Issue 1| June 2016
In this issue:
2.Interview of this issue
3.DLEARN Members Space
4.What's new in education and training
5.Special events



Dear Reader,

I am proud to present you DLEARN, the European Digital Learning Network. It is an initiative, born from the goodwill of different organizations in Europe, all committed for the improvement of digital learning and skills.

The network aims to embrace the challenges brought by the digital transformation in terms of digital skills mismatch and digital learning opportunities, giving the voice to the European society grassroots. In fact, DLEARN is composed by organizations which represents the needs of the citizens and local realities. We aim to continue on building our network following this strategy, because is the most effective way to achieve EU objectives at local level.

This initiative has been promoted to answer the challenges of the DIGITAL AGENDA and main policies toward the full realization of a digitalised society. In fact today the 47% of Europeans is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills and numerous opportunities in terms of jobs that are going to shape the labour market.

It is well known that the diffusion of ICT is having a massive impact on the labour market and the type of skills needed in the society and economy. However, although millions of Europeans are currently without a job, companies have a hard time finding skilled digital technology experts. Therefore, a clear way to transform this situation is to invest money and efforts in increasing digital skills.

For all these reasons, we decided to launch a transnational network focused on two main goals:

  • To promote the development and uptake of digital skills for every citizens, of any age, at all levels;
  • To foster digital learning, or in other words the use of ICT tools and methods to make learning more attractive, more effective, more flexible and to guarantee equal access to all.

DLEARN has been created by entities decided to come together to boost the potential of their territories and enhance the possibilities of the people, especially in the field of digital learning and digital skills. DLEARN mission is not political; on the contrary it aims to reinforce the potential of the local people facing the digital challenges.
I am proud to let you know that we have successfully presented the association in Brussels last 11th and 12th of February, thanks to the participation of all founding members, the staff and outstanding speakers: Janne Elvelid DG CONNECT, Denis Crowley DG Education and Culture and Alexander Mateus DG CONNECT. Cheryl D. Miller – Digital Leadership Institute and Francesca Falco – DIGITALEUROPE. For all the infomation regarding the event go to

Should you be interested in joining the network, do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay tuned! Visit our web site 
Gianluca Coppola, DLEARN President
Interview of this issue
Interview to Janne Elvelid - Policy officer at DG CONNECT European Semester & Knowledge Base
The European Commission is promoting various initiatives aimed at increasing training in digital skills for the workforce and for consumers; modernising education across the EU; harnessing digital technologies for learning and for the recognition and validation of skills and anticipating and analysing skills needs. One of the initiatives is the Grand Coalition for digital jobs a multi-stakeholder partnership, to tackle the lack of digital skills in Europe and the thousands of unfilled ICT-related vacancies across all industry sectors. We have asked to Janne Elvelid some key questions.

Which are the latest achievements of the Grand Coalition for the Digital Jobs?
The Grand Coalition has so far attracted around 60 pledges, from over 100 stakeholders, to undertake concrete actions to reduce digital skills gaps in Europe. It is estimated that these actions and initiatives have led to the training of over 2 million people in digital skills since the launch of the coalition in 2013. It has also lead to the setting of national coalitions in 13 countries with more to come (see below). Within the five themes: training and matching for digital jobs, certification, innovative learning and teaching, mobility and awareness rising, I believe the Grand Coalition have contributed significantly over the last years.

One of the key priorities of the Grand Coalition is Innovative learning and teaching, to offer more aligned degrees and curricula at vocational and university level education so that students get the skills for success. Which are the obstacles that still hinder the full implementation of this process?
Transforming educations is a complex and often slow process. Nothing that can or should be done in a haste. As with most changes, you need a clear understanding with the people who hold a mandate to initiate change. Many countries and regions have managed to connect their educational facilities to fast broadband and equipped them with necessary devices. But for some this remains a challenge. Less than half of children are in schools that are highly digitally-equipped. But the technology itself cannot be expected to improve learning outcomes. It has to be accompanied with investments in learning resources, a change in pedagogy and of course - teachers training. Only 20-25% of school children are taught by digitally confident & supportive teachers.

