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

18/05/2020
ag EPALE Moderator

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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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Cath Harcula's picture
Hi Sangeet  It sounds as if you have well trained tutors who are using good practice.  I think staff development is a key to effective use of digital learning. Perhaps you could share your work on the EPALE platform in a community story? Thanks
Dörte Stahl's picture
Right you are: "staff development is a key to effective use of digital learning".  And of course you also need a fear-free working atmosphere, because not everything works right away in digital education. Sometimes a learning method is not accepted by participants and sometimes it hampers with technology, which is stressful for teachers and learners.
Katja Maintinger's picture
I am in the last week of my Erasmus semester in Latvia and regarding to the outbreak of COVID 19 we had to switch to distance learnning. In addition to that I am finishing my Erasmus semester from home via the internet, very strange times nowadys! The distance learning was very good-organised in Latvia and within two weeks we had all of our courses via MS-Teams that was very practical because we didn`t need to compensate our presence with additional tasks. However distance learning was quite a challenge because it was quite difficult to stay focus all the time, because you have so many aspects in your flat that catches your attention. In addition to that it was sometimes hard to motivate yourself for all the indepent work you have to do. I really missed the "normal" environment, being with other students and seing the professor and being part of a different culture!
The learning process was more different than the years before because we had to adjust our learning to this new situations and I think that every university should think about a concept regarding distance learning so that students have a solide learning process and a good learning outcome. I am very satisfied with my learning process and with the distance learning our university did in Latvia.
Our professors in Latvia were very dedicated and made their online courses very interesting, additionally to that, they also made me feel very comfortable and I always had the feeling that they care what I did and how I was in this pandemic. This leads me to the result that the teacher has, as always in the learning process, a very important role and helps the student to stay motivated and to succeed in their learning!!
Lena Triendl's picture
Hey everyone!
I´m an Austrian Erasmus student (teacher training)  who has been studying in Riga at University of Latvia for this semester. The current Situation required to fly home to Austria and I´ve continued my studies via distance learning of my Latvian host University.
I can tell that this has worked without any problems.  Most of the teachers did their very best to conduct online meetings every week which was a good opportunity to understand learning contents better and to ask questions. Obviously, this would never replace face-to-face meetings in the future but in this situation it helps to maintain structure and to keep in proper touch with the teachers and the class/seminar-group mates. 
I could imagine having such online meetings not as a replacement of face-to-face lectures/Seminars but maybe as a supplement for urgent questions rather than clarifying everything via email. 
I really hope that we can go back to face-to-face meetings very soon as I´m missing the personal interaction with my group-mates a lot !
institut WELTGEWANDT's picture
Dear all, It is just today that we published our Wiki on various aspects of #digitalisation. Find the link and a short introduction on our project's website. Feel warmly invited to comment, share, like! The wiki results from KA2 partnership for an Exchange of Good Practises with partners from Germany, France, Romania and Spain. See also our FB page.

Anita Apine's picture
How to transform adult education in Covid-19 times?
Latvian libraries experience May, 2020. If you look at library social networks or websites, the "upcoming events" section says "no upcoming events." Libraries in Latvia are one of the centers of adult education, therefore, the usual events as  computer training for seniors, various events of non-formal adult education programs - lectures, master classes, off-site sessions do not take place at the moment.
This (adult education transformation) could be the next issue after the partial access to library funds currently performed by Latvian libraries. 
Starting from May 14, 2020, the possibility to exchange books, magazines and CD / DVD was renewed in Valmiera Integrated Library, Latvia. For security reasons, free access to bookshelves, press reading room, computer reading room,  etc. not yet updated. At the moment, we are starting to think very carefully about organizing events, including full-time adult education events. Just thinking.  
But while we think, the library still invites the townspeople to try the remote services of Valmiera Integrated Library, which can be done by filling in the FORM (downloadable Word document) and sending it to library e-mail. If possible, they can sign it with a secure electronic signature. If the e-signature is not currently available to the client, then he / she will be able to confirm his / her identity on the first visit to the library. After receiving the completed questionnaire, we register the client as a library user and send the authorization data for registration in the 3td.lv e-book library and instructions for accessing e-books. 
From this description you can see that it requires quite high digital skills. For this we offer remote consultations. And this is an intensive time to learn digital skills.
Even today the library user are able to use all the remote services of the Valmiera Integrated Library. Its are many. And at this point, I would like to say that, thanks to the emergency situation, the average digital skills in society as a whole have dramatically improved. Current offers of the library: http://www.biblioteka.valmiera.lv/lv/biblioteka/paliec-majas
Everything is in the attitude: either you squat and get out of the pit, or raise your hands and lie on the bottom. We get creative and are back to our library users

Altheo VALENTINI's picture
Dear Anita,

thank you very much for your contribution to this EPALE online discussion!
Indeed, many libraries all around Europe have a great potential in becoming reference points for the development of digital skills in adult learning. The BIBLIO project (https://www.biblio-project.eu/) is now investigating on the training needs of actual and future librarians to become real factor of change in fastening the capacity of local (and especially rural) communities to actively respond to the challanges of digital transformation.
As you can see in the "Authors" section of the website, the project includes also Latvian partners and it would be nice if you could get in contact with them to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Best regards
Altheo, EPALE Moderator
Kintija Bulava's picture
In order to strengthen the public opinion that digital skills are very important in the future labor market, we in Latvia, in cooperation with EPALE regional coordinators, created an article on the set of digital skills, which is definitely needed. Here it is: https://epale.ec.europa.eu/lv/blog/epale-latvija-regionalie-koordinatori... (sorry, but in latvian language)
 Our opinion and experience is - it works very effectively when experts in the field (those who people in the regions trust) express their views on topical issues to the general public.