How are adult migrants overcoming the digital divide? Insights from Germany-based research

Digital technologies permeate every aspect of our lives, and the disparity in digital access and literacy, commonly referred to as the digital divide, poses significant challenges and barriers for numerous communities. The “Access2Success” project aims to bridge the digital divide, ensuring that diverse communities, especially this project’s target groups: migrants, social workers, youth workers, and educators, are not left behind in the digital evolution. The mission is to empower our people with essential skills and knowledge in digital competencies, digital literacy, and digital citizenship, thereby fostering an environment of equality and opportunity in the digital world. The initial phase of our project has been dedicated to research on understanding this topic.

The following report is structured to provide an analysis of our research findings, conducted in Germany, through focus group research, insights from case studies, and a survey for digital skills assessment created by the EU and its future applications. These are the main findings.

Key findings from focus group research: there is a need for comprehensive and inclusive digital education that should extend beyond technical skills to encompass ethical usage and digital safety, tailored to meet the diverse needs of various demographics, including migrants and the elderly. Additionally, supporting educators and youth workers with ongoing training and resources is crucial for effectively bridging the digital divide.

Key findings from case studies research: Educational programs should be structured around immersive experiences, where participants initially engage with digital platforms directly to understand their educational potential, followed by workshops allowing for theoretical insights and practical applications. Additionally, their approaches to bridging the digital divide should include targeted support for older participants, fostering an environment of patience and empathy to facilitate their digital navigation skills. Furthermore, to ensure that diverse demographic needs are met, flexibility and accessibility in educational offerings should be employed.

Key findings from the online tool: The “Test Your Digital Skills” tool is designed to help users gain a comprehensive understanding of their digital skills, serving as a critical first step toward identifying areas for improvement tailored to their personal needs and aspirations. The results of applying this tool to our target group challenge common perceptions about digital literacy gaps among adult migrants, showcasing their potential to excel in a digitalized job market and emphasizing the importance of providing access to digital education and training opportunities.

In conclusion, the insights gathered in this report emphasize the importance of continued investment in digital education programs that are flexible, inclusive, and capable of addressing the specific needs of adult learners.

This project (P. Nr.: 2023-1-SE01-KA210-ADU-000160557) is co-funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ program. Its consortium is assembled by Culture Goes Europe e.V. from Germany, Goodness of People from Sweden, Logos from Poland, and Fedelatina from Spain.

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