Europe requires educated e-citizens to ensure future competitiveness and innovation. To approach this issue, a spectrum of actions are needed: enhancing basic digital literacy and e-Inclusion among all citizens and bridging the digital divide; ensuring citizens have the right ICT skills for their jobs, through to educating and training effective, high level ICT professionals. Numerous actions are already launched by many stakeholders tackling the issues from various perspectives, including teachers, parents, trainers, carers and other key ‘gatekeepers’ of digital literacy.
This initiative is a mechanism to enhance cooperation and exchange between education and training, ICT industry and industry federations, international, national and local government, NGOs and all other relevant stakeholders. The action should include awareness-raising based on a personalized view of the benefits of ICT, access to training opportunities, policy and practice exchange, online resources underpinned by a pan-EU network of experts active in the field.
If you are active in the fight against the digital divide and have ideas on how to improve wellbeing and inclusion of people through digital literacy and skills then you should contribute to the Gdansk roadmap.
The roadmap is a collaborative text from and for digital Inclusion practitioners across Europe. It aims to gather concrete solutions to our common problems; show what you - as an eInclusion practitioner - are already doing; mobilise support and tools from relevant decision makers and sectors.
It is planned that the contributors with the most concrete inputs will be invited to present the most important issues from the Roadmap to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the digital agenda. The Roadmap will be discussed and adopted by the delegates of the Gdansk conference on Innovation for Digital Inclusion, 5-7 October 2011 (you can still register to the conference!).
The draft roadmap is expecting your contributions before Wednesday September 28, 2011.
Digital literacy is one of the priorities of the Digital Agenda for Europe. The roadmap draws on stakeholder expertise and is interested also in YOUR contribution.
This report presents the findings of a comparative study on ICT use for L2 acquisition by adult migrants in the Netherlands and Sweden. For both countries, it provides information on their policy context and the requirements regarding L2 knowledge by adult migrants, on the ICT provision for L2 education and a qualitative snapshot of the role of ICTs for L2 education for adult migrants according to some key informants in both countries. Moreover, it supplies 5 case studies (3 for the Netherlands, 2 for Sweden), where the impact of ICTs for L2 acquisition has been investigated through ethnographic research, highlighting driving factors and barriers for the integration of selected ICT tools in the L2 provision for adult migrants.
The Links-up (Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society - Understanding the Picture) and the FREE (Fostering Return to Employment through Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity) projects, two outstanding EU funded initiatives, are organising their closing events on 22-23 September 2011 at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, in Building A (20-22 Egry J. Street, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary) to offer their audiences their highly valuable research findings, products and services. Both the Links-up and the FREE projects are co-funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme and will be finishing shortly after this jointly organised conference.
Web 2.0 for Social Inclusion
The Links-up Final Conference, titled “Web 2.0 for Social Inclusion: Bridging Practices and Policies” will draw a picture of the ‘landscape’ of ‘Learning 2.0 for Inclusion’ by reviewing what has been done in the academic and research field, and what has been achieved by practitioners working on the ground in projects that have been using Web 2.0 to work with disadvantaged groups. Links-up will also report on a series of ‘action research experiments’, collaborating with ‘live pilot’ projects working in the field, to evaluate the added contribution Web 2.0 can make to practices that use learning to support social inclusion. Links-up, therefore, contributes to build a grounded as well as integrated evidence base in the field of Web 2.0, Learning 2.0 and Inclusion 2.0 in order to formulate realistic and feasible recommendations for future political actions and practical interventions.
Entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity
The FREE International Seminar offers in its programme a workshop where participants will have an opportunity to carry out in depth exploration of the features and contents of the FREE Interactive Tool, developed for the benefit of counsellors, tutors, trainers and other professionals working with unemployed people interested in starting a business. This experimentation will be facilitated by the members of the project partnership. In a following round table discussion you may exchange your opinion and experiences with your colleagues about the previously discussed or other related topics.
