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EPALE - ríomhArdán d’Fhoghlaim Aosach san Eoraip


EPALE discussion: digital skills as a way of accessing learning opportunities

ag EPALE Moderator


EPALE Online Discussion Digital Skills


As part of our April-June 2020 focus on Digital skills as a way of accessing learning opportunities, EPALE is organising an online discussion.

The large number of adults with poor basic digital skills represents a major obstacle in achieving an inclusive society and reducing social inequalities. Too few adults have access to adult learning resources, and this has a real impact on their personal development and employment prospects.

Providing adult-specific teaching methods to help trainers to become more effective in their work requires specialised training and continuous professional development geared towards adult-specific teaching strategies.

Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone to adapt to new ways of working and pushed adult educators to explore and adopt new online tools and techniques to allow them continue their training and learning activities.  

The discussion will take place on this page on 27 May between 10:00 and 16:00 CET and will be moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator Altheo Valentini and by EPALE Content Assistant Claudia D'Eramo.

► Share your stories, tips, case studies and good practices with the EPALE community!

Also, if you’ve ever been involved in successful projects, or if you have developed any relevant methodologies – share your story with the other participants in the comments below!

The discussion on 27 May will include the following topics:

  • digital inclusion
  • barriers to digital access
  • distance learning
  • how to reshape adult education at the times of Covid-19

► Comments will be open on 20 May so participants can introduce themselves or post their comments in advance.

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renato luti's picture
Un’esperienza interessante di apprendimento a distanza si sta concludendo a Barga, per UNITRE. Mentre gli altri corsi, per forza di cose, sono stati serrati per il confinamento coronavirus, Adulti Ancora A Scuola ha predisposto con rapidità gli strumenti per proseguire gli apprendimenti on line per i corsisti di Informatica Base UNITRE_Barga. Molti particolari si possono ricavare dal sito Un anno formativo straordinario è giunto alla fine. Abbiamo fatto quello che nessuno, neppure noi ci saremmo sognati di fare. Ne siamo contenti, ed anche un po’ fieri. ADULTI ANCORA A SCUOLA ( abbiamo affrontato la crisi del coronavirus rafforzando le nostre conoscenze (know-how) imperterriti e attivi nello studio anche in situazione di confinamento. Lo abbiamo fatto in grande autonomia e in autogestione, abbiamo appreso molto, ma molti nostri pari li abbiamo persi per strada. La prospettiva dovrebbe essere, sarà, quella di recuperarli e di cercare collaborazioni ed aiuti affinché la esperienza di Adulti Ancora A Scuola per Informatica di Unitre_Barga possa essere accolta e sviluppata nelle nuove possibilità che il settembre del “dopo” coronavirus renderà fruibili. 
Marianna Okomane's picture
Šī tēma noteikti tagad ir tik aktuāla kā nekad. Pavadot divus mēnešus mājās, mēs varam secināt, ka šīs digitālās zināšanas un prasmes ir kaut kas, kas pietrūkst gan studentiem, gan pasniedzējiem. Bet, kā man liekas, vairākiem studentiem paveicās, jo attālinātās mācības mums sākās diezgan operatīvi un ātri. 
Daudz grūtāk noteikti ir skolēniem, it īpaši sākumskolai, jo šajā vecumā bērniem ir grūti nopietni uztvert mācības attālināti, un daži to uzskata par brīvdienām. Bet tiešām- par kādām mācībām var būt runa kad bērns sēž pie datora ar izslēgto mikrofonu, kamēr tur no ekrāna iznāk skaņas?  
Altheo VALENTINI's picture
It has been really interesting to read all your contributions today and we hope that you will continue sharing good practices, concerns and wishes for a better and wider accessibility of learning opportunities in adult education. 

In fact, as many of you have underlined, the COVID-19 lockdown has evidenced all the positive and negative aspects of distance learning, definitely opening the floor for the co-design and experimentation of new educational approaches and inclusion strategies. 

