All Digital Week 2021 in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, All Digital Week 2021 was organized by EPMA (European Projects and Management Agency). Other important actors that participated in the campaign in the Czech Republic beyond the organization of events, mainly by sharing challenges, information and news, were DigiKoalice (Czech National Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills) and the Vysočina Region.

Within All Digital Week 2021, 16 events (trainings, seminars, panel discussions) took place bringing together more than 600 participants. Due to the pandemic, the events took place online, in the form of webinars, meetings on Zoom, on organisers’ own interactive platforms, etc. However, this did not make them less appealing; on the contrary, as limited opportunities for physical encounters reinforced the perception of ICT as an important part of education and helped to promote the importance of the use of ICT in this field.

The Czech DigiKoalice organized two meetings on the topic of distance education. During these meetings, panel discussions took place with domestic and foreign experts on important aspects that are related to distance learning. Specifically on safety, efficiency, (digital) well-being and the role of innovation in education. A cross-border exchange of experiences in distance learning was also possible during the events, thanks to the participation of representatives of the National Coalitions from the V4 countries. Recordings of the first and the second meeting are available on the Youtube channel of DigiKoalice.

To a great extent, the events focused on schools and teachers – on educating the teachers in the field of ICT (for teaching informatics, programming, for preparation to certify their digital skills), the application of ICT in teaching other subjects (e.g. involvement of virtual reality) and school management, the problems of distance/online education, including cybersecurity, the improvement of education through the application of ICT, etc. Some events were designed to further educate people with completed secondary education or for adults to acquire additional skills (working with the corporate digital modules or the retraining workshop on how to become a programmer) for better employability in the labour market.

One of the longer running campaigns was organised for high school students in the Vysočina region – Stories hidden in the maps where the students were instructed to create a map with a story. The aim of the activity was to bring high school students closer to the issue of creating maps, cartography, geography and data in space in general. The students were very interested in the call, there were a total of 89 entries, which were evaluated. The winner told the story about The Danger from Space.

Another very successful event was a seminar on a unique method of teaching computing to younger kids, 3rd to 4th grade. Robot Emil is a learning software for all common computer and tablet platforms accompanied with a workbook for development of modern programming and thinking skills, critical and analytical thinking and computing as a new instrument for discovering, learning and creating. The feedback from the participants was very positive – they were pleased with this specific approach to teaching ICT, especially with how well the concept is designed from a didactic perspective. In their feedback, the participants mentioned that they cannot wait to use the method during their lessons.

We would like to thank all the organizations that contributed their activities to All Digital Week 2021 in the Czech Republic. We were very happy to support the visibility of their interesting activities that help and support the development of ICT skills of current and future generations.

We believe that we not only succeeded in spreading information about new trends, but that the campaign has also attracted the attention of other organizations and individuals both at home and abroad, and we have been able to stimulate wider use of their solutions. And last but not least, we hope to have succeeded in making these activities and thus the development of digital skills in the Czech Republic more visible throughout Europe. Next year we will be looking forward to more interesting news and even deeper cooperation.

By Zuzana Krejcova, EPMA