France by liuhongmei


Last updated: September 2008; Last revised: September 2008
Contact: Nathalie Terrades, SDTICE, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education
and Research

1. Trends in Education and ICT

Recent projects :

“1000 visioconférences”
A project called “1000 visioconferences” for primary education. 1000 schools should be
equipped during this schoolyear with videoconference tools in order to be in contact
regularly with native speakers of the language that the pupils are learning (only English or
Spanish, or German or Italian for this school year.)
About 40 schools have been equipped during the first stage of the project.

32 video reportings, shot on the spot during classes in 2006 and 2007,
provide teachers with examples of ICT uses, and encourage them to use
these new tools.
The goals are :
- showing the whole educative community, pupils' parents, and local
authorities, the contribution of the digital tools and services for
- showing the variety of contexts and pedagogical activities allowing
the use of these tools on a daily basis
- giving food for thought on how to use ICT in the classroom.
- encouraging teachers to go further by consulting the documents on the
DVD or online.
The reportings also illustrate the implementation of the B2i (french ICT
proficiency certificate for pupils)

PrimTice is a directory of several hundred teaching scenarios involving the use of ICT, from
reception classes to Cycle 3 (the third stage of primary education in France).
It enables teachers to benefit from the experience of their colleagues, to create their own
sessions, sequences and projects.
The PT portal has a dedicated search engine.

Thematic Digital Universities
Thematic Digital Universities (TDUs) forms part of the ICT use development policy
supported by the SDTICE. They are charged with fostering the promotion, production and
dissemination of validated digital teaching resources, produced by higher educational
establishments, as part of a national resource pooling process.
A recent initiative (2004), there are now seven TDUs covering several key subject areas:
health, engineering sciences and technology; business and management; the environment
and sustainable development; human and social sciences; languages and cultures; legal and
political sciences; and basic sciences.

“a USB key for teachers” project

USK keys are offered to the teachers in their first year of work.

6000 keys have been produced during the first year of the project (2006-2007) in three
subject areas : History and Geography, Physical & Chemical Sciences, and Life and Earth
Sciences, and for primary teaching in several départements on an experimental basis.
Thye project was successful, so the Minister decided to scale up the distribution of the keys.

For 2008-2009, all the other subject areas will be covered (technology, maths, languages ...)
and all the départements will be concerned for primary education.
For 2008-2009 50000 USB keys will have been distributed (30 000 for primary school

The keys contain numerous digital free and paying ressources. Negociations with the editors
have allowed the Ministry to offer all new teachers an online access to these ressources for
2 years.
The keys are stricly personal.

They also contain : institutional links (with information from the local education authorities
websites), examples of uses, a personal space, a toolbox.

The aim of this project is to encourage new teachers to use digital ressources when teaching.

2. Policy Priorities

Responsibilities of ICT integration

National level:
The Department of Information and Communication Technology in Education (SDTICE) is
in charge of coordinating IT development in education. The missions of this department are:
     Encouraging teaching practices using ICT;

      Developing school equipment;

      Creation of networks;

      Teacher training;

      Helping production, distribution and creation of multimedia resources;

Supporting the product and services industry;
Regional level:
The 'académies', regional structures of the Ministry of Education, are in charge of
implementing the national directives and policies. The regional education authority gives
impetus to the development of Information and Communication Technology. It coordinates
the different levels of teaching and establishes partnerships with local and regional
authorities, companies, other administration and organizations.

The ICT advisor (CTICE) oversees the actions related to ICT in regional education
authorities and coordinates the various networks of people and partners involved in
educational policy, notably the network of subject leaders and the network of persons
dedicated to primary education. The ICT advisor is engaged by the recteur, who has the
overall responsibility for the "académie" Each académie is composed of several
departments. ('département').

ICT in schools
In France, primary schools (for 2 to 11 year-old pupils) are linked to the town council,
whereas lower secondary schools (11 to 15 year-old students) are dependent on the county
council ('département') and upper secondary schools (15 to 18 year-old students plus other
post-degree sections) come under the regional council's authority.

