Since December 2012, the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research has been developing an ambitious strategy to bring schools into the digital age. This strategy aims to make the most of the opportunities offered by digital technology for the benefit of pupils’ success.
In order to achieve this ambition, a large-scale digital plan for education was announced by French President François Hollande on 7 May 2015. The aim is to mainstream digital technology (in schools) at the start of the 2016 school year (September), with priority given to the first secondary school classes. The plan includes a phase called «foreshadowing» in 2015; this will involve the provision of educational resources and services on individual mobile devices in September 2015 to pupils in their eighth year at ISCED 2 (12 years old) and their teachers in 600 secondary middle and primary schools, with a focus on priority education areas.
This plan is based on the lessons learned from the large-scale experiments carried out to foreshadow the generalization of digital technology in schools planned for 2016.
Prepare middle school pupils for the future with 21st century digital skills.
The digital plan is therefore a Presidential Priority as announced by François Hollande. Furthermore it is one of the main elements in the middle school reforms initiated last May by the minister of education. The Ministry of Education and regional/local public authorities are working together and jointly mobilising financial resources in order to implement the national plan.
1 billion euros in public investment over the next 3 years for digital education development.
In order to succeed in transforming teaching and learning practices with digital technology four pillars have been identified:
This strategy is embodied in the creation of the digital educational public service, as provided for in the new legislation of 8 July 2013 “rebuilding the School of the Republic”, which should help schools achieve the fundamental tasks of education and empowerment.
Digital technology should be considered as a support and certainly not a substitute for teachers. Digital tools and services enable teachers to spend more time concentrating on teaching and help them leverage their impact on pupils. To help teachers cope with these changes, all teachers involved in the national digital plan will attend a 3-Day training course in computer science, digital project management, digital applications in lesson plans and teaching practices and digital literacy.
More than 100 on-line training programmes are also available and 260,000 teachers have already become users. More programmes and Moocs are being created to support the deployment of the digital plan.
Finally, online tutorials will help teachers find the educational resources adapted to their needs and learn how to make the most of them.
The digital plan is spread over 3 years during which digital equipment and resources will be provided to middle school students.
223 pilot middle schools and 375 elementary schools have already been equipped with individual mobile digital devices and resources last September. The target is to equip 40% of the 800,000 grade 7 pupils by 2016, 70% by 2017 and reach 100% by 2018. Along with these devices, resources are provided to teachers and students.
The ministry provides financing and hosting of digital services as an incentive for teachers to create their own digital resources. A specific professional social network has been created for teachers to collaborate online and share their digital resources. Subject-based portals are available on the Ministry’s national website for professionals.
In addition high quality resources and lesson plans are freely available online. A national educational resources Database is being created to assist teachers in the implementation of new middle school programmes from 4th to 9th grade.
30 million euros have been allocated to the E-Fran programme aimed at identifying new digital teaching and learning practice projects. With the assistance of local education authorities and research teams the programme firstly scientifically assesses the impact of these projects and then spreads them to other schools.
The ministry also contributes to developing local digital education incubators in order to facilitate implementation and roll-out of local projects.
Innovation is also encouraged to develop digital applications in schools all over France. These projects are run in partnership with research teams and companies and enable in-depth transformation of teaching and learning practices.
Last updated : janv. 21, 2016
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