Level of education in Europe

igniting new approaches to learning with technologyBased on over 190, 000 responses from students, teachers and head teachers collected and analysed during the school year 2011-12, the Survey of Schools: ICT in Education provides detailed, up-to-date and reliable benchmarking of Information and Communication Technologies in school level education across Europe, painting a picture of educational technology in schools: from infrastructure provision to use, confidence and attitudes.

It is the first Europe-wide exercise of this type for six years, following the eEurope 2002 and eEurope 2005 surveys. It is the first to be conducted online and the first to include students directly. Work on the survey took place between January 2011 and November 2012, with data collection in autumn 2011.

In four countries (Germany, Iceland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom) the response rate was insufficient, making reliable analysis of the data impossible; therefore the findings in this report are based on data from 27 countries.

Downloads:

If you're looking for a graph or bar chart describing some aspect of ICT use in European schools, this new publication will most likely be your go-to resource for many years to come! The PDf file for the 163-page main report (which also contains the individual country reports) weighs in at a whopping 17.23 MB - a file size due in no small part to the fact that it features 274 graphs and charts (almost all of them are bar charts - pie chart devotees may be disappointed - and one shouldn't be too surprised to see some of these reproduced in hundreds, if not thousands, of PowerPoint presentations in the coming years). All of the materials produced as part of the survey process, including the data sets themselves, and the questionnaires used to help build them, are available for free download. For those engaged in survey activities related to ICT use in education at the national, sub-national or international level, this work should be considered required reading. Its conceptual framework, methodology, key questions, definitions and indicators are laid out clearly. If you don't want to read the entire report yourself and are having trouble downloading the entire document so that you can just skim its executive summary, you may wish instead to read a related overview article that was recently published in a March 2013 special edition of the European Journal of Education.

OK, that's what the report is. But what does it actually say? Here are six of the major findings from the report:

  1. Infrastructure provision at school level varies considerably between countries; lack of it is still an obstacle to greater use of ICT in schools.
  2. Use of ICT, as measured in the surveys, may not have risen as much as might have been expected.
  3. There is no overall relationship between high levels of ICT provision and student and teacher confidence, use and attitudes.
  4. The policy focus should be on effective learning management as much as on ICT provision.
  5. There is high, but not universal, use of ICT at home.
  6. The presence of virtual learning environments [i.e. 'learning platforms'] in schools is increasing rapidly.

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