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How will you contribute to the Digital Decade?

Digital Decade sets out goals for 2030: 80% of Europeans with basic digital skills + 20 million ICT specialists. 

The European Commission or National Governments will not be able to achieve this alone, the actions need to take place at all levels – in schools, at universities, at work, in offices, in libraries etc.  
Enterprises cannot rely on the Government to train everyone, this is a shared responsibility and the big players need to help the small ones.  

What will you do to help Europe reach the Digital Decade objectives?
How will you train yourself, your colleagues, your business partners or people in your community? 

Please share your ideas, suggestions and experience! 

"What will you do to help Europe reach the Digital Decade objectives?

For 20 years, I have been organising a successful live event where teachers learn from each other about digital skills, edtech, STEM, media literacy, IT tools, IT management and IT policy in more than 100 hands-on workshops. Every year, 1000 teachers and principals from all primary, secondary or high schools or schools for adult education in Flanders (Belgium) attend. The roadmap to organise this event can also be translated to other European countries with the right partners.

An event like this is unique because it is built bottom-up, with input from the teachers, who  propose topics and workshops to train other teachers. These trainers are highly qualified, well evaluated and experienced. By subscribing for the event, the participating teachers decide via crowd-sourcing what the popular themes are and which workshops they want to attend.  The workshops are hands-on, BYOD and with max 25 teachers per workshop.

An event like this easily has the support of various IT partners who promote their offer at an edtech fair. For me as an organiser it's important to have a huge emphasis on live networking, interaction and knowledge sharing. This is not a classic educational fair, but rather a major event to professionalise hundreds of teachers.

ONLINE EDUCATIONAL EVENT

I've organised this event online for the first time in May 2021. Still with hands-on trainings, virtual fair, interaction, conversation starters, .... It was one of the biggest educational online events with almost 250 workshops of 30 to 120 minutes during a whole week. It became a huge success with 1500 participants and trainers who joined one or more of these workshops, a whole week long! What a vibe :)

The impact of this yearly event on IT skills for teachers can't be neglected.

Our (online) approach can also be translated to other European countries.
I am happy to share my expertise in online event platforms - which one do you choose for what purpose? - and to share my roadmap to organise live and online events for education in a European project with various partners. 

Contact me via hans@ictdag.be (Hans De Four - https://linkedin.com/in/hansdefour).

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How will you contribute to the Digital Decade?

As the Czech National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs (or DigiKoalice), we are committed to contribute to the objectives of the Digital Decade.

We are a common platform of the Minsitry of Education, Youth and Sports and the National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech republic. As such we are focusing mainly on digital education. Since we are operating under state institutions we are also supporting the dialogue and partnership of private and public authorities (so called PPP).

For instance, we are organizing regular meetups throughout the year between our member organizations and public authorities. These meetups are either focused on certain topic (e.g. virtual and augmented reality), on supporting certain change (e.g. revision of curriculum of the informatics) or related to the discussion about our activities (e.g. a brainstorming about the topic for this years’ DigiEduHack). Those meetups are usually of top-bottom character but the vast majority of events are with representatives of schools and relevant stakeholders. Apart from the national meetups, we are also initiating and participating in international meetups (e.g. with Belgium National Coalition or in the V4 area).

In addition, we are running two focus groups uniting the relevant stakeholders in each of the topics. One deals with the primary prevention in an online environment, the other on the digital infrastructure of schools.

Besides meetups and focus groups, we are regularly communicating what’s new in the area of digital education through our website or social media channels. We are active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where we share posts about interesting (national/european) initiatives, events or best practices.

Furthermore, we are participating in the Europe Code Week and DigiEduHack. Meanwhile Code Week supports computational thinking and draws attention to the much needed development of digital skills at schools, DigiEduHack focuses on topics and challenges of the future. DigiEduHack is an initiative allowing everyone who participate to share their views on the innovations in education.

Thanks to the financial support from CEF grant, we are now able to modernize our website and to deliver even wider offer from the Digital Skills and Jobs agenda. Also, it is great that we will be able to share the best practice with European colleagues and vice versa.

