16.01.2014 IN FOCUS

EAEA Response to the European Commission's Communication "Opening up Education"

EAEA has published a response to the European Commissions Communication "Opening up Education". The initiative refers to the European Agenda of bringing digital opportunities and contents to education. EAEA reminds that adequate skills and access to services need to be assured in order to secure the benefits of digital revolution in education for all learners.

Secretary-General Gina Ebner presented EAEA's statement at a session organised at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on January 9th 2014.

EAEA agrees with the Commission that there is a great need to improve the digital competences of teachers in adult education. The teachers in non-formal adult education often work as freelancers or in other untypical employment models. EAEA underlines the necessity of cross-sectorial and cross-institutional strategies to improve the digital competences of trainers and facilitators.

The importance of Open Education Resources (OERs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for adult education is evident, as they offer a flexible ways of learning. EAEA believes that the most valuable use of OERs in adult education will happen in a blended learning context, which still includes support, coaching and face-to-face meetings. OERs should thus be seen as complementary learning tools.

To ensure the benefits of digitalization in education for all adult learners, the necessary infrastructure and access to it must be secured. EAEA suggest establishing accessible internet points, for example in community adult education centres and libraries, where also support is available.

As the recently published PIAAC study shows, the need to equip adult learners in using new technologies is evident. The capability of using new technologies is important for improving individual employability and participation in society.

Read the full response and EAEA's recommendations here.