The crisis has highlighted the major role which adult learning can play in achieving the Europe 2020 goals, by enabling adults - in particular the low-skilled and older workers - to improve their ability to adapt to changes in the labour market and society. Adult learning provides a means of upskilling or re-skilling those affected by unemployment, restructuring and career transitions, as well as makes an important contribution to social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development.
Technologies are increasingly being used in society and the economy, and this is transforming ways of working, studying, communicating, accessing information and spending leisure time, among others. Attention must be paid to ensuring that everyone has digital competence as it provides important benefits while its lack can lead to various risks to children, young people, workers, elderly, groups at risk of exclusion and all citizens in general. It is not always clear however what is meant with digital competence. Therefore, the IS Unit at JRC-IPTS has launched a project to develop guidelines for supporting digital competence development in Europe on the request of DG Education and Culture.
This report reviews needs for digital competence, different concepts used to describe and understand it, and related policy approaches and measurements. Based on these, it suggests a conceptual model with the following main areas:
- Instrumental knowledge and skills for tool and media usage;
- Advanced skills and knowledge for communication and collaboration, information management, learning and problem-solving, and meaningful participation;
- Attitudes to strategic skills usage in intercultural, critical, creative, responsible and autonomous ways.
Instrumental knowledge and skills are a precondition for developing or using more advanced skills. The objective of the conceptual model is to highlight the various knowledge, skill and attitude areas that should be considered when developing digital competence. The proposed structure allows flexibility and the concept to be tailored to different target groups of digital competence learners and users.
The European Commission has established the e-Inclusion Awards to raise awareness, encourage participation and recognise excellence and good practice in using ICT and digital technology to tackle social and digital exclusion across Europe.
The scheme ran for the first time in 2008 (view the winners).
The 2012 eInclusion awards will underline the work done by intermediaries and encourage the dissemination of good training practices in the special award category "we are the champions". The other award category is "I am digitally driven" and will highlight the impact of digital skills on life prospects, with special focus on employability, re-skilling, visible improvement in socio economic situation of groups at risk of exclusion.
Participants are asked: "Show or tell me your personal story of digital empowerment: How did ICT make a difference for you? And how we can use that learning to better support digital champions around Europe?
Method of participation to the call will be submission of audiovisual material.
Key criteria for selection will be:
1) demonstrated positive impact of the initiatives presented on individuals' employability and wellbeing
2) creativity and quality of the material submitted in support of the entry. The story told should inspire and encourage other organisations and individuals to take part in e-inclusion initiatives
The winners will be announced towards the 2012 Digital Assembly, where the Commission's reports on the progress of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
No monetary prize will be given.
Winners will be selected by independent experts.
Selection criteria, conditions for participation and details on how to enter will be available shortly on this page and announced in the e-inclusion newsletter.
The Awards will be opened to public administrations, private sector, voluntary organisations and individuals - within the EU Member States, Candidate Countries and EEA countries.
The call will be open for a duration of six months.
The LibrarySchool initiative was started some years ago within the world of the public libraries. In a society in transition, and in a time where more has to be done with less, the LibrarySchool wants to offer a for ‘high potentials’ within the library sector to develop new products. Initiator Bruynzeels hopes the community will become ‘a breeding ground for new ideas and innovations, where everybody learns from each other and is student and teacher at the same time’. The LibrarySchool will train future innovators but is also a community where students and colleagues share knowledge and gain new insights and so take library innovation forward. By establishing a direct link with everyday library practice, the School contributes to enhancing the innovative capacity of the sector as a whole.
Full speech of Neelie Kroes Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Digital Inclusion: putting Europe into top gear Innovation for Digital Inclusion Conference Gdansk, 05/10/2011
Innovation for Digital Inclusion Conference
Ladies and Gentlemen,
How good it is this conference happens in Poland – a country of creativity and entrepreneurship, and a country that also has undergone great transformation.
Transformation is both a challenge and an opportunity. For Poland, it started at the beginning of the 90s, the same time as the Internet came onto the scene. 20 years on, the challenges Europe faces demand another transformation. We have to cope with a financial crisis, rising unemployment, demographic change, and ever tougher competition in a global marketplace. We have to reinvent ourselves.
As Dante said, back in the Middle Ages, "some are waiting for the times to change. Others take the time to make a change". And, through your work helping Europe prepare for a digital future, you are doing that.
This digital transformation is geared to social innovation, and preparing for the economy of the future. That is the spirit of "Europe 2020", the EU's strategy to deliver growth for the future, and jobs which are smart, sustainable and inclusive.
The Digital Agenda for Europe is a key part of that strategy. Because, as Commission President Barroso put it last week in his State of the Union speech: "growth in the future will depend more and more on harnessing information technology." ICT has driven productivity and economic growth over the past decade. And it will continue to do so in the future. Because investment in ICT capital pays off. In fact, it pays off better than most other forms of capital investment: the "ICT dividend" amounts to an extra return of around 7 per cent. But only when accompanied by investment in intangible capital – that is, investment in people, in skills, in digital literacy.
We - companies, governments and civil society - must make that investment for the future, and skill up to face new challenges. And we must include everyone, we must get "Every European Digital" so that we can all benefit from "smart", innovation-based economic growth. In the 21st century labour market, being IT competent will be on a par with reading, writing and arithmetic.
As ICT pervades ever more aspects of our lives, ICT skills have become a must. We must integrate ICT into how we communicate, travel and do business; how we live, work, care.
Soon, 90% of jobs, whatever the sector, will require some level of digital literacy. But about 25% of all EU citizens have never touched the Internet. And Internet usage is particularly low - 20% lower in fact – among groups like the elderly, the poor, the lower-skilled and the unemployed. Even though these groups are more likely to be excluded in other ways, and would stand to gain the most from getting online. This link between digital and socio-economic exclusion must be kept in mind, because a "digital divide" could have significant social and economic consequences.
