ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe
employees of other organizations and members of charities. The “eagles” also organize a number of events in local libraries and other community centers. A new initiative is the support of university students. We mentioned above the existence of the institution of so-called “ Digital Champions ”. Unlike the concept of a digital champion in the European Union as a top expert and/or a person who deserves, or is in charge of digitalization of society, in Britain it means a much more “popular” approach covered by the Digital Championships Network foundation. 6 The foundation, funded by the state and member organizations, was founded in 2013, with the aim of educating/training and supporting professionals – digital champions – who will help develop the necessary digital skills of the general public. It generally offers (for an entry sponsorship fee) its services to commercial and non-commercial organizations, but mostly public service organizations apply to the foundation – local authorities, charities, community education centers, organizations providing care services, etc. An individual volunteer interested in spreading digital awareness can also apply, but he/she must find a sponsoring organization. The foundation 6 is able to tailor training programs for employees of member organizations as well as individual volunteers trying to become digital champions – depending on with whom, on what and in what area, among others, they will work following the training. The portfolio of training programs for digital champions includes the basics of computer work, document creation in Microsoft Office, efficient and safe use of the Internet, use of online services provided by government and banks, etc. In addition to content focus on various areas of digital skills, areas of specific educational needs and approaches to various groups of disadvantaged citizens – how to work with physically, hearing and visually impaired clients (among others), how to educate citizens with various learning disabilities and how to work with seniors to name a few. Upon completion of each course, the digital champion receives a certificate. The education of champions is an open process – each of them can continuously supplement their education with other necessary or new courses. Since the launch of the project, the foundation has trained approximately 11,000 digital champions, and by the end of 2019 plans to increase their number by another 3,000. 6 An essentially similar project for educating digital champions has proved its worth in Estonia , namely the Look@World Foundation . 7 The foundation was established in 2001 by several private companies in the field of banking and ICT (AS Hansapank, AS Eesti Ühispank, AS EMT, AS Eesti telefon, IBM Esti OÜ, IT Group AS, etc.). The main goal of the foundation is to serve the 6 Learn. Share. Change Lives, Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, see https://www.digital championshipsnetwork.com/content/learn-share-change-lives. 7 Look@World Foundation 2017, see http://www.vaatamaailma.ee/about-us.
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