#DigiTuesday – Nation-wide Dutch study on children's digital literacy in the classroom

  • Awareness
  • 26/09/2019
  • Dutch Safer Internet Centre

The Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC) commissioned a research on how digital literacy is progressing in primary schools according to teachers, school directors and ICT coordinators. The results were published on Tuesday, 24 September and received broad national media coverage on television, radio and in newspapers.

DigiTuesday (#digidinsdag) in the Netherlands

The research – called Monitor Digital Literacy – was commissioned by ECP (Platform for the Information Society) and the Dutch SIC, and made possible by the ING Netherlands Fund. The Dutch SIC intends to carry out this research every year, on what is now called "DigiTuesDay". The knowledge of what teachers and schools actually need to incorporate digital literacy in their daily lessons is very valuable to the SIC, especially because the Netherlands are working towards a new curriculum on this topic in 2020. The SIC hopes the results of its Monitor Digital Literacy will be of use in deciding on this new curriculum.

Digital literacy is one of the nine learning areas of the new curriculum for primary, secondary and special education. The monitor shows that more than seven in ten (72 per cent) teachers anticipate this by approaching digital literacy as part of one or more subjects. However, only one tenth of the teachers use a learning line. In the run-up to the new curriculum, this should be more structural. Support and IT facilities are required for this. Half (51 per cent) of the teachers indicate that the ICT facilities at their school are not sufficient to take the necessary steps in the coming five years. In particular, few devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers – are available, or they are too old.

Need for extra support

"The Monitor helps to make clear what is needed to further implement digital literacy in primary education. Primary schools can use this in a more targeted way", says Marjolijn Bonthuis from ECP. Teachers indicated that they need support from educational publishers in particular (33 per cent), other educational organisations (23 per cent) and libraries (16 per cent). "We hope that they are willing to cooperate with parties that have developed a lot in recent years. In order to ensure that with each other, and preferably before the new curriculum, all children in the Netherlands have the opportunity to learn digital skills".

Approaching digital literacy at school

Digital literacy is a combination of four skills. The Monitor shows that most teachers focus mainly on basic ICT skills, then on information skills, media literacy, and finally computational thinking.

More than half (56 per cent) of the teachers surveyed indicate that the school does not plan to make pupils digitally literate. However, almost two thirds (64 per cent) indicate that their school has a specific person involved in educational innovations in this area. The four themes of digital literacy that receive the most attention in class are:

  • Searching and finding on the internet (61 per cent)
  • Word processing and presentation programmes (44 per cent)
  • Cyberbullying (39 per cent)
  • Social media (38 per cent)

Digital Literacy Secondary Education Monitor

The follow-up to the Digital Literacy Monitor will be published on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, this time focusing on secondary education. The purpose of this Monitor is to gain insight into the status of digital literacy and the associated obstacles and needs in secondary education in the Netherlands.

About ECP

ECP (Platform for the Information Society) is an independent and neutral platform where government, business and social organisations work together to create a promising and reliable digital society. ECP links specific activities and projects to this. Through debate and research, ECP puts the social and economic importance of ICT on the agenda. With impeding factors that stand in the way of using ICT in society, ECP gets to work to realise its vision of the Netherlands as an information society. ECP is the coordinator of the Dutch SIC.

For more information, discover the infographic of the Digital Literacy Monitor and the practical tips for teachers on digital literacy, both in Dutch.

Find out more information about the work of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.


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