22 March 2022, 10:00-17:55 CET


Opening and welcome

Sean Klein, Media Consultant and Journalist


Video ‘What is the role of digital technology in the education process? Opportunities and challenges faced’

Warm-up exercise via Sli.do ‘When you think of digital education- what comes to mind?’


Welcome address of the European Commission

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth


Keynote speech

Perttu Pölönen, Futurist, Inventor and author of the book ‘Future Skills’


Interactive exercise via Sli.do

Warm up for the panel discussion asking the audience ‘What is the most important element needed for making digital education a reality across Europe?’


Panel discussion on key enablers for digital education in Europe (EN/FR)

This Panel Session is bilingual. Interpretation option is active.

Moderator: Themis Christophidou, Director-General, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission

  • Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
  • Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, France
  • Petr Gazdík, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Czechia
  • Emma Ölmebäck, State Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sweden
  • Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the CULT Committee, European Parliament

The digital transition is a key priority for the European Union (EU). In its proposed Digital Decade policy programme, the European Commission has put forward ambitious targets to equip 80% of Europeans with basic digital skills and to have 20 million ICT specialists employed in the EU by 2030. To achieve these targets, Member States will need to have in place strong digital education ecosystems. These will need to be supported by key enabling factors, such as digital infrastructure and connectivity, teachers equipped with digital skills and competences, and cooperation with the private sector.

In this session, European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and high-profile speakers from the European Parliament and the current Council of the EU presidency trio will discuss impact-focussed investment in digital education, the place of digital competences in education and training systems, and the governance of digital education and skills policies. They will exchange on issues, such as how investment in education and training systems’ digital infrastructure can become part of a strategy to deliver long-lasting change, how to integrate digital skills in education and training systems, and how to ensure that all government actors share the same political commitment to digital education and skills.

The discussions will feed into the Structured Dialogue on digital education and skills, which was launched following Commission President von der Leyen’s call for leaders’ attention in her 2021 State of the Union speech. The Structured Dialogue aims to bring education, labour, digital industry and finance policies together to give digital education and skills the horizontal perspective they need to succeed. Through the Dialogue, the Commission and Member States will put forward a shared assessment of the situation at the EU and national levels, identify lessons learned and provide input for upcoming initiatives on digital education and skills. The discussions will also contribute to the development of Commission proposals for Council Recommendations on the enabling factors for digital education and on the provision of digital skills.


Video 2: One year of the implementation of the Digital Education Action Plan.


One year later: the Digital Education Action Plan community speaks

Moderated by Sean Klein, Media Consultant and Journalist

  • Viki Malcolm, Teacher, Kings Hospital Dublin, participant in SELFIEforTeachers, Ireland
  • José Miguel Sousa, Director, EDUFOR Teacher Centre, participant in SELFIE, Portugal
  • Teodor Mocanu, Student in Naval Architecture, University of Galati, participant in the Digital Opportunity Traineeships, Romania
  • Kely Papadopoulou, Student in Platon School, participant in Girls Go Circular, Greece
  • Luciano Zickler and Felix Reimann, Save Your Dopamine team, winner of DigiEduHack 2020 award, Germany
  • Sandra Troia, Teacher, Representative of DigComp 2.2.Community of Practice, Italy

With the adoption of the updated Digital Education Action Plan in 2020, the Commission launched a number of community-driven and hands-on initiatives, such as SELFIE for Teachers, the Digital Opportunity Traineeship and Girls Go Circular, to provide direct support to stakeholders for the development of digital skills and competences.

The objective of this pitching session is to put the spotlight on the people who have taken part in these actions of the Digital Education Action Plan. Through short personal testimonials of their first-hand experiences, the speakers will share how the different initiatives affected their personal, educational and professional development, the challenges they faced and the new perspectives they have discovered. In particular, this session will offer an opportunity to hear the voices of teachers, trainers, school leaders and students, who contribute to the richness and diversity of the digital education community along other stakeholders.