The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs won’t be successful without the National Coalitions that are already working in most of EU MS’s. Are there any cases of success that can be taken into consideration as good practices?
Yes! Change need to happen on a national, regional and local level - this is why our national coalitions are essential in achieving a more digitally skilled population in Europe. Without singling out any Member State or region, we've seen that getting a true multi stakeholder engagement, involving governments, educational sector and industry is a good foundation to achieve successful results. We've also seen how some coalitions successfully managed to get access to funding from the European Social Fund - something we strongly encourage all our coalitions to do.

Would you say that there is a particular industrial sector which suffer the most from digital skills mismatch? If yes which one and why?
All sectors see a demand for digital skills - from basic user skills to ICT professional skills. ICT professionals are found in all sectors of the economy so the demand is not just coming from the ICT sector itself. The need for basic and advanced user skills is increasing throughout our society and economy on all fronts. The Commission recently presented the Digitizing European Industry where one essential pillar is to up-skill the workforce within among others, manufacturing industries. The list goes on and I believe people in most sectors have seen this raise in demand for digital skills in an increasing digital working environment.

What is next for the Grand Coalition?
2016 will be an exciting year for Skills in general and digital skills in particular. In June the European Commission will present its new Skills agenda for Europe. This will bring changes to our work on digital so stay tuned for more information!
More details can be found here

DLEARN Members Space
Workshop on Maintenance in Asset Management
Get started for a company-wide maintenance contribution in Asset Management in Athens. On the 2nd of June we have learned which competences and skills are needed and basic development strategies; discussed with experts experiences how to develop your company and yourself, various methods, tools and real case examples. ATLANTIS Engineering, member of DLEARN, participated to this event.
Join us at our ICEMIS workshop Sept 22-24th 2016 in Agadir Morocco!
Join the workshop that will be an exchange of ideas between the creators of educational apps, the teachers and the »outsiders«, who could have a fresh contribution to our initiatives with the advantage of not being professionally involved in this science and/or industry. The abstracts will be indexed and available at major academic databases such as DBLP, ACM (Pending), IEEE and Google Scholar. In addition, special issues will be published in some SCI and Scopus journals. Workshop chair: Dr. Tomaz Amon, President of Bioanim, member of DLEARN -
Raising Strong and Resilient Communities (RSRC) with narrative and storytelling approaches
CLUTUREX, supported by EOLAS S.L, member of DLEARN, together with other 9 organizations, have been working on the development of a set of educational tools for (non-formal) adult education, based on storytelling and narrative approaches, to strengthen active citizenship and participation in local communities. From the 13th to the 15th June the Dutch partners in this project will organise three training days, for all those who are interested in the project and its educational tools and would like to incorporate these tools in their daily work, are welcome.
Do you whant ot know more? Visit
SOFIA SCIENCE FESTIVAL"To be or not to be... responsible"
That is the name of the group panel discussion organized by RCCI, member of DLEARN, on the 12th of May. The discussion was part of the Sofia Science Festival 2016 in Bulgaria and was held in connection with the pan-European framework strategy for responsible research and innovation – RRI. It aimed to trigger a dialogue between researchers, citizens, academics and businesses to join forces in the name of innovation. RRI means doing science and innovation with society and for society. It belonged to an EC funded project in which RCCI participates in, aiming to create a proper toolkit and a community of practice on RRI in Europe.
Lykio – Learning Motivation Environment
Cristal Clear Software,  member of DLEARN, has created Lykio, the first cloud-based enterprise Learning Motivation Environment.  Available on any device, Lykio motivates learners to engage with knowledge and promote continuous training, informal knowledge sharing and collaborative peer-learning in everyday life.
Lykio is designed to motivate learners to achieve goals and share experience by acting on three senses:
- Purpose: being part of something bigger
- Autonomy: the freedom of choice
- Mastery: feel and sense your progress
Teach for future
North-East Regional Development Agency,  member of DLEARN, in partnership with Al. I. Cuza University, Technical University Gh. Asachi, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "Ion Ionescu de la Brad" Iasi and Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy organized on 12th of May 2016 in Iasi, Romania, the first edition of the Teach for Future Conference. This conference aimed to promote the use of new technologies and teaching methods of the XXI century, to be widely introduced in the Romanian education system to channel and adapt the intelligence of new generations of children, youth and adults, approaching the challenges of the highly dynamic world of today.
DLEARN network is growing!
On the 9th, 10th and 11th of May we have been in Brussels to consolidate collaboration with different organizations active in different fields. Our President Gianluca Coppola have met:
- Coopération Bancaire pour l’Europe,
- European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning,
- EBN Innovation Network,
to share common objectives and establish collaborations in different matters. The topic addressed were finance and banking issues with CBE; Lifelong Learning in the digital world with EUCIS and smart innovation and development with EBN.
Stay tuned for more on

