The 2016 ‘Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition’ announced as part of the ten key initiatives proposed, reinforces the need of all to help meet the high demand for digital skills in Europe which are essential in today’s job market and society. Europe is lacking digitally skilled persons to fill job vacancies in all sectors, missing out on up to 750,000 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) professional jobs by 2020. Yet unemployment among young people of 15-24 year olds is at almost 20% in the EU.
The digital revolution is boosting demand for digital skills and competences, thus requiring investment in infrastructure, organisational change, digital devices and digital competences of educators, and the creation of digital (and open) educational resources and high quality educational software. Education and training should reap the benefits of new ICT developments and adopt innovative and active pedagogies. Learning can’t anymore be confined to specific classroom and timetables but take full advantage of technology to break boundaries.
The above have been reaffirmed in the 2016 Council’s Communication (COM(2016)381) on ‘A New Skills Agenda for an Inclusive and Competitive Europe’ which reflects a common vision about the role of skills for jobs, growth and competitiveness to secure jobs and enable people to fulfill their potential. In a fast-changing global economy, they determine competitiveness and the capacity to drive innovation. Most important though Europe needs digitally smart young people who are not only able to use but also to innovate and lead in using these technologies.
Research has shown that “teachers are the most important in-school factor affecting students’ outcomes” (TALIS’13). This has been emphasised in the EC 2012 Com. titled “Rethinking Education in which trainers and teachers are set as one of its priorities, since they have an important influence on ensuring that students develop the skills and competences demanded by a rapidly changing labour market.
The GODIGITAL project comes to promote the above as it aims to design, develop, pilot-test and evaluate a complete tool kit to support primary schools to develop their schools digital development plan in order to upgrade the digital competences of the teachers and as a consequence the digital literacy of the students. It aims to produce 6 Intellectual Outputs which will pilot-tested and reviewed in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.