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Month: February 2024

Green IT Your Work : Youth debates about EuropeanDigital Age

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on millions of people in the EU, with many losing their jobs or experienced significant income loss . This means lots of folks will have to learn new skills or find work in different industries. And for young people just starting out, getting into the job market can be really tough, especially because things are changing so quickly due to technology, shifts in population, climate issues, and how connected our world is. Looking ahead to 2023, these challenges are still there, but now we’re also dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, which has made things even more difficult.

The main goal of the project Green IT Your Work – Youth Debates about European Digital Age is to emphasize how young people can play a crucial role in green transition as well as promoting the creation of green jobs to help make European cities cleaner, especially in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another important goal is to get young people talking, sharing ideas, and actively participating in decisions about how we can make Europe greener.

New Educational Resources to Take Science Learning Outside the Classroom

The EU-funded OTTER Project, aimed at enhancing Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) experiences, has concluded its activities end of February with achievements in developing new out-of-school educational methods and pedagogies. One of its core outputs, the “OTTER Lab” is a pedagogical approach to develop student-centered, hands-on, and outside the classroom STEAM activities, aiming to promote sustainable development.

Over the past 30 months, the project has engaged in primary and secondary schools across Finland, Spain, Hungary, Ireland to pilot the OTTER labs. Each Lab consisted of various activities over a certain period of time, with a special focus on the issue of plastic waste, going from theory to practice, and reflecting on their discoveries.

“The OTTER Labs aim to promote three key pillars; Sustainable Development, 21st Century Skills and Inclusion & Diversity. Our teachers have championed the alignment of OTTER Lab learning objectives with their respective curricula across age groups and subjects to provide a holistic learning experience for their students. I t is inspiring to see these teachers express their passion for creating engaging learning experiences for their students, planning for rich exposure to real life sustainable issues in their locality and OUTSIDE the classroom.” – Deirdre O’Neill, UL Pilot Coordinator

Over the lifetime of the project, the OTTER team organised focus groups, meetings, and discussions with educational institutions, including Harjuniitty school in Nokia, Atala school in Tampere, Mare de Deu de Montserrat, Institut Moisès Broggi in Barcelona, KRK Szilády Áron School and Szamóca Gardening School in Hungary, as well as St. Flannan’s College in Ennis, Coláiste Nano Nagle, Scoil Ide in Limerick, and ScienceLinX in Groningen, among others.

The primary objective of these collaborative sessions was to exchange ideas, discuss methods, and share best practices that could contribute to the co-design of new EOC experiences. The insights gathered were transformed into toolkits and guidelines that education practitioners can now utilise in their Outdoor Labs, paving the way for a more immersive and effective learning environment.

One of the key components of the project was the establishment of the OTTER Hub, serving as a nexus for experts from diverse fields, including educators, scientists, and creatives. Monthly meetings held by consortium partner organisations provided a platform for sharing experiences, best practices, and EOC know-how, while also addressing challenges and exploring innovative methodologies.

A significant outcome of the OTTER Project is the development of a comprehensive Learning Platform, featuring materials and guidelines for educators. Working collaboratively with hub members from across Europe, the project has produced toolkits and guidelines that will serve as valuable resources for implementing Education Outside the Classroom activities. These materials aim to enhance the quality of outdoor education by providing educators with practical and effective tools to enrich the learning experiences of students.

As we celebrate the successful conclusion of the OTTER Project, we express our gratitude to our consortium partners who played pivotal roles in this transformative journey. Special thanks to Geonardo Ltd, European Science Foundation, University of Groningen, University of Limerick, Learning Scoop, The Big Van Theory, and CARDET for their commitment and collaborative spirit. The achievements of the project underscore the power of diverse expertise and shared dedication to advancing Education Outside the Classroom experiences. We would also like to acknowledge the European Commission for their generous funding, which made this initiative possible. As the OTTER Project reaches its conclusion, we look forward to the continued impact of its legacy on shaping the future of education across Europe.

For further information, please visit the project website.

