DIGITAL LEARNING GAP LEAVES EUROPEAN STUDENTS AT RISK OF ONLINE ‘INFODEMIC’, NEW OECD PISA REPORT REVEALS
New pan-European digital education initiative from Vodafone’s Foundations to empower students in critical use of digital technologies.
Paris / London – European students are struggling to manage the flood of information provided by internet and digital services, according to a new OECD PISA-report ‘21st Century Readers: Developing literacy skills in a digital world’, co-funded by Vodafone Germany Foundation and released today.
Against the backdrop of a COVID-19 ‘Infodemic’ – a term coined by the World Health Organization to describe the flood of information disseminated about the health crisis – The report found that only half (54%) of European students are taught to recognise if online information is biased, and less than 1 in 10 can successfully distinguish fact from opinions.
Students’ access to digital technologies and training on how to use them also varies greatly between countries and socio-economic backgrounds. Students from Australia, Canada, Denmark and the United States are almost twice as likely to receive training on how to detect biased information than students from Israel, Latvia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.
The report also highlights a further digital divide as students from disadvantaged backgrounds are falling behind in literacy skills. With the exception of Portugal and Hungary, students from disadvantaged backgrounds are significantly less likely to receive training on how to validate information successfully. In Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden this difference was more than 15 percentage points, illustrating particularly unequal access to digital education.