Topic: Digital skills training by chance? The integration of ICT in schools
There is a growing body of literature about the integration of ICTs in schools. This is also the case for Europe, where several studies focused on the barriers of ICT integration (see for example Skaftun, Igland, Husebø, et al., 2018). At the same time, digital divides are still an issue in European countries, and Germany is in this respect an interesting case. As mentioned by Schleife (2010), Germany still holds a rural digital divide (Schleife, 2010), and also schools often still have no NGA available (Beuth, 2018). Yet not only the connectivity is an issue at German schools, as a recent study has shown that there is also a lack of ICT integration at schools (Wübbenstiftung, 2018).
Western societies are moving ever more towards a digital knowledge society and there is a pivotal role for schools in facilitating this. We therefore want to answer the following question: How do headteachers experience the digital skills education at rural schools in Germany in the context of the rural digital divide and which digital skills are trained? This is done based on interviews conducted in primary and secondary schools in the states Lower Saxony and Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Preliminary insights show that it can not be guaranteed that all necessary digital skills are covered in all rural schools. Furthermore, each teacher might have a slightly different understanding of digital skills and which ones the students need. This suggests that closing the digital skills gap is partly dependent on the digital experiences and individual considerations of teachers.