Green Vet Choices Successfully Finalises its E-learning Platform

Green Vet Choices (GVC) is excited to announce that the project has now successfully finalised its e-learning platform aimed at supporting green VET careers in a pursuit of more targetted and consistent tackling of environmental problems and climate change.

Following the piloting event on 27th of February, the Green Vet Choices’ e-learning platform and gamified content were reviewed by over 30 participants in the test training, where they had the unique opportunity to offer practical feedback, insights and suggestions to further improve this crucial tool. The feedback was offered not only about the general scope of the educational materials, but also considered the user-friendliness and set up of the platform, which will play an integral role in assisting future and current green VET careers.

Please note that the materials will be soon available on the project’s website.

Stronger Together: Understanding the Role of Synergies for Advancement of Change

As the saying goes: if you want to go fast – go alone, if you want to go far – go together. The same principle applies to synergies in the context of European-funded projects. That’s why collaborations between initiatives and organisations have been celebrated and pursued for their enhanced effectiveness and efficiency. Synergies serve as an opportunity to holistically address societal, entrepreneurial, environmental, educational and well-being challenges, as opposed to singling out just one of them through a specific initiative. 

With the European Commission (EC) funding various projects across member states, spanning diverse sectors such as research and development, innovation, infrastructure, and social programs, it is more crucial than ever to look for opportunities to cooperate. From optimisation, knowledge sharing, connecting communities of practice, strengthening cooperation, and collectively advocating for necessary policy reforms, together initiatives can multiply their collective capacity to make a difference. 

Synergy in Action

One exceptional example of such collaboration has been witnessed during the final OTTER conference in Brussels in February this year. The event brought together researchers, policymakers, teachers, STEAM educators, and EOC practitioners, served as a unique opportunity for an open dialogue to explore diverse perspectives on the perks of outdoor STEAM education and the promotion of Education Outside Classroom (EOC). 

By sharing, showcasing and reflecting on multiple activities, deliverables and pursued actions, brought to the fore the broader context of over ten ongoing Erasmus+ and Horizon initiatives. ,including SMILE and EcoSTEAM, offering an extraordinary educational value to all of its attendees and organisers.

Reflecting back on this success, there were several reasons why partners around Europe and outside should consider this as a staple practice, especially in the field of education and teaching, including:

Optimising and Enriching Resources 

Combining efforts allows for the optimal utilisation of financial and human resources. By sharing expertise, know-how and practices, all three projects can reduce the risk of duplication of efforts and costs. This efficiency is particularly important in maximising the impact of EU funding.

Enhancing Impact 

Synergetic opportunities, such as the OTTER Final Conference, amplify the overall impact of projects by creating a more integrated and comprehensive approach to addressing common challenges. Sharing and exploring opportunities for collaboration through the conference’s World Cafe session led to innovative solutions, giving way to better results and a broader reach in the future, benefiting a larger segment of each project’s target audience.

Addressing Cross-cutting Issues 

Many educational challenges European countries face cut across multiple domains, such as lack of resources and infrastructure, lack of professional development opportunities for teachers and educators, inflexible curricula and national education systems. Pursuing synergies allows projects to address these cross-cutting issues collectively, fostering a more holistic and integrated approach to problem-solving.

Promoting Knowledge Transfer 

Collaboration facilitates the exchange of knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned between projects. This knowledge transfer can lead to accelerated progress, as successful strategies and innovations can be adopted and adapted across different projects and sectors. This is clearly evident among the projects presented through the conference that, besides their particularities (OTTER = Education Outside the Classroom, SMILE = Sustainable Mobility, EcoSTEAM: Innovative learning approaches) have noticeable overlaps between their overarching themes of coverage and complement each other serving as a rich bank of knowledge sharing

Strengthening European Cooperation

Synergies contribute to the broader goal of European integration by fostering cooperation and solidarity among member states. Shared goals and coordinated efforts contribute to a more cohesive and unified Europe. 

