On 1-2 June 2018, the Lifelong Learning Platform took part in Strasbourg to the biggest youth festival in the European Union called the YOFEST. More than 8000 young people came from all over Europe and even beyond, to discuss worldwide challenges and find the best way for building safe, fair and sustainable economies and societies. The LLLPlatform was a partner of the European Youth Forum, the main organiser of the event to conduct an activity in the Digital Hub tent. A quiz was created for assessing the digital awareness of the young respondents. As a result, dozens of individuals took part to the test, all showing a high, rising and even level of awareness but
rarely followed by strict privacy concerns and settings or by adopting new online behaviours. This is particularly valid when the change of behaviour depends on higher (technical) digital skills or on some time-consuming endeavor to find other Internet services offer. Overall, the aspiration to adopt safer and more responsible use of Internet and digital devices was there! Among other interesting findings:
The respondents seemed to be very keen on using alternatives to the GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon et Microsoft). 20% of them try to use them when they can, the majority would like to use them more (55%), and only one quarter didn’t think of using them (25%). Some of the respondents had never heard about the term “GAFAM”.
A huge majority of respondents cared a lot about health implications of using internet and digital devices: 41% answered they limit their time online, 44% said they care sometimes, and less than 14% said they don’t care.
Most respondents are careful with their “digital etiquette” and try not to use too much internet or their mobile while being in a meeting (30% try not to use their phone in general, 47% do it only sometimes, and 22% always use it).
To the question whether respondents participate in politics-dedicated online platforms? 1 out of 4 respondents were not interested at all in using them while 13% would be interested in using them and the majority 61% is already using them!
To the last question on their awareness about the new GDPR, results shown than 11% respondents never heard about it, 27% heard about it but do not know exactly what it is about whereas the majority (61%) know all the rights it grants them!
Participants’ feedback on the test were very positive. Some of them said that it actually made them think or learn things by doing it. In a conversation with one participant, it was pointed out that the level of protection actually depends on the level of risk. If you are a celebrity, a political opponent, etc it makes much more sense to protect one’s data that if you are not. This statement is a very interesting topic for further discussions!
The 2nd DIGIT partner meeting took place in Žalec, Slovenia where partners discussed upcoming project steps. After a series of Focus Groups carried out in the partner countries, the data gathered is feeding into the development of the DIGIT Manifesto “Tips on how to stay safe online” by Dlearn. The second part of the manifesto will include “Didactic and Pedagogical guidelines for educators” by partner organisations UPI and DOMSPAIN. The partnership also discussed the creation of a training strategy and an online training programme using open educational resources (OERs).
Inova organised 3 online focus groups and invited international participants to discuss their social media habits and online image.
Focus groups took place shortly after the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal – this affair highlighted issues they already knew about and it reinforced their interest on the topic. The participants tend to place little trust in the GAFAM but recognise that their services are useful and hard to replace with open-source alternatives at the moment.
The topics of personal accounts and ‘image management’ set off interesting conversations. Some participants grew up using the internet and have registered on websites where they can’t log in anymore – leaving online some content they can’t change anymore. This content isn’t harmful and not directly linked to their full name; they see them as a form of memory, reflecting the person they were back then.
These discussions inspired one participant to writing an essay on the topic, analysing the rapport we have to our online self and compiling extraordinary digital footprint related stories.
The meetings of the Polish Focus Group gathered for the DIGIT project took place in Warsaw between February and April 2018. Each meeting counted with participation of 10 people, among adult educators, internet safety experts, seniors and general adult internet users.
The topics discussed included:
How do we generate Digital Footprint?
Management of personal image online
What are the consequences of excessive Internet use?
How to secure my PC?
The engaging discussions within the group and conclusions gathered helped to understand better habits, attitudes and worries of adult internet users and identify the most important issues to be addressed in the later stages of the project. The meetings’ results are contributing to the development of the DIGIT MANIFESTO, including tips for the competent and conscious use of the internet.
