DIGIME: improving digital skills for Austrian and Czech school pupils and teachers

The DigiMe project organises interactive workshops in the Austrian capital, Vienna, and the South Moravia and Vysočina regions of south-east Czechia to strengthen the digital literacy skills of some 5 000 pupils and provide 300 teachers with the tools to improve their digital skills-oriented curricula. Teachers’ coding workshops are backed by an e-learning platform that enables Austrian and Czech educators to exchange ideas and practices. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project team offers online workshops for pupils and webinars and workshops for teachers.

Additional tools

Codeable micro:bit computers at a DigiMe coding workshop. ©Board of Education for Vienna, European office/ Claus Zöchling (2020) Codeable micro:bit computers at a DigiMe coding workshop. ©Board of Education for Vienna, European office/ Claus Zöchling (2020)

" The aim of DigiMe is to prepare pupils and teachers in Austria and the Czech Republic for our digital future. Through interactive workshops and long-term school projects, digital literacy, entrepreneurial skills and self-empowerment among pupils are strengthened, preparing them for their careers. Teachers are given tools for providing pupils with digital literacy and programming skills. "

Martina Chvatalova, project coordinator, Board of Education for Vienna European Office

Led by trained facilitators, DigiMe workshops let pupils from urban and rural areas take their first steps in coding and robotics, develop their own digital ideas, learn about digitalisation and job opportunities, and meet young – mainly female – role models from local IT companies.

In addition, primary and secondary schools in both countries are connected via a digital network. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exchanges between the schools take place exclusively online. Once the pandemic is over, cross-border visits will be possible. The school partnerships aim to build a sustainable network and share their project experiences.

Promoting IT careers

DigiMe aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among pupils and make IT jobs more attractive to them. This should generate economic growth in urban and rural areas of the participating regions and promote equal opportunities for pupils, regardless of their socio-economic background or gender.

Activities are based on cooperation between the project team and local strategic partners. These include technical universities, science centres, non-profit associations and media and digital literacy bodies. They provide input to DigiMe and promote the programme. Ideas and methods are formulated with participating schools and approved by teachers.

Each project partner decides on their own approach to the activities in their region. Face-to-face and online workshops have taken place in Vienna, during which teachers and pupils learned how to code and use videoconferencing tools. The pupils met IT role models, who explained what they do and how they got into IT. The teachers learned how to use the programming tool micro:bits in their daily teaching.

In South Moravia, activities include half-day workshops for primary school classes on the use of digital technologies. A total of 28 long-term projects have been initiated, many of which enable teachers and pupils to learn about digital tools together. In Vysočina, DigiMe works with 15 schools, supporting teachers and pupils in digital thinking and launching digital school projects.

Widespread impact

Webinars for teachers cover subjects such as digitalisation and distance learning. The e-learning platform digime.europabuero.wien hosts teaching materials, worksheets and video tutorials. The platform has been promoted in schools and is to be made available in Czech, English and German to ensure widespread use. Along with the digital network, it helps teachers improve the digital literacy of their colleagues and pupils who have not taken part in DigiMe.

The project will conclude with a virtual exhibition featuring short videos on coding made by teachers and pupils. Coding equipment and support will continue to be offered to the schools free of charge after DigiMe ends. All of the material will be permanently available on the e-learning platform so that schools who were not involved can benefit. Recommendations for enhancing educational approaches to digital literacy and entrepreneurship will be provided to public authorities.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “DigiMe” is EUR 1 503 566 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 278 031 through the “Interreg V-A - Austria-Czech Republic” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Human resource development”.

Draft date