Improving Policy Coherence

Collaborative efforts enhance policy coherence, ensuring that the outcomes of different projects align with overarching EU policies and objectives and, most importantly, lay the foundations for developing recommendations for policy reforms and propositions. Such endeavours facilitate the creation of a harmonised and effective approach to addressing common challenge. 

Going Forward Together 

With such outstanding success, synergies should be more and more common across European projects, especially when we discuss such high-profile events as final conferences. Instead of creating a stale ‘knower-learner’ dynamic, with the audience passively receiving the knowledge from the representative of the consortium, why not open doors to a more dynamic conversation?

All attending parties, institutions, partners, educators can benefit from a wider and larger conversation that can address a wider spectrum of challenges and opportunities from different standpoints. At the end of the day, by singling out initiatives, regardless of how great they are, we are running a risk of missing out on the collective efforts and results that none of initiatives could ever achieve alone. 

If you want to find out more about the OTTER project go check its website

EGIDEV: Educational Game in Digital Entrepreneurship for VET Students

Educational Game in Digital Entrepreneurship for VET Students – EGIDEV project wishes to improve education in entrepreneurship for VET students and to facilitate VET organisations and educators to become agents of the digital transformation in the EU.

EGIDEV aims to facilitate VET students and teachers in learning and teaching the principles of entrepreneurship by gamification in different business development stages. The objective is to develop, implement and provide the VET community with an educational game where learning by playing will allow for better understanding of digital entrepreneurship and challenges.

Based on EQF formal entrepreneurship education requirements and the model EntreComp, the EGIDEV board game will allow for experimental learning and at the same time address the key entrepreneurial competences. By creating new techniques and tools this project is expected to increase VET students’ motivation and engagement to become entrepreneurs, especially in priority areas of digital technologies, to learn about entrepreneurship, how they can start their own business based on digital technologies, test the viability of their own business ideas, as well as to enhance the skills and knowledge of VET educators in entrepreneurship education and the capacity of VET providers to be able to offer learning by playing.

fuTOURISME: Fostering digital & sustainable transition of TOURism SMEs for FUture

To improve the competitiveness of tourism SMEs throughout the twin transition (sustainable and digital), the fuTOURiSME project focuses on approaches and activities to help SMEs develop new business perspectives. In particular, the project aspires to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative, sustainable and digital initiatives, creating links between different forms of
innovation.

To achieve this, fuTOURiSME will provide technical and financial assistance to SMEs in designing innovative solutions to incorporate sustainable and digital practices, as well as support activities for incubation, acceleration and growth. To that end, the partners will also lay the foundation for the creation of cross-border and cross-sector collaborations between European tourism SMEs to facilitate knowledge and practice exchange while simultaneously elevating the innovation barriers in tourism-related value
chains through cutting edge solutions.

Enhance your digital skills! Participate in the ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024 campaign 

Brussels, 26 February 2024 – Today, ALL DIGITAL, the European association representing networks of digital education stakeholders, is pleased to announce the launch of the ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024 campaign, the annual digital inclusion and empowerment campaign involving digital competence centres, libraries, community centres, schools and other venues across Europe. 

In 2024, as in previous years, the campaign will receive support from the European Commission and will span over three weeks, from the 13th of May until the 31st of May. It will engage international and national partners, as well as participating organizations across various European countries. The campaign actions will be underpinned under the motto ‘‘Enhance your digital skills’’ which is a call to action for all European citizens and every individual living in Europe to learn new skills, both basic and advanced, to be able to face digital transformation with confidence. 

The campaign will build on what was achieved in 2023 and on its contribution to the success of the European Year of Skills, promoted by the European Commission. ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024, on the occasion of the European elections (6-9 June 2024), will put aspects of digital democracy, civic participation and social responsibility into focus, as well as cover challenges arising from disinformation online and a lack of information literacy for a large portion of Europe’s citizens are in the spotlight, as much as initiatives, solutions and tools fostering participation, equity and inclusion. 

