If you want to participate as a fully-fledged citizen now and in the future, and also want to be successful in the (future) labor market, then digital skills are an absolute precondition, in addition to language and reading skills.
The DESI Index 2020, provided by the European Commission, reports that only 58% of Europeans have at least basic digital skills (meaning 42% don’t even have basic skills), despite the fact that the job market demand for ICT and digital competences is growing. Therefore, children must acquire these skills from an early age. This applies not only to basic ICT skills, but also to competences referencing the conscious and critical use of digital technology.
Unfortunately, also here a additional social divide is looming. Research shows that the skills indicators are strongly influenced by socio-demographic factors. Therefor COLIBLITE was aimed at multicultural- and low-income areas and families. Children from these families often have no personal and suitable digital devices, and their parents often have low education, insufficient digital skills and insufficient financial resources to support their children in their (educational) online environment. This causes problems not only concerning bullying and filter bubbles, but also regarding difficulties in their studies and in their future careers. This required combined educational efforts in- and outside school as well as at home. Of all the educators around children and youngsters: schools, libraries, community centers, sports clubs and parents groups. However, during year 1 of the project, COLIBLITE national and local research showed that not only parents, but also many educational professionals often do not have the basic digital skills and competences needed to support their children and students in their online world.
In order to promote and teach the necessary digital citizenship skills to children and youngsters, COLIBLITE developed and coordinated neighborhood approaches, methodologies and actions. This involved schools, libraries, youth work, community centers and parents from an MLF background. They focused on building so called “educational triangles” consisting of a school, a library, a social organization or community center and, preferably, a parents’ group. Libraries had a central role in the project. In year 2 each participating educational partner was made ”digitally literate” in terms of policies, skills and competences of the staff.
After this the cooperation between staff of the partners organizations was improved by organizing joined meetings, training and by the exchange of knowledge between educational professionals. In parallel learning materials were developed for inside and outside school lessons and activities. Also parent information events took place. Development of lesson plans and outside activities were based on co-creation by using existing free (online) materials and experiences from elsewhere. In addition teachers were