Lack of educational software and support staff to foster ICT in Education

The new report “Key Data on Learning and Innovation through ICT at School” published by the European Commission examines the evolution of ICT infrastructure in schools in terms of networks, hardware and software.

The document looks at how ICT is being used in educational processes and incorporated into curricula before focusing on its role in enabling the development of innovative teaching methods. It also examines the promotion of transversal as well as job-related key competences, and the role of ICT in this process.

One of the key findings of the report shows that there is not a great disparity between schools in availability of ICT equipment but that there is still a lack of educational software and support staff. Teachers usually acquire ICT-related skills during their initial training, but further professional development is less common but needed.

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture,Multilingualism and Youth indicates that “The solution to an effective use of ICT in education, however, is not technology itself. Most European countries have made significant investments over the last years with a view to ensuring universal access to ICT, with considerable success. The focus of today’s policy in the field should now move to advancing our understanding of how the new technologies are and can best be used in schools to support learning, and what are the barriers in the way of success.

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The development of highly-skilled people needs to be matched with the needs of business

One of the key findings of the Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2011 shows that the EU needs to strongly adapt the profiles of researchers to new priorities and market demands in the years to come. The document states that Member States should adapt their education systems to keep increasing numbers while ensuring a better match with business needs: « A central issue for the success of Innovation Union is for Member States to adapt their (tertiary) education systems in view of substantially increasing the number of available researchers and engineers while ensuring a better match of their skills with the needs of the business sector and improving the attractiveness of research careers for top talents from around the world.« 

The report provides an in-depth statistical and economic analysis about the strengths and weaknesses of national research and innovation systems, as well as solid facts on which to base national policy choices.

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