In the current EU panorama, where digital skills and competences are at stake due to their relevance within the labour market reality, the concept of ‘virtual citizenship and identity” is steadily growing in importance. In the race for web presence and online visibility, most citizens are forgetting about the dangers and risks – along with the opportunities – that our online habits can have. The DIGIT Project idea was born from the concerns of adult educators, adults and other relevant stakeholders such as digital experts and public body representatives about the current digital challenges our society faces in terms of digital literacy. ‘DIGIT’ – ‘Boost Competences for a responsible use of online identity’ is a two-year European project funded under Erasmus+ KA2 ‘Strategic partnerships’ and coordinated by Polish company INnCREASEtogether with partners stemming from seven different countries (Belgium, Spain, UK, Poland, Greece, Italy and Slovenia).
Within this initiative called to raise awareness among European citizens about their responsibilities as digital users and improve their competences and skills, partners have developed a DIGIT MANIFESTO. This document, resulting from partners’ research and information gathered through local focus groups, includes tips for learners on how to stay safe online; guidelines for adult educators on how to use the training materials developed during the upcoming months, a glossary with the most relevant concepts and terms and additional resources related to digital footprint.
In a world where digital skills and competences are as vital as literacy and numeracy, we need digitally competent people who are able to find, evaluate, produce and communicate clear information online in a safe manner. In line with this, and aiming at raising awareness about the concept of Digital Footprint and the lack of knowledge of the implications it can have for individuals and in our daily lives, the DIGIT MANIFESTO is meant to be a useful support tool for both adults and adult educators in becoming and helping other become more digitally literate.
After some fine-tuning during the last transnational meeting in Reus (Spain), DIGIT project partners are ready to present their “20 tips for learners”, a one-page document introducing the concept of digital footprint (the record or trail left by one’s online activities) and inviting Internet-users to reflect on its implications. The document, which constitutes an integral part of the upcoming Manifesto and guidelines for adult educators, presents 20 useful tips relating to the issues of personal accounts and image, online security, digital citizenship and excessive Internet use, and aims at encouraging readers to take action towards becoming responsible digital users and citizens.
Feel free to share these results with your students, colleagues and network and stay tuned for the Manifesto and guidelines for adult educators, a comprehensive guide for educators interested in introducing adult learners to the issue of responsible online identity.
SAVE THE DATE for the DIGIT final conference next year (October 2019)!
DIGIT partners met for the third time during the project lifespan in Reus, Spain where the famous architect Gaudí was born. Under the last warm sunbeams of the year, the partners had a fruitful meeting to discuss how to fine-tune the Manifesto and guidelines for adult educators, which will be ready in the coming weeks.
Besides the Manifesto, the partners will soon publish a one-page document gathering “20 tips for learners” aiming to reflect on digital footprint implications and to take action to become a responsible digital citizen.
The consortium also had a preview of the future online platform, which will be hosting the training programme associated with the Manifesto. The European network Dlearn will be responsible for this second output of the project. At the beginning of 2019, all this online content will be showcased offline through a series of multiplier events in partner countries, a flash mob, and pilot testing of the training programme during the spring months.
Are you an adult educator interested in digital footprint? Would you like to pilot test the training programme in your class?
During the first project phase, the partners organised three online or face-to-face focus groups in their countries (Poland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Greece, Slovenia and Spain), gathering various stakeholders to assess their awareness and competences on digital identity related issues. At the meetings, the participants – educators, policy-makers, parents and digital experts – explored the four main issues previously unveiled by the project team together:
Management of personal account and image
Online safety and security
Internet and its side effects
During the focus groups, participants were asked to fill in the same questionnaire, which had previously been translated into the partners home languages. The results are presented in the featured infographic. The data and its analysis will feed into the first project deliverable, namely The DIGIT Manifesto and guidelines for adult educators.
After months of dedication and hard work our team of efficient and effective consortium members is heading towards finishing the first version of the MANIFESTO of DIGIT project!
The upcoming document will contain tips for adult learners, diadic and pedagogic guidelines for educators and many other resources.
Currently the document is in the process of being reviewed by the educators from the area of cybersecurity. Their suggestions will be shared with us so the final version will be prepared and released in the near future!
Be ready to welcome the first Intellectual Output soon!
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.