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Digitalisation is an essential part of our lives across all dimensions and different to separate from our social activities. When we shop online – are we online or are we shopping? When we play computer games – are we playing or are we at the computer? And when we are active in social media, we are both social and active in an electronic medium. Moreover, our health system is already digitised, the pollution of the planet is, to a growing extent, caused by digital technology, and activities such as navigating a car or collaboration in civil society are increasingly facilitated by digital technology. This is where things start to get interesting for education. Because if things become different, how do we want to shape the change? Furthermore, the examples illustrate that we need to understand digitalisation not mainly as a technical issue but as social, cultural or economic process.

Digital Transformation

The social, cultural or economic process in which things are done seemingly differently – made possible by information and communication technology. It describes the reorganisation of communication, infrastructures or services, economic or cultural practices and of the state.

Digitalisation is partly driven by societal changes, and partly drives them.

  • Datafication: Computers (from desktops to smart bulbs) and the services they are connected to become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. The digital self emerges beyond a mere mapping of our analog identities.
  • Platformisation: Collaboration, exchange, culture or work are mediated by digital infrastructures (platforms). Participation on platforms becomes necessary in many areas of life. A certain digital-economy model of platforms aims to prevail by dominating the market.
  • Globalisation: Computerized hardware becomes affordable and a consumer item in Europe. Value and production chains are internationalized.
  • Network expansion: The need for network structures and the resources required to maintain and expand them is increasing.

The Role of Education for Democratic Citizenship


What role play demo­cracy and human rights in all these develop­ments? How can digitali­sation strengthen democracy?

People, rights, democratic digitalisation

"People are at the centre of the digital transformation in the European Union. Technology should serve and benefit all people living in the EU and empower them to pursue their aspirations, in full security and respect for their fundamental rights."

EU: European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade (non-binding)[1]

Democracy and rights-based education is empowering learners to exercise and defend their rights and responsi­bilities, and to co-create the society. Any successful democratic transformation requires citizens understanding the change and willing to involve in discourses and decisionmaking.

With a strong aspect of democracy and human rights in lifelong learning, we should lay the foundations for a democratic digital transformation in Europe and empower learners to find a constructive and active position in this transformation.

Digital Citizenship

"Digital citizenship essentially means learning to live as a citizen in today’s highly digitised society."
Council of Europe

Digital citizenship education

"Empowerment of learners of all ages through education or the acquisition of competences for learning and active participation in digital society to exercise and defend their democratic rights and responsibilities online, and to promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law in cyberspace."
Council of Europe CM/Rec(2019)10.

Background: Digital Transformation in Learning for Active Citizenship

Brochure series published by the project DIGIT-AL


Learning for digitalisation

Equips learners/citizens for co-determining the digital transformation in the society.

Learning about digitalisation

Learning about the social, cultural, economic impact of digitalisation in society. The wider picture behind digitisation.

Learning through digitalisation

Learning with digital tools, services and infrastructure.

Hacker Pedagogy

The terms "life hacks" and "hacking" have made it into everyday language and left the digital environment. Essentially, they describe an approach to transformative learning - problem solving, experiential learning, challenging and changing habits and sometimes the system from the ground up. Originally native to computer science, the term spread to other areas of society with digital transformation. This can be an interesting element of experiential, self-organized, and collaborative learning. From hacker ethics to holistic learning.


Social, political, cultural background about Digitalisation

Learning about the development of Internet, Platforms and AI. Understanding the social, cultural and economic impact of the digital transformation.


Learning, Participation & Active citizenship

Activism and Participation in Digital Transformation
Learning for Active Citizenship and Digital Transformation
Citizen science
Creative Commons - Why and How
Digital Divide
Knowledge Society
Online Participation
Public Services under Transformation
Storytelling and Stereotypes
Trust and Governance of Digitalisation
Visualize data for a social purpose: mapping
Visual Literacy: How to Think and Act with Images

AI, Algorithms, Platformisation

AI and bias
Artficial Intelligence: Think, Machine!
Fake through AI
How AI works (with humans)
Into the Internet of Everything
Networks under certain circumstances
Openness - the Foundation of the Internet
What is Big Data?

Media, public space, discourse

Conspiracy: In Doubt Against Democracy
Creative Commons - Why and How
Facial recognition technology
Fake News, Disinformation, Malinformation
Fake through AI
Feelings and Fear - as a Topic and Resource
Media Literacy
Social media: a human need
Social Media Monitoring
Our Digital Voices: New Ways to Communicate


The Digital Self

Tracking us: Quantified self
The Creepy Lines of Digitalisation
The Digital Self
Into the Internet of Everything


Beyond Zero and One: Culture of the Internet, Network Culture
Culture of datafication
Images of Digitalisation
Into the Internet of Everything
Maker Culture
Networks under certain circumstances
Openness - the Foundation of the Internet
Sharing – a cultural shift
Visual Literacy: How to Think and Act with Images

Global Interdependencies & Sustainability

Digital global interdependencies
Digitalisation and the Environment
Digital Divide

Methods & Checklists

Algorithms for beginners
A social perspective on digitalisation
Email Encryption
Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace
Does your life rely on social media
Different models of networks
Economic perspective on digitalisation
Experimenting with IBM Watson natural language understanding
An environmental perspective on digitalisation
Fitness and Health Tracking
Freedom of expression
Guess who - AI version
Give Europe your voice
How normal am I?
Interoperability in communication
Make Memes
Online Tic Tac Toe – How do machines learn
Our world in data
Privacy Protection
Scenario Method: World of Work in 20 Years
Smart Sims
Speaking to machines
Stop reading the news
Surveying surveillance
Task: Digital Divide
Task: Online participation
The Next Rembrandt - Is AI Intelligent or Not
To encrypt or not to encrypt
Visualize data for a social purpose: mapping
A week with Wanda
What five platforms know most about you?
What is democracy
Who’s making my online identity
You and the algorithm

Checklist: Different aspects of information disorder
Checklist: Irritate biometric systems
Checklist: How to build hashtag campaigns for social change
Checklist: How to plan a citizen science project
Checklist: How to clear your interface
Checklist: Real vs. generated photos

Media & Data: Games and Interactive Tools

Play and learn.

Digital Transformation


Digital & Media Competence

Games and Interactive


Internet, Data, AI


Digitalisation: Privacy Protection

  1. European Union (2023/C 23/01). European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade. PUB/2023/89, OJ C 23, 23.1.2023, p. 1–7.