RURALeNTER presentation and final partner meeting in Switzerland

On 12 October 2011, ATiT attended the eCulture Forum 2011 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, where the RURALeNTER project, in which we are partner which has been building capacity through ICT in rural areas for 2 years now,  received much attention and was included in the programme with a presentation called "Socio-digital inclusion in Europe". Project partners of "RUeNTER", presented their activities such as the research of citizens' ICT needs in rural areas in Austria, Greece, Romania, Spain and Switzerland and the blended learning trainings on the topic of public services and ICT services (with localised content), and the online portal where the training resources are freely accessible to those interested.

The RUeNTER project is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme and a final partner meeting was also held on 13 October in the modern building of the School of Business and Engineering (HEIG-VD, St Roche) in Yverdon-les-Bains. As ATiT is the leader of the Quality Assurance and Evaluation workpackage, we presented the progress in our evaluation work, which followed a methodology including a peer review process of the project’s deliverables and the deployment of several online questionnaires to receive feedback from different RUeNTER actors throughout the project.

You can visit the project website and the training portal. If you would like to receive the project's final online newsletter, please send us an e-mail with your details.

Courses on ICT aimed at rural citizens about to begin

Last week, ATiT staff met with project partners for the RURALeNTER project, funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, to plan the training sessions on public services and ICT services that will be organised in four rural areas in Austria, Greece, Romania and Spain in 2011. In the first year of the project, the partnership has been busy researching rural dwellers' needs and are now ready to begin delivering courses.  These taking part will begin with a self-assessment test which will enable them to choose whether to opt  for a basic computer and ICT skills training before moving on to a training course based on scenarios linked to topics like social networking, e-government or self-promotion through the Internet. 

The RURALeNTER project is funded under the Grundtvig Multilateral subprogramme, which recently celebrated the 10th year of Grundtvig in Flanders with an anniversary event  in the Ministry of Education and Training in Brussels. Staff from ATiT representing RURALeNTER took part in this event  where they learned more about other Grundtvig-supported multilateral adult education projects by Flemish partners, including some initiatives focusing on rural areas. A publication showcasing the best-practice examples of Grundtvig-funded projects was also presented.

Presentation of Irish Schools' experience of Social Networking in Greek Conference

Cara Roche and Jim O'Sullivan presented the experience of the Irish schools who took part in the SoRuraLL project during the SALL conference held in Patras, Greece on 4-5 November. This conference provided a good opportunity to hear about the experience of rural learners in different parts of Europe who had been introduced to social networking tools during the Lifelong Learning Project SoRuraLL. This conference also brought together the partners and others interested in the use of online gaming as a way to promote Internet safety as the project SimSafety also featured on the agenda.

RURALeNTER partners discuss progress of project and user needs analysis

ATiT staff recently met in Spain with partners of RURALeNTER, a project funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. "RUeNTER", as it is also known, is analysing the needs regarding public services and ICT services of citizens of four rural areas in Austria, Greece, Romania and Spain. The identified user needs will be addressed through training workshops taking place in the first half of 2011 and a supporting online portal with training support materials and social network functionalities.

During this second partner meeting, which took place on the sunny and beautiful premises of the University of Barcelona Spain, all partners discussed their progress and planning for the next stage of the project. ATiT is the leader of the Quality Assurance and Evaluation workpackage and we presented our evaluation methodology during this meeting which includes a peer review process of the project’s deliverables and the deployment of several online questionnaires to receive feedback from different RUeNTER actors throughout the project.

To find out more about the project, visit the project website. If you would like to receive the project's six-monthly online newsletter, please send us an e-mail with your details.

Meeting in Krakow to Discuss Progress of Rural ICT Initiative

Partners from the SoRuraLL initiative which is testing the viability of various types of social networking tools met in Krakow, Poland on 3-4 June to discuss the progress of the pilot activities taking place in different parts of Europe. Part of their meeting was held in the Raba Wyzna Telecentre in the Rokiciny Podhalanskie region, a rural area about an hour from Krakow.  This area is currently suffering a lot from flooding in the region and the meeting served as a good opportunity to find out more about the needs of rural populations when it comes to ICT and the ways in which social networking tools can help to relieve isolation and provide useful community services to the region.

Getting to Grips with Rural Citizens' ICT Needs

RURALeNTER is an initiative which will review the types of ICT services available in rural communities in Greece, Austria, Romania and Spain with a view to finding out just how much rural citizens know about the value such services can have.

It will also develop and deliver a generic training curriculum in these countries focusing on how to prepare rural adults to use and exploit ICT services, by means of blended learning models.

This initiative is partially supported under the Lifelong Learning Programme and will create a set of policy recommendations to policy makers and regional authorities about the ways in which rural citizens can take advantage of ICT services.  ATiT staff are involved in the evauation of this initiative. Find out more from the RURALeNTER website.

Presentation of SoRuraLL Project in Ireland

Jim O'Sullivan and Sally Reynolds presented the results so far of the SoRuraLL project during the CESI annual conference held 5-6 February in Portlaoise, Ireland.

This conference, entitled Creative Technology for Challenging Times brought together about 150 teachers and others working with ICT in primary and secondary schools in Ireland for a day and a half of presentations, exchanges and discussions about the effective implementation of ICT in Irish classrooms. One of the highlights of this conference was the presentation given by Joe Dale on 'New Tools, New Curriculum, New Opportunities', to find out more about Joe and the tools he recommends, visit his blog.

The SoRuraLL presentation provided an opportunity to showcase some of the blogs and websites being developed by rural schools in Co. Clare as part of this project.

SoRuraLL mid term project meeting in Athens

On Thursday and Friday 14 and 15 January 2010 ATiT participated in the mid term project meeting of the European Commission Lifelong Learning Project SoRuraLL, which focuses on using information and communication technologies in rural parts of Europe, especially within the education and training domain.

Partners from Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Poland gathered in the excellent premises of Ellinogermaniki Agogiki to discuss the progress of development and pilots. The pilot activities are beginning now and will continue until July involving teachers in Greece, Spain and Ireland as well as learners in Germany and Bulgaria and citizens in Poland.

Teachers in County Clare Embark on Web 2.0 Project

Teachers from 8 Primary and 2 Secondary schools in Co. Clare have been taking part this week in workshops in Clare Education Centre, Ennis and St. Joseph’s School, Tulla led by ATiT on how to use the latest Web 2.0 applications like Blogs and Skype and other open source tools for teaching and learning. Some of them will also be managing their own web sites using the latest developments in content management tools which allow non-specialist users to generate and publish their own content online. This means that school web sites can be kept up to date with the latest school news including sports results, project work and other news from the school.
These workshops are part of the SoRuraLL project, a 2 year European Commission sponsored project which is investigating how schools and other educational bodies in rural parts of Europe can use the latest developments in internet technologies to break down barriers and access educational opportunities.

Social Networking Supporting Lifelong Learning in Rural Regions

ATiT has recently joined a new project called Rural Social Networking for Lifelong Learning (SoRuraLL) which will investigate the potential offered by social networking tools and platforms to those living in geographically and socio-economically disadvantaged rural areas.

More specifically, SoRuraLL will develop and implement experimental learning approaches examining the potential offered by these new trends and tools for the alleviation of the socioeconomic disadvantage suffered by rural populations in Europe, and in particular for the enhancement of rural citizens’ opportunities for effective and meaningful lifelong learning.

ATiT will be responsible for managing a trial involving schools in the East Clare region of Ireland. This is a Lifelong Learning Programme project (KA3) involving partners from Greece, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain and Belgium. The kick off meeting of the project took place in Patras, Greece on 29-30 of January 2009.