Synergies between and beyond
The two projects join forces in offering specifically dedicated sessions, where you will be introduced to other projects and initiatives that have similar focus to that of the FREE and Links-up. Would you have something relevant to contribute or share, bring your flyers and make sure you have enough business cards to give to the colleagues you will meet during these two busy days.
The participation at both events is free of charge, however only pre-registered participants may attend and the places are limited. To safeguard your attendance, please fill in the online registration form not later than 12 September 2011. Would you have any questions or enquiries about the projects and the detailed programmes of the two days, please contact Gábor Cser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commission has just published the general call for proposals for 2012 for participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme. Through the programme the EU enables people of all ages to gain experience through studies, training or learning abroad and supports co-operation between schools, universities and enterprises in different European countries.
Funding under the 2012 call will follow five priorities:
- Develop strategies for lifelong learning and mobility
- Encourage cooperation between the worlds of education, training and work
- Support initial and continuous training of teachers, trainers and education and training institutions' managers
- Promote the acquisition of key competences throughout the education and training system
- Promote social inclusion and gender equality in education and training, including the integration of migrants and Roma
These overarching priorities reflect main issues at stake of the political agenda for education and training in the European Union.
All information needed to apply for participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme, in particular the priorities of the Call for Proposals 2012 and the Guide to the programme, are available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/llp/doc848_en.htm
Deadlines for the submission of applications
The main deadlines are as follows:
Comenius Individual Pupil Mobility
1 December 2011
Comenius, Grundtvig: in-service training
first deadline: 16 January 2012
further deadlines: 30 April 2012; 17 September 2012
31 January 2012
Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig: multilateral projects, networks and accompanying measures
2 February 2012
Leonardo da Vinci: multilateral projects for the Transfer of Innovation
2 February 2012
Leonardo da Vinci: Mobility (including the Leonardo da Vinci mobility certificate); Erasmus: Intensive Language Courses (EILC)
3 February 2012
Jean Monnet programme
15 February 2012
Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig: partnerships; Comenius: Comenius Regio partnerships; Grundtvig: workshops
21 February 2012
Erasmus: intensive programmes (IP), students mobility for studies and placements (including the Erasmus consortium placement certificate) and staff mobility (teaching assignments and staff training)
9 March 2012
Grundtvig: Assistantships, Senior Volunteering Projects
30 March 2012
Transversal programme: Key activity 1 — Study visits
first deadline: 30 March 2012
second deadline: 12 October 2012
Transversal programme: all other activities
1 March 2012
To know more
- The Lifelong Learning Programme – an overview
The European Commission proposed a new package of measures to facilitate migrant's integration through language learning, easier access to employment, education and training, plus efforts to fight discrimination.
Migrants to the EU bring with them not only diversity, but also the potential to make a valuable contribution to economic growth and stability.EU citizens and migrants alike agree that integration requires language skills, employment, respect for the local culture and an unambiguous legal status.
As Europe's population ages and birth rates remain low, migrants can help sustain the EU economy and finance national welfare systems. But not unless they are fully integrated into their host countries.
A new package of measures proposed by the Commission would facilitate integration through language learning, easier access to employment, education and training, plus efforts to fight discrimination.
Integration policies are the responsibility of national governments. But the EU can offer support and incentives - through funding, policy coordination and facilitating the exchange of best practices. The new measures would encourage action at local level, including cooperation between local authorities, employers, migrant organisations, service providers and local residents.
Each EU country, region or city would choose the measures most appropriate for its circumstances, and EU-wide indicators would monitor the results.
Progress should not be difficult, given the results from a recent Eurobarometer survey on migrant integration, which show that both EU citizens and migrants largely agree on the factors that help integration.
Conducted in March and April 2011, the survey found agreement that more effort is needed from all sides - from governments, migrants themselves and the general public.
EU citizens and migrants alike have similar views on the factors influencing integration. Speaking the language of the host nation, being able to work, respecting the local culture and enjoying an unambiguous legal status were the top four factors - with language being the most important for both groups.