Highlights from social media


Lunch break

Follow in parallel: Open-screen session: pre-recorded demos of tools and frameworks (12:50-13:15)

Meet the SELFIE family:

  • SELFIE and SELFIE for Work-Based Learning

Watch now

Meet our tools and frameworks:

  • DigComp 2.2
  • Artificial Intelligence pilots
  • HEInnovate

Empowered in the digital age: the voice of young people

Panel with young people moderated by Biliana Sirakova, EU Youth Coordinator, the European Commission


  • Radostin Cholakov, Founder, AzBuki.ML, Bulgaria
  • Anaëlle Cathelineau, Student advocate for Safer internet and media literacy, France
  • Francesco Perconti, Youth Programme lead, TechSoup Europe
  • Jakub Grodecki, Vice-President of European Students Union (ESU)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging period for all Europeans. Young people, for instance, have been severely affected. As our society recovers from the crisis, engaging with young people and understanding their aspirations and concerns is essential to move forward. This session, which directly contributes to the objectives of the European Year of Youth, will give prominence to young people and their experiences. They will share what it takes to be a ‘digital native’ and their ideas on how we can ensure that young people are empowered, knowledgeable and confident 21st century citizens.

Together with the EU Youth Coordinator, Biliana Sirakova, young people and representatives of youth and student organisations will share their insights on the opportunities for youth empowerment in the digital age and reflect on related challenges and particular obstacles. The panellists will share their personal stories and the causes they advocate for, stressing the importance of ensuring a human-driven digital transformation as part of the Commission’s vision for a Digital Decade.


Afternoon parallel sessions

1. High-performing digital education ecosystem
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2. Digital skills and competences for the digital transition
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3. Cooperation for high-quality digital education
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Parallel sessions

1.1. Resilient for the Future: the Recovery and Resilience Facility for digital education in practice

Moderator: Susanne Conze, Head of Unit ‘Country Analysis’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Jan de Craemer, Ministry of Education of Flanders, Belgium
  • Igor Pesek, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia
  • Pierluigi Vaglioni, Ministry of Education, Italy
Watch now
2.1. Educators in the spotlight: how to support teachers for the digital transition

Moderator: Ulrike Storost, Policy Officer, ‘Schools and Multilingualism’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Martin Fugman, Head of school and trainer in an academy for school leaders on “Digital Learning Leadership”, Germany
  • Julien Bobroff, University Paris-Saclay, France
  • Susan Flocken, Director, ETUCE
  • Alexander Angelov, CEO, Center For Creative Training, Bulgaria
Watch now
3.1. Working together: a vision for European EdTech

Moderator: Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director ‘Innovation, Digital Education and International Cooperation’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
  • Marco de Rossi, CEO, WeSchool, Italy
  • Beth Havinga, Managing Director, European EdTech Alliance
  • Audran Le Baron, Director for Digital Education, Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, France
  • Monika Stanisheva, Chair of the Board, Dir.bg, Bulgaria
1.1. Resilient for the Future: the Recovery and Resilience Facility for digital education in practice

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU launched the recovery instrument NextGenerationEU. Its cornerstone is the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which helps Member States to recover from the economic and social damage of the pandemic. With its budget of over €700 billion, it offers an unprecedented opportunity for Member States to implement ambitious reforms and investments to make their economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and prepared for the green and digital transitions. Education is part of the digital transition, as distance learning and school closures have reminded us. The Recovery and Resilience Facility helps Member States to develop their digital education ecosystems and to ensure that all conditions for successful digital education are in place – connectivity, equipment, online learning content, teacher training, and opportunities for learners of all ages to develop their digital skills and competences.

In this session, we will discuss with representatives from four Member States how the EU is helping to digitalise national education and training systems, with a particular focus on infrastructure investments, the development of teachers and learners’ digital skills, and the implementation of digital education strategies, as well as digital inclusion.

2.1. Educators in the spotlight: how to support teachers for the digital transition

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the sudden and large-scale use of digital learning practices and a significant increase in teachers’ digital competences. The range of solutions put in place to ensure the continuity of education and training is wide and includes both low and high-tech practices, with marked differences between regions and European Union (EU) Member States.

Based on these innovations and lessons learned, the EU recommended to develop longer-term strategic approaches in its November 2021 Council Recommendation on blended learning. The systematic application of blended learning will strengthen the role of teachers to use their professional pedagogical judgement in choosing the right mix of learning environments and tools (both online and offline) and make learning more effective, engaging and inclusive. In the meantime, self-assessment tools on the use of digital technologies, such as SELFIE for Teachers, can support teachers, as can appropriate initial and continued professional development programmes, access to centres of expertise, and teachers’ participation in exploratory projects and research.

