The Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning (3CL) starts the new year with a new project, ‘Digital Enhanced Learning for All‘, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding programme. The DEL4ALL project sees 3CL in collaboration with Martel Innovate, Fraunhofer and The Open University on an initiative set to “transform European research and innovation initiatives in the area of digital enhanced learning.”
This will be done by engaging experts in a multidisciplinary perspective to understand the legal, organisational and technological deficiencies to overcome, especially in the scaling up of best practice digital-enhanced learning solutions. The aim is for projects such as DEL4ALL to form the basis for providing guidelines on future research directions, as well as policy recommendations to transition the EU’s Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe.
The official launch meeting, held in Luxembourg 21-22 January, 2020, discussed how DEL4ALL will guide broader research for the EU’s Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative. The NGI initiative is dedicated to reshaping the Internet for humanity to reach their full potential. DEL4ALL will support the project by guiding an analysis of opportunities and challenges that come with digital technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, augmented reality and big data.
At the kick-off meeting, the European Commission stated that it considers DEL4ALL a flagship project, given its remit to focus on the entire lifelong learning journey of citizens. Through a forward-looking perspective, DEL4ALL will engage with multidisciplinary experts to assess the potential of inclusive and personalised learning solutions that can benefit the entire community.
The 3CL will be contributing to building an expert community of practice which extends beyond the EU – hence the Commission’s particular interested in the Centre’s linkages with the Commonwealth, and also its historic working relationship with Malta’s Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE) as one of the few EU member state education ministries with direct linkages to the labour market. The Centre receives a grant of Euros 176,500 over 2020-2021 to fund its work in the collaborative initiative and host the first conference of experts.
Commenting on the project and 3CL’s role, the Centre’s Executive Director Dr Alex Grech said: “DEL4ALL is a strategic project for the Centre. We are responsible primarily for developing a community of practice of experts involved in pilots or action research in emerging technologies that are likely to impact digital education. DEL4ALL will be part of a bridge between between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, whose programme will be published by the end of this year. The 3CL’s existing working relationship with DG EAC and networks in the Commonwealth will also provide an opportunity to use the findings of the project to contribute to the Digital Education Action Plan which will be revised during the second quarter of 2020”.
As part of DEL4ALL, there are three expert group conferences scheduled: one in 2020, and two in 2021. The first expert conference in conjunction with the Commission will be held in Malta on 10-11 September, 2020.