Policy Programmes
Overall ICT policy in education:
    Propose and implement measures for increasing the use of the internet and ICT;

      Streamline the measures already established by the government and public

      Support regional authorities and private partners;

      Encourage the distribution of information and exchanges between public and private

      Prepare and implement the major directions for the development of information and
       communication technologies for educational purposes in schools and higher

      Monitor higher education establishments, particularly during the assessment of the
       ICT sections in the context of the four-year contracts;

      Steer ICT training schemes;

      Support the production of digital resources;

      Establish partnerships and agreements with regional authorities and companies;

      Supervise all ICT sections of the SCEREN/CNDP (National Centre for Educational
       Documentation and its network) and the National Distance Learning Centre

Current national programmes:
Here is a list of the programmes of the SDTICE (deparment of Information and
Communication Technologies) belonging to both Ministries : Ministry of National
Education, and Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

       Infrastructure and Service Programme
The chief aim of this programme is to provide the educational community with the
infrastructures and services necessary for supporting the development of ICT practices. Its
objective is to ensure that everyone, and in particular every student and teacher, can benefit
- whether while teaching or learning - from a work environment adapted to their needs
(virtual offices or electronic school bags) and within the scope of their activities, and can
receive assistance as and when required.

      ICT Uses in Education Programme
The objectives of this programme are to :
- Develop ICT use that is adapted to needs, in all school subjets, at all educationel levels

- Encourage the production and sharing of educational uses

- Organize the transformation of French digital campuses into “areas of excellence” : the
Thematic Digital Universities (UNT)

      Digital Resources Programme
This programme supports the production and distribution of quality digital educational
content for pupils, students, and for teachers. Its aim is to maintain the place of France – and
by extension, that of Europe – in the knowledge industries.

       “ICT Training and Support" Programme
This programme aims to broaden and systematize ICT training, and to support actions
targeting the entire educational community: trainers, teaching staff and support staff. These
actions are also directed at young people through the general adoption of the IT and Internet
Proficiency Certificate (the B2i) in schools and the introduction of the C2i in higher
The desired result is a real integration of ICT in different subject areas and educational
activities, which presupposes both acquiring a command of the ICT tools and proficiencies
specifically linked to the new professional skills that are developed.

This programme is intended to experiment with and promote new training environments,
thereby allowing the individual or group projects organized by teachers to be more readily
and effectively implemented.

       Quality, Awareness and Promotion" Programme
This is a cross-sectional programme designed to support the management of projects and to
assist the initiatives launched by the SDTICE.

Internet Safety Policy
Protection of minors

A protection plan for minors aims to counter the dangers of child pornography and Internet
crime. A national systematic plan for the protection of children (Official Bulletin/BOEN of
26 February 2004) has been established, focusing on two major aspects:
The training, awareness-raising and accountability of students, teachers and teams of
educators regarding the specific characteristics of the internet ("Best Practices" charter)

Assistance to the educator teams through the provision of tools enabling them to select or
control the information provided to students via a filtering system (national "Black List" of
unlawful websites) A large budget has been earmarked for the implementation of these

The website for the protection of minors provides a list of ways to protect children and
minors from illegal websites, both at home and at school.

Practical guidelines for Internet access in education:

National Commission for 'Information Technology and Freedom' (CNIL)

Digital Inclusion Policy

The digital divide must be reduced, both geographically and socially. For this reason the
Delegation for the Use of Internet (DUI) that belongs to Ministry of Higher Education and
Research, principally aims at increasing the use of the internet and to new information and
communication technologies within society.
There are over 3000 internet public access areas throughout France: these EPN are the result
either of national initiatives (Multimedia Cultural Spaces, cyber bases, cyber space youth
spaces) or of regional initiatives. Since October 2003 these are all grouped together under
the label NetPublic.

Policy for Public-Private Partnerships

One of the key initiatives and projects of the department of Information and Communication
Technologies in Education (SDTICE) is to establish partnerships and agreements with
regional authorities and companies. Examples are:
The development of Virtual Learning Environments in the framework of the Regional
Digital Universities (UNR) involves the pooling of infrastructure, services and digital
workstations dedicated to teachers/researchers and students at regional level and in close
partnership with regional councils.
Furthermore, an educational Web TV was launched in partnership with the television station
France 5 (October 2003).

Telecom arrangements

Price agreements were taken with the main Telecom and cable providers. Renater,the
research and education network, provides the backbone framework at 2.5 Gbits.

