The Internet has dramatically changed the lives of citizens in many different aspects; however EU Education is failing to keep pace with the digital society and economy. The potential that digital technologies can offer EU education and training systems across Europe remains untapped.
At present 63% of 9-year olds in Europe are without access to digital equipment, fast broadband and high connectivity in schools; teachers acknowledge that they would like to use the technology in teaching, but 65% lack the necessary confidence and say they want training.
Transforming education requires pedagogical, organisational and technological innovation, and one of the basic conditions for enabling learning practices to flourish is the availability of ICT equipment, tools and networks. Learning takes place in learning environments which are increasingly open and flexible, embedding a diversity of learning and teaching practices and responding to the personalised needs of each learner. The level of ICT equipment and adequate broadband capacity - connectivity - in schools in the EU is often poor. There is an urgent need to step from an early adoption of ICT use in education towards its mainstreaming across all classrooms in Europe.
A wider use and uptake of digital technologies in teaching and learning can also enable and facilitate Europeans to acquire the basic level of digital skills needed for finding jobs. At present these skills are not being fostered or developed thoroughly. For example by 2015, 90% of jobs will require at least a basic level of digital skills, while as of today only 50% of Europeans have these.