Digital Citizenship Education

Building on the achievements of the Council of Europe's Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) programme, and the initial results of the Competences for Democracy and Intercultural Dialogue project - as well as cooperation activities from other sectors - the CoE's Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) has recently approved a pan-European project on Digital Citizenship Education (DCE).

On 21-22 September 2017, the Education Policy Division of the Council of Europe organised a working conference in Strasbourg, bringing together various European and international experts in three sets of working groups. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss the draft concept note for the development of a Policy Framework for Digital Citizenship Education (DCE), to raise awareness of the current gaps in DCE, and to initiate dialogue among the various stakeholders of DCE. More specifically, discussions focused on tackling roles and responsibilities of educators, preparing teachers for digital citizenship education, and the future of digital citizenship.

Part of the meeting was given over to a presentation of the project titled "Competences for Democratic Culture". This session provided the setting for fruitful discussions on how to better integrate DCE in the school curricula, improve the existing cooperation with other stakeholders which are active in the field (such as industry), and how best to embrace the differences between formal, non-formal and informal education.

Experts collaborating with the Council of Europe also debated the key conclusions of a recent literature review and a Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Report, adding that the main issues and challenges refer to:

  • The need for DCE to start at an early age.
  • Accessing the large number of practices across Council of Europe Member States.
  • Ensuring effective participation from multi-stakeholders.

The Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project was present at the event, and more information on the working conference can be found here.

Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we've previously showcased activities carried out by the Council of Europe which link to European values and celebrations such as the Europe Day of the Council of Europe and campaigns such as the No Hate Speech Movement. On the specific issue of digital citizenship and education, many of the Safer Internet Centres (SICs) within the Insafe network have been active in this area, developing a range of activities and resources targetting youth, parents and carers, and teachers and educators. Examples include:

Digital citizenship has also been one of the priorities tackled at external events attended by the Insafe Coordination Team, including EuroDIG 2016, collaborations with eTwinning, webinars in cooperation with UNICEF, and representation at EMINENT 2016 (European Schoolnet's annual conference).

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