Higher education is facing a range of major challenges during the twenty-first century. Personalised, flexible and open learning are considered among the driving forces, thus, issues of quality must be urgently addressed.
This qualitative, multiple-case-study research with single and cross-case analysis focuses on benchmarking e-learning in higher education. The results of this study include providing conceptual lenses with which to see, discuss and perceive the complexity of benchmarking e-learning in higher education in extended, stretched and boundless learning environments.
The 2013 Horizon Project Higher Education Advisory Board initially voted on the top 12 emerging technologies — the result of which is documented in this a interim report: the NMC Horizon Project Short List > 2013 Higher Education Edition. This Short List then helped the advisory board narrow down the 12 technologies to six for the full publication.
The U.S. Department of Education issued the National Education Technology Plan 2010, which includes technology-related recommendations for states, districts, the federal government, and other stakeholders to use in helping to achieve these reforms. In an effort to learn from the experiences of other countries, particularly counties with high-performing education systems, the Department of Education funded this study, International Experiences with Technology in Education (IETE).
The report highlights new habits, models and trends of Internet use in the UK
Think again - Infographic of key findings from Boosting Business Agility, the 2011-12 Towards Maturity Benchmark
New perspectives from Europe's largest learning technology benchmark to help you and your colleagues Think again about the use of learning technologies in your organisation.
Please download the full report below for more details on how top performers are delivering results.
Empowering Educators for Creative Learning: A European View. Results from the DG EAC workshop in OEB
Once more DG Education and Culture and the Agency were present at the ONLINE EDUCA conference in Berlin. This is the largest yearly event on technology supported learning & training at an international level. The theme of this 17th edition was "New Learning Cultures". The conference included more than 100 sessions (workshops, demos, labs work, etc.) organised between the 1st and 2nd December, attracting more than 2000 participants from approximately 100 countries.
At the conference, DG EAC and the Agency organised a workshop titled "Empowering Educators for Creative Learning: A European View" chaired by Brian Holmes.
Lieve van den Brande, from Directorate General Education and Culture underlined the need for a wide mobilisation of stakeholders to facilitate the integration and use of ICT in education and training. There is a gap between the potential of ICT, the evidence coming from research, the policy objectives and the reality of use of ICT in formal and non-formal education. To fill in this gap the European Commission is launching a new initiative called "Creative classrooms" which will help mainstream innovation in learning and teaching, providing systemic impact.
Orchestrating technologies: Empowering teachers in creative classrooms
Pierre Dillenbourg, professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne made a presentation on "Orchestrating technologies: Empowering teachers in creative classrooms" which emphasised the benefits of keeping teachers and educators at the centre of the educational process. There is a need to focus on solving problems rather than simply running after innovation and sometimes rather simple technology can greatly assist educators in their work.
Presentation (available soon)
These interventions were followedbypresentations from 3 EU funded projects two of which are co-funded by the Lifelong learning programme Key Activity 3-ICT. The projects illustrated various strategies to engage and empower educators with innovative pedagogies:
Teaching to Teach with Technology
Teaching to Teach with Technology ("T3" project): Maria Luisa Nigrelli from the Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR (Italy) showed how pupils can effectively use ICT and how teachers can support their learning through technology. The project also developed a framework matching different technologies with various pedagogical strategies. Maria Luisa Nigrelli emphasised that ownership of the process if fundamental and embracing ICT in education is a challenge for today and not for tomorrow.
Fostering Teacher's creativity through Game-based learning
Fostering Teacher's creativity through Game-based learning ("ProActive" project): Mario Barajas from the University of Barcelona (Spain) introduced some of the challenges faced by game-based learning approaches being perceived as entertainment whereas research has shown that they can result in very effective learning. Teachers can have a central role in using these tools, and putting creativity at the centre of the learning experience.
Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom
Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom ("ITEC " project): Will Ellis presented possible scenarios for future classrooms and introduced some of the key challenges in this context: visions versus pragmatism; innovation versus mainstreaming, conservatism versus popular educational philosophy and secure versus open learning systems.
The workshop, attended by approximately 100 participants, concluded on the need to involve a wide range of actors including school leaders, public authorities, and practitioners at large to provide educators with the necessary support to effectively implement ICT in education.
A new study reveals how the digital gender gap in Spain is larger than the European average. Presented in the journal Reis, the study investigated the use and frequency of the Internet in Spain and 30 other European countries. The findings indicate that Spanish men use the Internet more frequently than Spanish women do.
Compared with the average of all 31 nations, Spanish men rank 17th and Spanish women rank 19th. This puts Spain under the average in Europe for information and communication technologies (ICT) use. With respect to the level of gender equality in the digital world, Spain fares even worse by ranking 20th.
'Spanish men and women score lower than the European average on ICT use,' explains Juan Martín Fernandez from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain and one of the authors of the study. 'For women, internet use frequency is lower than that of men and the gender gap is wider than the European average.'
The countries that report the highest levels of ICT use along with the smallest gender gap are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, followed by France and Slovenia, with the Netherlands just behind. With respect to Germany, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, users in these countries score low in gender equality despite reporting high ICT activity.
Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia rank somewhere in the middle of the road, with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania just behind. Belgium and Poland post high levels of gender equality in Internet use but not when it comes to society at large. Joining Spain in lower Internet use and gender equality are Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Women in Spain rank just above the average in Internet use when it is linked with specific areas, namely: public administration, leisure, employment, health and education.
'Women in Spain come in lower than average of internet use and frequency on far more occasions,' says Dr Fernandez, 'so much so that this far outweighs the few occasions in which they come in higher than the European average.'
He goes on to say that equality, frequency and integration of ICT uses come hand in hand. 'Sometimes it is thought that with the extension of infrastructures and the passing of time, the gap will be bridged. Our results show that this is not the case. Active and encouraging policy is required in order to overcome this inequality,' Dr Fernandez concludes.
Earlier this year, Internet World Stats reported that the EU had more than 338 million Internet users, with a penetration population of 67.3%. This figure is much higher than the rest of the world, which had a penetration population of 27.3%.
For more information, please visit:
Complutense University of Madrid:
Castaño, C., et al. (2011). 'La brecha digital de género en España y Europa: medición con indicadores compuestos', Reis, 136,127-140.
Here are the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011. This, the 5th Annual Survey of Learning Tools, was finalised on 13 November 2011. This year’s list was compiled from the Top 10 Tools lists of 531 learning professionals worldwide – from education, training and workplace learning.
Internet access and use in 2011. Almost a quarter of persons aged 16-74 in the EU27 have never used the internet
For many people today it seems difficult to live without the internet, however a decreasing, but still non-negligible, part of the EU population has never used it. In the EU27, almost three quarters of households1 had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2011, compared with almost half in the first quarter of 2006. The share of households with broadband internet connections more than doubled between 2006 and 2011, to reach 68% in 2011 compared with 30% in 2006. During the same period, the share of individuals aged 16-74 in the EU27 who had never used the internet decreased from 42% to 24%.
These data2 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, represent only a small part of the results of a survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27 Member States, Iceland, Norway, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. As well as internet use and broadband connections, the survey also covers other indicators such as e-commerce, e-skills and e-government.
Household internet access ranges from 45% in Bulgaria to 94% in the Netherlands
The level of internet access increased in all Member States between 2006 and 2011, however differences remain significant. In 2011, shares of internet access of 90% and over were recorded in the Netherlands (94%), Luxembourg and Sweden (both 91%) and Denmark (90%), while shares of 50% and below were registered in Bulgaria (45%), Romania (47%) and Greece (50%).
Broadband internet access enables higher speed when browsing and performing activities over the internet. The proportion of households with a broadband connection rose in all Member States in 2011 compared with 2006. Sweden (86%) registered the highest share of broadband connections in 2011, followed by Denmark (84%), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (both 83%) and Finland (81%), while Romania (31%), Bulgaria (40%) and Greece (45%) had the lowest.
Share of those who never used the internet varies between 5% in Sweden and 54% in Romania
The target set for 2015 by the Digital Agenda for Europe3 is to reduce the share of individuals in the EU27 aged 16-74 who had never used the internet to 15%. This share stood at 24% in the EU27 in 2011. In 2011, the highest proportions of those having never used the internet were observed in Romania (54% of individuals aged 16-74), Bulgaria (46%), Greece (45%), Cyprus and Portugal (both 41%), and the lowest in Sweden (5%), Denmark and the Netherlands (both 7%), Luxembourg (8%) and Finland (9%).
E-commerce most frequent in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Sweden
Almost half of internet users4 aged 16-74 in the EU27 used the internet within the last 12 months to obtain information from websites of public authorities, and 28% to submit completed forms to public authorities, for example tax declarations (e-government). In 2011, the largest proportions of internet users who obtained information from websites of public authorities were observed in Denmark (86% of internet users), Sweden (74%), Finland (65%), Estonia and the Netherlands (both 62%). The highest shares of those having used the internet for submitting completed forms to public authorities were recorded in Denmark (70% of internet users), the Netherlands (52%), Portugal (48%) and Estonia (46%).
In 2011, 58% of internet users in the EU27 had ordered goods or services over the internet (e-commerce) within the last 12 months. The highest shares were observed in the United Kingdom (82%), Denmark and Germany (both 77%) and Sweden (75%).
The survey covered households with at least one person aged 16-74, and individuals aged 16-74. The main reference period was the first quarter of 2011. Households were asked about internet access by any member of the household at home. Individuals were asked about frequency of internet use and about activities they had carried out on the internet in the last three months prior to the survey for private purposes, or in the last twelve months for e-government and e-commerce activities, at home or at any other location.
- Eurostat, Statistics in Focus 66/2011 "Internet use in households and by individuals in 2011", available free of charge in pdf format on the Eurostat web site. The full set of data can be found in the dedicated section: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ict under "Data".
- Digital Agenda for Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm
- Internet user: having used the internet in the last 12 months.
The Council adopted conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility, to complement the five existing reference levels of European average performance (or "benchmarks"), agreed under the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ("ET 2020"). The new benchmark differentiates between three areas: mobility in higher education, mobility in vocational education and training and youth mobility in general, and will result in greater reliability and comparability when it comes to measuring the various types of learning mobility which the EU promotes.