In this panel discussion, we will hear from inspiring practitioners how the digital transition has opened up new possibilities for the teaching practice and what support teachers can receive.

3.1. Working together: a vision for European EdTech

The European Education Technology (EdTech) sector is growing at an unprecedented speed. In 2021 alone, investments in the sector reached €2.7 billion, almost five times more than in 2020. Today, there are thousands of European EdTech companies offering a great diversity of services, such as online learning platforms, learning management systems and STEM labs. By creating cutting-edge hardware and software, the sector is changing the way we learn and teach. In doing so, it is becoming a key player driving forward the digital transformation and innovation of European education and training. However, composed of a number of small actors with few companies playing a major role on the global market, the sector remains fragmented in the EU. Yet, its potential is undoubted and it remains a central actor in the European digital education ecosystem and an important stakeholder for the implementation of the Digital Education Action Plan.

In 2021, European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel initiated a structured dialogue with the European EdTech sector to better understand it, its needs and to seek avenues to support its establishment as a key figure in the digital education ecosystem. The result of this panel discussion is for selected representatives of the European EdTech sector to draft a document presenting their ideas and proposals for further cooperation at the national and EU levels. The session will address how the collaboration can be furthered, engaging key stakeholders at the national and EU levels and provide an opportunity to reflect on how the EdTech sector can overcome its fragmentation and further contribute to Europe’s digital education ecosystem.




Parallel sessions

1.2.1 The 360’ approach: How to build a digital transformation plan in my institution

Moderator: Andrea Hofer, Policy Analyst and Project Leader, Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes Partnership Initiative, OECD


  • Caroline Pulfrey, Senior Researcher, Center for Learning Sciences, LEARN, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Istvan Vilmos Kovacs, Vice-Rector for International Relations, Budapest Metropolitan University, Hungary

10 min break

1.2.2. The Internet speaks: Digital education for the green transition (interview)

Moderator: Sean Klein, Media Consultant and Journalist


  • Zoran Petrov, Head of Project department, Centre for School and Outdoor Education (CŠOD), Slovenia
Watch now
2.2. Digital Skills and Competences : achieving the EU goals together

Moderator: Ana Carrero, Deputy Head of Unit ‘Vocational education and training’, DG EMPL, European Commission


  • Victor Negrescu, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of CULT Committee
  • Avanti Sharma, Pre-teen technology specialist at Workshop4Me, Luxembourg
  • Ulrike Domany-Funtan, Secretary-General, fit4Internet
  • Yves Punie, Acting Head of Unit, ‘Human Capital and Employment’, JRC, European Commission
Watch now
3.2. Bridging policy, research and practice: the Digital Education Hub

Moderator: Anusca Ferrari, Policy Officer, ‘Digital Education’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Alexander Knoth, Chief Digital Officer & Head of Section Digitalisation German Exchange Student Service, DAAD, Germany
  • Sandra Kucina Softic, President, European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN)
  • Thierry de Vulpillières, CEO, EVIDENCE B, France
  • Christien Bok, Innovation education manager, SURF, Netherland
Watch now
1.2.1 The 360’ approach: How to build a digital transformation plan in my institution

Truly impactful digital transformation requires a comprehensive and well-planned strategy at all levels and the institutional one is no exception.

Implementing a comprehensive strategy from the very beginning of a project can be a challenging task. There is where European programmes and tools supporting digital transformation, such as SELFIE and HEInnovate, can bring value and support schools and higher education institutions in reflecting on their digital capacity.

After making a (self-)assessment, the question of ‘how to scale up?’ is the natural next step.

While gathering experiences and good practices can prove challenging, there is no shortage of initiatives to help identifying and defining challenges at the local or regional levels, proposing solutions and involving all stakeholders to create sustainable communities of practice, as well as finding tools to maximise impact at the national or European levels.

Through one-to-one interviews focusing on school and higher education, this session will propose two inspiring examples and examine how best-practice digital transformation plans can be scaled up to the systemic level for national and European policy-makers.

1.2.2. The Internet speaks: Digital education for the green transition (interview)

Supporting education and training systems to adapt to the green and digital transitions are priority goals for the European Commission. Digital technologies and digital skills are essential to tackling the climate and environmental crisis and supporting the move to a greener and more sustainable society and economy.

