Survey finds 50% of 8-11th grade students in EU using technology in the classroom

Students and teachers have unprecedented access to educational technology and their opinion about its value and impact is overwhelmingly positive, according to the Survey of schools: ICT in education, based on over 190,000 responses from students, teachers and head teachers in 27 European countries.

The Survey of schools: ICT in education, funded by the European Commission Directorate General Information Society and Media and undertaken by European Schoolnet and the University of Liègewas administered online and included students directly. The survey provides detailed, up-to-date and reliable benchmarking on ICT in school education across Europe, painting a picture of the use of technology for learning in schools: from the provision of infrastructure to teachers’ and students’ use, confidence and attitudes.
“The digital world is not just about machines and microchips: it’s about giving people the tools to make their lives better, achieve their dreams and maximise their opportunities. Soon 90% of jobs could require digital skills: yet not enough Europeans are getting them. I welcome this study: because we can change this trend from the classroom. If teachers are themselves more confident using ICT, they can better inspire the next generation,” says Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission.
Among the most striking findings the survey indicates that:
  • Around 50% of students at grade 11 are in highly equipped schools (e.g. with high equipment levels and fast broadband), but percentages differ widely between countries.
  • Students are more confident in their digital competence when they have high access to ICT at home as well as at school compared to students having high access only at home.
  • Students use ICT most frequently during lessons when they are taught by digitally confident and supportive teachers, regardless of equipment levels. Even so, students use ICT for learning more outside than inside school.
  • Teachers and school heads are positive about ICT use – for retrieving information, doing exercises and practice, and learning in an autonomous and collaborative way – and about its impact on students’ achievement, motivation and transversal skills.
  • Around 70% of students are taught by teachers who have learnt about ICT in their own time. Most teachers still use ICT first and foremost to prepare their teaching and fewer use technology with students in lessons.
The study report includes recommendations for policy makers at local, national and European level. “We need policies to boost the development of digitally supportive schools and digitally confident and supportive teachers and students. Policy makers and school heads should focus on concrete measures at school level to support the use and integration of ICT in the classroom and invest in capacity building through new training models (online communities, blended learning, etc.). Enhancing teacher professional development is crucial to help teachers transform their positive opinion about ICT use into competences and effective practice in the classroom,” says Marc Durando, European Schoolnet’s Executive Director. “Evidence from international studies shows that on-the-job training, online learning communities, and cooperation between teachers at school level are effective – and moreover preferred by teachers to other approaches.”
  • All materials produced in this survey, including the data set, are freely available and can be accessed at
  • Watch the interview with Patricia Wastiau at
  • Access the Survey section on the website.
  • Follow the survey findings on twitter: #ICTinSchools
  • Article in the European Journal of Education