Pandemic Acceleration: Covid-19 and the emergency digitalization of European education

Lucas Cone*, Katja Brøgger, Mieke Berghmans, Mathias Decuypere, Annina Förschler, Emiliano Grimaldi, Sigrid Hartong, Thomas Hillman, Malin Ideland, Paolo Landri, Karmijn van de Oudeweetering, Catarina Player-Koro, Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Linda Rönnberg, Danilo Taglietti, Lanze Vanermen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


With schools and universities closing across Europe, the Covid-19 lockdown left actors in the field of education battling with the unprecedented challenge of finding a meaningful way to keep the wheels of education turning online. The sudden need for digital solutions across the field of education resulted in the emergence of a variety of digital networks and collaborative online platforms. In this joint article from scholars around Europe, we explore the Covid-19 lockdowns of physical education across the European region, and the different processes of emergency digitalization that followed in their wake. Spanning perspectives from Italy, Germany, Belgium, and the Nordic countries, the article’s five cases provide a glimpse of how these processes have at the same time accelerated and consolidated the involvement of various commercial and non-commercial actors in public education infrastructures. By gathering documentation, registering dynamics, and making intimations of the crisis as it unfolded, the aim of the joint paper is to provide an opportunity for considering the implications of these accelerations and consolidations for the heterogeneous futures of European education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-868
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Educational Research Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • boundary spanning
  • Covid-19
  • Digitalization
  • platformization
  • public education
  • soft privatization


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