A new proposal by the Commission on learning for environmental sustainability points to the potential of digital technologies to help learners understand and take action to protect the environment, to fight climate change and encourage sustainability. Digital tools and platforms can support hands-on learning in and about the environment, boost student engagement and motivation, support communication and collaboration, and offer flexibility regarding the means, location and timing of learning. Learning outdoors with technology (for example, with mobile phones, tablets, drones or augmented reality) can benefit learners and educators alike. Doing so can help to improve learning outcomes, boost digital and sustainability competences, help learners to develop a connection with nature and support individual and collective action on sustainability. Yet, for some, technology can be a distraction potentially diminishing the outdoors experience and create a barrier between learners and nature.

This session, selected by the digital education community via social media, will explore the potential benefits, opportunities and challenges of using digital tools for outdoors learning. What does effective outdoors learning with technology look like? What are the personal, social and environmental benefits and challenges? How can we support educators to teach with technology beyond the walls of the classroom? How can outdoors learning with technology support the goals of Europe’s Green Deal? All these questions will be addressed in an interview with a distinguished expert in the field.

2.2. Digital Skills and Competences : achieving the EU goals together

The EU has set ambitious goals when it comes to ensuring that Europeans are well-equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century. Digital skills, a key driver for the twin green and digital transitions, are no exception. In particular, the European Pillar for Social Rights and the targets of the Digital Compass envisage that by 2030, at least 80% of Europeans should have at least basic digital skills.

Achieving these goals requires a comprehensive and coordinated effort at all levels. Education and training systems should provide a good basis for the development of digital skills and competences among young people from an early age, while both public and private stakeholders have a role to play in supporting the process and promoting lifelong upskilling and reskilling.

In line with the rationale behind the Pact for Skills, the Digital Education Action Plan and the ongoing Structured Dialogue with Member States on digital education and skills, this session will gather the views of policy-makers, practitioners and young people. Its objective will be to reflect on what is needed and how various actors can more effectively collaborate to achieve the EU’s goals concerning digital skills. This session will also examine the Commission’s updated Digital Competence Framework. The discussion will contribute to ongoing work on the Commission’s proposal for a Council Recommendation on improving the provision of digital skills in education and training to be presented by the end of 2022.

3.2. Bridging policy, research and practice: the Digital Education Hub

The need for reinforced cooperation to tackle common challenges and to maximise the benefit from opportunities related to digital education has become very apparent in the past two years. As such, the creation of the Digital Education Hub is one of the flagship initiatives of the Digital Education Action Plan. Its main objective is to help overcome fragmentation in digital education. The Hub is aimed at individuals and organisations working in all sectors concerning the field of education, interested in innovation and the creation, use, distribution and regulation of digital education. It addresses cross-sectoral cooperation in digital education and brings together expertise and information from all education and training levels and sectors. The Hub aims to stimulate dialogue between the private and public sectors, and to broker information, data, and choice concerning policies, research, and practices, in doing so linking top-down and bottom-up approaches to digital education issues.

This session will present the work of the Digital Education Hub, the formation of which began at the beginning of 2022. It will focus on the main issues that drive the vision behind the Hub, namely the need to overcome fragmentation. The objective of this panel discussion is to discuss models and means for cross-sectoral cooperation on digital education and to cover some pathways for cooperation to be further developed through the Digital Education Hub.

The speakers will focus on specific aspects of cross-sectoral cooperation and community- building. They will present existing examples, needs and opportunities and reflect on how these can be supported by the Digital Education Hub.




