During our work on our cross-cutting topic “Enhancing Digital Literacy Skills of Children in Early and Primary Years’ Education” we collected, translated and reviewed good practice examples from all over Europe addressing children of 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 years. 16 examples have been approved by our expert reviewers and you can look at them here.
The ELINET Association decided in 2019 to focus its work on relevant cross-cutting topics to which the members of all Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) could contribute.
The General Assembly 2019 in Copenhagen decided to focus our work on the topic “Enhancing Digital Literacy Skills of Children (age group 0 – 12 years).” More information about the concept of this project you can find here.
European Framework & Policy Paper
The main outcomes of this project will be a “European Framework of good practice in enhancing digital literacy skills in early and primary years’ education” and a European policy paper as a short summary of the Framework (similar to ELINET’s European Literacy Declaration), both addressing policymakers, multipliers, practitioners and other stakeholders in this field. Both papers shall contain research-based recommendations for educating pre-school and primary school children to become digitally literate citizens.
Good Practice Examples
Parallel to this conceptual work we have been looking for good practice examples (see the call on our website), which we wanted to review and analyse and in case of approval publish on our website. Furthermore, we want to integrate the main findings of this practice research into our framework according to ELINET’s top-down and bottom-up approaches to exchanging research and practice.
Collection of Good Practice Examples
By now, we received 58 examples from 11 countries, most of them related to the age groups 3-6 and 6-10 years. In several Board Meetings and ZOOM Member Meetings, we discussed and decided on the review criteria and the review procedure.
We came to the following conclusions regarding the criteria for good practice (No 1 – 5 are essential/exclusive, No 6 – 8 are additional desirable, non-exclusive criteria):
- A clear focus on digital literacy
- A clear and sound conceptual basis which is grounded in scientific research and/or practical experience
- A clear definition of objectives and target groups
- Transparent documentation concerning the implementation of the program (info about activities, participants, stakeholders and target groups, funding etc.)
- Information about the practical impact of the program and its effects on the target group (this may not be available as ‘hard data’, but can be reported in different ways: publications / positive feedback of participants etc. may represent the impact of the programme)
- Transparent documentation of the evaluation of the project and its effects on the target group (if available)
- Transferability: the practice or project may be applied to parallel or similar situations in the same or different regions
- The program materials and outcomes (flyers, manuals, apps, etc.) should be available in print or on the internet.
Regarding the review procedure, we decided to carry out the following steps:
- A preliminary review was carried out by two board members for each (randomly assigned) example in order to check the general match with our Call and the given information about the project. This pre-review resulted in three options: (1) No match with our Call – example will not further be considered; (2) Example seems to meet our Call, but more information is needed; (3) Example meets our Call and contains sufficient information for the full review.
- After completing this first step, we got back to the submitters of the examples and informed them about the results. In 11 cases, we found no match with our Call and decided (together with all Board members) not further to consider those examples. In most of the cases, we asked the submitters for more information in order to carry out the full review. For this purpose, we created a new template “Extended Project Description” which was sent out to the submitters together with the feedback letter.
- Parallel, we re-opened our Call for Good Practices without any deadline, which you can find on our website here, together with an online form in 8 languages.
- After the summer break of 2021, we set up the reviewer tandems, each being composed of two experts from our network who volunteer for this task. Together, 21 ELINET experts are involved in this task, and we formed 10 tandems – each composed of one Board member and one regular member – plus one general consultant who was asked to join the teams in cases of doubt. We decided that the review tandems will be composed of colleagues from different countries and with different expertise profiles and that they will only review examples beyond their own countries. See here for more information on the reviewer teams.
- In the second half of 2021, our review tandems carried out the full review of the submitted examples, based on the information in the electronic template and the additional information from the “Extended Project Description”. For this purpose, we created a Reviewer Sheet incorporating the eight criteria (see above) and leading to three options: Approval as good practice, approval as promising practice or non-approval. A good practice is based on a research-based programme theory and has been scientifically evaluated, promising practice is based on a programme theory with proven practicability, but without scientific evaluation and evidence-based data about the effects on the target group.
- The Reviewer Sheet was piloted with three examples in a Zoom Meeting among all reviewers in order to ensure that the criteria will be applied in a coherent way by everybody.
Collection of Good and Promising Examples
As a result, at the end of this complex process, 16 examples have been approved as good or promising practices. You can find the list of Good and Promising Practice Examples here
These examples have been presented in a short overview and an extended description as a pdf file. We sorted these examples by age group and by country.
 Based on the working definition of digital literacy given in our Call: “The ultimate goal of digital literacy is for children to locate, comprehend, integrate, create and use information from multiple sources (online texts, videos, audio, images, interactive graphics …) as well as to communicate and express effectively in various modalities at home and at school (oral, paper, visual, digital).”