EAEA theme of the year 2021: digitalisation

Addressing digitalisation in adult education is important to provide learners with the competences they need to participate in the digital transformation of society.

In 2021, EAEA will focus on digitalisation and promote digital competences in adult education. Digitalisation is changing today’s society; it has a strong impact on different areas such as work and education. Therefore, digital competences are essential for promoting personal fulfilment, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the process of digitalisation, making it necessary to adapt to new forms of working, teaching and learning, and increasing the reliance on digital tools for social interaction.

Closing the digital divide

While in some cases these changes can be seen as an opportunity to engage with digitalisation, to learn and explore how to benefit from it, this development leaves many behind. Inequalities in (basic) digital skills, awareness of the importance of digitalisation and access to electronic devices and Wi-Fi create a digital divide. Adult education can help to close this gap by teaching digital skills to vulnerable and marginalised learners, thereby facilitating their participation in society.

Closing the digital gap is one of the aspects to consider when looking at the impact of digitalisation on democracy. Adult education can foster digital literacy to empower learners and enable them to decide how to digitalise their work and life. Understanding underlying concepts of digitalisation helps adult learners to make informed choices about the tools they use. Critical media literacy skills help identify fake news.

To provide this, adult education professionals need to know how to teach digital competences to adult learners, as well as have pedagogical skills to teach in digital environments. Additionally, developing strategies for digitalisation would help organisations to adapt to digital learning.

Our aims:

To raise awareness of the opportunities, challenges and impact of digitalisation on adult learning and education

To raise awareness on the skills adult educators need in empowering learners in the digital world

Get involved:

Related information:

Context Paper on digitalisation and democracy written by the EAEA Working Group on Digitalisation

Infographic with policy recommendations drafted by the EAEA Working Group on Digitalisation – also available as a video:


EAEA Manifesto: Why adult education?

Why adult education: employment and digitalisation

Project DigitALAD. Digital Adult Educators: Preparing Adult Educators for a Digital World.

Project FutureLabAE, promoting change-oriented adult education in the fields of digitalisation and democracy.