RURALeNTER: Capacity Building through ICT in Rural..
RURALeNTER: Capacity Building through ICT in Rural Areas
Start date: Nov 1, 2009,
ICT can contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through transfer of education and training, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, encompassing adults that are not participating to the formal education process, and improving professional skills (UNESCO, 2009). A recent policy document from the EC (“i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment”) outlines the importance of ICT and how beneficial is for rural areas adult population. Although in some occasions Regional or Central authorities develop and offer ICT services, professionals and citizens are not aware of them and do not know how to use them so that they receive benefits in their everyday activities. A major barrier towards this direction is the low degree of ICT adoption and use of online services from rural users, which is being identified by related studies about rural development (Gelb & Offer, 2005).RUeNTER aims to address the above aspects in the following manner: (a) it will review and identify existing ICT services for these rural areas, as well as their level of awareness about how adults may benefit from using such services; (b) it will focus on and analyse the needs regarding ICT services support of adults in 4 rural areas of EU member states (Greece, Austria, Romania and Spain) with different degrees of ICT services deployment and adoption; (c) it will develop and evaluate a generic training curriculum focusing on how to prepare adult rural citizens to use and exploit ICT services, by means of blended learning models for adults and relevant and innovative e-learning content to be offered online;(d) it will develop a web-based Portal of ICT services for rural areas;(e) it will formulate a set of policy recommendations to policy makers and regional authorities about the ways they can use the RUeNTER Portal and the developed e-learning content in order to support the training of their citizens in taking advantage of ICT services.
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