2022 has been a busy year at ICDL Europe. We’d like to share some of the highlights with you so please read on below to see what we were up to this year and events across the digital skills landscape in Europe.
Spring 2022 was the season when the majority of European countries emerged from pandemic restrictions and ICDL providers across Europe were able to start meeting again in person. Here’s a few highlights of what happened this spring.
Advances in AI generated art
DALL.E 2 launched, a new AI system that can create original, realistic images and art from a text description. It can combine concepts, attributes, and styles to form an impressive visual result.
A brand new ICDL module launched in Europe, E-Commerce. The E-Commerce module covers the main concepts of e-commerce and develops an understanding of how to set up, manage and maintain a store on an online platform, a social media platform and an e-commerce marketplace.
ECDL Croatia takes part in the Croatian Digital Literacy Network. The network, formed in late 2020, aims to strengthen cross-sectoral cooperation and capacity building for research and development of the digital society in Croatia. It conducts scientific research, develops guidelines for public policy, and helps develop the human resources needed for their implementation.
Ten new 3D printing hubs are being activated in Romanian high schools as part of the fourth edition of a project to create the craftspeople of the future. There are now 40 3D printing hubs with 80 teachers, reaching over 800 high school students.
Despite war, Ukrainian candidates continue to take ICDL
Candidates in Ukraine have continued their ICDL studies and tests despite the outbreak of war in the country. During these difficult circumstances, candidates are showing a remarkable resilience in continuing to improve their digital skills.
Renato Salvatore Marafioti was elected President of AICA, the Italian ICDL operator, in late January this year. He will serve a three year term.
SARS-CoV-2 becomes most sequenced organism on Earth
Thanks to the Covid tests many of us have taken since 2020, scientists have been able to create over 7 million maps of the entire genome of the virus to track changes. This means they can more easily and quickly spot new variants. This number of mappings surpasses the flu virus, HIV or even our own human genome.
During the European All Digital Weeks, ICDL considered the theme of enhancing digital skills and promoting digital inclusion and accessibility. Digital literacy in 2022 and beyond will increasingly mean more than skills for specific software tools: we need to reimagine digital literacy to mean skills for life, study and work.
ICDL Europe Dutch-language test centre forum took place
ICDL test centres across the Netherlands attended an online forum in Dutch to update them on ICDL developments and to meet the team.
Extension of ICDL agreement with Baden-Württemberg
Schools in the German state of Baden-Württemberg will be able to continue to access ICDL thanks to an extension of the agreement between the state’s Ministry of Education and DLGI, the ICDL operator in the country.
Summer 2022 was a record-breaking year for heat in Europe but digital skills showed no sign of slowing down over the summer. ICDL Europe and our partners were busy throughout the season.
In response to the rapidly changing work landscape since 2020, ICDL developed and launched a brand new module to enhance team collaboration. The module launched this summer in Dutch. The Teamwork module covers the main concepts and skills needed to work effectively in a team using collaborative tools and platforms.
In summer 2022, ICDL Europe became part of the Belgium national digital skills coalition, DigiSkills Belgium. DigiSkills Belgium provides an opportunity for organisations working on digital skills to share their activities, initiatives and best practices, as well as serving as a forum to discuss the future of digital skills.
The European Commission published DigComp 2.2, incorporating key new areas such as AI, the internet of things, and teleworking. The update builds on previous versions of DigComp, the EU’s digital competence framework, which is designed to help define what digital competence means.
ICDL is closely aligned to DigCompEdu. The EU framework, which builds on the work done to create the more general DigComp digital competence framework, is designed to define digital competence for educators. The internal mapping exercise, conducted by ICDL Foundation, found that ICDL fully covers 18 of the 22 individual DigCompEdu competences.
ICDL formed part of Azerbaijan’s competitive national Yüksəliş (Yukselish) career development contest in July 2022. Yüksəliş is a nationwide competition to establish a strong talent pool in Azerbaijan. 332 candidates took the exam in ICDL Computer and Online Essentials as part of the semi-finals of the competition.
Micheál Martin, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), witnessed the signing of new agreements between ICDL Asia and two leading Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) during his official visit to Singapore from 19 to 22 July 2022. The purpose of the Taoiseach’s visit was to reinforce important bilateral relationships between Singapore and Ireland, and support Irish based organisations like ICDL which are operating in Singapore.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope first full colour images revealed
Images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope were released in July. They are the deepest and sharpest infrared images of the distant universe so far. One image shows a galaxy cluster as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. Another showed a star forming region in the Carina Nebula.
A delegation from ICDL Vietnam, consisting of team members from ICDL Vietnam, teachers, government representatives and Vietnamese school leaders, made a study visit to ICDL Italy to see how ICDL is implemented in Italy.
Europe entered autumn with a focus on the economy. But the digital skills sphere was busy too, read on below for our autumn updates.
To better serve the digital skills demand in Spain, a version of the ICDL Europe website was launched in Spanish. ICDL now offers over _ modules in the Spanish language.
DESI 2022, the index that the European Commission produces to monitor EU member states’ digital progress on an annual basis, was released. Finland ranks top of the index for 2022. Overall, it is notable that digital skills levels are still low across all European countries.
Second largest fine under GDPR issued to Instagram
The Irish Data Protection Commission imposed a €405 million fine on Meta, following a two year investigation into their handling of children’s data on Instagram. Notably, teenage users were able to operate business accounts on Instagram, which resulted in the publication of their personal data.
ICDL Europe CEO Forum held in person
ICDL Europe held a CEO Forum in person for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic. CEOs from ICDL National Operators across the Europe and MENA region met in Munich to discuss their experiences in delivering ICDL and digital skills training.
EU Commission starts work on European Year of Skills
The European Commission has started preparations for 2023, the European Year of Skills. The Year will stress the importance of skills development to leave no one behind while boosting Europe’s recovery. Having the relevant skills empowers people to successfully navigate labour market changes and to fully engage in society and democracy.
Social network Twitter under new ownership
Tech magnate Elon Musk finalised his purchase of Twitter, a day before a court-ordered deadline in the US. Key executives and a large proportion of the staff were removed, and an overhaul of the social media platform is still underway.
ICDL pilot launched in Sweden
In Sweden, a pilot project commenced with Stockholms stad, the municipality of Stockholm. ICDL Accredited Test Centre, Digitala Lyftet, organised the pilot, which will see almost 100 candidates take ICDL modules in the Swedish language.
EU big tech laws enter into force
The European Union (EU) has brought in ‘landmark’ legislation in regards to Big Tech. The Digital Services Act and Digital Market Act include some of the most extensive transparency and platform accountability for big tech firms. It will apply from May 2023.
ECDL Slovenia becomes ICDL Slovenia
At a special event in early December, ECDL Slovenia rebranded as ICDL Slovenia. This rebrand brought the country in line with the many other countries around the world offering the global ICDL certification.
Busy right to the end of the year, ICDL Europe will launch the four ICDL Insights modules in December. These short, introductory modules provide the conceptual understanding to allow managers who are not IT professionals to consider the potential of technology and have informed conversations with IT professionals or specialists.
Looking forward to 2023
From all of us at ICDL Europe, we wish you a peaceful, healthy and bright 2023 and look forward to working with you to improve the digital skills of all next year as well.