On 25 September, the European Commission unveiled ‘Opening up Education’, an action plan to tackle the shortage of digital equipment in schools. Currently, more than 60% of nine year olds in the EU are in schools which are not digitally equipped. To counter this problem, the Commission launched a new website which will allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources.
Increasing the access and availability of digital textbooks, exercise software, broadcasts/podcasts, simulation or learning programmes is a policy priority for the European Commission as it contributes to the EU policy aim of creating jobs that in turn help to stimulate the economy.
The joint initiative from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou on Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and Neelie Kroes, Commission Vice-President, responsible for the Digital Agenda, focusses on three main areas:
- Creating opportunities for organisations, teachers and learners to innovate;
- Increased use of Open Educational Resources (OER), ensuring that educational materials produced with public funding are available to all;
- Better ICT infrastructure and connectivity in school.
This initiative also ties in with the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, a multi-stakeholder platform tackling the lack of ICT skills and up to 900.000 unfilled ICT-related vacancies.
For more information on the Opening up Education action plan, please click here.