The Digital Patrols project: upgrading the education system by student role models
ICT has recently been pointed out by the European Commission as one of the big job growth areas and as a digital native, a student in 2012 who has grown up surrounded by technology I should feel privileged..
But whereas the labour market has clearly entered the digital age and is investing in ICT and people with ICT skills to manage this development, unfortunately the same cannot be said about the education system. Despite the government pressure of getting more students into the education systems and urging the students to rush through their studies without any sabbatical leaves or attempt to gather work experience, many grad students find themselves perfectly equipped for a reality that does not exist - because the schools failed to give the students the skills the labour market is demanding. Where a degree used to = job
, the result of the gap between the education system and the labour market is unfortunately often longterm unemployment for many students instead.
To fill in the gap we need to bring the education system closer to the labour market and this is exactly what the Association of Danish Students (DSE
) has done by developing the Digital Patrols Projects
in collaboration with Microsoft and the Danish Ministry of Children and Education
. The project is built on the idea of peer-to-peer training and aims to educate ICT super kids on 100 public schools in Denmark, who will help show the way for how ICT can be integrated properly into the classroom. This will enable the students and the teachers with the skills
demanded and thus prepare the students better to the digital reality we live in today. In other words this project will fill in the gap and instead build a bridge between the education
system and the labour market.
The Danish Ministry of Children and Education is supporting the project with approximately 18.000 Euros in 2012, but the real resources are the students participating in the project and acting as role models for the other students. According to the Danish Minister of the Children and Education Ministry Christine Antorini the Digital Patrols Project is a great example on, how the students´ ICT competencies can be used constructively in school. The Digital Patrols Project also has great social and professional benefits for the students engaged in the project. Some of the more introvert students, who may normally spend more time on videogames than on the books can be reached by being activated in the project thus taking advantage of their interest in ICT and their ICT skills. Letting the students train other students furthermore helps to improve their social skills and boost their self esteem in general.
With the Digital Patrols Project the aim is to get the education system up to speed. It is not enough just to throw a lot of computers into the classroom – the ICT skills have to be developed amongst the students and the teachers and this will help getting the education system in the right direction which is closer to the labour market.
As a digital native engaged in the Digital Patrols project I feel I am finally being seen and my skills being recognized. I am optimistic about the opportunities the project entails and I finally feel privileged to take part of the positive development of getting our education system upgraded and my job possibilities optimized and synchronized according to the current and future labour market.
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