Go Digital! Culture at your Fingertips
'Go Digital! Culture at your Fingertips' is a good practice example of initiatives aiming to further the digital skills of marginalised groups and parts of society often excluded from digital society. The project was funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and took place in 6 European countries, over the period from 2016 to 2019.
Coordinated by the Elk Cultural Centre in Poland, the EU-funded project brings together several partners from all around Europe, including the Swedish Folkuniversitetet, the non-profit viaindustriae organisation in Italy, the Czech Republic's Glafka, the Alytus Culture Centre in Lithuania, and the Ljudska univerza Rogaška Slatina (LURS) in Slovenia.
Background and aims
'Go Digital! Culture at your Fingertips' is an attempt to offer a positive window into digital competence and technology to seniors. Albeit to varying degrees, older people in Europe are faced with similar challenges: lowered financial resources, growing degrees of social isolation and loneliness, and risk of further isolation. Within the project's scope, the Go Digital Catalogue included a wide range of trainings tailored to seniors, helping them develop specific skills to make them fit for an increasingly digitalised world. In effect, the project aims to provide an array of activities that can support the development of digital skills in those above the age of 50, by linking digital events with cultural ones.
Why is this a good practice?
An interesting aspect of 'Go Digital! Culture at your Fingertips' is its tailored approach to learning outcomes and goals, which led to the project's success in terms of breaking apart stereotypes when it comes to ways older people use the internet. This is partly due to the sound research framework behind the project, which pointed towards the reasons older people use the internet (and want to learn digital skills): to communicate with the world, and find information online. Training courses and catalogue content were therefore curated to respond to these 2 different underlying motivations to upskill.
The initiative and its resources were developed in a way so they are accessible to anyone, regardless of their digital competence level. At all times, the focus remained on quality, meaning that seniors were encouraged to continue developing their curiosity by using digital tools, even if they did not understand much about technological equipment in general. The programme's training content was also underpinned by these motivations, an aspect that facilitated replication and re-use.
Its transnational dimension also supported the exploitation and subsequent re-using of results and outputs: it ran simultaneously in 6 countries (Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden), involving partners that work in adult education, with extensive knowledge of lifelong learning strategies and the provision of digital skills training in different settings. The project was successful in bringing together a wide community of stakeholders in adult and digital education, and laid good foundations for further adaptation and replication in other contexts and regions.