The information for this study comes from research papers, reports, and publications about the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programs. These documents were provided by various organizations.

  • Research conducted in Erasmus+ and ESC projects.
  • Training and Cooperation Activities (TCA) reports
  • Long-term Activities (LTA) reports
  • Strategic National Agencies Cooperation (SNAC) reports
  • Support for Advanced Learning and Training Resource Centre’s (SALTO) reports
  • Research-based analysis of European youth programs (RAY) reports

The priorities of the literature review were how to measure and get an overview of the following facets:

  • Fostering the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem
  • Enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation

The research we found, including around sixty items like videos, podcasts, and articles, was detailed, and varied in scope. Many of these studies focused on real-world experiments and aimed to help young people become more involved in the digital world. One article that stands out in this context is ”Exploring Participation with Videogames” by Michele Di Paola, Carmine Rodi Falanga, and Panu Räsänen, published in the ”Participation & Information 2023 Report YOUTH SALTO”.

Digital change is a major goal in Europe, and in education. When we look at the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programs, where do we really see this change happening in both research and practical work?

We are looking at how digital and mixed (traditional plus digital) ways of teaching and learning can be used easily and effectively. We are also seeing how the internet and digital platforms can help in this process. A big part of this is about making education better with digital tools, making sure these tools are easy to use for everyone, and helping students learn better with them.

We are studying how well teachers and students can use digital tools. This includes looking at various kinds of digital apps and the technology needed for digital learning. Also, we are thinking about how artificial intelligence can help in programs for young people. Plus, we are focusing on the ability to understand and use digital information, a key aspect today.

The research also covers how subjects like science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, along with creative digital methods, support excluded young people to enhance their personal, social, and critical digital skills. We are also looking at how some young people in the EU have less chance to use digital tools and what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. Lastly, we are exploring ’filter bubbles’, which happen when the internet shows us only the things we already like or agree with. This challenge will be enormous in the coming years with the advent of AI.

  1. The way ahead

What can we learn from the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programs literature review about how digital technology is being used in real-life projects?

The types of activities in digital transformation were varied, focusing on SALTO and SNAC. However, there were not many academic research reports on these topics. Most of the research we found showed what field workers and researchers think about digital transformation and what they think should be researched further. The questions these studies asked were mostly about the kinds of research being done, how digital education for young people is developing, and how people are learning digital skills.

In examining the outputs of various organizations, we observed that while their contributions were rich in detail and context, there existed a notable lack of uniformity and comparability. These entities, often engaged in analogous projects, exhibited considerable diversity in their methodological approaches. The array of materials produced, encompassing video presentations, podcasts, and reports on conferences, further exemplified this heterogeneity.

We suggest that more work should be done to link organizations’ activities to academic discussions and major EU visions and spearhead experiments. It would be good to focus on specific themes like including everyone to digital citizenship. We also recommend doing action research, which means studying the actual work happening in everyday real contexts in these programs.


Watch more: SALTO Digital Spotlight 14.12.2023 (youtube.com)



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