ALL DIGITAL Awards 2019 Finalists: e-facilitator Pascale Hoelebrandt

E-FACILITATOR 2019 FINALIST

Pascale Hoelebrandt

Ghent, Belgium

e-facilitator at Centrum voor Basiseducatie Leerpunt

Years in service as e-facilitator: 18

Number of people supported / trained: 1000

Nominated by: Karen Vos, Digipolis - Digitaal.Talent@Gent

WORK EXPERIENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM

Pascale is employed at the ‘Centrum for Basiseducatie’, an educational centre for short-schooled adults. Her one year courses takes place on a weekly basis. Next to this, she is also involved in digital inclusion projects.

Pascale loves to work ‘in the field’, e.g she trained employees in thrift stores to work with a new cash register system and road workers to know card reading apps.

We work together in 2 projects: Digicafés and ‘All Families Online’. In the latter project, 100 families received a second-hand computer and an internet connection. Pascale taught them basic computer skills. The participants praised her approach, enthusiasm and dedication.

The Digicafés are monthly gatherings where people with limited digital skills can drop in, get a cup of coffee and learn something new. For trainers, it is difficult to prepare themselves for a Digicafé since it is often unclear who will pass by and what skills they will have. Every time, Pascale shows her mastery in getting to know participants and assess their digital skills really quick. She tailors her approach to meet the learning preferences of the participants, and helps them to expand their skills.


ONE OF A KIND

In line with the vision and mission of Leerpunt, Pascale developed a method that is tailored to low-skilled and low-literate adults.

She makes sure that the people she works with can easily apply her lessons in daily life. The starting point is that new knowledge is more easily retained when the lessons learned have clear links with the persons own world and context.

Pascale prefers a hands-on approach where she encourages her students to apply what they have learned into practice, and try out for themselves. As such, they overcome their fears more quickly and gain confidence. For instance, each of her class groups has a blog. For her students this is a real challenge since most of them are low-literate.

When possible, she takes her students out in ‘the real world’ e.g. to try out an app they learned about.

Next to her IT-courses, Pascale gives courses on other themes like arts and social skills. In these courses, too, she integrates IT and digital media as much as possible.

EXAMPLE

A really special training took place in prison, where Pascale worked with a small group of inmates who had almost served their sentence. They arrived in prison years ago, when digital media and the internet were not yet part of the daily life. Pascale's task was to prepare them for the digital society they would become part of. She learned them how to write application letters and showed them the possibilities of the internet. For the latter, she had to be creative because internet was not allowed in prison.

She solved this problem by gathering as much offline material as possible and worked with screenshots of the applications that were part of the course, to make sure the students learned as much as possible and gained more knowledge about the digital world. This characterizes Pascale: dedicated, creative and always looking for opportunities.

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