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International Literacy Day 2021: Digital Literacy for a Human-Centred Recovery

Posted in Geen categorie on September 8, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge disturbance to children’s education across the world, with the average child losing 54% of their school year’s contact time by November 2020. With school closures, income loss, and a rapid shift to distance / online teaching, it also exacerbated pre-existing inequalities in accessing literacy learning, disproportionately affecting 773 million non-literate young people and adults 

Importantly, the necessary move to distance learning highlighted the digital divide in terms of access to electricity and the internet, technology infrastructure, and the ability to engage properly with technology and the online platforms. Aflatoun’s partners were also impacted, with many forced to close or work remotely with inadequate preparation, and reporting cash flow problems and negative effects on staff well-being.  

 However, our partner network displayed incredible resilience and innovation in the face of such challenges, and continued to work tirelessly to ensure that children and youth continued to receive crucial social and financial education relevant to the 21st century. Adapting their programmes for distance learning was no easy task, especially given the disparity of digital literacy and access to technology between students, but our partners were creative with tackling these issues. Amongst many other solutions, partners used methods such as small learning group phone calls, launching platforms that can be fully downloaded for offline use, delivering information and content to students’ homes on CD / DVD, and using Zoom lessons with take-home material.  

Some Aflatoun partners also worked to reduce the digital gap by, for example, delivering tablets with pre-downloaded social, financial, and mental health educational support, collaborating with other partners to provide low-data accessible learning services, and utilising social media to continue delivering their teaching.  

To best support our partners, and respond to the organisation and teacher needs, Aflatoun worked to provide further digital training and resources. In 2020, we launched the Aflatoun Partner Platform, which allowed our network of partners to connect and learn from each other, as well as be directly supported by the Aflatoun secretariat. Through this, we conducted regular online training, knowledge sharing, and hosted curricula resources and online modules. In line with this year’s International Literacy Day under the theme “Literacy for a Human-Centred Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide”, Aflatoun has been developing an upcoming course specifically centred on Digital Literacy for teachers 

The aim of the course is to equip participants with basic digital skills and help them catch up with the demands of digitisation in learning. Specifically aimed at adults involved in implementing Aflatoun programmes, it will tackle the digital skills gap and inequalities worldwide by providing high quality training to teachers to enable them to effectively teach online.  

Curated for the highest relevance to teachers and educators, it will cover topics such as: connecting to the internet, internet etiquette, using email, web search and video conferencing, file management good practices, and online security. Importantly, it includes not just technical skills but also digital social skills such as professional and social networking, distinguishing fake and real news, building a positive digital identity and helping their students do so too. To keep up with the current financial climate, it also introduces participants to digital financial skills, such as online banking, e-money, and e-budgeting. Through this, participants will learn to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of these services, and make informed decisions.  

Stay tuned for the official launch of the Digital Skills module!