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EPALE - Pjattaforma Elettronika għat-Tagħlim għall-Adulti fl-Ewropa


Digital Societies, Digital Inclusion

minn Tamás Harangozó

/mt/file/digital-societies-digital-inclusionDigital Societies, Digital Inclusion

The European Basic Skills Network is announcing an online discussion on digital inclusion of adults in the framework of the network's Capacity Building Series. The discussion is scheduled to start on 6 March, 2019 9:00 (CET) and be finalised on 7 March, 2019 17:00 (CET) and its experiences are aimed at contributing to the EBSN's forthcoming open education resource (OER) in the theme of digital inclusion.


In the framework of the current thematic focus on EPALE, issues related to digitalisation and adult learning have been targeted from a number of different approaches. There are at least two clearly distinguished foci in this matter: 

  • the utilisation of digital materials, applications, and devices as tools that facilitate and enhance all forms for learning, including basic literacy skills for adults, (see Graciela Sbertoli’s comments on digital tools for initial literacy),
  • the improvement of basic digital skills for social inclusion, which addresses the importance of the digital component in functional literacy and poses the challenge of digital divide.

By addressing the former approach (i.e. digital tools to develop basic skills) one finds a number of useful input in a previous online discussion on the use of digital tools in the provision of initial literacy and numeracy training and of language provision for immigrants. The latter approach brings up the issue of citizens with less developed digital skills becoming more and more marginalised in societies. David Mallows mentions in his blog post on the Digital Inclusion Pathway that

„As the online world encroaches ever further on the physical world we should pay great attention to digital inclusion – ensuring that each member of society is able to engage effectively with the riches of the digital world.”

In many countries the growing extent to which public services e.g. banking, public administration, taxation, etc. are becoming digitalised creates a challenge to citizens who are less digitally competent to fall behind and become more isolated and vulnerable.


Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts on the following questions:

  1. Who in your experience are the most vulnerable when it comes to ’e-services’ in societies and what are the major challenges?
  2. What programs do you know that specifically aim at including citizens with less sufficient digital skills (e.g. the elderly) into digitalised public services (e.g. e-governance systems)?
  3. What are the success criteria of any national program aiming at fighting the digital divide?

The discussion will open 9:00-17:00 CET, from 6 to 7 March.


The Capacity Building Series of EBSN provides free open educational resources (OERs) and massive online courses (MOOCs) through EPALE, to help the implementation of the European Commission recommendations on Upskilling pathways in EU Member States. EPALE is funded by the Erasmus+ programme, as part the European Commission’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe. The project is implemented with the support of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
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Liga Abizare's picture
Latvia's State Forest company is now Launching an EU Fund Project on Developing Digital Learning Tools for schools. This is an important step in developing a partnership between the forest industry and schools. Latvia is among the first EU Member States to develop a National Bioeconomy Strategy for the period up to 2030, which pays special attention to increased use of renewable resources and adequate education. These nationally defined goals are also reflected in the new standard of basic education in the field of science competences, as well as transversal competences for the development of student entrepreneurship. However, there is currently a lack of methodological and teaching materials in schools to ensure that school students acquire competences in sustainable forestry. The project will offer solutions to this problem.
Tamás Harangozó's picture
Dear Participants,

Thank you all for your input! The moderation is now over, but your further contribution is still very welcome!
Meaningful and successful personal and professional life of today and the future requires the person’s ability to adjust to the constantly changing environment, the ability and inclination to constructively react to changes, act in accordance with constantly renewing and increasing information. The ICT are very useful here, but we need to able to learn, more exactly to manade our learning; therefore, the idea of lifelong learning is raised as one of the most important educational aims and one of the essential expected outcomes. Learning to learn is understood as the person’s wish and readiness to take up new tasks, the ability to control cognitive and emotional processes while learning and apply acquired abilities in various contexts. for this purpose we also could use ICT. 
Etelberto Costa's picture
Webinar with Henrique Lopes and Leona English about “How adult education can save your life”
In 2019 the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and DVV International continue to build global dialogue, support an exchange of ideas and critical reflection on highly relevant topics in adult education and development. This includes a virtual seminar discussing the “Role and Impact of Adult Education”, following the latest edition of DVV International´s journal Adult Education and Development (AED) with the same topic. 
you can access the paper from Henrique @ 
Christoph SACKL's picture
I would like to share some great initiatives as part of the Erasmus+ adult education programme (Key Action 1) from organisations like Atempo GmbH "Inclusive Education on the Move" and "Inclusive Education with Tablets" and Lebenshilfe Salzburg "Better lives through person centred Technology".
More Information can be found on EPALE: 

Best wishes from Austria, 
Christoph Sackl

Tamás Harangozó's picture
Dear Christoph,

Thank you for your input, these projects seem very interesting!
Tamás Harangozó's picture
Dear Participants,

Welcome back to the discussion. We continue with digital inclusion programs. Have you come across any initiatives that specifically aim at including citizens with less sufficient digital skills (e.g. the elderly) into digitalised public services (e.g. e-governance systems)?
Julija MELNIKOVA's picture
Good morning! Happy to join the discussion from Lithuania.
New technologies and digitalization is a very relevant issue nowadays and a challenge for the society. On the one hand, we are happy to live in smart cities and use the benefits of new digital initiatives (such as digital banking, digital administration etc.), on the other - innovations and rapid technological progress brings a lot of confusion for some people and cause unwillingness and even resistance to use them. 
I work with adults as an adult educator (professional development sector) and we often discuss the challenges of digitalization. Adult learners (regardless of their age and profession) admit that they feel themselves confused and stressed when they are forced to change traditional ways of doing things to new digital ones. They say that they perfectly understand that all these digital innovations are good and are aimed at simplifying our lives. But when it comes to trying them there appear some problems. First, insufficient skills of using new digital approaches; second, mistrust with technologies; third, dependence on smart devices etc. Adults recognize the demand for digital innovations but they stress that they need more time to get used to them.
Tamás Harangozó's picture
Thank you, Julija for your comment. Are there any ways to help adults in overcoming these challenges? Have you come across any in your professional practice? 
Tamás Harangozó's picture
Dear All,

Although moderation will start again tomorrow at 9:00 CET, you are more than welcome to post comments until then, if you like.

Thank you very much for your participation!