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

Editorial

 

 

Dear Reader,


Few months have passed since the launch of Dlearn and the first steps of our organization. During these months we have achieved concrete and satisfactory results. 
First of all Dlearn participated to the submission of two Erasmus plus KA2 projects that were approved. We are proud of this achievement because it means Dlearn can actively contribute to the realization of transnational activities. The first project is DIS CODE “Disconnected, discouraged, disenabled? Let’s code!” which aims to train students at drop out risk, on improving digital skills and learning maths by studying coding, the 21st century language developing transversal skills such as abstract and analytical thinking, logic and problem solving. To know more click here.
The second project is ELITe “Enhancing Learning In Teaching via e-inquiries”, which aims to provide digital professional learning opportunities for secondary teachers’ competence development. To know more click here

Another transnational activity that we are about to launch are the webinars: free, online, effective training sessions that the experts of DLEARN will held, open to those interested in the latest knowledge about digital learning and education practices in Europe. Dlearn webinars are meant to boost the genuine sharing of experiences and knowledge. The list of webinars available in the upcoming months is long. Check here to know all the topic covered and the dates. 

Dlearn also promotes some services for its member. One of the last was the introduction of a shared account for a professional online meeting platform. The service is available for all DLEARN members as a tool to held online professional coursesboth for video conferences/meetings and webinars.

What's next? Dlearn will be present in two infodays:
- Horizon 2020 Infoday on "Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies - Brussels, 11th of October
- 2016 European Education, Training and Youth Forum - Brussels, 20th and 21st of October

 

Stay tuned! Visit our web site www.dlearn.eu 
Gianluca Coppola, DLEARN President
Interview of this issue
Interview to Brikena Xhomaqi - Director, EUCIS LLL Platform 
The Lifelong Learning Platform is an umbrella that gathers 40 European organisations active in the field of education, training and youth. 
Digital Transformation is shaping the future economy, yet 45% of people in the EU do not have basic digital skills. ICT professional skills are also lacking in many countries, employment of ICT professionals has grown by over 4% a year over the past decade while ICT graduate numbers have fallen by 40%. These figures show the need of a fast and strong adaptation of the education sector as a whole.
We have interviewed Brikena Xhomaqi, Director at LLL Platform, to understand how Lifelong Learning is adapting to this phenomenon. 


The 45% of people in the EU do not have basic digital skills. In your opinion is this caused only by structural adjustments or there is a part of the population in EU still reluctant to acquire digital skills? This value can be read as follows: despite most of the EU countries live in privileged economic status in comparison of other countries in Europe and in other continents, EU still acknowledge a strong of digital divide in its member countries. By looking at the Europe's Digital Progress Report (EDPR) it is noticeable how this phenomenon is not homogeneously distributed within the EU but rather digital literacy is still jeopardised. It is easy to infer the reason why almost half of Romanians and Bulgarians have insufficient internet access while countries like the Netherlands and Sweden this people are less than 10%. It is not reluctance towards digital technologies but rather economical disparities among the countries which reflect in people's’ habits. 

EUCIS LLL Platform represents more than 50 000 educational institutions and associations covering all sectors of formal, non-formal and informal learning. How lifelong learning is adapting to the changes of digital transformation in terms of educational offer?  The need to “update” lifelong learning practices to the most recent technological transformations is growing, this is a trend that practitioners are realising only recently and decision makers are starting to act upon. However in contrast to several other sectors in society such as transportation, healthcare, education is known to be more “conservative” towards transformations given its delicate pedagogical mission and its practices consolidated throughout the centuries. Despite this major obstacle, the education ecosystem is rich of several interesting practices which are now spreading and getting acknowledged. These initiatives span from providing learners with adequate digital skills for future jobs but also to provide them education about the digital tools and adopt critical behaviours (being creators rather then consumers of digital content) towards digital technology. If from one hand there is the “urge to transform” not to be digital divided and left behind, on the other hand it is important not to confuse “technology as the solution” to all the evil. Rather to consider that as an opportunity or an excuse to change. Several of the structural problems there exist in educational systems (see for instance limited access of lack of participatory and democratic practices) do not depend by the - lack of - technology and cannot be magically solved by it. 

