According to European Commission data, almost half of Europeans (44%) do not have basic digital skills and 90% of future jobs are predicted to require digital skills. As society becomes increasingly digital, basic digital skills are needed by all in order to carry out daily tasks such as online banking, paying bills, and government services. The objective of the Digital Travellers project is to foster digital inclusion by supporting vulnerable populations to learn the digital skills needed for life and work.
The Digital Travellers project brings together 6 partners ranging from civil society organisations, European networks, library associations, and major libraries. The project will run until November 2021 and is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.
Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis
The Digital Travellers project started by adapting the “Voyageurs du Numérique” database developed by Bibliothèques Sans Frontières France (BSFF). This database was part of a media literacy programme piloted in France by BSFF to combat digital exclusion and proved to be very successful with over 50 000 persons from vulnerable groups reached and over 2 000 trainers trained. To start the Digital Travellers project, the consortium mapped digital education resources available in their countries to the DigComp 2.1: Digital Competence Framework for Citizens from the European Commission and created databases that could be browsed by DigComp 2.1 areas of competence. As the COVID19 crisis has impacted the implementation of the project, the partners reoriented the project from a user-based focus to ensuring that librarians have the digital skills needed to carry out online activities and training opportunities for library users. This new methodology will be piloted during Spring 2021.
Next steps for the Digital Travellers
With the launch of the Digital Travellers digital education resource database earlier this year, the project is entering its pilot phase where librarians will be able to put to use the databases in their digital education activities. To start them off, training was provided on digital education and how to be a successful facilitator in a learning environment as well as an overview of how the database is used. Over the next few months, librarians in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, and Poland will be organising and piloting a series of digital education activities for their vulnerable users to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate digital technologies and environments.
The Digital Travellers project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union under the Action KA3 Social Inclusion through Education, Training and Youth. It started on the 1st of December 2019 and will last 2 years.
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