Digital Participation: Engaging Diverse and Marginalized Communities

By Katarzyna Kowalska

Digital is one of the main challenges European Union is facing. It is a widespread and growing phenomenon that leaves a great number of people not able to benefit from the chances and opportunities that living in digitalized European societies have to offer.

Digital is one of the main challenges European Union is facing. It is a widespread and growing phenomenon that leaves a great number of people not able to benefit from the chances and opportunities that living in digitalized European societies have to offer. 

People with low digital competences are less likely to find and maintain stable income jobs, access educational offer that could increase their qualifications and face a growing risk of permanent marginalization, hence the difference between advantaged and disadvantaged groups is growing. As European Union keeps promoting access to internet and computers and reaches successes on this field, the problem we define is that many people at risk are reluctant to use technologies to change their life situation. According to Digital economy & society summary published by Eurostat (2018 edition) 84% of the EU’s population uses internet. The main challenge to be tackled is not simply lack of access to technology but rather lack of knowledge or willingness to use them for improving one’s life conditions. 

As an answer to these challenges, we created a consortium of experienced organizations form Poland (Fundacja Autokreacja), Denmark (Upstream Stories), and Italy (Mine Vaganti) and designed a KA2 initiative for in the field of adult education. By the activities foreseen in  this project we would like to provide adult learners with innovative yet simple tools that would help them look at digital world from a new perspective and use the resources they have access to (mobile phones, internet) to improve their life conditions and also contribute to the positive change in the local communities they live in. The two main methods we chosen to constitute the basis of this project are connected to the context described above. Participatory media approach is very inclusive and aims at empowering both individuals and groups to raise their digital competences, but most importantly to raise their voice and advocate issues that are important for them, both stating what prevents them from development and helping them developing realistic plans for improvement that, in a long term, shall help them becoming more independent, successful citizens of Europe. We find it crucial to conduct this project transnationally as the problem we identified is a common European challenge, but the solutions to address it should be also adjusted to different realities existing in different European societies.Therefore, this project aims to:

  1. Promote ICT uptake amongst adult learners at therefore prevent them from permanent social exclusion
  2. Raise the professional capacities of educators and other personnel working with adult learners at risk, especially as for equipping them with practical methodologies that will help them organize activities that are specifically addressing the needs of their target groups
  3. Develop an innovative educational output (digitalized training course) as a way of empowering excluded groups and promoting active, digital citizenship.

To achieve this, we are implementing a variety of activities both for learners and educators on local and international levels, and work on developing a digitalized, interactive training course on participatory media methods that will help professionals working with adults to adopt more innovative approaches to improve their beneficiaries’ digital competences and thus contribute to their better inclusion in the society.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres email nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *