Where Can Green IT/IS Education and Training Be Found Today? An Initial Assessment of Sources

The push toward sustainability & “greening” in organizations is evident in the Federal government as well as within the private sector.  A more specific focus on “greening” information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) can also be seen. As might be expected, a corresponding increase in green jobs is also occurring with many of those jobs focused on IT.
The trouble with filling green jobs, IT or otherwise, is finding educated and qualified workers to fill them.  As a result, there is a growing demand for green computing education. As early research has indicated, however, the demand for green computing knowledge by those in industry is only slowly making its way to the academic world. A recent study by Sendall (2010) identified a surprising “lack” of green IT/IS/computing and/or sustainability curriculum initiatives in institutions of higher education.  With this knowledge as background, this research efforts attempts to identify, even so: Where can green computing education and/or training be found today?

Shut down or restart?: The way forward for computing in UK schools

The report « Shut down or restart?: The way forward for computing in UK schools » is the outcome of the project « Computing in schools » initiated by the Royal Society in August 2010. The project looked at the way that computing is taught in schools, with support from 24 organisations from across the computing community including learned societies, professional bodies, universities, and industry.

The main findings and recommendations of the project are:
1. The current delivery of Computing education in many UK schools is highly unsatisfactory
2. There is a need to improve understanding in schools of the nature and scope of Computing.
3. Every child should have the opportunity to learn Computing at school, including exposure to Computer Science as a rigorous academic discipline.
4. There is a need for qualifications in aspects of Computing that are accessible at school level but are not currently taught.
5. There is a need for augmentation and coordination of current Enhancement and Enrichment activities to support the study of Computing.
6. Uptake of Computing A-level is hindered by
lack of demand from higher education institutions.

Visit the « Computing in schools » project website
Download the report
More reports on e-Jobs

FOM publishes working paper « Needs of the Internet Industry – Making Offer meet Demand in Training and Education »

FOM published a working paper with the title « Needs of the Internet Industry – Making Offer meet Demand in Training and Education ». It represents the major findings from the national roundtables in the participating countries of the e-Jobs Observatory.
The report is part of the (PIN) ProInterNet network project which is conducted in the framework of the Leonardo Da Vinci Lifelong Learning programme and funded by the European Commission. It aims at identifying the current and prospective needs of European small and medium-sized enterprises in regard to internet-related jobs. In the course of the project, the partner countries organized roundtable meetings in order to promote the idea of transparent and transnational job profiles in regard to internet-related jobs and create a network of national key players. The following report presents the results that were obtained from the first round of meetings carried out in seven EU countries. The main conclusions at European level elaborated during the roundtable meetings are the following ones:
  • Employees in Europe do not have sufficient high level competences which are needed in future. Therefore, it is urgent to act immediately.
  • SMEs ask for a high level of professional qualifications for their vacancies. It is difficult to find adequate candidates with proper soft skills.
  • There is a large gap between the approaches of the stakeholders: Training organisations, companies (especially SMEs), intermediary organisations, students and jobseekers.
Furthermore, a compendium of recommendations was gathered for each country in order to improve the current situation in the field of e-jobs. A few examples of the most important ones are:
  • Unify education, training and employment by intensifying collaboration between training institutions and prospective employers.
  • Anticipate necessities, be open to talent and promote initiatives that facilitate “learning-from-each-other” processes.
  • This type of measures should be facilitated by governments at local, national and European level.

The document can be assessed under the following link: http://www.fom.de/fileadmin/fom/downloads/forschungsberichte/arbeitspapiere/AP_22.pdf

Mapping Digital Competence: Towards a Conceptual Understanding

Talk of competences is all the rage in the training and education fields, so the introduction of another one may seem like more than enough of a good thing. In an increasingly digital-determined world, however, it is not surprising that « digital competence » has also entered into the vocabulary. But what exactly is « digital competence »? Which concepts and ideas are used to describe it? How should we understand the term? These are the questions which the recently release report, Mapping Digital Competence: Towards a Conceptual Understanding, seeks to answer.

