Curriculum for Teaching Basic Digital Skills to Adults - Cyprus
The 'Curriculum for Teaching Basic Digital Skills to Adults' It is an Open Educational Resource (OER) available for free download from the website of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth. The curriculum was developed as part of government actions on adult education for the period 2014 to 2020, with the aim of promoting basic digital skills in adults.
Co-funded by Erasmus+, the development of the curriculum was by led by the Frederick University of Cyprus, involving a range of partners from all around Europe, including: Ljudska Univerza Ptuj in Slovenia, SOSU Østjylland (a secondary school in Aarhus, Denmark, with a focus on vocational education), the training provider Cebanc in Spain, the EOSA organisation in Spain, and the Greek consulting agency P-consulting.
Aims and objectives
The curriculum was developed with adult educators in mind, and more specifically, those that teach basic digital skills to adults, with little to no digital knowledge. It represents a useful tool for practitioners in adult education, wherever they are based - whether this is open schools, adult education institutions, or non-formal education and training centres. It can also be used by teachers to adults with a medium, or an upper level of digital skills.
The aim of the Cypriot curriculum is to offer a backdrop against which adults' knowledge and skills in technology use can be evaluated. Moreover, it gives IT teachers specific methods, techniques and exercises which they can use in each module and in each lesson. It also supports the professional development of educators themselves, including their knowledge of specific methods and techniques to use, depending on the topic they are teaching.
Why is this a good practice?
When developing digital skills for adults, the curriculum takes into consideration the need for practical skills that are aligned with individual educational and professional development goals. Another goal is to improve the quality of life of adult learners, whilst boosting their IT skills across a range of modules: basic digital skills, Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office Package, using the Internet, digital tools for learning, use of mobile applications, social media networks and others.
The Curriculum is relevant, with a clear structure, which is easily customisable. It covers 3 main levels (basic, medium, and good) to define basic digital skills proficiency. It also scores high when we look at flexibility and accessibility: each level is divided into bite-sized lessons of no more than 90 minutes each. This means that the framework can be adapted, used, and accessed by a variety of educators and also replicated to other contexts and regions.
In part, this is also due to the broad target audience the curriculum encompasses: apart from adults with low, middle, or upper digital skills, it can be used to teach basic ICT knowledge also to various groups such as the general adult population, elders, people in rural and less connected areas, the unemployed, the digitally-inactive, refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers.
Finally, the Curriculum for Teaching Basic Digital Skills to Adults is useful resource, which targets specific parts of society that end up, more often or not, excluded from digital life. One key example is seniors and older people, where the framework has brought considerable success in Cyprus, underpinning new legislation and guidelines on the modules teachers need to focus on. The curriculum also supports strongly the development of digital skills in the education system, recognising the need for teachers to upskill and develop professionally, especially in the context of their complex societal roles.