20% of adults in Europe have low levels of literacy and numeracy, according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. The survey results, released on 8 October, 2013, demonstrate the urgency of improving information-processing and problem-solving skills in adults. The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) calls for more investment in adult education to address these skills gaps.
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), also known as the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, measures basic work-related skills such as literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skills. The aim is to assess the information-processing and problem-solving skills necessary to work effectively in a technology-rich environment. Around 166 000 adults aged 16-65 were surveyed in 24 countries. The study found that on average, 20% of the EU adult population has low literacy and numeracy skills. Not only are lower skilled people more likely to have lower health and civic engagement, but countries with lower skilled populations have lower per capita incomes and risk being left behind in a competitive global economy.
EAEA commented on the results of PIAAC, emphasizing the need for more investment in adult learning and pointing out the "strong positive relationship between participation in adult education and skills proficiency." France, Spain and Italy had the lowest levels of proficiency on average, while Finland and the Netherlands came out on top. Furthermore, the study showed that the skills gap between generations is getting wider, as proficiency in new technology becomes more and more indispensable in the workplace.
EAEA believes that, "Adult education is the key for more knowledge, skills, competences and participation in Europe. It has the potential to increase competitiveness and employability but also democracy, inclusion, health and well-being." EAEA outlined eight recommendations, including increased public investment, cohesive lifelong learning systems, and reaching out to under-represented groups. The full list of recommendations is detailed in their statement on the survey results and more information is included in their media release.
The Global Text Project publishes open content electronic textbooks that are freely available from this website. It focuses on content development and Web distribution, and will work with relevant authorities to facilitate dissemination by other means when bandwidth is unavailable or inadequate. The goal is to make textbooks available to the many who cannot afford them.
We report on peer-to-peer learning online, describing the role of cooperative, student managed groupings in successful learn-by-MOOC experiences.
We found that to expand learners’ potential in digital culture, it helps to by-pass traditional notions and tools of online learning support, and embrace networked social media.
There are still places available for the training week in Berlin that will be taking place from the 21st to the 25th of October, 2013.
The course is based on a combination of video education and social media methods and is a hybrid outcome of these two EU projects: www.web20erc.eu and www.viducate.net. The aim is to explore creative approaches in the online and offline use of video within education.
You can apply at your National EU Agency for funding. The deadline for application is the 30th April 2013.
You can find the course description here.
The International Conference on Education and New Developments—END 2013 has issued a 2nd Call for Abstracts. This will be the last call: participants will have until 29 March 2013 to turn in new submissions.
END 2013 - International Conference on Education and New Developments will be accepting abstract submissions until 29 March 2013, and authors will be notified starting on 26 April 2013. The conference will be held 1-3 June 2013 in Lisbon, Portugal, and registration is open until 17 May.