Digital skills for a conscious and active use of digital technologies hosted by the eSkills Malta Foundation

Digital skills for a conscious and active use of digital technologies hosted by the eSkills Malta Foundation

The eSkills Malta Foundation, in collaboration and partnership with BluSpecs and the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Secretariat, organised a “Digital skills for a conscious and active use of digital technologies” webinar on 7th April 2021.

Media in education, whether in the form of spoken and written language, mathematical ways of thinking or algorithms, are a fundamental element of school education. Over the centuries, various forms of media have contributed to shaping human thought and culture. Digital technologies permeate and shape our daily lives, creating new challenges for society, especially in terms of teaching and learning.

The eSkills Malta Foundation Chief Administrator Mr Carm Cachia welcomed the esteemed speakers and the general public and opened the event. Mr Alexander Riedl, Deputy Head of the Digital Economy, Recovery Plan & Skills from the European Commission, identified the difficulties and challenges for Digital Upskilling and Reskilling. Mr Riedl also announced the Digital Skills Platform launch, a project that will present a source of information about digital skills training and funding opportunities from all European Union member states. Mr Brendan Rowan from the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Secretariat spoke about bringing awareness around using digital platforms.

Dr Alex Agius Saliba, a Maltese Member of the European Parliament (MEP), discussed and presented essential findings related to “Awareness in the context of internet and social media use in Malta”. A study was carried out by his office relating to the local scene about digital platforms.

Digital skills for a conscious and active use of digital technologies hosted by the eSkills Malta Foundation

This was followed by an insightful panel discussion with Dr Alex Aguis Saliba, Member of the European Parliament, Dr Alex Grech, Executive Director at the 3CL Foundation, Mr Grazio Grixti, Director on Digital Literacy at the Ministry for Education, Ms Dana Farrugia, CEO of TechMT. Dr Martin Debattista, Researcher on Digital Media and Education, moderated the panel. The most salient points were discussed, including teaching and including digital skills in national curricula at an early age, as well as societal digital skills needed to use the digital platforms responsibly.

In his closing comments, Carmel Cachia, Chief Administrator at the eSkills Malta Foundation mentioning the next ‘Digital Decade’ and the relating Digital Compass which the European Commission proposed. These instruments proposed many ambitious targets relating to the Digital capability for Europe and, in particular, the upskilling and reskilling to become an able and responsible digital citizen.

A comprehensive strengthening of the individual is a prerequisite for a self-determined and responsible use of digital media. Skills and dispositions that are important in digital technologies form a direct relationship between the individual and the world. Indirect media education can develop these skills by focusing on differentiated perceptions, self-disciplining initiatives, and general education that enables the person to reformulate information and relevant knowledge in a meaningful context.

The eSkills Malta Foundations deems this webinar another great success primarily due to the valid speakers debating very insightful topics and dilemmas but more importantly suggesting possible ways forward, along with an active audience who pondered and asked very poignant questions.