On March and April 2018 three separate focus group meetings were held on Platon Schools in Katerini. The Greek focus group consisted of 10 persons, psychologists, lawyers, educators and parents with ages raging from 32 to 56 years old. The members of the focus group had different backgrounds and interests. Each meeting was approximately two hours long. Each meeting had a strict agenda and it was recorded on voice recorders for further analysis.
The topics discussed on those meetings were:
What is a Digital Footprint and how do we generate a Digital Footprint?
Personal data online.
Responsible use of Internet.
The discussions of the focus group led us to some primary conclusions and helped us to understand the mindset, attitudes and way of thinking of adult internet users and also identify points and topics that they can not understand or they were not paying attention to. The meetings’ results will contribute to the development of the DIGIT MANIFESTO.
The LLLPlatform was one of the partners involved in the first project phase which consisted in the organisation of focus groups (workshops) taking place in a face-to-face format. LLLP Focus Groups brought together around 10 participants three times (for around 1.5 hrs each) coming from various backgrounds representing the project target groups: adult education stakeholders, digital experts and policy-makers. The topics addressed the issues (risks, challenges and opportunities) of the digital world among which were: management of personal accounts, image and data, side effects of internet and digital abuse, PCs safety and security, and digital citizenship.
LLLP had its meetings on the 2nd, 19th and 27th of March 2018 and gathered relevant qualitative data and quantitative data (via a questionnaire) that will feed into the first project deliverable, namely The DIGIT Manifesto and guidelines for adult educators. Among the major inputs was the idea that adult educators should not aim at scaring people because of potential digital threats and risks but rather focus on hands-on solutions to insufficient privacy, safety or limited responsibility with regard to online behaviours. Overall, most participants were already quite aware of the issues discussed and the proposed solutions mostly belonged to the education field in the sense that raising awareness, fostering critical thinking and basic digital skills need to take place as part of formal and non-formal education.
UPI’s focus groups took place on 6, 13 and 27 March 2018 and were attended by 10 participants. In the course of the three afternoon sessions we discussed various topics (digital footprint, types of personal accounts, use of social media, privacy settings etc.) with the focus on personal accounts and images.
Among the participants were also a respresentative of the Academic and Research Centre of Slovenia (ARNES) and a respresentative of Safe.si project from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana who shared their rich experience in the field of digital footprint. Apart from a very engaged participation that included an exchange of believes, habits, fears and solution seeking, all participants filled in an (online) questionnaire and were eager to stay tuned for further project activities.
In March 2018, in Reus (Spain), DomSpain organised 3 sessions of 1.5 hour each of a focus group. It was formed by 12 participants in total who were adult people aged 50 or plus. Most of them were retired from the field of banking health, education and public servants. Therefore, the group was mixed in terms of interests and background. The sessions were hold in Catalan and Spanish.
The sessions were led by a psychologist (who dealt mainly with those topics regarding side effects) a social worker and an adult educator.
After these sessions, the participants organised themselves in 4 groups according to their interests and knowledge, and spent some time discussing and brainstorming about the four main issues that they had been working on:
Management of personal accounts and image
Be safe online and secure your PC
Be a responsible digital citizen
Be aware of the side effects.
Almost all participants were very engaged in the sessions and participated to a high extent to all activities and expressed there willingness to continue involved in the project.
Last November was held in Warsaw, Poland the kick-off meeting of Erasmus+ European project: «DIGIT – Boost competences for a responsible use of online identity» which will last for two years.
This project, involving partners from Poland, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain, UK, Greece, Italy and Slovenia is funded by the European Commission within the Erasmus + KA2, Cooperation for Innovation and Good Practice Exchange program and aims to boost digital competences for a responsible use of online identity. Through this project the consortium aims to investigate digital identity implications for adults and provide the necessary educational instruments and supporting tools for adult educators.