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Background

Development of digital competences is a core priority of school education (KMK 2016, DigComp 2.0, JIM 2016). At the same time, the potential of ICT technology is not yet fully exploited (Schule Digital 2016). Less than half of teachers feel that they are self-sufficient in using computers for more complex tasks (ICILS 2013). To take Germany as an example, 57,9% of teachers feel that they need support when using computers in lessons and only 54,2% say that their schools have a sufficient ICT infrastructure (Schule Digital 2015: 17, 20).

For Sweden, at the same time, which approaches a ratio of 1:1 device per student, and provides wireless internet access in schools, the rates of teachers’ and students’ digital confidence are significantly above European average (European Schoolnet ICT in Education for Sweden 2012: 12-15). These findings suggest a significant spread between European countries and a correlation between the availability of well-integrated ICT infrastructure and digital competences of teachers and learners.

The consortium of partners in the project School 4.0 are strongly convinced that Europe needs open and innovative education to strengthen digital competences of learners and to enable them to meet the challenges of the future. In the digital age schools must respond to new challenges in constantly changing political, social and technological contexts. Along with reading, maths and writing, digital competences become part of the canonical basic skills learners must acquire (Future of Learning 2011; KMK 2016, DigComp 2.0 2016).

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