Master plan for digitalisation of education
Today digitalisation touches almost every aspect of life. It represents the biggest change in economic activity, employment and communications and is fundamentally changing the way we live and interact. This presents the education system, in particular, with major challenges, from subject content to the manner in which it is conveyed. It seems that the emphasis is less on learning individual facts, and more on understanding major structures, contexts, critical abilities and interpretation.
Digitalisation holds enormous potential for education. Strategic and planning provisions are required, however, for the whole school system to derive the maximum benefit from the ensuing opportunities.
It is clear that the education system must comprehensively adapt to these changes to offer pupils the best possible conditions. This is why the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has now commenced work on a master plan for digitalisation in education. The aim is to incorporate the changes ensuing from progressive digitalisation into the Austrian education system gradually and, above all, nationwide.
The master plan is divided into three major areas of activity.
Area of activity 1: software – educational theory, teaching and learning content: new teaching and learning content from the field of digitalisation is to be systematically incorporated into curricula as part of a thorough review of existing curricula. The objective is to develop a comprehensive basic understanding of dealing with the new curriculum content and to take methodological and academic account of digitalisation as part of modern teaching of all subjects.
Area of activity 2: hardware – infrastructure, modern IT management, modern school administration: infrastructure facilities and availability of mobile devices should be brought up to a uniform and comparable standard. The conditions should be created throughout Austria for digital tools to be used in schools. School administration should be simplified through contemporary applications.
Area of activity 3: teachers – continuing education and training: digitalisation and new opportunities for conveying and acquiring content should be systematically embedded in training and/or continuing education and training of teachers.
Work on the master plan commenced in summer 2018. The plan itself should be completed by the start of the 2019 summer semester, with the involvement of other ministries and experts. The Ministry will endeavour to implement the plan and the projects and measures it contains by 2023.
The master plan for digitalisation pursues the following objectives:
- Innovation in methodology and instruction through skilled exploitation of digital opportunities in lessons.
- Age-appropriate promotion of digital skills and knowledge, as well as development of critical appreciation along clear pedagogical lines in all types of school and school grades.
- Increase in interest in technology and technological development, in particular among girls.
- Reliable teaching of digital skills, competencies and knowledge that are required for successful transition to the job market.
- Promotion of the creative potential associated with digitalisation amongst pupils, and support for talented pupils.
The master plan for digitalisation (PDF) (in German only) developed by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research is intended to provide a comprehensive, structured and realistic approach to implementation and change.