I-LINC – a sustainable and all-encompassing platform on the topic of ICT (for) learning and inclusion - offers its growing community of registered users an online environment for networking, participation and learning that focuses on boosting the employability and entrepreneurship capacities of young people.
Benefiting from gathering useful resources available on existing platforms through networks and initiatives, and adding its own valuable content, I-LINC is developing a vibrant community of stakeholders in the field of digital skills for employability and entrepreneurship and linking them to the main beneficiaries - young people. I-LINC features a wide variety of resources and networking spaces, including learning opportunities, relevant policies, best practices, events, stakeholders in the field and the possibility to connect with them, funding opportunities and many others. I-LINC also offers this community a number of opportunities to participate in various campaigns. A major pan-European campaign in preparation right now is Get Online Week 2017 (#GOW17).
This annual digital empowerment campaign engages and encourages people to use technology and the internet with confidence and with skills that allow them to benefit from the world of online opportunities. It is supported by corporations, NGOs and public authorities. The campaign is organised each year in March by Telecentre Europe (TE), an umbrella organisation that represents European networks of ICT learning centres.
What is GOW17 all about?
This year, Get Online Week will take place between 27 March and 2 April, and it will be its seventh year of running on this scale. Since its take-off in 2010, the GOW campaign has reached more than 900,000 Europeans in more than 20,000 learning centres across Europe. Thanks to the campaign, more than 150,000 people have used the internet for the very first time.
Each year, the campaign aims to tackle some of the most pressing challenges which Europeans face. This year the campaign will focus on three essential areas, namely:
- Cybersecurity: use technology and the internet safely, and manage your (digital) identity.
- eServices: learn to keep up with eServices (eGovernment, eBanking, eHealth, eCommerce).
- Employment and entrepreneurship: learn new skills for jobs and for starting businesses.
These three topics will be tackled by 24 national partners. Together with their 4,000 partner organisations, including public authorities, IT companies, NGOs, libraries and educational institutions, the GOW17 national partners will involve more than 70,000 people and reach hundreds of thousands more.
Learning to use technology safely
The first theme of the campaign is cybersecurity. It is increasingly seen as a critical issue for national security and for companies, but perhaps it is most vital to ensure that society trusts technology and that citizens know how to protect themselves.
In Estonia, SWA will promote safe and skilful online behaviour and organise a "Wise YouTuber 2017" contest. SDC in Germany will hold a webinar for educators to teach them about secure apps for children and, conversely, which apps collect the most data from users. Programa Escolhas in Portugal will offer a workshop on Cyberbullying. HePIS will run an online campaign in Greece to enrol over 500 candidates in online courses in Cybersecurity offered by CISCO. In Sweden, Sambruk will focus on understanding, utilising and protecting one's eID (electronic identification), thereby fostering trust and confidence in internet-based services and information, as well as in public e-services. Training on copyright and intellectual property on the internet will be conducted in Spain and Russia. In the Czech Republic, NCBI will lead an online awareness campaign on cybersecurity with an emphasis on personal data protection in relation to digital skills for employment.
Many of the activities offered during GOW combine the topics of cybersecurity and e-Services, and security for online banking is put forward in several countries. Thus, in Lithuania, LiA in partnership with the association of Lithuanian banks, will organise webinars on safe issues of financial literacy and data privacy, e-banking services online, and direct meetings with experts in the public libraries. FIT in Ireland will run training programmes with sections on "Safety and security online" and "How to…", showing how to bank online, book airline tickets, get insurance, and so on.
Join the campaign
Each year, GOW challenges Europeans to learn, participate, share and create through thousands of events and activities tackling the digital transformation and its effects. People and skills, not technology, are the most important pieces in the digital transformation puzzle. The digital divide produces anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity regarding the future. Rather than resisting the digital transformation, people and organisations must prepare immediately and strategically for a skillset that will perpetually change and evolve.
Would you like to join activities in your country? Check what is happening where or contact your national partner through the campaign's I-LINC website.
Find out more about Get Online Week generally at www.getonlineweek.eu.