The report, produced by the IS Unit at JRC-IPTS, is the result of a project to develop guidelines for supporting digital competence development in Europe which was launched on the request of DG Education and Culture. The report reviews needs for digital competence, different concepts used to describe and understand it, as well as related policy approaches and measurements. Based on these, it suggests a conceptual model encompassing:

  1. Instrumental knowledge and skills for tool and media usage;
  2. Advanced skills and knowledge for communication and collaboration, information management, learning and problem-solving, and meaningful participation;
  3. Attitudes to strategic skills usage in intercultural, critical, creative, responsible and autonomous ways.
According to the report, instrumental knowledge and skills are a precondition for developing or using more advanced skills. The objective of the conceptual model is to highlight the various knowledge, skill and attitude areas that should be considered when developing digital competence. The proposed structure allows for flexibility and for the concept to be tailored to different target groups of digital competence learners and users.

Author: Kirsti Ala-Mutka
EUR Number: Technical Note: JRC 67075
Publication date: 10/2011

The report can be downloaded at http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=4699.

British graduates lack the basic skills needed to join the workforce

The survey « Business education survey 2011 – Freshminds poll of 28 top UK companies for Young Enterprise » carried out by by the Young Enterprise charity in the UK show that three out of four firms (75%) feel the British education system is not equipping young people with the skills they need to enter the workforce.

Researchers found that thousands of young people arrive at interviews without the « vital employability skills » required by employers such as having a suitable grasp of English, being punctual and having a general « can do » attitude.

Young Enterprise charity chairman Ian Smith said that the situation is getting worse because the Department for Education is adopting an alarmingly narrow focus on academic skills and exams.

Download the survey
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Realizing the organizational and educational development potential of web 2.0

SVEA, a new and innovative European project, wants to cultivate new work processes and communication strategies through the use of net-based technology.

The project addresses the collaboration and web 2.0 skills of teachers and trainers in both Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult training institutions, with a special focus on personnel and organizational development. SVEA is composed by the following partner consortium: MFG Baden-Württemberg (Germany), CSP Innovazioni nelle ICT (Italy), EuroPACE ivzw ( Belgium), FUNDECYT (Spain), and Coleg sir Gâr (Wales).

The project will develop an online platform offering custom web 2.0 tools for trainers and teachers, combined with both an online and a face to face training program to help the target group master these web 2.0 applications. Guidelines and training material to guarantee successful implementation will also be designed.

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“Soft skills” essential for employers but missing among young people

The results of the a survey entitled « Closing the Gap Between Business and Education” show that business leaders find young people to lack ‘soft skills’ such as confidence, teamwork, self-motivation, networking and presentation skills. 63 % of respondents said that their countries’ educational systems were not preparing young people with the right skills to enter the workforce and 70 % of respondents said their countries were doing a poor job developing financial and entrepreneurial skills among young people.

The survey was carried out by FreshMindsResearch for JA-YE Europe, which is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes bringing together businesses, schools and young people.

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International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies

EDULEARN11, the 3rd annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies will be held in Barcelona (Spain), on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July, 2011.

This conference will be held at international level. The attendance of more than 700 delegates from 70 different countries is expected.

EDULEARN11 is an International Forum for those who wish to present their projects and discuss the latest innovations and results in the field of New Technologies in Education, E-learning and methodologies applied to Education and Research.


Bursting the 9 Myths of Computing Technology in Education

In a thought provoking article by Kentaro Toyama published in ICT Works, the author argues that « technology in education has a poor historical record; that computers in schools typically fail to have positive impact (with the rare exceptions occurring only in the context of competent, well-funded schools); that information technology is almost never worth its opportunity cost; and that quality education doesn’t require information technology ».
Having put forward a point-by-point refutation of frequently heard sound bites extolling technology in schools, he concludes that « underperforming school systems should keep their focus on improving teaching and administration, and that even good schools may want to consider more cost-effective alternatives to technology when making supplementary educational investments ».