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Briefing paper

What exactly does digital literacy entail? There are many competing definitions, but it can be thought of as the ability to use digital technologies—both hardware and software— safely and appropriately.

Reading, writing, and numeracy: these are foundational skills people learn at school and continue using throughout their lifetimes. But as societies evolve and technology progresses, the learning needs and demands of one generation change for the next. Curriculums in educational institutions must keep up with these changes to reflect the new realities. They do so by removing outdated content, incorporating new disciplines, and innovating with new educational tools and techniques.

Beyond basic literacy, digital skills have become indispensable for every global citizen, whether to communicate, find employment, receive comprehensive education, or socialise. More than 90 percent of professional roles in across sectors in Europe require a basic level of digital knowledge and understanding. This need has become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more urgent for countries to embrace digital technologies and their associated skills.

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