How we support e-inclusion in Ghent - Get to know Digipolis

Digipolis Ghent is incredibly proud to be this year’s TEAC host, especially since the conference covers a topic that is very close and dear to us. As the ICT partner of Ghent, we do not only provide all local authorities with ICT material, but also dedicate our time and effort to digital inclusion. With our program Digitaal.Talent@Gent, we 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 the inspirational projects we have set up:
 Digital Talent Points in Ghent (Telecentres)
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, the 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 blog 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 our Lending Service. Also all city employees can use this service to borrow ICT tools and equipment for their own projects. By doing so, we hope to facilitate the digitalization of city administration and encourage employees to work with more advanced ICT equipment.

Annual Digital Week and Interactive Fair
Once a year, we organize an entire week of digital fun and education in the city of Ghent. During this week, you can go to workshops, take lessons or sit in on demonstrations about a certain digital aspect or evolution. There is something in it for everyone, from ICT dummies to the more advanced digital learner. You can learn how to work with Word or how to install a certain program, 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) and 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
In 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 we are 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? We will 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 focusses 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 we -together with the city of Ghent-  strive towards a more e-inclusive society.

We hope to get to know all of your projects during TEAC 6-8 October in Ghent!

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