How to turn challenges into opportunities for education transformation? – WS 10 2020

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12 June 2020 | 14:30-16:00 | Studio Trieste | Live streaming | Transcript | Forum
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 2

Proposals: #17, #26, #62, #81, #97, #101, #103, #121, #131, #137, #138, #153, #180 (#9, #15, #37, #78, #157, #171)

Session information

Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2020

Time: 14:30 - 16:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Session teaser

The global spread of coronavirus has created a fruitful ground for cyber-criminals to profit from hacking and cybercrime, and attacks are likely to rise. Therefore, proper Cyberdefense skills need to be taught at various levels from elementary to high school, within formal and informal educational settings, to equip people from possible attacks. Discussing the importance of Cybersecurity, Internet architecture and coding skills is becoming compelling too – from high schools to university level and above – to help people design and co-design technologies.

What are the existing educational programs that are helping people become more prepared and equipped in time of global crisis: to protect individuals and their devices from cybercrime, manage privacy and protect personal data, create and co-create digital content by producing, designing, writing, and publishing it. Which policies are designed to improve information literacy skills: to be able to recognize fake news, deal with misinformation, manage and value privacy and other rights (such as freedom of expression)?

Session description

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated of moving teaching and learning online at an unprecedented scale. As of end April, 2020 the global health crisis had caused more than 1.6 billion children and youth (80 percent of the world's enrolled students) to be out of school in 191 countries, as well as 63 million primary and secondary teachers.

As experts estimate, the global lockdown of education institutions is going to cause major and uneven interruption in students’ learning. UNESCO has publicized data demonstrating a negative impact the school closures are having on students’ learning outcomes. Though the use of distance learning programmes and open educational resources and platforms can mitigate the disruption of education, yet intensify other problems. The global health crisis has created a fruitful ground for cyber-criminals to profit from hacking and cybercrime, and attacks are on the rise.

To fight the spread of the COVID19 and protect human health and life, governments around the world are using tracking and surveillance applications, in some countries unverified information flows are banned, thus restricting fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, right to privacy, right to access information, etc.

Questions to be proposed to key participants:

  • What are the existing educational strategies and policies that are helping people become more prepared and equipped in times of global crisis: to protect individuals and their devices from cybercrime, learn to manage privacy and protect personal data, create and co-create digital content.
  • How do we ensure necessary cyber-defense, cyber security and other technical skill sets (such as internet architecture, or technical skills helping to build more secure websites, safer software, IoT security by design, etc.) are taught from school to university level?
  • Which policies are designed to improve information literacy skills: to be able to recognize fake news, deal with misinformation, manage and value privacy and other rights (such as freedom of expression)?
  • What responsibilities should assume state, business and civil society actors to promote that quality education during and after the global health crisis?


The workshop will discuss a global issue, which should be approached in different ways by different stakeholders. Speakers or key participants should represent different  sectors: government, academia, technical community and civil society and come from different parts of Europe.  Small islands, or those who otherwise would never be able to participate in EuroDIG, should be given preference. Diversity should be at the core of our workshop and achieved through different possible ways: sector, country, gender and the point of view. 

Nowadays, when technologies are taking the space of human beings, impartiality of our discussions becomes far more important:  we should try to avoid bias, prejudice,  preferring to benefit one party to another. The workshop will feature key participants, who will share their insights on the topic. Following the introductory part, the moderators will facilitate an interactive discussion with the audience about roles and responsibilities of various actors: state, business and civil society to promote quality education during and after the global education and health crisis.