Broadband Projects

Broadband internet access, at an affordable rate and for all of France, is one of the main
objectives of regional planning in this domain, particularly in rural areas.
The WI-FI progression in France is the highest in Europe. "A Wi-Fi laptop for every
student" campaign (see also public/ private partnerships) aims at giving every student the
opportunity to buy on credit a laptop computer with a Wi-Fi card, and to benefit from a free
broadband subscription on campus (DUI - Ministry of Higher Education and Research).

Educational Research and Development

An invitation to tender issued by the National Commission for Co-ordinating Research in
Education (CNCRE) has made it easier to define the scope of the various research projects
being conducted into the uses of ICT. A new database of all the research groups currently
investigating these topics is online

France has also participated in the Peer to Peer project (a European project under the
elearning initiative) from 2004 to 2006 and has participated to the P2V project (ended in
December 2008). Policy makers in education ministries, inspectorates and practitioners in
schools are supported by researchers to review each others practice. The aim is to undergo a
peer learning experience by identifying, exchanging and transposing examples of good
practices in their fields of work.

3. ICT Practice in School
ICT and the Curriculum

The general national curricula framework in France is centralised.

ICT skills assessment are now part of final examinations (since 2007-2008) for :
Final lower secondary examination - B2I level 2 in final exams (brevet des collèges)
ICT skills assessment will be part of final examinations for :

Final upper secondary examination - B2I level 3 in final exams (baccalauréat)

The IT certificate C2i (level1) at bachelor level is mandatory to enter the teacher training

Subject areas

In the beginning of ICT use in schools, ICT was mainly used in science (e.g.) mathematics,
physics, biology, and economics. Statistics now show that ICT is used in all subjects.
For more information about subjects see:

The teachers’section of the Educnet website reports on the state of reflexions on the use of
ICT in education and the practises in the different disciplinary fields.

Edu’bases, national resource banks.
They provide access to examples of ICT practises and lesson plans in 20 disciplinary fields
classified by
     School level
     Type of ICT use and activity
     Theme in relation with the curriculum.
They pool the examples listed on the different Local Education Authority sites.
In 2008, altogether more than 11,000 lesson plans were listed in Edu’bases.

Computer distribution at school

Distribution depends on the school's decision. It can be observed that ICT beginners start
with computers labs and evolve to computer in classrooms. Guidelines to be followed on:

Technical and pedagogical support

User support, along with informational, advisory organisational and training initiatives, is
part of the general support measures for the implementation of the information and
communication technologies in schools. The support must be directed at all staff that uses
these technologies in their professional duties. In concrete terms, it must involve all
concerned participants:
National and local authorities that coordinate the use of ICT resources;

Staff participating in the support measures;

Users, whose rights and obligations are specified in the service charters

ICT competence targets for students

The B2i (IT and Internet Certificate) was created by an official memorandum issued by the
Ministry of Education's directorate for primary and secondary education to test the
competence in ICT use for students (Official Education Bulletin no. 42 of 23/11/2000.
Updated in 2006 : Official Bulletin n°42 of 16/11/2006).
    Know how to use a work environment

      Be aware of the legal and social constraints imposed by judicious use of these

      Data processing

      Search the web efficiently,

      Communicate using technologies

Assessment Schemes

In both primary and middle schools, ICTs are primarily a learning tool, used in the teaching
of both specific subjects and cross-related disciplines. It is in these varied contexts, in which
pupils use the new technologies as needed, that teachers verify the acquisition of the skills
required for the national IT and Internet Certificate.

Monitoring and Inspection

The following networks are participating in monitoring the school's ICT development:
The Inspectorate General has the leading role for inspection and monitoring. It monitors
types of teaching, the content and the curriculum and ways to apply pedagogical methods.
Therefore the inspectorate participates in the evaluation of the use of ICT within schools
and contributes to the dissemination of best practices.

Innovative ICT Projects

France considers the B2I and C2I assessments of ICT skills for students and teachers as
some main leverages tools to manage innovation and change. Moreover, the use of
innovative ICT projects like the virtual classroom and virtual offices also contribute towards
school innovation.

