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Empowering education systems in information security
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background: Young people and children are today amongst the biggest user groups of ICT in Europe. 75% of European children using the internet. Therefore, ICT is becoming embedded in everyday life to stimulate innovation, education and participation, in line with the current recommendations of the Digital Agenda for Europe, May 2010 (DAE) and EU2020 goals. In order to stay safe, children and young people need to be trained about both online opportunities and risks and how to deal with them, needing to be empowered and informed to use the ICT in a safe and responsible manner. Since teachers are uniquely positioned to reach a wide majority of students, it is expected that they take a major responsibility for supporting students in obtaining digital literacy and safety skills. Schools are best placed to teach children the digital and critical literacy skills to maximize opportunities and minimize risks. Although there is more experience regarding the use of e-Learning in tertiary education, there is very little experience regarding primary and secondary education. In the latter ones, due to the age of the students, it is very important to discuss how the social learning environment can be dealt with in connection with eLearning methods. Certainly, pedagogical support & learning opportunities are needed to better adapt education to the 21st century knowledge society and encourage digital/transversal competences. Project aim and objectives: For addressing the above mentioned needs, the main aim of the I Secure project is to promote the strategic use of information and communication technology in teaching and learning programmes as a precondition for the development of innovative practices at secondary schools level (students of 11-18 years), in the partner countries. Therefore, the Consortium aims to develop an ‘information security culture’ to increase the awareness in this field as a crucial step in the digitization process of the educational contexts. Moreover, Partners will develop and test the 'I Secure Agent prototype, course methodology and curriculum' and the 'Technology Enhances Learning I Secure eco-system' which will represent ready to use tools and instruments for supporting teacher training and empowering them in the field of information security in school education. This will enable them to become 'I Secure Agents', being able to transfer this information to students within their daily teaching activity and will guarantee a wide and sustainable impact of the project outputs. Through analysis, development, testing, consultation and dissemination activities, the project will reach around 5.500 stakeholders (teachers, schools, students, parents, policy makers, trade unions, etc.) in the Partner countries. Methodological approach and key outputs: Partners will start with a detailed Needs and Gaps Analysis for identifying the concrete problems and obstacles and for collecting examples of good practices in the field of information security.Then, they will design a Roadmap for addressing the different needs identified, indicating also the stakeholders to be involved. The next step will be to define the I Secure Agent Prototype, course methodology and curriculum including a description of the structure and the content of the training programme to proceed in building the didactic model. Partners will also develop the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) I Secure eco-system representing the I Secure system for learning activities and content collaborative creation. Stakeholders will also be provided with Guidelines for using the TEL I Secure eco-system in order to facilitate its valorization and further exploitation in the Partner countries and abroad. These results will be validated during the project testing phase (training and collaborative learning activities, national and seminar) and will be fine-tuned at the end of the project when the final versions will be made available online, on the project website. A synthesis of these results will be included in the Final Publication of the project and disseminated among national and international stakeholders (also during the final dissemination conference). Impact and long term benefits: a. Develop professional competencies and empowerment of teachers in the field of ICT use and information security b. support the modernization process of school education through facilitating the safe and efficient usage of ICT in educational programmes c. increase the trust in ICT and thus, enhance its utilization in school education The project results will be further used by the project Partners (e.g. USR Lazio in Italy) and stakeholders engaged during the project consultation and dissemination activities. The main benefits of this project will be the enhanced and efficient use of ICT in the secondary schools education programmes and the engaging of teachers in supporting the utilization of innovation in school curricula and education delivery.
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