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EURACADEMY OBSERVATORY – A European Observatory of the use of ICT-supported Life Long Learning by SMEs, Micro-Enterprises and the Self-employed in Rural Areas

ICT can play a significant role in the assurance of access to life long learning opportunities. E-learning can contribute to bring the knowledge and skills level of different EU countries and different areas (rural, urban) closer together. The Euracademy Observatory project intends to build systematic documentation on the use of ICT-supported learning, including blended learning, by employees of SME’s and micro-enterprises in rural Europe, in the context of life long learning, leading to formal qualifications or even to non-validated skills acquisition or personal development. This documentation will be collected using surveys in the participating countries and will be repeated at regular intervals to update the information. It is focussed on these primary target groups: training providers, people working in rural SME’s or micro-enterprises and self-employed persons (including farmers), social partners representing employers and employees, policy makers ant other stakeholders who can influence policy at regional or national level in the field of life long learning and continuing education. The research methodology will include documentation, comparison across the participating countries, evaluation at transnational level, a survey of training organisations, identification of best practice, electronic survey of life long learning recipients, using ICT as a medium (including survey with a control group), analysis and reporting. The dissemination of the results will be carried out by a dedicated website for the Observaroty, the organisation of a transnational conference in Brussels and the setup of an advisory panel of representatives of social partners.



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