Both also agreed on the importance of interaction at work and in schools, and on the detrimental impact of segregation between neighbourhoods.
The EU is home to 20.1 million migrants from non-EU countries, around 4% of the population.
Integration is a process that starts on the ground and integration policies should be developed with a genuine 'bottom-up' approach, close to the local level. Such policies include actions such as support for language learning, introductory measures, access to employment, education and vocational training and the fight against discrimination, which all aim at increasing migrants' participation in society.
In March 2012, OBESSU will hold a Study Session on the topic of disabilities thanks to the financial support of the Council of Europe. Disabilities and education is a very relevant and current topic and it is important to discover the European framework as well.
The area of Education and Training is a very special cause and very close to OBESSU’s values and standpoints. The topic of disability is also present in the European Commission’s strategic framework “Education and Training 2020" within its objective to “promote inclusive education and lifelong learning for pupils and students with disabilities”. By the use of this framework the Commission has a more powerful instrument to try to influence national level education policies.
On 15th November 2010 the European Commission adopted the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 setting new goals within the framework of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The United Nations Convention sets the minimum standards that each country should achieve regarding the safeguard and well-being of people with disabilities. In Europe there are around 80 million people falling within the scope of the UN Convention: they often live at the edge of our society and not every Member State is doing the same to help and integrate them. The EU Disability Strategy aims at making it easier for people with disabilities to go about their daily lives like everyone else and enjoy their rights as an EU citizen.
The Strategy contains the 8 “Areas of Action” where improvement is needed: Accessibility, Participation, Equality, Employment, Education and training, Social protection, Health, and External Action.
2012 is the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. A chance for all of us to reflect on how Europeans are living longer and staying healthier than ever before — and to realise the opportunities that represents.
Vodafone Foundation launched the Smart Accessibility Awards. This is a new competition to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities and older people to help them become more actively involved in society.
The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
Launched in Brussels at the EU Digital Assembly, the competition will award the best Smartphone application across four different categories as follows:
- 1. Social participation: This refers to applications which help users to participate actively in today’s society and benefit from the facilities that the new technologies can offer, whatever their age, disability and/or capacity (E.g. use the web and social media through mobile devices, contact people using mobile devices to the same extent as everyone, etc).
- 2. Independent living: This refers to applications which help users to be more autonomous and perform daily tasks independently (e.g. using domestic appliances such as washing machine or refrigerator, opening doors safely, etc).
- 3. Mobility: This refers to applications which enable users to move around more freely and safely using the whole range of transport modes. It can also refer to the use of mobile devices to be guided in unknown environment (e.g. using GPS option, etc).
- 4. Wellbeing: This refers to applications which improve the users’ health and as well as overall feeling of wellbeing.
The total prize fund of 200,000€ will be split equally between the four winners. The competition is open from 14 June 2011 to 15 October 2011. All entries should be submitted to http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/
All qualifying entries will be evaluated in November by a jury, consisting of representatives from AGE Platform Europe, European Disability Forum and Vodafone Foundation. Twelve finalists will be selected and requested to present their application before the final jury in Brussels in early December at a live final, where the four overall winners will be chosen.
Vodafone Foundation Director, Andrew Dunnett said “The Vodafone Foundation is keen to help as many people as possible benefit from new technologies. The Smart Accessibility Awards will help developers create apps that can really make a difference to people’s lives – we are thrilled to be able to support such an important initiative.”
Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe Secretary General, said “We are pleased to be involved in a project that supports our efforts towards building a more inclusive society. Digital inclusion is key to ensuring as many people as possible remain actively involved in their communities and we should make sure every citizen is empowered to do so, whatever their age or capacities. We hope this competition will help reach that goal and also contribute to the ‘European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ where the objective is to increase older people’s active participation in society and promote independent living in old age. ”
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Executive Member, said; “Being part of this competition is very important for us. Communication technologies are vital to making possible the inclusion of persons with disabilities. When the mobile applications are not accessible, it can create new obstacles and can lead to new forms of discrimination. We look forward to seeing accessible apps.”