Get to know Digipolis – host organization for TEAC16

Digipolis is the non-commercial ICT services organization for Ghent and Antwerp, the two largest cities in Flanders, Belgium.

As the ICT partner of Ghent, Digipolis does not only provide all local authorities with ICT material, but also dedicates time and effort to digital inclusion. With the Digitaal.Talent@Gent program, Digipolis team have been working tirelessly towards e-inclusion in and around the city for ten years now and have set up multiple projects that have boosted digital participation in the city.

Let’s take a look at some of these inspirational projects:

Digital Talent Points in Ghent (Telecentres)Library-Ghent
Digital Talent Points were created all over the city for  people who don’t have access to a computer at home or at work. Apart from free internet access, telecentres allow citizens to work on their digital skills through guided sessions or interactive and hands-on workshops. You can find telecentres in libraries, community centres, local service centres and many more public city facilities.
These telecentres aim to be approachable and easily accessible for people from all social classes and backgrounds, so that everyone has a chance to learn how to work with a computer, write an email or use a certain computer program. For more information about this project, stay tuned for one of our next posts.

Digital Lending Service
Organizations and schools in Ghent can borrow free hardware thanks to our Digital Lending Service.  From tablets for educational and playful classes in kindergarten to computers for Skype lessons in a senior community centre; no matter which ICT device, they can get it through the Lending Service. Also all city employees can use this service to borrow ICT tools and equipment for their own projects. This facilitates the digitalization of city administration and encourages employees to work with more advanced ICT equipment.

Annual Digital Week and Interactive Fair
Once a year, Digipolis organizes an entire week of digital fun and education in the city of Ghent. During this week, you can go to workshops, take lessons or see demonstrations about a certain digital aspect or evolution. There is something in it for everyone, from ICT novices to more advanced digital learners. You can learn how to work with Word or how to install a certain programme, but there are also more innovative courses on 3D printing and virtual reality, for example. All activities during this week are free (or at a very low entrance fee). The Digital Week kicks off with a spectacular opening event: the Digital Interactive Fair. At this fair, young and old come together to see and experience what our digital future has in store!
Find out more details about the Interactive Fair in our next blog post.

De Krook: a new public library with a digital twist
krookIn March 2017, the new public library –De Krook- will open its doors. Apart from books and literature, the new library will also have a strong digital pillar, which Digipolis team is happy to provide. You will be able to go to the library for digital knowledge, as well as work on your digital skills. Do you need to use a computer, want free internet access, or do you wish to follow a course on a digital topic? Digipolis make sure all of these things will be possible in the new library!

Code your future
Underprivileged children and teenagers learn how to make and play their own videogames by learning how to code. Together with young supervisors they spent their summer coding, having fun and developing skills that will help them in the future.

Digital Media programs for the mentally challenged
This project focuses on the e-inclusion of mentally challenged people. Not only do they learn how to work with computers and ICT, but also how to deal with social media and how to use them correctly. The program will lead to more independence and self-development.

This wide variety of projects demonstrates how Digipolis – together with the city of Ghent –  strive towards a more e-inclusive society.

Digipolis Chent is proud to be the host for Telecentre Europe Annual Conference, especially because the topic ‘Digital Skills for Future Work’ is very dear and close to the organization.