Today’s generation of students are at risk of falling victim to the digital divide. However, the divide is no longer about access to technology, but the ability of young people entering the labour market to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) intelligently and creatively to become individuals who flourish in an increasingly digital world.
This divide occurs partly because skills development lags behind the very fast moving pace of technological development but also because of the obstacles to the adoption of ICT in our HE institutions, for reasons such as:
STEM subjects have diverged sharply from humanitarian subjects, with digital skills enclosed in computer science and engineering faculties;
pressures to conform to strict evaluation criteria and detachment from employers and businesses, leave little space for transversal ICT skills despite being essential to student success when they seek employment;
ageing teaching staff who have built their careers in pre-digital academia are change resistant – unaware and/or disinclined to introduce digital aspects to their teaching.
The Digital Skills Accelerator project overcomes these obstacles by creating and marketing skills training opportunities directly to students across participating countries in the form of an online assessment tool and open online training course called the Essential Digital Skills Toolkit.