At the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, held in Spain in May 2022, representatives of different education systems discussed how to support the teacher’s profession in addressing the educational challenges of the 21st century. The two most important themes were digitisation and inclusive education. The Report Building on COVID-19’s Innovation Momentum for Digital, Inclusive Education, which explores the pedagogical implications of digitisation and the role of inclusive education as an engine for more inclusive societies, was born from the sharing of educational experiences of the various countries and the reflection on data from OECD research (21st Century Children, Digital Education Outlook, PISA 2018 and TALIS 2018). Let’s see together the salient aspects of this document. New technologies and new gaps During the interruption of teaching in the presence that occurred in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digitalisation of education systems has not only contributed to making teaching possible, but has radically transformed it. Distance learning and other activities implemented to ensure educational continuity have changed the School’s paradigm: digital has ceased to be a mere tool to support teaching to become an essential resource for enabling educational activities. The resumption of school attendance has taken place in a new, more digital world, which is changing the traditional ways of learning. At the same time, however, students and schools, who were not prepared for this sudden transformation, were significantly lagging behind. The different availability of infrastructure, technological equipment and digital skills has turned into an element of inequality, which has given rise to greater digital educational poverty. Now the task of education systems is to map these gaps to implement interventions aimed at enhancing digital skills in order to make education systems fairer. This will be possible thanks to the sharing of experiences and good practices and with the support of the evidence that digital skills survey data provide us. Teachers, along with the entire school community, can also contribute to the digital transformation both to exploit its opportunities and to help achieve a more inclusive school. The effectiveness and flexibility of digital as a resource for teaching While on the one hand educational systems can intervene to reduce the gaps caused by digitalisation at different speeds, on the other hand, teachers have the opportunity to intervene both locally, in their classrooms, and at a wider level. Digitalisation can stimulate professional learning and exchange between teachers and schools. Online educational communities strengthen teacher networks, enabling them to co-create and share best educational practices. In the future, thanks to the development of artificial intelligence systems, it will be possible to realise personalised learning based on data that allows students to become more aware of their learning methods. Technology can then support teachers in routine activities, allowing them more time to work directly with students. A fascinating scenario, what the OECD document points out is the result of the integration between artificial intelligence and teaching, which, however, requires appropriate policies on ethics, fairness, transparency, security, accountability and data privacy. Teachers should also be supported in integrating digital novelties – such as gamification, simulations and augmented reality – into educational activities in order to unlock their potential. However, in order to facilitate the integration of digital and media literacy into school curricula, action is needed at the level of the system: some countries are completely reviewing, or have already done so, their curricula to make media learning and digital literacy holistic. These interventions work best when students, parents, teachers, IT experts and in general all stakeholders who can contribute to a broader vision of digital issues are also involved. Inclusive education During the pandemic, all students experienced social, emotional and school difficulties; these have been even more evident in those who are referred to as fragile.  The authors of the OECD report suggest that policies that support students with a less prosperous socio-economic background are needed to offset the negative effects of the pandemic. In fact, in the latter there is a greater decline in learning outcomes due to the fewer resources available during the pandemic. Data from educational research carried out in the various countries can serve as a guide to identifying pupils most at risk of educational poverty. Through inclusive education it is therefore possible to reduce gaps, make the most of the potential of all students and strengthen social cohesion. Also in this case digital can constitute an added value due to its characteristics that allow to enrich the teaching experience. However, the task of building a fairer digital school is not only for policy makers and policy makers: thanks to the peculiarities of new technologies, inclusion can also be promoted by students, together with teachers, families and the community. Insights

Original article published on on 12.7.2022


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