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In most countries, ICT education is subject-specific; some also foresee cross-curricula strategies[26]. These countries also plead for using ICT as an innovative tool for learning and teaching. Policy and strategy development rests mainly with the central administrative level while implementation involves more local administrations and schools.

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In , Spain replaced its former national programme Escuela 2. The general objective of this new programme is to develop an electronic learning platform that improves the management of content and promotes the use of virtual learning environments that facilitate classroom instruction and individualised learning according to the needs of students. For this purpose, the budget allocated for the new programme is In this scenario co-funding models public-private and the participation and educational priorities of the regional communities will have an even more prominent role in continuing the incorporation of ICT and digital educational materials in the education system.

However, large implementation gaps remain. Past and recent surveys[28] show that teachers have not yet adopted ICT for learning across all subjects. In science, it is used for looking up information but rarely for conducting experiments or simulations of natural phenomena. In mathematics, it is also rather limited and sometimes used for skills practice. ICT use in language of instruction and foreign languages is more the exception than the rule[29]. It is crucial that educational institutions and all educational stakeholders involved have an integrated vision on how ICT can add-value to learning and teaching.

Developing integrated strategies and implementation plans with full engagement of all educational stakeholders is essential for any larger uptake and full implementation of ICT and OER use in education. Students, as well as teachers, have the highest frequency of ICT use and ICT-based learning activities during lessons, in schools which have general policies on ICT-integration in teaching and learning as well as in subject learning, incentives to reward teachers using ICT, concrete support measures including teacher professional development and the provision of ICT-coordinators.

Schools belonging to these two groups, i.

The impact of synchronous inter-networked teacher training in ICT integration.

It is the main funding scheme for upgrading the quality of learning at all levels of the educational system, involving the use of Internet technologies. As part of the programme, the "Digital School Initiative" created an official repository that gives free online access to digital textbooks on all levels of education.

Having formalised school policies on teaching and learning is key towards an e-mature or digitally-supportive school[31]. Learning sectors are differentiated not only by their needs but also by their development stages. What is at stake obviously varies between different learning sectors. Each problem affects with different intensity each form of education and training formal, non-formal and informal and education sector i.

These problems are being mapped and discussed following the three axes identified in the first chapter: 1 Open learning environments; 2 Open educational resources and 3 ICT infrastructures and tools. The relevance by sectors of education and training is mentioned for each barrier.

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Low use of ICT for innovative learning and lack of incentives to develop innovative teaching practices. Assessment, recognition, validation and certification of online acquired learning is an open issue. Most teachers have been familiar with ICT for teaching and learning for some years but still use it first and foremost to prepare their teaching[36]. The overall frequency of use of different types of ICT-based activities in class reported by teachers is around several times a month on average at EU level.

But students report lower frequencies. Digital resources such as exercise software, online tests and quizzes, data-logging tools, computer simulations, etc. They are also close to unanimity about the fact that ICT use is essential to prepare students to live and work in the 21st century. An overwhelming majority of students is also positive about the impact of ICT on the classroom atmosphere and on different learning processes.

Longitudinal profiling of the evolving digital lives of teenagers and adults demonstrates the pace of change[38]. PISA results show that even when guidance on navigation is explicit, significant numbers of students still cannot locate crucial information. Today's 'digital natives' are not 'born digitally competent' as has sometimes been claimed[40]. Digital literacy is still an issue. OECD countries still have significant numbers of students who perform poorly in digital reading[41].

These results show also that one must make a clear difference between having access and using ICT effectively. This discrepancy has also repeatedly been reported by European Schoolnet in the first European-wide surveys on ICT use in education and again in Reasons for this are manifold, but one of them can generally be identified as lack of general strategy on integrating ICT for learning purposes at schools.

These students are not just confident in their digital competences, but also positive about the impact of using ICT in teaching and learning. Students, having high access to and use of ICT at home and at school, are defined as digitally confident and supportive students[43]. Grade 8[44].

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These findings underline how important it is to effectively develop ICT use during lessons at school for students to become more digitally competent, regardless of the many opportunities some have for using ICT out of school, and even more fundamentally for those still lacking access to it at home. Across all EU countries, the highest percentage of digitally confident and supportive students is observed at grade 11 in general education, suggesting a particular focus of policies at that education level. These results show clearly that as the digital divide defined by technology access, at home or in schools, has tended to fade, a second one — based on digital competence — more stubbornly remains: between those who have the necessary competences and skills to benefit from computer use, and those who do not.