Audiovisual ressouces that teachers can use freely in the classroom

Virtual class project:
The ICT directorate initiated the virtual class project for teachers and trainers in teacher
training institutions (IUFM) with a call for proposals in 2004. 48 pedagogical teams have
been accepted. The project aims at:
     Enabling IUFM personal to experiment with online and video training, in an intra or
        inter-institution context.
     Favouring the multiplication of experiments and the comparison of their results.
     Teachers should explore the practicalities of the 'virtual class' and/or the
        'synchronized online reunion' to exchange on pedagogical practices and teaching

Interactive whiteboards (IWB):
This project aims at widening the use of ICT in schools. A partnership with the ministry of
Education and 5 interactive whiteboards manufacturers (GTCO-CalComp, Hitachi,
Polyvision, Promethean, SmartBoard) has been set up.
See :

Virtual learning environments ou Virtual offices (VLEs - ENT 'Espace Numériques de
Travail' in French):
France aims to provide 100% of French teaching institutions with internet connections and
to increase the number of on-line offices.

4. Content and Services

The Action Plan for the Publication of Digital Teaching Materials (SCHENE) was launched
in 2004 and marks a strategic turning point. For the first time, the Ministry of Education, in
association with the publishing industry, has taken the initiative to meet the demand by
publishing an action plan for producing the digital content requested by teachers.

Regional groups of educational experts specializing in various fields of study or cross-
disciplinary studies were set up and entrusted with :

- Taking stock of existing resources (products available, products for which awareness
needs to be increased or which need to be promoted or improved)

- Determining, for each aspect of a subject's programme, which digital products are needed
in order to address teaching-related issues.

Four calls for proposal have been published from 2005 to 2008. The last call for project
(2008) included for the fist time the necessity of digital content for primary school and
special needs.

A multimedia commission has studied 72 projects, and offered a subvention to 28 projects.

Products recognised as having educational value (RIP)
The Ministry of Education has registered a RIP label (Recognised as having educational
value by the Ministry for Education" with the INPI, the official French trademark
The RIP label is designed to help teachers who use multimedia educational tools.
Software and multimedia designs that meet the needs and expectations of the education
system are identified by a special logo awarded after assessment by teachers and specialists
in the field, and based on a final decision by a multimedia commission.
All manufacturers and publishers of multimedia products from French-speaking countries
and/or European Union member countries can apply for the label.
Applications can be made throughout the year by registering the product with the Ministry
of National Education. Authorisation to use the RIP label is awarded to products meeting
specific educational criteria based on an assessment and decision by the multimedia
Around 750 products have been recognised as having educational value.
List of RIP products categorised by level and subject:

Support services

The Ministry of National Education has adopted a policy of support for the development of
multimedia educational resources with the aim of providing the educational community
with quality products that meet their needs and the aims of the education system. A system
designed to support the production of digital content for teaching was subsequently outlined
in the Official Education Bulletin (BOEN) of 10 September 1998 and updated in BOEN
no 9 of 10 August 2000 .

Since the system was set up in September 1998, 200 digital resources and service
development projects have been provided with assistance (150 for primary and secondary
schools and 50 for higher education). The average grant per project is €57,000.

Emerging technologies

Blogs and their rapid expansion present a pedagogical signification. Young people can
express themselves on a multimedia basis and also exchange information using Rss
National network

Educnet is the French national portal for ICT in education. It provides reference texts from
the ministerial policy for the development of new technologies and details on how this
policy is implemented.

Virtual educational services for teachers and students

Networks, virtual offices or electronic school bags, on-line services, and user assistance. All
students and teachers, from nursery school through to the final year of secondary school,
will have access to a virtual office. One to one experiences are also led in "Les Landes" and
the "Bouches du Rhône"district see

Partnerships/ initiatives to provide schools with hardware

Several companies, bodies and organisations have chosen to provide their assistance in
achieving the objectives regarding the development of ICT in education.

5. Teacher Training for ICT

ICT Integration in initial and in service training

ICT is part of all initial training. The government is responsible for organising teacher
training and support for schools - middle and secondary schools are public organisations
with a board of governors, and primary schools are local establishments.

The IUFM (Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maitres - Academic Institute for Teacher
Training), provides initial training,

The education authority provides continuous training (sometimes with teachers from the

   -    Teacher Training Programme

       In view of the upcoming intensive recruitment drive for teaching personnel, the
       widespread usage of ICT in teacher training institutions takes on vital importance.
       This "ICT training and support programme" aims to broaden and systematize
       ICT training, and to support actions targeting the entire educational community.

