Digital Media in Education

Project lead: Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter (ZeMKI Lab: "Information Management and Media Technology")

Funding institution: Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

As a comprehensive process of social change, digitisation also encompasses the institutions in the various fields of education. For more than two decades, education policy, research and the public have been dealing with the "new media", whose importance in education and training is continuously growing. With their ability to process data digitally, computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. make it possible to provide, secure and disseminate this data comprehensively. Access to these current digital instruments and the ability to use them are important prerequisites for social and professional participation.

At the same time, the use of digital media in schools, universities, careers and continuing education also lies in the area of conflict between the technological developments of the Internet towards the ubiquitous and everywhere usable "Social Web" or "Web 2.0" on the one hand and the necessary media skills of teachers and learners for the adequate use of these media types in the educational context on the other. In addition, there are the technical, legal and organisational prerequisites that are necessary in order to be able to exploit the potential arising from the interactive character of new media for their use in the various educational sectors.

At the same time, however, skills in dealing with digital media and the critical reflection on their use are difficult to examine, and their significance for learning effectiveness has not yet been directly demonstrated. Nevertheless, there is often an educational policy desideratum to formulate requirements for media competence in all personal development stages and educational venues as cross-sectional competence. This also raises fundamental questions about the effects of an "omnipresence" of digital media on the efficiency of the education and training system, its equal opportunities and its power to integrate.

Of particular individual and social importance is the question of the extent to which education increasingly influenced by digital media shapes the life course with regard to work-related options and what effects the digital media have on the institutional structure of the education system. The sufficient availability of current ICT systems for use by educational institutions and learners is also a relevant aspect of the digitisation of education, both in terms of hardware and software systems and the content they provide. In addition to accessibility, there are also special requirements regarding the protection of (personal) data.

The TAB working report No. 171 "Digital Media in Education" summarises the relevant scientific findings on the scope and consequences of the diverse applications of new digital media types in education and for teaching and learning methods. For the various educational contexts, it identifies the necessary framework conditions for the use of new digital media, making full use of their potential. At the same time, obstacles and challenges for the use of digital media in the educational sectors are identified and the necessary conditions and possibilities for overcoming them are presented.

The report was presented and discussed at a public meeting of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment on 8 June 2016.

: Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter
Prof. Dr.

Andreas Breiter

Institution: Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research of the University of Bremen (ZeMKI)

Building/room: ECO5 3.91
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