This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By clicking or navigating the site you agree to allow our collection of information through cookies. More info

2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday November 30, 2023

Updated on Thursday November 30, 2023

portrait of Georgia Manolopoulou

Georgia Manolopoulou

Museologist,Curator of Public Engagement , Ministry of Culture/Archaeological Museum Of Patras

portrait of Altheo Valentini

Altheo Valentini

EU projects manager , EGInA Srl

What digital skills are needed for educators working in cultural heritage institutions?

Discover some findings from the Europeana Education Community Steering Group, which in 2023 worked to highlight projects exploring the digital skills needed by educators working in the cultural heritage sector and creative industries (CHI educators).

Three young girls sat in front of computers in IT class
Tytöt tietotekniikan tunnilla
Kiuru, Sakari
Helsingin kaupunginmuseo

The Europeana Education community brings together professionals dealing with digital culture and learning in cultural heritage institutions, educational organisations, schools, NGOs, ministries, local government and the private sector.

During our last face-to-face Steering Group meeting hosted in 2022 by EGInA in Foligno, Italy, we agreed that one of the most important activities to include in our Work Plan 2023 was the design of a digital skills framework for non-formal educators - cultural heritage professionals working in education (museum educators, librarians, archivist, mediators) - and CHI educators. This was a very ambitious goal, and we started our work asking ourselves why this is important.

ENA Education Steering Group meeting in Foligno
ENA Education Steering Group meeting in Foligno
December 2022
Europeana Foundation
The Netherlands
ENA Education Steering Group meeting in Foligno

Why are digital skills for CHI educators important?

The Steering Group agreed that digital skills for CHI educators are essential to transform and enrich the learning experience, engage different kinds of audiences through innovative approaches, share a diversity of knowledge and cultural expressions and contribute to the preservation and promotion of culture - our common ground - in the digital era.

CHI educators have to evolve, innovate and reinvent themselves to adapt to digital literacy - the ability to access, manage, understand, integrate, communicate, evaluate and create information safely and appropriately through digital technologies. This will help them to give new meaning and potential to their ‘art of teaching’, and understand and meet students’ needs. This is especially important to connect with young audiences who are digital natives.

It’s important to note that according to an EU report, there should be a clear awareness that being digitally literate does not mean being an expert in the digital environment, but requires at least basic knowledge and overview of why and how to use digital technologies.

Which skills for CHI educators are important?

An ideal digital skills framework requires agility, fosters innovation and enables rapid adaptation to changing conditions and requirements. But most importantly, CHI educators must understand and uphold ethical principles and commitments to safe, responsible, inclusive and respectful use of digital technologies for preserving, promoting, and educating learners about cultural heritage. With the rise of generative AI and other advanced technologies like XR, we should bear in mind the Fribourg declaration (2007), a document drafted for UNESCO, on the democratisation of knowledge and culture: ‘Cultural heritage resources must be accessible to all, regardless of physical or cognitive abilities, technological proficiency, or socioeconomic status.’

More specifically, a framework for digital skills for educators should aim to:

  1. Transform learning in a free, joyful and inclusive way. There is a crucial need to enhanceemotional intelligence skills so as to enhance the active, educative and emotionally engaging capital of a cultural heritage institution

  2. Make communication, collaboration, and project management easier. Adopting digital storytelling skillscan help CHI educators deliver cultural content more efficiently and respond to changing circumstances more quickly.

  3. Empower educatorsusing digital tools and platforms to create inspiring narratives around cultural heritage by multimedia presentations, virtual exhibitions, and interactive storytelling experiences to engage all kinds of audiences.

  4. Foster digital research skills. Cultural heritage educators should possess strong digital literacy skills to guide learners

  5. Facilitate digital curation. CHI educators should learn how to curate or co-curate digital content related to tangible and intangible cultural heritage

  6. Understand copyright issues, metadata management of images, videos and documents related to their cultural learning project.

  7. Gain knowledge of digital preservation techniques to ensure the longevity and accessibility of digital materials. Learn digital storage systems and back up strategies

  8. Interact with virtual objects, explore historical environments digitally. Also the skill of using VR/AR technologies can help educators to bring an “alive” experience and artefacts to life for the learners.

  9. Make society aware of the impact the digital transformation has on core human-values like truth, creativity, dialogue, ethics, accountability, existence and continuity. Play an active role in finding new ways to use information of the past in the present and preserving information of the present for the future.

