An Cosán launches national campaign to help communities get digital

An Cosan Digital

An Cosán is calling for communities across Ireland to join Get Yourself Online Week, Ireland’s first community-based digital inclusion week, which aims to boost adults’ digital skills and confidence. Get Yourself Online Week (GYOW), which is being organised by Ireland’s largest community education provider, will run from 25-29 April 2022. As part of the week’s activities, An Cosán is offering members of the public the opportunity to avail of free digital assessment, advice and support at its community education centre in Tallaght.

Anyone interested should phone 01 462 8488 or call into An Cosán, Kiltalown Village Centre, Jobstown, D24 R3PN, to make an appointment. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to shop or bank online, how to use Microsoft Office, or even how to switch on a computer. A warm welcome awaits all at An Cosán!

An Cosán’s network of 226 community partners will be offering similar opportunities for digital upskilling at their centres across the country, enabling adult learners to find out where and how they can start to learn the essential skills needed for today’s digital world.

Currently almost one in two adults in Ireland lack basic digital skills, according to the Government’s Adult Literacy For Life Strategy launched last September. It is hoped that enabling adult learners currently lacking basic digital skills to get online confidently and safely will help Ireland reach the European Union target of 80% of adults with digital skills by 2030.*

Speaking ahead of GYOW, An Cosán Chief Executive Officer Heydi Foster said, “Getting online confidently, safely and affordably has never been more important. An Cosán has seen first-hand how the pandemic highlighted digital literacy. It is now essential for everyone to be able to access essential services online, learn and work from home, keep up with the latest reputable news, and connect digitally with friends and family.”

Ms Foster said she would like to commend An Cosán’s community partners for engaging in this important social and economic endeavour. “A particular shout out to our newly-appointed Digital Champions across the country who will play an important role in our Get Yourself Online campaign,” she said. “I want to thank our community partners for making this possible and to our sponsors, Accenture and SOLAS, for their ongoing commitment and support in tackling digital exclusion in Ireland”.

Digital Champions taking part in the Get Yourself Online campaign are being provided with training and resources to support their digital inclusion activities.

Training is being provided to the Digital Champions and staff in each organisation on:

  • Digital Stepping Stones – a free digital competence and digital confidence assessment tool developed by An Cosán with Accenture: www.digitalsteppingstones.ie
  • Skills to Succeed Academy – a free, highly interactive online training programme, which helps learners build the skills and confidence they need to thrive in a digitised economy, make smart career choices and find and succeed in employment: www.s2sacademy.ie
  • Access to bespoke e-learning basic digital skills curriculum being developed by An Cosán based on DigComp, the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens: www.ancosan.ie/getyourselfonline
  • Other resources being provided to support digital inclusion awareness and activities include learning & development materials, a social media and press release toolkit and one-to-one digital skills / assistive technology supports provided by An Cosán’s Digital Inclusion team: contact Mark Kelly at m.kelly@ancosan.ie

GYOW will kick off on Monday 25 April at 10am with a webinar aimed at community organisations and educators titled ‘Digital Equity Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’. A highlight of the launch will be a presentation by Accenture on its report ‘Towards a Digital Society’, which explores the issues that have emerged for the digital divide post-Covid and how groups in society are at serious risk of being left behind.

An Cosán advocates that having basic digital skills is critical to supporting lifelong learning, active citizenship, employability and inclusion. The hashtag #GetYourselfOnline will be used on social media to boost the Get Yourself Online campaign.

To find out more about Get Yourself Online Week, see www.ancosan.ie/getyourselfonline. To register for An Cosán’s ‘Digital Equity Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ webinar, please email m.flanagan@ancosan.ie

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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