"Digital Literacy 2.0" was a project of the Digital Opportunities Foundation in 2012 - 2014.
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Web Skills for Disadvantaged Adults: DLit2.0 Starts Training Campaign in Seven European Countries

"Digital Literacy 2.0'' is a European project funded in the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme. Its objective is to empower socially and educationally disadvantaged adults all over Europe to participate in society more strongly by using web 2.0 applications. In order to reach them, staff in non-formal learning settings - such as libraries and welfare organisations - in seven European countries are being qualified to act as ICT trainers for their target group. The two-step training campaign "train-the-trainer & qualify-the-user'' starts this spring in seven European countries.

It’s true: Web 2.0 sometimes looks complicated. But using it can make life a lot easier, depending on how skilled one is, or which application one uses for which purpose. Socially and educationally disadvantaged adults are a group in need of skills to make their life easier. However, they are often the ones who have no access to web 2.0 applications, or no idea how to use them in a way which might be helpful in their daily life and enable them to participate socially.

These were the conclusions drawn from an initial stock-taking conducted by the eight organisations from seven European countries - the Aga Khan Foundation in Portugal, Bibnet in Belgium, the Public Library Cologne in Germany, Regionalna biblioteka "Pencho Slaveykov" in Bulgaria, Biblioteka Publiczna im. W.J. Grabskiego in Poland, Bibliothèque publique d'information in France, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education in the UK, and Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Germany) as coordinator - who have joined forces as "Digital Literacy 2.0" project partners.

Of the seven countries involved, the percentage of individuals using the internet at least once a week is lowest in Bulgaria, with 42 per cent, and highest in the UK, with 81 per cent. 1 Research done by the project partners shows that, despite those differences, people who are disadvantaged in terms of education, employment, age and other factors are underrepresented among those who use the internet regularly and adeptly, who are "digitally literate''. However, the analysis of best ICT practice cases from all project partners has also shown that only about 13 per cent of ICT courses previously conducted in the partners’ countries addressed those disadvantaged target groups.

That is the starting point for "Digital Literacy 2.0". The project partners have developed respective training materials for a two-step training campaign: firstly, for qualifying staff in non-formal learning settings who, secondly, will train disadvantaged adults, who are hard to reach via conventional learning offers, in the fields of ICT and web 2.0. With the training materials now finalised, the training campaign commences. From spring 2013 onward there will be trainings in all seven partner countries.

The unique design of the "Digital Literacy 2.0" training materials, including a learner-centered curriculum, make them especially low-threshold and relevant to the target group. They involve small modules of web 2.0 tasks (such as setting up a Skype or online banking account) that learners will complete preferably through assisted self-learning or within a group setting. Thus, learners will keep in control of their own learning progress, facilitating a sense of achievement. Furthermore, the learner-centered curriculum is designed in a way in which certain modules or blocks of modules can be used whereas others are left out, thus enabling the trainers to create a curriculum precisely tailored to the needs and wishes of their target group. The thematic focus is on applications which have the potential to directly improve the learners’ daily lives.

The information society indicators, as defined by Eurostat 2 and involving factors such as the number of individuals using the internet for taking part in online consultations or voting, looking for a job or sending a job application, finding information about goods and services, or uploading self-created content, have been incorporated into the curriculum as well. As a wider implication, the DLit2.0 partners expect that the learning process will improve the target group’s general attitude towards social participation and the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

To learn more about the project, please visit www.digital-literacy2020.eu or contact us: kschuberth@digitale-chancen.de.

[1] Source: EU ePractice Factsheets: "An overview of the eGovernment and eInclusion situation in Europe'' ( http:// www.epractice.eu/en/factsheets/); Eurostat (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/information_society/data/main_tables); data from 2010 and 2011

[2] Source: (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/information_society/data/main_tables

Further information: http://www.digital-literacy2020.eu

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