On the positive side, key competences for lifelong learning are widely referenced in curricula and the integral role of ICT is promoted. A wide range of innovative pedagogical approaches are reported at both primary and secondary school levels, and these frequently integrate the use of ICT. Wider integration of digital media in the curriculum, where it occurs, it often more in support of the teacher than in support of the individual student and the adoption by and large remains within the traditional schooling frameworks and teaching and learning paradigms.

The report confirms that, at home, students are more likely to use an Internet-connected computer for entertainment than for learning. However, relative to the scope of digital activities of teenagers, reported in a general way in other studies, PISA examines, albeit in detail, a very specific and small subset of such activities.

The New Millennium Learners report[48] arrived at the conclusion that there was little evidence that significant investment in ICT in compulsory education over many years had made any measurable difference at a macro level, at least in respect of what was actually measured , while acknowledging that innovation was visible at the micro level.

In this sense a systemic implementation gap remains.

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However, particularly in respect of LMS, it is difficult to gauge the extent to which their deployment has been fully embedded within faculties or disciplines, or the extent to which their deployment has resulted in a transformation of existing practices. The arrival of MOOCs and the growth of open and online education are increasingly shifting the focus to learners as the primary target group. Personal development and employability are important motives for engaging in open education; for example, there are employees who use open education for continual professional development, or for retraining or refresher training.

This shift offers new opportunities for education, especially since the new target groups for higher education HE , for example, are located around the world, massively extending the reach of open and online education. The demand for open education especially in higher education is enormous, as evidenced by the unprecedented popularity of MOOCs. These data and declared level of confidence are framed further by findings from IPTS who have conducted research on informal learning communities[50].

Moreover, digital competences among the adult population are unevenly divided, with older people and those with lower qualification levels having lower digital competences than the population in general.

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It appears that even where digital competence seems to increase over time, a clear socio-economic divide remains in the labour force according to country of location, formal level of qualification and age[51]. There is little data on the extent of ICT equipment available in adult learning institutions or on the extent to which it is being used in learning and teaching of adults.

However, it is likely that ICT enabled learning is not at wide spread in this field as it is in the more formal education fields. While teachers are quite motivated to use ICT for innovation in their teaching practices, they often lack the necessary digital competences and even more the didactic competences and confidence to use ICT in their teaching. However, experience of using ICT does not necessarily imply a high level of expertise. Especially in the areas of social media, teachers demonstrate consistently lower levels of expertise than in operating ICT equipment more generally.


One in five grade 8 students in the EU are in schools where teachers never or almost never use a computer. More precisely, one in four students is in a school where the teacher uses ICT in less than one in 20 lessons. The limitations of teacher expertise of using ICT for pedagogical reasons in the classroom become even clearer when looking at the areas for which teachers use ICT devices. These Europe-wide results suggest that while teachers are familiar with using ICT, the full potential of using ICT as a pedagogical tool in the classroom is not yet realised for a majority of students.

Teacher education and professional development have positive impact on the take-up of new technologies[56]. International surveys indicate that teacher professional development ranging from initial teacher education, in-service training and other types of professional development schemes is the most important condition to ensure efficient and effective uptake of using ICT in education.

In 18 EU countries or regions, curricula for initial teacher education include some provision of digital skills[57]. ICT didactics are not sufficiently available to teachers, particularly during initial teacher training. The mostly frequently indicated action teachers would like to receive was "to support teacher education and professional development on ICT didactics and use of OER, and increase access to communities of practice". The Slovenian government is currently implementing an e-education initiative which consists of a range of projects on textbooks, competences and infrastructures.


One part is designed to improve teachers' e-competences. It has defined an 'e- competence standard' which all teachers and principals should reach. Teachers are trained online and onsite to reach the standard. By November there were about 32, participants in these seminars. The most popular seminars were on Virtual Learning Environments moodle and interactive whiteboards. Statistics presented with the individual country analyses show the different situations in EU Member States[58]. The EU-wide schools survey[59] provides more in-depth insight in what are the issues at stake.

It offers online seminars and e-Lectures for teachers' professional development. There are also a number of resources for self-study. Virtuelle PH also provides know how and expertise in the field of technology assist teaching and learning to teacher educators. To compensate the lack of focus on digital skills in initial teacher education, a large proportion of teachers develop their ICT skills privately. Boosting teacher's confidence using ICT for teaching is a condition for an effective and efficient use.

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The EU schools' survey shows indeed that students have the highest frequency of ICT use during lessons when they are taught by teachers with high confidence in their own ICT operational, having positive opinions about ICT use for teaching, as well as having high access to ICT infrastructure at school. Such teachers are defined in the survey as digitally confident and supportive teachers. Here again differences between countries are very large.