“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’).”
Within this context, the App4Skills project was designed to contribute to the development of adult learners´ basic skills (mainly numeracy, literacy and digital skills) through the implementation of a set of proposed activities. The core approach of App4Skills has to do with the use of a webapp that offers adult learners the opportunity to engage on leisure activities in three specific areas: cooking, gardening and environment protection, and DIY – “do it yourself” and handcraft.
More than 60 activities on those areas are published, based on 3 levels of difficulty. Each activity is explained in a step-by-step format, and includes reference to the specific area, competence(s) addressed, language, difficulty level, additional examples and estimated implementation time. Users can select the preferred area, language and activity, and respond to the proposed challenges to gain points in an international competition. The best performers are listed in the leaderboard section. But App4Skills counts on also with some interesting features. Users can rate activities, share them through the social media, take the challenge or add their own activities. The webapp is a very versatile tool that can be used both by the professionals that work in adult education, who can use it to reinforce in a playful way the knowledge and competences they work with in their classes; as well as for those adults who wish to improve their basic skills on their own. App4Skills webapp contributes to:
- Improve creativity, solve real problems in different contexts and develop in students the ability to create new activities and share relevant ideas.
- Improve the perception of adults towards the learning of math, improve their literacy skills and promote their digital skills.
- Prepare adults for continuous and autonomous learning, developing critical thinking, and promoting equity, social cohesion and an active citizenship.
The tool, which is free, was tested by more than 30 adult trainers and more than 120 adult learners in the project partners´ countries. This testing phase provided very useful feedback, so improvements are implemented in the final version. App4skills final webapp is available in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Finish, Turkish and Polish) at http://app4skills.fundacionjuandelostoyos.org from August 2019.
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