Aktuelles > Does Work 4.0 need Education 4.0 too? | EM Germany Telegram on Digital Education

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Does Work 4.0 need Education 4.0 too? | EM Germany Telegram on Digital Education

Rationalisation, digitalisation, globalisation: the future of work and the changing requirements in education and training raise fundamental questions that are currently being addressed by several conferences. On 7 November the EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, at present still responsible for digitalisation, is coming to Berlin to discuss the subject with experts from the education sector as well as representatives of social groups. As a contribution to the debate, in its current EM Germany Telegram on Digital Education, EM Germany is publishing quotes and positions from its extensive network with over 250 member organisations.

em-germany-telegram-digital-learningStatus: 7 November 2016. German version here.

You can find ongoing updates on the subject of digital education under the keywords European education and competitiveness on our website.


+++ Digitalisation in education must reach everyone +++

Thiemo Fojkar (EM Germany/IB)

Photo: EM Germany.

Thiemo Fojkar, member of the EM Germany Executive Board and Chair of the International Federation (IB) and the Federal Association of Vocational Training Providers demands: “Digitalisation of education must be accessible to all. No-one should be left behind by digitalisation.” In the long term, the only means to secure economic success and thus prosperity in Europe will be through well-trained and specialised personnel. “We cannot afford an education underclass,” says Fojkar. | See report


+++ The key to a thriving society +++

Eva Paunova MEP (EMI)

Photo: EMI.

Eva Paunova MEP and Vice-President of European Movement International is convinced: “Digital learning is the key to a thriving society.” Education for tomorrow must, however, come from today’s teachers. “In this time of high-speed technological advance, we need leaders in education more than ever. Teachers, or perhaps better said – mentors, who will turn classrooms into laboratories of modern and innovative ideas, entrepreneurial and critical thinking hubs.” | See report


+++ Digital competencies: teachers are mostly also learners +++

Kirsten Lühmann (dbb)

Photo: EM Germany.

“Above all, digitalisation in education needs motivated and qualified teachers who can also impart digital competencies,” says Kirsten Lühmann MdB (member of German parliament), Deputy National Chair of the dbb – German civil service association and tarif union  and member of the EM Germany Executive Board. “Learning digital competencies should be a part of everyday school life like numeracy and literacy. The only difference is that today’s teachers are mostly still learners themselves.” | See report


+++ Europe-wide coalitions also in digital further education +++

Paul-Jasper Dittrich (JDI)

Photo: JDI.

Unlike large established companies, it is principally small and medium industrial companies that often still have no access to digital further education opportunities, observes Paul-Jasper Dittrich, Research Fellow at the Jacques Delors Institut in Berlin. He is demanding a European solution to correct the digital imbalance: “We need Europe-wide coalitions, also in digital further education for networked production.” | See report


+++ Initiatives must be better networked! +++

Peter Backfisch (IB)

Photo: private.

Peter Backfisch, European policy consultant at the International Federation (IB), warns about a “digital divide within the education sector and society”. Only through consultation and cooperation between state and non-state educational institutions can such a development be counteracted. His approach: “Digitalisation initiatives must be better networked at local, national and European levels.” | See report


+++ Securing quality standards and independence +++

Dr. Vera Fricke (vzbv)

Photo: vzbv.

“Digital content and platforms can bring our schools into the 21st century – however, independence from economic influence must be retained in the process. Quality standards are essential for this,” emphasises Dr. Vera Fricke, consultant for consumer competence at the German Consumer Federation. We must avoid a situation where commercial enterprises use digital instruments to have a direct or indirect influence on school curricula. | See report


+++ Create tailored education opportunities for volunteers +++

Ina Wittmeier (BBE)

Photo: BBE.

Many community volunteers in Germany depend on the provision of digital education material, stresses Ina Wittmeier, deputy spokesperson of the working group “Education and civil society” at the National Network for Civil Society: “It makes sense to offer education opportunities in a way that is as resource-saving as possible. Politics must establish the appropriate conditions for this.” | See report


+++ Europe must clear investment backlog in schools +++

Dr. Ulrich Goldschmidt (DFK)

Photo: DFK.

The chair of the German Confederation of Managers, Dr. Ulrich Goldschmidt, criticises the massive investment backlog in digitalisation in schools – not only in Germany but across Europe: “All of Europe must urgently catch up and use digitalisation for education, as well as educating pupils for the digital world. Time is pressing!” | See report


+++ More on this subject +++

  • European Commission: “A new skills agenda for Europe”
    In June the EU Commission presented its draft agenda aimed at the promotion in Europe of human capital, employability and competitiveness. | Communication
  • Bitkom: Position paper on the theme of digital education
    The digital association Bitkom has formulated 10 recommended action points to secure the sustainability of Germany as a location for education and innovation. | See document
  • The German Consumer Federation (vzbv): Resources catalogue
    The vzbv provides a tool to facilitate teachers’ access and use of digital teaching materials for consumer education. There are numerous topics to choose from. Further information here.


  • 7 November: Does Work 4.0 need Education 4.0 too? – Digital education as an answer to changing employment demands
    Conference held by the European Commission Representation in cooperation with the European Movement Germany (EBD) | Programme here | You may also follow the event on Twitter via the hashtag #EUSkillsAgendaDE
  • 7 November: Lifting Europe’s virtual borders
    Conference on digitalisation held by the Jacques Delors Institut Berlin as part of the Berlin Science Week | Programme here
  • 16/17 November: National IT summit 2016
    Symposium held by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Saarbrücken and to be live-streamed on www.bmwi.de. Advance information available here.
  • 21 November: Symposium on consumer education how to teach consumption and life skills
    The German Consumer Federation (vzbv) provides information about current and future demands in the (online) consumer world. More here.
  • 2 December: Vocational training of the future – further education and qualifications in the context of digitalisation
    The Friedrich Ebert Foundation und the IG Metall are planning a discussion event about future demands and conditions in the world of work.


bildmarke-em-germany-telegram-digital-learningThe common position on the themes of European education and strengthening of competitiveness, which was agreed by more than 250 EM Germany member organisations in summer 2016, can be found in our Political agenda “Think, act and govern in a European way!”

The EM Germany Telegram draws attention to key themes in EM Germany policy and highlights the current development and positions of our member organisations. The EM Germany Telegram is sent to around 15,000 subscribers in Germany and across the EU. You can subscribe here.