So how do we make sure everyone becomes digitally literate?
It's much like getting everyone driving. You need not just driving skills, but also high-quality roads, and safe and comfortable cars. By analogy, we need IT skills, high-speed broadband, and access to technology.
Let me briefly present what we in the Commission are doing to put Europe in digital "top gear".
First, the roads. The Digital Agenda sets clear targets to give every European access to basic broadband by 2013, and to fast and ultra fast broadband by 2020. To achieve that we are working together with the industry, and we are putting our money where our mouth is. On top of the substantial investment we have already made, such as through structural funds, we are proposing a new “Connecting Europe Facility”. This could leverage over €100 billion of private investment supporting deployment of broadband and pan-European digital public services. Supporting investment particularly in the harder-to-reach rural areas currently more at risk of exclusion.
Second, we must provide the cars: the technology. This is already developing fast. Aided partly by EU research and innovation funds, we spend well over a billion euros each year in the information society field. That includes projects which will help all users, like getting public sector websites fully accessible by 2015.
Consider the opportunities for expansion. For example, only 15% of over-65s currently use the Internet: imagine the new market for digital services and applications if we got them all digital. Especially given that, in fifty years' time, that population could double to 150 million people .
Finally it is the driving skills themselves that count: consumers should understand technology well enough to use it confidently. And our children, the generation of digital natives, should benefit from education systems that recognise the importance of ICT training in the digital age.
Getting there will take more than money. It takes effort too, a joint effort by everyone: people from public, private, education and voluntary sectors; innovators in technology and innovators in society; the centre of government and the grassroots. And an effort from our education systems too to modernise and improve education and training.
Earlier on I met some of those working out there in the field – our "local champions". I am impressed by their commitment, professionalism, and creativity, and at the great job they're doing. You, guys and girls, are the ones that always keep going and keep innovating, often with little money. In these times of crisis we need you even more. I want you to connect, to scale up, and to put digital literacy at the heart of social innovation and economic recovery.
That is why I am financing pilots in capacity building, so that experts in e-Inclusion can connect knowledge hubs, exchange information, and develop their best practices.
I have just been presented with the main outlines of what will become the Gdansk Roadmap. It has been a collaborative, Internet-based effort by local champions, experts and practitioners of digital literacy and e-Inclusion. I want to thank them all. But I also want to support them, because we need to tackle more of the problems they identify.
For the next period of the European Social Fund, we have proposed to prioritise digital literacy and digital competences, providing an important source of project financing.
And a common framework to recognise and certify ICT competences, which should make life easier for everyone; trainers, trainees, and recruiters.
And I want you to know, I am ready to fight or bang heads together, whatever it takes to get the right political support. We need the right combination of Ministers from different levels to move the agenda forward. All I ask in return is: please, let me know the results and the impact of your good work so I can go out there and spread the word.
To stimulate that, I am about to launch the Digital Empowerment Awards. Show me or tell me your personal story of digital empowerment: how ICT made a difference for you, and how we can use that experience to better support digital champions around Europe.
If we all commit to this, I am confident that we can meet the demand for e-skills in a digital, inclusive society.
I am confident, because I have seen examples working out there on the ground. I could list all of them that I found interesting or inspiring: but then we might be here all day. So instead I want you go out there, enjoy the sessions and the exhibition, and get yourselves inspired.
I come back to Dante. Let's not merely undergo change it, let's create it. Let's take the time during this event to see how to ensure all our efforts add up. Let's innovate together to work out a good future for Europe. And let's use our local and national champions as a source of inspiration and ideas. Because they know how to innovate under difficult conditions when resources are tight – and that's what we all need today!
The roadmap is a collaborative text from and for digital Inclusion practitioners across Europe. It aims to gather concrete solutions to common problems. This Roadmap is the result of a federated approach to which you all have contributed by demonstrating ownerships of its process, and at the same time an open and shared vision on what its Objectives should be like, what Actions should be taken and what Priorities should be considered. It is being discussed and adopted during Gdansk conference on Innovation for Digital Inclusion.
The Jury reviewed a pool of applicants from all regions of the world and all fields of education. The Winners were selected for their innovative approaches and positive impact upon societies and education, within the perennial theme of Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation and Inclusion.
Persons with disabilities have traditionally been excluded from receiving an equitable education as the result of attitudinal, physical and infrastructural barriers within educational systems and throughout wider society. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can enable persons with disabilities to receive an equitable education and facilitate them to reach their full potential as productive and integrated members within society. This policy guide provides policy makers with advice on the development of systematic and comprehensive policies that will contribute to the integration of persons with disabilities into the national educational systems through the use of ICTs.
The Conference “Innovation for Digital Inclusion”, organized within the framework of the official programme of the Polish Presidency of the European Union, is meant to provide:
- an overview of the most innovative and effective e-Inclusion initiatives in the EU and,
- in a wider context, to facilitate a discussion on the importance of the e-Inclusion policy to the delivery of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
This event is a great opportunity for both a practical level learning and for establishing a standard based on the good practices coming from national, regional and local levels.
Participants to the conference and representatives of the eCommunity (including the Big Idea, DAA workshop participants and MS e-Inclusion ad hoc group as multipliers) will write collaboratively a Gdansk roadmap. This would be a bottom-up process and a draft is to be proposed to Commissioner Neelie Kroes in mid-September for possible endorsement.
It is expected that the outcomes of the conference will also include an agreement between the partners from the EU member states to undertake a joint realization of a digital literacy promotion project.