The campaign will also support the implementation of specific actions of the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-27 of the European Commission, with the main objective of enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation. Many EU projects where ALL DIGITAL is involved will be presented during the campaign period to increase their visibility across Europe.

The three weeks of the campaign will focus on the following specific core themes under which all the training and events will be organised at international and national level across Europe: Digital Skills for employment, entrepreunership and innovation (reskilling and up-skilling); Digital Skills in “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’’ (encompassing issues such as migration, democratisation, gender gap, ethnicity); DigComp, DigCompEdu and Digital Skills Certifications; Digital media literacy and disinformation; Cybersecurity and safer internet; Digital Skills for Environment and Sustainability; Digital Skills for specific sectors (education, cultural and creative industries, transportation, health…) and the application of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in education and training

How the campaign will be supported in 2024

The campaign aims to show the need for empowering all European citizens with the digital tools and skills they need in their studies, jobs, and for social inclusion. We will focus on different actions covering policy themes, European project dissemination activities, and promotion of grassroots level activities. It encourages various activities to support the Europeans who do not have enough digital skills to participate fully in society and benefit from digital transformation.

The international launch event of the campaign will be organised in Brussels on the 14th of May 2024, involving policymakers, digital education stakeholders and ALL DIGITAL members.

The campaign will be sustained and promoted with the support of selected national coordinators across Europe. The national coordinators are ALL DIGITAL present or future members that will liaise with organisations involved in digital skills, will promote the campaign across their networks, and monitor the performances at national level. They will have the role of fostering the visibility of the ALL DIGITAL Weeks in their country, and support and coordinate the local partners in the organisation of local events, training and courses which provide different population groups with digital skills and education. 

We will invite international networks, umbrella organisations, or those with capacity to have a big regional or national reach to join as partners of the campaign. We ask them to support us in promoting the campaign and planned activities to their network and raise awareness on digital education issues tackled by the campaign in their country. We invite them to organize an international event in English and have it featured in the ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024 agenda as well to encourage local organisations to add their events, courses, lectures, and training on the map of events, to showcase the concrete impact they have in enhancing teachers, students, employees, elderly people, migrants, and all groups impacted by the digital transformation. The map will be operational at the beginning of March on the ALL DIGITAL Weeks website.

We will welcome articles/blogs about the campaign with an overview of what has happened in the country, highlighting best/most interesting events. Interesting news will be published on ALL DIGITAL Weeks website and promoted through ALL DIGITAL’s social media accounts.

The Campaign

The ALL DIGITAL Weeks campaign is one of the major pan-European awareness raising campaigns on digital skills for inclusion, empowerment and employment. It is organised by ALL DIGITAL Network, and it has been running since 2010. Since then, the campaign has helped almost 1.5 million people to get online for the first time or enhance their digital skills. 

The awareness-raising campaign is run at digital competence centres, libraries, community centres, schools and other venues across Europe. Every year it helps about 100,000 Europeans from 20+ European countries to learn and be inspired by what technology can do for them, focusing on the opportunities given by digital transformation and its effects. The campaign is co-funded by the European Commission (1)

Over the years, the campaign was supported by Microsoft, Liberty Global, Accenture, Telenet, Cisco, Mozilla Foundation, Certiport.

For more information please contact:

Andrea Bedorin

Senior Communications Officer

andrea.bedorin@all-digital.org 

(1) Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Creation of the European micro and family business service design hub platform for fostering a sustainable digitalized economy

An innovative approach to directly help family and micro-enterprises in creating greater value through service design methodology. SeDiHUB allows family and micro-enterprises to develop their strategic management perspective: design thinking methodology integrated into strategic and tactical planning of an organization’s growth and providing services in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Green Up Yourself

The GREEN UP YOURSELF project aims to promote entrepreneurship and employability of young people living in rural areas in Europe by focusing on green skills and entrepreneurial training. The project aligns with various EU priorities and initiatives, such as the European Green Pact, Sustainable Development Strategy, Europe 2020 Strategy, and the Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions action plan.