Which are the initiatives that the LLL Platform is promoting in order to boost Lifelong Learning toward the economic changes especially in terms of digital transformation?  The Lifelong Learning Platform representing the voice of civil society is trying to tackle this rising (but not unique) disparity which EU educational systems witness in this historical moment. It does that by prioritising digital inclusion and media literacy on the political agenda of the platform. In practice, it is now organising internally a working group to share practices and organise some actions to be taken to raise awareness on providing basic digital skills and media education. This call will be addressed to educational providers of all sectors, formal and non-formal and will have particular regard to educators and teacher training. 

We should also consider digital learning, which brings many opportunities to the education sector in terms of technology available to teach and learn. Which are the initiatives of the LLL Platform in this sector? The LLLP as such has not undertaken any particular initiative on the topic so far but through the established Digital Learning Working Group we are gathering the best practices in the field organised from our members such as EDEN and find means to upscale them. 

Brikena Xhomaqi: graduated in Innovative Project Management at the Polytechnic University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and holds a professional Master Degree in Strategy and International Development and bachelor in Political Sciences. Originally from Albania, she studied and lived in Italy, France and currently Belgium for the last ten years. She is the current Director of the Lifelong Learning Platform (called EUCIS-LLL), former Head of Office of the European Students’ Union and former Director of the Erasmus Student Network. 

Daniele Dimitri: Current Steering Committee Member of the Lifelong Learning. He represents School Student Unions, OBESSU. Daniele is a PhD candidate in the field of digital learning. Daniele is Italian but lives and works in the Netherlands.

Want to know more about the LLL Platform? Click here


 
DLEARN Members Space
Fome - The Future of Industry in Europe
Fome is a pilot project proposed at the initiative of the European Parliament and by Eurofound delegated by the European Commission (DG GROW). The project started in April 2015 and will run for 4 years. The project consists of the following modules:
- Quantitative scenarios for Europe's industrial future, including the impact on labor (including multiplier effects);
- Analysis of the role of wages in the context of Europe's industrial future;
- An analysis of key occupations for industrial future of Europe;
- Analysis of the impact of new technologies on the European industry;
- Mapping existing industrial capacities and identifying typologies of regional capacity, and best practices through regional seminars for dissemination throughout the European Union;
- Evaluation of programs apprenticeship / dual training in the European Union and other regions of the world, including identifying best practices and an assessment of their viability.

 
 
Game Based Learning – training course
The 5 days course focuses on gamification, different types of games, design of courses and lesson plans with game elements, evaluation of game-based learning.
Upcoming dates: Piraeus 14-18/11/2016, Piraeus 20-24/2/2017
For more information click here
ICT in education – training course
The 5 days course focuses on designing learning programs, learning materials and resources for ICT enriched education.
Upcoming dates: Piraeus 5-9/12/2016, Piraeus 6-10/3/2017.
For more information click here
 
Innovation in SME:IN2IN final conference
in2In focuses on the following areas of SME innovation: Innovation - Creativity Generator at the work place; creativity enhancement in SMEs and micro - enterprises; and knowledge management of innovation.
The final conference of the project will take place in Larnaca, Cyprus on the 28th of September 2016
Erasmus+ project DEMAL kick off meeting, 25-26/10/2016, Piraeus, Greece
DEMAL (Erasmus+ KA2 2016) focuses on designing, monitoring and evaluating adult learning classes – supporting the competence development of adult teaching staff through training, validation and ICT-based resources. The kick off meeting of the project will be hosted by DLEARN member IDEC in Piraeus, Greece, on 25-26 October 2016.
 
