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Adult educators empowered to promote digital skilling, lifelong learning

Adult educators empowered to promote digital skills, lifelong learning

The fast-paced digital era has set the scene where job descriptions change and some roles quickly become irrelevant, even as new skills are constantly in demand. While this labour transition certainly stimulates a deep sense of endless possibilities for development and growth, more often than not, it also comes with a sense of ambiguity in terms of short-term and long-term personal and professional security.

As a result, in Cyprus, as in many other parts of the world, the ability to adapt and acquire new skills has become essential for personal and professional success. Indeed, through its human-centric, sustainable vision for the digital decade, the EU is prioritising empowerment of citizens, setting as a goal that, by 2030, at least 80 per cent of all adults will have at least basic digital skills, and 60 per cent will be engaged in adult training.

Yet considering EU member states’ varying educational systems and approaches, the question remains: how can we solidify a systematic approach to lifelong learning and digitalisation of the population efficiently, without opting for ineffective, one-off training opportunities that fail to bring long-term results?

AdultDigitalUp conference in Croatia

Spotlight on Cyprus adult educators

The AdultDigitalUp project is currently one of the most prominent adult education initiatives in Cyprus, whose aim is to empower lifelong learning and equip low-skilled adults with necessary digital skills. Funded by the EU’s DG Reform and implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, with the support of CARDET, the project serves as a blueprint for a sustainable, long-term approach that ensures systematic and systemic change over time.

Recognising the paramount importance of adult educators, the project has supported and empowered them, to ensure citizens, especially low skilled adults, have access to tailored and guided support in developing their digital skills. Taking a multidimensional approach, via study visits to Croatia, Ireland and Estonia, the project has facilitated the examination and transfer of effective strategies and good practices that can further elevate the quality of adult education in Cyprus.

Most importantly, through a careful examination of the sector’s needs and realities, AdultDigitalUp has designed and offered adult educators tailored opportunities for professional development, facilitating also the creation of an educator network. Providing top-down holistic support, therefore, the project has highlighted successfully how adult educator support is not merely an element of a lifelong learning strategy, but crucial to the success of professional and personal development amongst a wider population.

Adult educators empowered to promote digital skills, lifelong learning

Investing in professional development

Adult educators and trainers play a pivotal role in the learning and development of adults, operating as educational guides and facilitators. Consequently, their professional development is an essential step in elevating the standard of Cyprus adult education, ensuring learners are offered quality learning opportunities that cover present and future needs for their personal and professional development.

With this in mind, AdultDigitalUp has developed a Certified Training Programme for Adult Educators in Teaching Digital Skills. The programme, incorporating novel and interactive learning resources and tools, was offered to over 120 adult educators in sessions delivered around Cyprus. By incorporating comprehensive training and tools for adult educators and infusing blended-learning strategies, trainings provided a wide array of materials and methodologies, equipping them with the knowledge and capacity to engage and support adult learners in developing their digital skills effectively.

Additionally, the project team organised a series of free webinars and informational events to raise awareness, as well as provide practical and tangible guidance and information to educators on current Adult Education trends and innovative digital tools. This saw AdultDigitalUp bring key stakeholders, policymakers and practitioners together to explore strategies and tools – including artificial intelligence – toward facilitating the work of adult educators.

Adult educators empowered to promote digital skills, lifelong learning

Where to next?

As we look to the future, it is clear the role of adult educators will continue to be pivotal in shaping the lifelong learning landscape of the island. The AdultDigitalUp project serves as an important reminder that only by investing in their professional development, fostering collaboration and leveraging government support, can we ensure adult educators are equipped to meet the evolving needs of learners in the digital era, and drive forward a lifelong learning strategy.

Learn more about the AdultDigitalUp project, training and learning resources by visiting the official website.

The AdultDigitalUp project is implemented by the Cyprus Education Ministry, supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and coordinated by CARDET.

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