Pictures acknowledgements: On the top left Gianluca Coppola (DLEARN) and Valeria Muggianu EU Consultant (CBE); on the top right Gianluca Coppola (DLEARN) and Philippe Vanrie CEO of EBN. At the bottom European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning logo.
What's new in education and training
An Insight of DLEARN working groups

Modern education in Romania is the new challenge of the universities

Mathematics, informatics and computer science are priority areas of admissions in universities. This was decided by the government, which adopted a decree on the number of students and PhD students for admission in state universities. Among the priority areas are also mechanical engineering, theory and management of education and pedagogy, science, electrical engineering, electronics and automation, computer and communications technology, energetics, transport, sailing, navigation and aviation, architecture, construction and geodesy, different types of technologies, agriculture and farming, arts and warfare.
For the priority areas is provided targeted funding. The idea is to limit the supply of inefficient areas of studies and to stimulate the educational system to meet the needs of the real economy and the labor market.
The decree is in accordance with the amendments to the Law on Higher Education and the policy set out in the Strategy for Development of Higher Education in Bulgaria for the period 2014 – 2020. According to them funding for training of students and PhD students won’t be formed merely on the basis of their number but also according differentiated regulations in professional fields and comprehensive assessment of the quality of education and its compliance with the labor market. The assessment of the quality of education will be done according two quality criteria -an academic and a market one. The market criteria will evaluate the professional realization of graduates and the correspondence of the skills and competences in the educational program with the labor market’s needs. The government plans to gradually bind a least 50% of the subsidy for education and training of students and PhD students with the quality assessment by the end of 2018.

AUTHOR: Ana Roxana Pintilescu North East Regional Development Agency of Romania
Digital Skills: What is needed?
In 2010, the Commission communicated to the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions an impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy. They stated that Vocational Education and Training (VET) must equip learners of all professional stages with e-skills and competences, such as digital and media literacy to achieve digital competence. Additionally, almost a year ago, in 22.06.2015, the Ministers in charge of vocational education and training of EU Member States, Candidate Countries, European Economic Area Countries met in Riga to renew their efforts in raising the overall quality and status of VET. Nevertheless, there is an issue when one refers to digital skills, e-skills, digital competences, however we may call it. What is needed exactly? Or, more importantly, do different professional sectors require different digital skills? The answer is evidently: Yes, very much so! In an office today the worker needs core digital competencies; reading and answering e-mails, creating, formatting, and collaborating on digital documents, using the internet and the company’s software packages etc. More information here. Even a factory worker is required to use automation systems, HMIs, readings of sensors, alarms. He/She may also be required to use mobile applications, flee tracking programs and -recently- Augmented/Mixed Reality applications. In the IT sector much more is required, starting from coding, security, platform and OS flexibility. On line job posts mention HTML5, MongoDB, iOS, Android and Mobile Apps. More information here.
Hence, VET programs need to consider and adapt to what the market requires now and to follow advancements in technologies, in order to equip learners with the necessary tools at least for a few years to come.

