We are excited to introduce the Erasmus+ project SkillsMatch which aim is to provide capacity building to adult educators through the acquisition of essential digital skills. The project addresses the knowledge gap of adult educators regarding e-learning offers.
Nowadays, the quantity of online courses available online keeps increasing. Such an educational offer can be a considerable asset for adult educators who can use online courses as resources in their own curricula. And yet, and such a large online educational offer can be destabilizing for adult educators with basic digital skills who may not be able to search and find the appropriate e-course(s) for their teaching.
For this reason, the SkillsMatch project will help adult educators develop their digital skills to better answer the needs of their target groups. It will tackle the gap between the plethoric e-learning offer and the current skills of European adults educators. The project targets two specific groups: adult educators willing to upgrade their digital skills and designers of e-learning courses for adult educators (course providers).
To do so, the project will develop 3 results:
The project started in November 2020 and will last until October 2022. Our partnership gathers 7 partners from 6 different countries:
- Middlesex University, United Kingdom (coordinator)
- IDEC S.A., Greece
- Emphasys Ltd, Cyprus
- Pontydysgu SL, Spain
- P & W Project GMHB, Germany
- Eurocrea Merchant SRL, Italy
- Oracel TES Ltd, United Kingdom
The SkillsMatch team brings together experts in education, adult training and digital solutions development. We will soon release our first project result, the Online/mobile app designed for selecting the most appropriate e-learning courses, based on the MUSKET tool developed in Middlesex University. The overall objective of SkillsMatch is to enable adult educators to make the most out of digital educational resources and to further develop innovative practices in education in the EU.
From October 3-5, the third Learning Teaching Training Activity (LTTA) of the EU-funded project "T4T - Tools4Teaching in Digital Education Settings" took place in Athens, Greece. The host organization for mobility was MYARTIST, an organization with background and expertise in various fields and topics related to arts, culture, accessibility and inclusion.
In recent years, the share of young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) has shown a remarkable increase in many European countries, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria. The wide diffusion of NEETs represents an alarming social issue, as being NEET predisposes young people to long-term unemployment and social exclusion (EUROSTAT, 2019). More specifically, unemployment is generally higher among young people than prime age adults, and those who do work tend to have poorer-quality jobs and are much more likely to be on temporary contracts or to earn low wages than older workers. Moreover, young people with disabilities are twice as possible to be in a NEET situation as their peers without disabilities.
T4T is a project that aims to strengthen the ability of adult educators and training professionals to build and sustain effective group dynamics in digital education environments to better engage their online learners.
In a fast changing world, where digital technologies are becoming an important driver for the disruption of education, the need for capacity building of adult educators in digital skills become apparent. A large number of course providers now offer online trainings for educators, who want to upgrade their digital skills. However, this massive increase of online courses of different forms has made it hard for the potential learners to select the most appropriate course that will support them develop the competences they need and progress in their learning paths. In this context, SkillsMatch comes to support adult educators develop digital skills and support course providers to develop new e-learning courses covering the demand for skills.
The European Digital Learning Network – DLEARN – is a non-profit association aiming to embrace the challenges brought by the digital transformation in terms of digital skills mismatch and digital learning opportunities. The 47% of Europeans is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. We believe in the value of SHARING, CONNECTING, MULTIPLYING and ENHANCING the potential of our members, local territories, and people.
As part of our activities, at DLEARN we undertake research, surveys, studies, and more, with the aim of continuously boosting European education and enhancing the awareness of European citizens towards the impact of digitalisation in their daily life.
The present connected society is full of promises but the online world also brings dangers related to cyberbullying, social exclusion, fraud, false information, and many other potential problems. In general population is aware of these risks, as outlined but a recent study from European Parliament on Cybersecurity, where an 86 % of Europeans feel increasingly exposed to the risk of falling victim to cybercrime. The same document states that, in some Member States, 50% of all committed crimes are cybercrimes.
“Adult learning: it is never too late to learn” communication from the EC outlined that adult learning is a key issue to handle as the “essential contribution of adult learning, through the acquisition of key competences by all, to employability and mobility. Aligned with this idea, Eurostat recent data1 on “Adult Learning Statistics” remarks the fact that “adults with a low level of educational attainment and a lack of skills are more likely to earn lower than average wages and are more vulnerable to the precarious nature of the labour market. These individuals often suffer from a lack of basic skills that are increasingly considered as essential for a modern-day economy: literacy, numeracy and technological skills (‘digital literacy’).”
In the last decades we have seen a transformation of our reality, each day more and more influenced and linked to the digital world. No one doubts that we are experiencing a profound change that, supported by new technologies in a massive way, offers us great opportunities and challenges.
We could say that mobile devices and the internet have been the two key elements that - as the printing appearance caused, or later other mass media, such as radio or television - reaches absolutely all the spheres of our lives: communication, information, entertainment, commerce, the provision of education, health and government services, and the production systems themselves. These elements not only provide new tools, but also influence our position in the world, in our role as citizens.
Thus, although the concept of "digital citizen" was initially created to define those people who were active on the Internet and who used it to interact with their public administrations or collaborate with social and political entities, this idea become obsolete, and it is now clear that digital citizenship is no longer a matter of choice, but there is a digital space in which all citizens must be present.