On the 21st and 22nd of September, the Council of Europe (CoE) held a working conference on the theme of «digital citizenship education». Democracy cannot exist without democratic institutions, but these institutions will not work if citizens don’t have a democratic culture, values and attitudes and engage in democratic practices. As children and young people are more and more present on the Internet, it is key to foster certain competences and values of democratic culture to ensure they can participate safely, effectively, critically and responsibly online. It is on these premises that the CoE has been working on digital citizenship education.
The working conference brought together around 70 experts to support the CoE’s work in elaborating a conceptual framework for digital citizenship education, which will be made available to Ministries of Education from the CoE countries.
Martin Schmalzried, Senior Policy and Advocacy officer at COFACE Families Europe, is also member of the Council of Europe Expert Group on digital citizenship education. He moderated the workshop dedicated to identifying the future challenges of digital citizenship education, the impact on teachers and how these challenges should be addressed.