The two years of health emergency and lockdown have highlighted even more the need to enhance digital and technological skills, working on a School capable not only of introducing innovations, but of understanding, transmitting and welcoming new educational paradigms. Try to answer this question the research recently published by the OECD Mending the Education Divide: Getting Strong Teachers to the Schools That Need Them Most bring strong teachers to schools that need them most.) Starting from the data of the 2018 TALIS Survey, the study examines the differences between students in access to the internet and technologies and investigates the distribution of teachers who regularly use ICT (Information and Communication Technologies, or even ICT) in schools. In addition, the types of schools and students who are most likely to benefit from the resources needed for effective digital learning are analysed. Access to the internet and ICT equipment In the various educational systems examined, socio-economically disadvantaged schools have greater difficulties in accessing the internet and less availability of technological and IT equipment than the most advantaged schools. In addition, students are more likely to have adequate internet access in private schools than in public schools. Another important step is the digital divide between rural and urban areas. In many educational systems, in fact, the difficulties in ensuring adequate internet access are greater in schools located in rural areas than in cities. A phenomenon particularly present also in Italy (over 40 percentage points of difference), together with Alberta (Canada), Colombia and Mexico.  If an effective ICT infrastructure is essential for the development and effectiveness of digital skills at school, the presence of teachers with adequate training is also important. The use and development of ICT at school does not automatically lead to better results for students. Past studies have shown that it is not only access to technology that improves student learning, but that effective integration of technology into educational programs is needed. On this aspect, the research takes a step forward and highlights how teachers using certain teaching methods are more successful in integrating new technologies into their programmes. In particular, the use of ICT is particularly effective when combined with innovative learning methods such as gamification or flipped classes. According to the research, in addition to specific training on the use of ICT, the literature consistently highlights the presence of a positive correlation between the sense of self-efficacy perceived by teachers and the use of technology in the classroom. At this point, to analyse the presence of disparities in access to technologies by students, the research investigates the distribution of teachers using digital technologies in schools: are they allocated homogeneously? Is their distribution able to ensure that students have equal access to digital skills learning? On average, within the OECD, 53 % of teachers reported allowing students ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ to use ICT for projects or classroom jobs, but teachers who are competent and trained in digital and who feel able to integrate them into teaching processes are not evenly distributed, concentrate in certain types of schools. The study results show that the share of teachers who are more prepared in these activities is higher in private schools than in public schools in almost a quarter of TALIS participating countries. In seven educational systems, moreover, the presence of these teachers is greater in the most socio-economically advantaged schools. This raises the question of how to improve digital learning in public schools and less well-off schools to overcome inequalities in ICT use. Among the various avenues of policy to solve the problem of digital divides at school, the study suggests the introduction of non-monetary incentives, such as professional development activities that focus on the use of technologies and the promotion of a collaborative culture among teachers, which – as evidenced by research – creates fertile ground for the use of digital tools in school curricula. These initiatives, together with the upgrading of technology infrastructure in schools, can attract teachers with the most digital skills to the schools most in need. Germany and Spain, in particular, have allocated funds to provide digital and connectivity devices to schools, prioritising disadvantaged ones. In Italy, the NRRP Education envisages investments in digital skills, equal opportunities and the reduction of territorial gaps, with interventions dedicated to the most fragile territories. Insights

Original article published on on 6.5.2022



Source: European Digital Skills & Jobs Platform


Digital technology / specialisation

  • Digital skills

Digital skill level

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Geographic Scope - Country

  • Italy

Type of initiative

National initiative