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    New teaching package teaches students indispensable digital skills

    5 oktober 2021

    Today, on World Teachers’ Day, Online Masters is offering a new lesson about Artificial Intelligence. The lesson encourages students to think about the technology of the future and the associated skills. The teaching package supports the growing demand for future-oriented and digital education.

    Indispensable skills
    During the lockdown, teachers were faced with the enormous challenge of digital distance education. Schools have improved their digital literacy. At the same time, the disparity in digital skills between students has increased*. The call for greater digital literacy in education is growing. On World Teachers’ Day, a special day to show appreciation for teachers, the Vodafone Foundation is looking at what education currently needs to be able to move forward.

    “During the pandemic, certain skills were more important all of a sudden, such as critical thinking in an online world”, says Juliette Visser, teacher at X11. “Online channels are full of opinions, facts and fake news. Students have to ask questions and not just believe everything indiscriminately. Education should support them in this. The Online Masters teaching programmes provides students with insight into how digital technology works and teaches them to reflect critically on this.” For example, what do students think about deepfakes? Is it funny or also a little bit scary?

    Smart computers
    The new lesson ‘Smart computers’ (Slimme computers) was developed with the assistance of Professor René de Koster from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Marek Matusiak, Doctor of Science and expert in the field of data. “Siri, industrial robots and self-driving cars. Artificial Intelligence is everywhere and that will only increase”, according to De Koster. “This new technological development offers opportunities and at the same time there are also concerns. That is why it is important that children learn how to deal with this. The lesson makes this possible by resonating and connecting with the world as perceived by students and enriching their knowledge about that.”

    The lesson explains what Artificial Intelligence is in a simple way. Students are encouraged to think about the opportunities and possible consequences of Artificial Intelligence via interactive assignments. What can a computer do better than a human? And is a smart care robots a real friend?

    Develop creative technological talents
    “In order to enable the next generation to develop into the builders of society, digital education must be available to everyone”, says Robin Kroes, chair of the Vodafone Foundation. “Unfortunately, digital literacy is not a fixed component of the attainment targets in Dutch education. Our teaching programme Online Masters enables students to make use of digital technologies in a self-aware, creative and critical manner. This is important to prepare pupils for new and future jobs.”

    The free teaching programme Online Masters was developed for VodafoneZiggo in cooperation with partners ECP/ and Netwerk Mediawijsheid. Online Masters is part of the European initiative ‘SkillsUploadJr' and forms part of an investment of 20 million euros by the Vodafone Foundation to enable people of all ages and backgrounds in 14 European countries to build the skills and confidence they need in a digital society.