We will continue posting blogs and news on this topic until the end of June and we would be more than happy to receive your additional contributions under the form of Community stories

As regards the EPALE online discussions, the next appointment will be on the “Future of Adult Learning” and we will inform you on due time about the exact date. 
Thank you! 
Altheo and Claudia from the EPALE CSS
Dóra STEFÁNSDÓTTIR's picture
I would have thought that there was a whole field of possibilities for adult education centres to offer digital skills for retired people. There is such a lot of new tools and possibilities that younger people take for granted but the elderly do not use, simply because they do not know how. 
Dörte Stahl's picture
Hello Dóra,
maybe this EPALE community story from Finland is interesting for you. Juhani Pörtfors and Matti Sarviranta have given ICT guidance to seniors by organizing weekly support meetings in their city. These meetings could no longer be held as usual because older people had to go to quarantine.
The two then launched the support for the seniors via Skype. It is a very interesting report because the two tell us how they reached the seniors. It was also shown that the isolation of the elderly was at least somewhat broken by these digital activities. You are now much more interested in digital opportunities than before.

Martin Dobeš's picture
Hi guys, I am an educator and a member of the Czech EPALE team. Just a brief reflection of what i percieve is happening right now regarding digital inclusion - or rather exclusion. Yesterday I had the possibility to talk to representatives of Czech parents who were dealing with the need of taking care of their children during the lockdown. It seems that those adults with fine digital competences and good internet connection recorded a step forward both in mastering higher levels of their competences but also in social inclusion with their counterparts, schools and mainly with their own families via online. The others - adults with limited digital competences and generally lower education and lower economical status have recorded quite the opposite. The were not able to establish the online facilites for their kids and themselves. It seems the lockdown has caused a substantial gap between the two groups. I believe this has been the case of many more EU countries...?
Johanni LARJANKO's picture
Yes, i quite share your sentiment. The digital divide is real, and covid-19 has made that very clear. Education cannot in itself be the solution to this complex challenge, but it can, and should definitely play an important role!
Dora SANTOS's picture
In the beginning of this year, according to “Digital 2020: Portugal: global digital insights”, Portugal presented 83% of penetration of internet and about seven millions of users (6,6% more than in April 2019). In regard to the percentage of the population with mobile connections, Portugal was included in the study with 155%, which means that there are more connections than population, due to the fact that many people have more than one mobile phone. Despite the existence of this technological investment, Portugal has shown a weak performance concerning the domain of digital skills. The government programme Portugal INCoDe2030 revealed (data from 2016) that the percentage of individuals with basic digital skills or more than basic skills was only 47% (the EU average was 56%). However, we believe the COVID-19 outbreak accelerated the domain of digital skills, because suddenly people had no choice to interact and to contact with their families, to deal with health and social programmes and all the governmental structures created programmes to help people to deal with this new situation using new technologies. Adult learner providers and Qualifica Centres (Centres that assure recognition and certification of adult prior learning) reshaped their methodologies and used new technologies to guarantee that adults could keep learning and get their certification. Government agencies have also made many tutorials and tools available to help education and training professionals readjust their practices to the new reality of coronavirus. Adult education is likely to change in the future and adults will be able to benefit from new opportunities for distance education that are more inclusive and more adjusted to the reality of adult life, avoiding travel or even providing learning at times compatible with their professional and family life.  
Marlies Bitter's picture
Hello Benjamin,
Thank you for sharing your post on VR in education. Its importance will certainly grow in the near future.
I know various dedicated (secondary) school learning applications and professional learning apps.
Do you know where to find information on learning applications in other areas like adult learners and senior citizens? 
And can you provide a reference to the capabilities and applications of the VR platform you use?  

seyma kiraz's picture
Letonya Üniversitesi'nde bir erasmus öğrencisi olarak derslerimi uzaktan takip ediyorum. Eğitim sistemini e-öğrenmeye dönüştürmek okulum için yeni ya da zor bir şey değildi. Zaten bir sistem '' e-çalışmaları '' vardı. Oradaki tüm malzemeleri görebilir ve kolayca çalışabilirsiniz. Ayrıca, MS ekipleri ile çalışıyorlar, bu çok yardımcı oluyor. Öğretmenlerim bunu kullanmakta iyi ve sorunumuz yok. İyi gidiyor. Bazen internet bağlantısı problemim olabilir, ancak öğretmenlerim benim için iyi çözümler buluyor. Bu sorunu halledebiliriz.