 
Blended Learning Course (Erasmus+, K1) = the best of face-to-face and online teaching
How to best combine face-to-face teaching and the use of digital technology/materials? Why rely on blended learning in the first place? What are success criteria of blended learning? These and many other questions were discussed at the Blended Learning Course from July 17 to July 30 in Cambridge, United Kingdom. We believe blended learning offers a more individualized approach to teaching and enables better differentiation in the classroom. Therefore we are going to start implementing blended learning approach systematically into our language courses in October. Don’t miss our Blended Learning Webinar on September 21! Know more about it and register
HubLinked - Strengthening Europe’s Software Innovation Capacity
Dublin Institute of Technology, Dlearn partner, recently won funding under the very competitive Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance scheme. The goal of HubLinked is to strengthen Europe’s software innovation capacity by learning from regions of proven ICT strength and sharing that knowledge will all regions. HubLinked will (i) improve the effectiveness of University-Industry (U-I) linkages between computer science faculty and all companies (ii) develop global software innovators that can work in any sector (iii) increase the participation of females in the ICT sector and (iv) upskill academic and industry staff to engage in U-I linkages for software innovation. Although the ICT sector is a major economic sector itself, HubLinked pays particular attention to SMEs and start-up companies in the non-software sector. The partnership is comprised of seven large, industry-focused computer science faculties and a four industry partners which represent large multinationals, SMEs in both the software and other sectors and start-up companies.
Innovative Teaching Methods – training course
The 5 days course focuses on designing and implementing innovative teaching methods in the classroom: project, role play games, theatre of the oppressed, debate, etc.
Upcoming dates: Piraeus 7-11/11/2016, Piraeus 6-10/2/2017
For more information click here
Creativity Lab – training course
The 5 days course focuses on the development of creativity skills through creative writing, story-telling, comics, animation, digital media and video art in education.
Upcoming dates: Piraeus 21-25/11/2016, Piraeus 30/1-3/2/2017
For more information click here
What's new in education and training
An Insight of DLEARN working groups
HIGHER EDUCATION

Digital Marketing Education for developing the business in Romania

The various and frequent changes in the use of ICT by businesses, with ICT constant updates and rapid knowledge obsolescence, pose new learning challenges for modern marketing education in Europe. Like businesses, education institutions, especially universities and marketing departments have a great deal to learn from the experiences of online communities. The development of new technologies (e.g. social network, edutainment, open source software and educational technologies) increases possibilities for lifelong learning, in particular: can facilitate access, intensify and spread the process of knowledge creation. In Romania the University of Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi, until the end of 2016, will provide courses  certified by the International Institute of Marketing Digital (DMI), together with the Regional Development Agency North-East. The Digital Marketing Institute provides the most widely taught set of Certification Standards in Digital Marketing and Digital Selling for learners, educators and industry. The learning content is validated by digital marketing industry leaders, ensuring that programs and certifications are fit-for-purpose, current and relevant. They are active in over 70 countries around the world and over 15,000 marketing and sales professionals have completed their certifications.
In Romania, the courses will be taught through the Northeast  Regional Studies Center (CRS) which is a structure founded in 2010 who fulfills the following functions:
• Serve as a training center, vocational skills assessment, training, and research in regional development and in complementary areas;
• Contribute to training trainers and research in regional development by promoting exchanges of information and practical experience in various training projects they implement; and
• Assist and cooperate with other organizations, national and international, involved in regional development and in complementary areas.
CRS is oriented towards the training activities by providing courses certified by the National Qualification and specialized training in regional development. In this regard, it established various forms of cooperation with relevant actors in the field of education, business and public administration who are interested in the development of North East region and by promoting international exchange education on regional cooperation and development.


Author: Roxana Pintilescu, North East Regional Development Agency
 
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Digital Skills: What is needed?
 
Digital transformation is the organisational change in any type of business triggered by the usage of digital technologies. This occurs as more and more companies explore the new possibilities and tools provided by the digital ecosystem. Some companies choose to focus on single technologies while others make the strategic decision to transform the business as a whole in order to adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. The latter are of course characterized as more mature (digitally) and with increased chances in succeeding in this endeavor. 
Up to now most companies chose to see digital transformation as a way to attract a specific type of consumer; the digital customer. They do it by improving or upgrading existing apparatus and products and that is the end of their digital strategy. But digital transformation is a lot more and affects the whole business and all its aspects. It is a process with risks and a high level of uncertainty but if a company evades to address it then it will be left behind in the ever accelerated interconnected digitally innovative world we live in.  So in order to succeed the correct investment decisions must be made and the most important one is the selection of the correct people for the job. The next generation of employers and employees; the Millennials were born in a more digitized world and they are more tech-savvy than their predescendants, but the Vocational and Educational Training programs are not uniformly up-to-date with these changes. The traditional model of VET needs to be modified throughout Europe.  Those who will build the new digital culture, they will also lead the change into every part of the business and will create the new business models. We must remember that the digital world is changing very fast and it is very important to create/have an adaptable mentality inside the business in order to survive. These people can be from within the business or from outside. In either case their training is essential key of success. The “learn as you go” approach is applied of course, but it is crucial to harness the power of informal learning in order to enable the organization to learn faster and thus remain competitive and innovative. This includes learning and exploiting digital technologies and will lead to the creation of a digital culture in the organization.

