The talented lifelong learner in any country –no matter what economic, social, linguistic or disability background- has the civic right to gain access to a good quality online learning environment. This paper considers the dynamics of the digital workplace and in particular the key competences (as recommended by the European Commission) for lifelong learning in this context. These aptitudes include digital and multilingual competences, together with social and civic abilities.
Digital competence implies the capacity to find, select, judge and evaluate good quality online content. The nature of content filters is explored in this article, together with search engine operation and stability and the consequences for data collection. The paper also considers multilingual competences and the challenges faced by ‘talents’ in terms of the need to communicate in one or more foreign or local languages. Case studies examining the filtering of minority languages (eInclusion) together with the challenges faced by minority groups in accessing online content dominated by the English language are highlighted.
To be successful, ‘talents’ in the digital environment also need to achieve a high level of social understanding (social competences). ‘Virtual’ communication varies substantially from ‘real world’ interactions, and some of the problems inherent in virtual communication are identified here. In order to ensure that ‘talents’ reach their full potential at the digital workplace, factors relating to different social and cultural dilemmas need to be negotiated and reconciled. The new learning generation also needs to be equipped with the skills to 'fully participate in civic life' (civic competences). The importance of equalizing opportunities for all European citizens (including minority groups) is also considered. In relation to disability, we highlight the need of more assistive technology to address access issues to the virtual workplace.
In conclusion, this paper recommends more comparative research, accelerated by a sense of urgency, to achieve the inclusion of ‘talents’ (including those with disabilities) in the actual online multicultural context.
The full text of this article is available in English and Spanish. The Spanish version is made possible our partner, the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). // El texto integro de este artículo está disponible en inglés y castellano. La versión castellana ha sido posible gracias a nuestro socio, la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).