Contact us via digikoalice@npi.cz.

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How will you and your organisation contribute to closing the digital skills gap in Europe? 

We have asked people from businesses, NGOs, schools and other organisations. Watch the video here

Don't forget to share your ideas, suggestions and experience!

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How can we work together to support lifelong learning and to reach the Digital Decade Targets? 

Within its newest Skills Outlook edition, the OECD has launched the discussion on how countries can best support lifelong learning for all and help individuals develop skills that are needed to succeed in the 21 century’s labour markets. Especially in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of strong skills is essential to move towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery.  

The OECD points out that digital skills have contributed to building resilience during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly through remote working or schooling. In the longer term, the effect of the pandemic on jobs is expected to interact with existing structural changes such as digitalisation and population ageing, increasing the demand for digital competencies and occupations in the healthcare sector. 

Concrete policy recommendations are provided by the OECD, to help our economies bridge the existing skill gap and enhance lifelong learning opportunities: 

  1. Place learners at the centre of learning: Diversified learning opportunities can enhance the quality of education and training. They can also empower individuals to make relevant choices, thus sustaining their motivation to participate in lifelong learning. Policy design must be inclusive, accessible and adaptable. 
  1. Skills for a lifetime: Life learning rests on strong foundation skills, the willingness to learn and the habit of learning. Policies should harness the power of technology, but doing so considering the effects technology can have on existing skills inequalities and the creation of new ones. 
  1. Strong coordination is needed to support learning providers in developing high quality, inclusive learning: Policies should build strong coordination, knowledge management and information sharing to bring learning programmes to scale. They should also be oriented towards enhancing the transferability of the skills taught in these programmes. Partnerships across different actors should be promoted to create synergies and maximise learning opportunities. 

What is your opinion on those policy recommendations? How can different European actors work together to support lifelong learning and to reach the Digital Decade Targets?

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Lessons learned from the pandemic: how can we keep improving our digital skills?

The COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-ranging impacts have accelerated digital skills demand in ICT-related and non-ICT occupations. According to the European Centre’s for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) report ‘Digital skills: challenges and opportunities during the pandemic (2021)’, digital skills have become a necessity for workers in most sectors, including the ones where digitalisation and remote work was previously a less straightforward option, such as food and accommodation, wholesale and retail trade or arts and recreation. 

Within its research, Cedefop has examined data from online job advertisements to assess the digital skill demand in light of the recent pandemic. The analysis shows that approximately one in five skills demanded in job ads is digital competence. It is expected that the growing workplace digitalisation, once ingrained into organisations’ business models and customer behaviour, could become permanent, even after the pandemic subsides.  

According to Cedefop, much work remains to be done in Continuing Vocational and Educational Training (CVET) to close the digital skill gap of adults. Furthermore, training teachers and trainers in digital competencies is essential so that they can effectively support learners is an underdeveloped area in many national skill systems. 

Do you agree with those suggestions? In your experience, what are the lessons learned from the pandemic? And what is needed to close the digital skill gap of European citizens working in various sectors?

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 Have your say on the EU’s 2030 Digital Decade vision! 

Share your innovative ideas on how the EU and the Member States should design digital rules and regulations to ensure that all citizens will benefit from digitalisation!  

In the context of the Digital Decade, the European Commission has launched a public consultation to collect views from citizens, businesses, particularly SMEs, Member States and public authorities, and all interested stakeholders. The consultation focuses on the need and vision for accelerating the EU’s digital transformation and how this can be achieved. The contributions will be used to shape a policy programme to enable the achievement of the Digital Decade targets.   

The consultation is open until 3 August 2021. Read more about the consultation and how you can participate here.  

Basic digital skills for European citizens and an increase of digital technology experts are imperative to ensure an inclusive and successful digitalisation process: 

  • What advice and suggestions would you like to provide to the EU and Member States to ensure that these targets are met?  
  • Do you know of good practices and initiatives that can be inspirational for others to improve the environment for digital skills?  

Share your thoughts and experiences below!  

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