AUTHOR: Ifigeneia Metaxa, Atlantis Engeneering
Challenges of Teaching Digital Skills to Adults in Europe
Despite the growing need for skills, recent data confirm low basic skills in Europe and low adult participation in learning (on average 10.7% in 2014). Furthermore, 40% of the EU population is considered as having insufficient digital skills. According to European Commission Digital Agenda Scoreboard 2015, 22% have none at all, meaning they did not use the internet. In employment, the population lacking digital skills goes down to 32%, with 13% of the EU labour force had no digital skills at all. In this context, the 2015 Joint Report under the ET 2020 highlights strengthening the development of key competences, including digital skills, as one of the priorities for European cooperation up until 2020. The definition of Basic Digital Skills given by Go ON UK includes 5 key areas: managing information, communicating, transacting, problem solving, and creating. In the global village, these skills are essential in any environment; they are indispensable at the workplace in order to use email and social media, manage invoices and accounts, use analytics to understand who uses your social networks, create content to promote an organisation. Teaching digital skills, educators have to bear in mind the importance of teaching in an authentic context, a balance between teaching skills and teaching literacy, and the use of technology in motivating adult learners.
From Teaching Digital Skills to Teaching Digital Literacy
Many teachers in adult education focus on skills rather than literacy. Digital skills focus on what and how: which tool to use, e.g. Twitter and how to use it. Digital literacy focuses on why, when, who, and for whom: When would you use Facebook instead of a blog? Teaching digital skills would focus on how to prepare a newsletter downloading images from the Internet, while digital literacy on helping students choose appropriate images and get permissions in case of copyright licensing or how to adapt an image to be accessible for those with visual impairments. Digital literacy is not only about using technologies, but also about our awareness of what we use, why we do it and how to address our target group. To ensure effective teaching and learning and promote individual development of adult learners, it is essential to provide a balance between teaching skills and teaching literacy.
Technology Motivates
Some teachers working in adult education discount the motivating aspects of technology, but if students are drawn to certain types of media or experiences, educators can use this interest as a stimulus and connect learning to it. In this context, highly interactive media programs are needed to keep learners motivated in learning, for example, an interactive 3D virtual reality for the mobiles ( which helps learners assemble the coat of the Ebola or Zika virus, explore  the structure of the HIV or Influenza virus, or understand muscle contractions. Twenty-first century is the time to reduce the percentage of adults with low digital skills. All the educators must make common efforts to set up strategies, work out methods and design tools to reinforce the digital skills and literacy of adult learners.

AUTHORS: Olena Bilozerova, DOM Spain & Tomaz Amon, Amnim, Center for Scientific Visualization
Augmented Reality and Identity
It has been proven in recent years that Augmented Reality gaming is capable of enabling the teaching of interpretation, multimodal thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and of diverse perspectives. Skills like identification, decision making, delegation, and problem solving can be activated by AR games. This is very promising for providing teachers, parents and school children insight in the emergent relationship between data and identities, both active and passive.
Still, not all types of educational AR seem appropriate. Those that mainly focus on the cognitive aspects of education are less suited. However, it is not necessary to make cognitive learning fun by using visualization. Neither do we need visualization to improve skills or task training. Since we hypothesize that identities emerge from data, both active and passive, the relationship between the two elements (data and identities) is not a logical one that can be understood strictly rationally or can be learned by heart. Up to a specific point there are no good and bad choices to be made. Rather, there are a few underlying mechanisms that can be shown, but the outcome of these mechanism does not necessarily translate into terms of better or worse. Unlike in mathematics or in physics, there are no right answers. Although cognition does play a role, we need something broader.
Problem solving AR does have a broader scope than cognitive learning or training. Besides stimulating cognitive skills it also supports social skills. But, it is not necessary to have problems to solve in the way that we solve a virtual murder mystery or determine the source of a virtual toxic spill. Also, the social skills that we wish to empower are on a more fundamental level. They should concern children’s online identities. In this context it is worth trying to delve deeper into Augmented Reality and identify how to best connect the two.

IDentifEYE Project:

AUTHOR: Mattheos Kakaris, CCS Digital Education
Special events
Technology Forum in Greece
ATLANTIS Engineering proudly sponsored the 3rd Technology Forum on 18.05.2016. Share knowledge, build and award collaborations between Industries, Research Centers and Academia in the Greek IT sector.

Euromaintenance 2016

The heart of the European Maintenance Community was in Athens on the 30th of May and the 1st of June to share & improve knowledge, people skills, technologies, products and practices for sustainable continuous improvement.

6th Danube eRegion Conference – DeRC 2016: Cross-border eSolutions & eServices Prototypes Development, Ljubljana, Monday-Tuesday, September 19-20, 2016
The conference aims at creating synergies and fostering collaboration in the countries of a cross-border region. Organizations are invited to submit a prototype proposal involving the organization in at least three countries. Alternatively, they may like to join one of the existing prototype groups. A prototype proposer is inviting organizations sharing interest in a topic to engage in a joint prototype development in order to be able to respond, as an organized group, to the related national and/or EU calls for project proposals in-time. Contact: Dr. Tomaz Amon

This newsletter is a property of DLEARN. It cannot be copied or reproduced without authorization of DLEARN staff. Any article is property of the author and may not be copied or reproduced either completely or in part without the permission of the author. The author is the sole responsible of the contents provided and DLEARN cannot be bound for the contributions made from its members.

Copyright © 2016 European Digital Learning Network, All rights reserved.

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