Parallel sessions

1.3. Artificial Intelligence in and for education: where we are and where do we want to go next?

Moderator: Rehana Swinninger-Ladak, Head of Unit, 'Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education’, DG CNECT, European Commission


  • Vanda Luengo, Professor in Computer Science, Sorbonne Université, France
  • Deirdre Butler, Professor, Dublin City Univeristy, Ireland
  • Tapani Saarinen, Pedagogical ICT coordinator, European School
  • Marco Neves, Computer Science Teacher, Agrupamento de Escolas da Batalha, Portugal
Watch now
2.3. Fighting disinformation and promoting digital literacy: education as a key driver

Moderator: Georgi Dimitrov, Head of Unit ‘Digital Education’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Michaela Šojdrová, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of CULT Committee
  • Claudio Masotti, Board Member and Vice-President, European Parents Association
  • Claus Noer Hjorth, Head of Children and Youth Department, Danish Film Institute, Denmark
  • Sally Reynolds, Chief Coordinating Officer, Media & Learning Association
Watch now
3.3. Looking near and far: digital education and the international dimension

Moderator: Paola Ottonello, Policy officer ‘International Cooperation’, DG EAC, European Commission


  • Charles Awono Onana, Profressor, l’Université des Montagnes, Republic of Cameroon
  • Alessandro Brolpito, Senior Human Capital Development Expert - Digital Skills and Learning, European Training Foundation
  • Milena Jocic-Tanaskovic, Digital connectivity expert, Regional Cooperation Council
Watch now
1.3. Artificial Intelligence in and for education: where we are and where do we want to go next?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential to improve the quality of education, to reduce early school leaving and enhance teaching and learning practices. All of this can be achieved AI-enabled personalised learning, quality educational content and targeted professional development. At the same time, the use of AI entails risks linked to fundamental democratic values and principles, such as rights to non-discrimination, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as other ethical, data protection and privacy concerns.

In response to these challenges, the Commission has proposed a specific action to address the ethical implications and challenges of using artificial intelligence and data in teaching and learning under the Digital Education Action Plan. In particular, it has set up an expert group with the task to contribute to the development of ethical guidelines for teachers. Linked with the Commission’s global and holistic approach to AI, the action aims to promote understanding of emerging technologies and their application in education. In doing so, we can ensure that no-one is left behind during the digital transition, people are put first and new opportunities are creates. These objectives have been highlighted as part of the EU’s Digital Decade initiative and the Commission's 2020 Digital strategy.

This panel discussion with experts and practitioners will give the opportunity to highlight key points about ethical guidelines for AI and data usage in teaching and learning for educators. Providing a variety of voices and perspectives on the topic, these exchanges will contribute to the work of the Commission’s expert group on the use of AI and data in teaching and learning and the development of the upcoming guidelines.

2.3. Fighting disinformation and promoting digital literacy: education as a key driver

The rapidly-changing media and information landscape and the diversity of online media platforms and sources of online information offer people opportunities to access information to a whole new extent. While this leads to opportunities related to knowledge development, communication and community creation, the online sphere also presents favourable conditions for the dissemination of disinformation, for hate speech, cyberbullying and radicalisation. Education and training has a crucial role to play in equipping citizens with the critical thinking skills required to exercise good judgment online, taking into consideration characteristic phenomena related to the presence of algorithms, ‘information bubbles’ and ‘echo chambers’.

To address these challenges and support teachers and educators, as envisaged through the Digital Education Action Plan, the Commission will publish common guidelines for teachers and educators to promote digital literacy and tackle disinformation in September 2022.

This panel discussion will offer an opportunity to reflect on the key role of education and training in progressing digital literacy among young people and equipping them with the right skills and competences to recognise and react to disinformation. In particular, it will address the support needed by teachers, but also more generally how the broader education and training community can contribute to this task. The discussion will bring a variety of stakeholders – policy-makers at the EU level, practitioners, teachers, trainers and representatives of parents. The results from the discussion will feed into ongoing work on the development of guidelines for teachers and educators to tackle disinformation and promote digital literacy.

3.3. Looking near and far: digital education and the international dimension

Digitalisation is transforming societies worldwide, providing new opportunities to improve education, to enhance the management of education systems and the development of new innovative teaching methods. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the global digital divide and cast a spotlight on the importance of digitalisation. As a global phenomenon and with innovation and good practices around the world, the EU has been engaging with partners in third countries.

The speakers from this panel will provide their experience on deploying innovative digital tools, embedding them into teaching, learning and assessment, and other good practices on digital education in third countries with the help of or within the framework of EU-funded initiatives and projects. As adaptation to the local context is key to the success of these initiatives, the speakers will share their insights on how to overcome structural barriers to learning and digital skills development, including the importance of digital inclusion.




Keynote from the European Commission

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age


The Forum in brief: highlights from social media



Viviane Hoffmann, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission