Towards a sustainable digital agenda - the workshop is now opened
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Technology must be part of the daily learning environment. The role of Member States is seen as essential by the European Commission. What are the obstacles that exist at the Member States level and how can they be overcome. The principle of subsidiarity is clearly established from the start of the meeting. The Member States will have to bear the responsibility to implement the new learning environments.
Mainstream elearning in education and training is a main objective. It is interested to note that the word "elearning" is back on the public agenda. elearning is no longer seen as a training tool but as a policy instrument, a paradigm for new learning environments that directly apply to the educative systems in the Member States.
Markku Markkula introduces the workshop on the role of ICT in modernistation of education and training across Europe. Markku gives an overview from the Regions point of view. It is important to understand the crucial role the regions are playing on the education scene in Europe. The main challenge lies in the mobilisation of the key actors to make elearning a "mainstream". Stakeholder engagement appears to be a keyword for the innovation in education.
Markku introduces a new approach to the "digital divide". The gap nowadays lies in the the application of research knowledge into real life practice. Europe is to slow in implementing research results in real life. How to move on requires a new dynamic of our reional ecosystems. The regions can be effective in creating cooperation frameworks that will achieve a quicker diffusion of innovation in our daily practices in all educative settings, formal or non formal.
Ecosystems can best be described today as isolated islands. There is therefore a need to energize the ecosystems and create new connections between complementary actors in the field. the example of Finland with Nokia, Rovio, Aalto University, EIT ICT Lab, Tapiola Garden city are part of a whole urban planning project to integrate skills in a better way and achieve a "local digital agenda" platform.
It is interesting to see how the issue of digital agenda reproduces the vision of the Agenda 21 making the local application essential to its success. We are talking for the sake of sustainable development of Agenda 21 and local Agenda 21 based on participation of citizens in the design of actions to be taken locally. The same should happen for the digital agenda.
Community building is therefore a major challenge if we want to create genuine cooperative ICT-based environments. The word learning takes us back to a broad semantic field: cooperation, participation, mutual learning, partnership. ICT is a tool to make these words effective in our daily lives.