Mapping existing initiatives

Our Work Plan for 2023 states that, ‘taking advantage of the momentum of the European Year of Skills we will start drafting a framework to describe digital skills for these cultural and educational professionals.’ Knowing that there was so much expertise in our community and some relevant projects with similar goals initiated, we followed the work described above by mapping all the existing initiatives in our network we were aware of. Discover them by expanding the box below. 

Collapsed content

Existing initiatives




Digital skills frameworks

Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu)

Skills Framework

Go to the website

GEM’s Competency Framework

Skills Framework

Go the the website and contact Margherita Sani for more information

Reports and publications

Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH)

Report from Heritage Fund

Download the report and contact Margherita Sani for more information

Impulse paper on the role of cultural and creative sectors in innovating European industry

Report from DG GROW

Download the report

Trends and skills’ needs in the Audio Visual & Live Performances sectors

Report from IME GSEVEE

Download the report and find out more

Museum Technology: A Critical Primer

Report from Irish Museum Association and IMMA

Download the report

Mapping Digital Skills in Cultural and Creative Industries in Italy

Publication by Massimiliano Nuccio, Sofia Mogno

Access the abstract

Self-assessment tools and working groups


Online digital skills self-assessment tool

Access the tool and contact Margherita Sani for more information


Online digital skills self-assessment tool

Access the tool

GEM's Core Competencies for Museum Educators

Online digital skills self-assessment tool

Access the tool and contact Margherita Sani for more information

Personal audit of digital skills for heritage

Excel digital skills self-assessment tool

Access the tool and contact Margherita Sani for more information

DigComp Community of Practice

Official CoP of DigComp

Find out more and contact Margherita Sani for more information

Pact for Skills | Large-Scale Skills Partnership on Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs)

Working Group on Skills for the Digital Environment

Join by invitation - contact Altheo Valentini for more information

Projects and programmes

BIBLIO. Boosting Digital Skills and Competences for Librarians in Europe

ERASMUS+ Sector Skills Alliance

Go to the website and contact Altheo Valentini for more information

Mu.SA. Museum Sector Alliance

ERASMUS+ Sector Skills Alliance

Go to the website

CHARTER. Cultural Heritage Actions to Refine Training, Education and Roles

ERASMUS+ Sector Skills Alliance

Go to the website and contact Margherita Sani for more information

DOORS. Digital Incubator for Museums


Go to the website

CYANOTYPES. Anticipating Creative Futures

ERASMUS+ Blueprint Alliance

Go to the website

FAST45. Futures Art School Trends 2045

ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliances Project

Go to the website

FILMEU. The European Universities Alliance for Film and Media Arts

ERASMUS+ University Alliance

Go to the website

INCREAS. Innovative and Creative Solutions for Cultural Heritage

Pilot project for CCIs (FLIP for CCis-2)

Go to the website

Creative Digital Transformation

ERASMUS+ KA2 Adult Education

Go to the website


ERASMUS+ KA2 Adult Education

Go to the website

ReCCI – Rethinking Cultural & Creative Industries through digital and entrepreneurial competencies


Go to the website and find out more

DigitalCulture. Improving the Digital Competences and Social Inclusion of Adults in Creative Industries

ERASMUS+ KA2 Adult Education

Go to the website and find out more

CHERISED. A European Framework for for Digital Cultural Heritage in Secondary Education

ERASMUS+ KA2 School Education

Go to the website

Common European data space for cultural heritage

Digital Europe Programme, DG CNECT

Access the presentation

Opportunities and events

EIT Culture & Creativity

Funding programme

Go to the website

Next steps

After this exercise, we realise how much excellent work has been done by our colleagues and experts to research digital skills and design self-assessment tools and frameworks. We also learned how many projects are currently developing similar solutions from different professional areas (museums, audiovisual archives or libraries), domains (cultural heritage and creative industries) or approaches (cultural, educational, ethical). The Steering Group will follow up with the development of the different projects and initiatives, collect more of them by our community members and find possible synergies between the data space for cultural heritage and data space for skills.

Join us in this endeavour by:

  • Joining the Europeana Education Community to be the first to hear about new initiatives and work relevant to educators

  • Using some of the tools provided above and sharing your experience via our LinkedIn and Facebook community channels.

  • Telling us about other projects and initiatives with similar goals not listed yet by emailing [email protected]