       The "C2i level 2" for teachers (published in the Official Bulletin(B.O.) of 11
       March 2004) aims to validate the professional skills required by all teachers for
       performing the pedagogical, educational and societal aspects of their job.
       The goal of the "Training and support for trainers" project is to ensure that ICT
       is fully integrated into the various subject areas and the cross-disciplinary
       pedagogical activities.

       The "Support for university personnel" project aims to train and encourage
       teachers/researchers to put ICT and university network infrastructures to use in their

       The "Training and support of education managers (headmasters, head
       teachers)" project is intended to promote the professional use of ICT on a daily
       basis by all education managers in order to give consistency to the full range of
       actions already in place (B2i, teacher training, equipment projects, etc.).

Type of Training Provided

Distance- training and self-training are to be used along with on-site training to help achieve
the objective of ensuring that existing school staff, including teachers, management and
supervising staff, become ICT literate with minimal disruption to the school.

The main goals for teacher training are:
   - Embed the use of ICT in the training and specifically the pre service of teachers
      since there will be for the coming years a high level of renewal of teachers ;

   -   Help the every day and professional for all staff to provide a coherence between all
       actions led on training level with B2I, C2I, training of teacher, infrastructure and
       equipment ;

   -   Promote and experiment new online training

   -   Show the possibilities of self distance training

   -   Present the training offers online

Support for different actors

Training is provided to manage change and networks are formed for collaborative work.
The link with the inspectorate is also very important to reach commons involvements.
Tools are provided such as:
Virtual Office: all students and teachers, from nursery school through to the final year of
secondary school, will have access to a virtual office. The project's global cost, excluding
personnel costs, is estimated at 60 million euros.

The "Bureau Virtuel des personnels de l'éducation nationale" (also called I-prof) is an open
source online desk for education professionals, with communication tools, personal
information (such as information aimed at teachers concerning their career), a space to store
documents …

ICT competence targets/Assessment Schemes
The IT certificate C2i (level1) at bachelor level is mandatory to enter the teacher training
institutes (IUFM). Level 1 is to enable students to master the skills that are now
indispensable for pursuing higher education programmes and to become capable of
developing these skills as the technology itself develops.
Level two of the certificate recognises skills at the end of the university. It aims at ICT
competencies that are necessary for personal and professional use of ICT.

Pairformance : on-line collaborative training
The goal of the Pairform@nce scheme is to help teachers develop skills that enable them to
integrate ICTEs into their professional practices in order to adapt their teaching to a diverse
range of school audiences and to their environment, and to develop attitudes adapted to
working as part of a team or network.
The aim is to promote the development of the use of ICTEs in schools and, more generally,
to foster the development of professionalism in teaching based on personal experience and
that of teaching colleagues.
This scheme is aimed both at primary and secondary teachers.
Training-course scenarios offer activities – both individual and collective, face-to-face and
remote – and resources, including both generic resources (found in most courses) and those
specific to the course subject. They are implemented on the Pairform@nce national remote
working platform.

6. Infrastructure and Access
Computer per student ratio (figures 2006)

Secondary schools in France (and DOM) are well equipped with computers. On average
there are 7 computers per student in lower secondary schools (colleges), 4.9 computers per
student in upper secondary schools (lycées- technical and general) and 3.7 computers per
student in vocational schools (lycées professionnels).

Use of Internet and Internet Safety (figures 2006)

More than 98% of secondary schools have access to the Internet for pedagogical purposes.
89 % of primary schools and 60.7 % of pre-elementary schools have Internet access.
Security measures for network protection are installed in 85.6% of the lower secondary
schools (colleges), in 94% of upper secondary school (general and technical lycées) and in
91.1% of vocational schools. Much less but still around 50% of primary education institutes
(maternelle et primaire) have network protection installed.

Virtual Office

The ministry promotes the deployment of real digital workspaces or “virtual offices” that
offer a consistent set of digital services: collaborative work, school and student life issues,
the provision and management of digital resources and more.

By hiding technical complexity, “virtual offices” allow users to focus on the benefits of ICT
for learning within the school.
This collection of customised, secure online services, accessible to students, teachers, other
members of the education community and parents in particular, is currently offered to
almost 300,000 users.

A virtual office lets students access their timetable, textbooks and notes online, consult the
information resources and course components made available by their teachers, and
collaborate with their fellow students.

To top