AUTHOR: Aris Chronopoulos, IDEC
ADULT EDUCATION AND SOCIETY CAPACITY BUILDING
Digital Transformation of Businesses: How Adult Education can contribute to its fulfilment 
 
The digital transformation of businesses can be understood as the use of technology to get disruptive and radical improvements in any field.  It is a process that manages and guides the capabilities of businesses to create new models based not only on individual potential, but also on open collaborations and networks between sectors. It involves a profound change in the way companies function and the way they relate to their customers and stakeholders; this change entails, adapting to the digital environment throughout a complete shift, a turnabout in their entire structure. This transformation is an unavoidable process in all businesses that want to compete in the increasingly globalised and interconnected market. However, this transformation can only take place following a thorough strategy that manages and channels a proper adaptation to the digital scenario and its systems; an approach that guarantees business efficiency. From all this, it becomes evident that digital transformation in businesses will only be possible if led by trained and prepared professionals who have developed the necessary skills to confront and adapt to constant changing realities. In very few years, the majority of jobs will demand from all employees the indispensable minimum level of digital skills. The on-going reality in adult education is calling for a revision of the key competences that form the current curricula, aiming for the introduction of digital skills as the core of its objectives. Adults do not longer need to be taught only about the latest systems and methods used; they need to be trained to adapt, to confront new and unknown realities and to face them by finding smart solutions to problems using technologies efficiently. All in all, we can agree that the cornerstone of an efficiently running digital community befalls on how successful the society is to guarantee that all employees acquire a certain level of digital competences and skills.  
AUTHORS: Olena Bilozerova, DOM Spain 
SCHOOL EDUCATION
Is ICT in classroom effective to improve pupils performance? The OECD answers.
OECD published a report last year which affirms that investing in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils performance. The report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, tracked educational outcome among students based on their use of technology at home and in the classroom. While student performance improves when they use technology in moderation, the group found, overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop. The OECD's education director Andreas Schleichersays said that school technology raised "too many false hopes". The report examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills. Those students who use tablets and computers very often tend to do worse than those who use them moderately.

The main findings:
  • Students who use computers very frequently at school get worse results
  • Students who use computers moderately at school, such as once or twice a week, have "somewhat better learning outcomes" than students who use computers rarely
  • The results show "no appreciable improvements" in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in information technology
  • High achieving school systems such as South Korea and Shanghai in China have lower levels of computer use in school
  • Singapore, with only a moderate use of technology in school, is top for digital skills
The countries and cities with the lowest use of the internet in school - South Korea, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan - are among the top performers in international tests. But OECD says the findings of the report should not be used as an "excuse" not to use technology, but as a spur to finding a more effective approach. He gave the example of digital textbooks which can be updated as an example of how online technology could be better than traditional methods. “The conclusion that emerges is that schools and education systems are, on average, not ready to leverage the potential of technology”, the report said in its summary. “Technology often increases the efficiency of already-efficient processes, but it may also make inefficient processes even more so”.

AUTHOR: Antonella Tozzi, Dlearn
Special events
TCA Seminar Culture of Quality in Vocational Education and Training, 21-23/9/2016, Zandvoort aan Zee, Netherlands
Linking & learning around good practices on Culture of Learning in Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership projects across Europe. DLEARN member IDEC will be co-presenting the project QUAL4T as a success story. To know more click here

LLLWEEK
The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) will be holding its 6th Lifelong Learning Week (LLLWeek) from 10th October to 13th October 2016 in Brussels. The LLLWeek has over time become a milestone in the European education agenda, thanks to the support of civil society actors and of Members of the European Parliament. Building on the long-standing partnership between the Lifelong Learning Platform and the European Youth Forum, and on the successful experience of the European Youth Forum’s previous editions of the “Education Week”, this year the LLLWeek2016 will be run in partnership with the European Youth Forum. 

To know more click here

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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