Online academy to train ‘digital champions’
Training ‘digital champions’ can help more than eight million UK citizens who are missing out on the benefits of being online, says Digital Unite. The digital skills outfit has announced plans to train qualified individuals to bridge the gap. Emma Solomon, managing director, said: “Digital Unite is launching its online academy and its first qualification, the Digital Champion ITQ, to enable those who already know their way around a computer to acquire the skills – and formal qualifications – to become effective digital champions.
“Good intentions and enthusiasm are not enough to make real change in the way people understand and use computers and the internet. If UK plc is to improve its digital skills it needs thousands of qualified digital champions to go out and train others in their communities and workplace.” The Digital Champion ITQ is an e-learning course designed to advance students’ computer skills while training them to inspire and engage others to get online. It leads to a level 2 City and Guilds qualification.
online textbook savings The launch of an online e-commerce platform from CourseSmart, a provider of e-textbooks and digital course materials, will enable students in the UK and Europe to save up to 40% on textbook costs by renting them online for periods of 180 days or more. Students will have access to the e-textbooks
anywhere, any time, from any web-enabled device, including laptops and smartphones. CourseSmart said the platform provided all the functions of traditional textbooks, enhanced by today’s technologies. Page fidelity will be maintained on all devices, and note taking, bookmarking, printing and copying are supported. Founded by five publishers – Cengage
Learning, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Wiley – in the US in 2007, CourseSmart currently has over 2.5 million users worldwide. Fionnuala Duggan, managing director of CourseSmart International, said: “The e-commerce platform will help students to save money, instructors to engage online, publishers to access a developing market, and booksellers to be part of this significant development in publishing.”
Businesses urged to push language skills
Organisations are being offered tips to improve their communication skills ahead of the 2012 Olympics. International group dp, developer of corporate
language training Speexx, said its five-step strategy was also timely for other international events such as UEFA Euro 2012.
“Learning a new language not only helps to
facilitate sporting events but it can open up new channels of communication within the business world,” said dp’s founder and president, Armin Hopp. “Alarmingly, most organisations are not fully equipped to communicate with their customers and suppliers other than in their native language.” A white paper Online Communication Skills
Training for a Diverse Global Workforce, which outlines why diversity and inclusion is important for securing business success, is available from www.speexx.com/en/whitepaper
The five steps recommended by dp Ensure staff are aware of the latest and most effective methods of language learning, and how
to implement learning programmes. Conduct a thorough assessment of staff language and communication skills across the
board to help identify who needs training. Identify levels of communication within the organisation and pinpoint who the key people are, where the talent is and the best way to address
their skills needs. Gain co-operation – HR can get IT and learning/development together early to plan how
to improve skills without affecting workflow. Change from the top down – the key to changing learning habits is buy-in at the top.
Campaign seeks the offline millions
Three initiatives launched last month aim to convert an estimated 8.2 million Britons who have yet to get online. Two new specialist
networks, the Disability Specialist Network and the Into Work Specialist Network for the unemployed, aim to provide in-depth support for the two groups that are hardest to access. Individuals with a disability comprise nearly half the total offline population.
UK Online Centres will work alongside partners such as Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work and Pensions, Abilitynet and the RNIB charity. A third launch, the £1.1m Community Hub programme, will fund large-scale projects in 31 communities.
4 Milner: a fully digital UK
“The number of people who are offline in the UK is getting smaller, but not at the rate we’d hoped for,” says Helen Milner, chief executive of UK Online Centres. “As the number declines, those who are left offline become harder and harder to reach, so we need to invest now to support those most likely to be left behind. By working closely with these hard-to-reach groups and addressing their needs directly, I’m confident we’ll finally become a fully digital nation.”
Tracking and measuring social impact will be a key aspect of all three programmes, and both the Into Work and the Disability Specialist Networks are welcoming new members.
e.learning age may 2012
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