E-Speed final Conference: digital education for education social partners


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In the last decades, digital technologies, ICTs, and artificial intelligence tools have rapidly assumed a central role in all fields of our daily life, with the education sector making no exception. Through the ETUCE social dialogue project “e-Speed”, the European Social Partners in Education have joined to dig into the challenges and opportunities of digital education.

Building on the results of a project survey carried out among ETUCE and EFEE member organisations, as well as two case study visits in Denmark and Romania, a comprehensive research report analyses ‘Challenges and opportunities for the education sector in the digital era’. The report, together with the video developed for the project, will be launched and discussed at the project final Conference taking place on 14 and 15 October 2021 in Brussels and online.

The preliminary findings of the project reveal that digital education has a lot of potential, such as helping countering early school leaving, empowering students to engage in self-directed learning and increase opportunity for individual learning. However, it also brings about several challenges. Among these, we can find the intensification of teacher workload, new challenges for teachers on health and safety such as cyberbullying and cyber-harassment, as well as social and pedagogical impact.

Furthermore, one of the main challenges for teachers and education personnel is the lack of digital skills. While the majority of teachers, academics and education personnel are willing to use digital tools in the educational curricula, a significant gap exists as regards as initial and continuous professional training on digital pedagogy, including how to use the internet and communication tools for online or blended teaching.

In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on digitalisation in education has been significant. While the pandemic accelerated the use of digital technologies in education, many countries don’t have the adequate level of digital maturity to ensure a smooth shift to digital education. According to the ETUCE study, during the pandemic, around one-third of education institutions across Europe were unprepared for the emergency online teaching and learning.

The final project Conference brings together education social partners, other stakeholders, and policy- makers to discuss the findings of the project. The event also provides the opportunity to reflect on the needs of education personnel, school leaders and education employers to implement inclusive digital education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

Moreover, the Conference shines a spotlight on the importance of social dialogue to ensure quality and inclusive education in the digital era. ETUCE and EFEE member organisations share views and experiences from their national contexts. The event also includes the première of the project film, a key-note speech on addressing the role of social dialogue in education during the digital age and a high-level panel discussion on the pedagogical potential and ethical concerns of Artificial Intelligence in education.

Registration for this event is open to ETUCE and EFEE member organisations until 3 September 2021.

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