Further reading

by Anelia Dimova

EuroDIG 2017 WS6: From Internet Users to Digital Citizens [1]

European SchoolNet's Interactive Map of 'COVID19' Activities in Transition Period [2]

Factsheets: a Europe fit for the Digital Age [3]

National Cyber Security Education Agenda of DCypher, the Dutch government's initiative [4] [5]

Global Education Coalition. COVID-19 Education Response [6]

COVID-19 crisis. Broadband Commission Agenda for Action for Faster and Better Recovery [7]

COMPACT, Horizon 2020. Research Findings and Policy Recommendations for organisations and initiatives tackling fake news [8]

Shaping Europe's Digital Future. Communication from The Commission to The European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and The Committee of The Regions [9]

Digital technologies – innovative solutions during the coronavirus crisis [10]

Next Generation Internet: Human-Centric Tech in times of crisis [11]

Digital Skills Assessment Guidebook [12] [13]

Shaping Europe's Digital Future. Digital Education Action Plan [14]

Coronavirus Pandemic in the EU - Fundamental Rights Implications [15]

EU-wide open public consultation on forthcoming new Digital Education Action [16]


Focal Points


Organising Team (Org Team)

Key Participants

  • Joanna Kulesza
  • Tito de Morais
  • Janice Richardson
  • Oliana Sula
  • Ida van Praag
  • Anastas Mishev
  • Anna Borkowska



  • The current pedagogical processes need to be modified if we are going to recognise and be part of the digital transformation in education. The way teachers are taught, the way teachers teach, the tools used, and the relationship between teachers and the industry all need to change.
  • This right to education needs to be provided by the state and it must be non-discriminatory. The state needs to take active measures to make sure that the right to education is granted to every youth.
  • A multistakeholder approach is necessary to raise awareness of relevant tools and platforms, to optimise the technical infrastructure for Internet access, and to enhance cybersecurity, which is important when connecting classrooms to the wider world.
  • A bottom-up approach is necessary to gain awareness of what children need to access digital tools, to become part of social and blended learning, and to become digital citizens. A new standard is needed to provide digital lessons and social learning lessons.
  • Access to a computer, tablet, and to the Internet must be observed as a universal right today.

Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at

Video record


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This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Good afternoon. Can we start?

>> I think we should wait two more minutes until 2:30. So we can get started on time for some late comers.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Who will be unmuted. Hello Marco.

>> I will give a short introduction and then over to you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Okay. Thank you.

>> Good afternoon and welcome to Workshop 10. My name is Marco. I’m the studio host here from Trieste, from the international Center for Theoretical Physics and looking forward to this session. ICTP is an academic institution. We normally have 6,000 people invited from all over world. I want to learn from you how to turn these challenges in to opportunities.

Before giving the stage to the Moderators, just let me tell you the code of conduct, rules of the house. So when entering the room please state your full name. So you can rename yourself in Zoom so we know your exact name. If you want to ask a question, please raise your hand using the Zoom function to ask questions. Stay muted until the floor is given to you so we don’t have additional people talking at the same time. And when speaking switch on the video and say your name and affiliation. Do not share the links to the Zoom meetings, not even with your colleagues. And after this short introduction, please Doreen, the floor is yours to introduce the section.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for the EuroDIG workshop, How to Turn Challenges into Opportunity For Education Transformation. Today we will moderate the session. Wout de Natris is an expert. He specializes in international cooperation on Spamming and I represent Safer Internet Armenia.

Welcome everyone to our discussion. Before we present the panelists I would like to briefly speak about the topic of today’s discussion. Helping people to become more prepared and equipped in terms of global COVID‑19 crisis. COVID‑19 has necessitated moving, teaching and learning online at an impressive scale. The global health crisis has cost 1.6 million children and youth to be out of school in more than 190 countries. The global lockdown of educational institutions has caused major interruption in student’s learning.

UNESCO has recently published data demonstrating a negative impact the school closures are having on student’s learning outcomes. Though the use of distance learning programs or open educational resources can mitigate the disruption of education and they can intensify other problems such as hacking or cybersecurity, limitations of copyright, especially when libraries are closed. Having increased the difficulty keeping up with distance learning. Today we will try to explore what impact the COVID‑19 crisis has had on education in Europe and what will be the consequences for the affected institution, educational community and public at large.

I am delighted to introduce our participants. We have a fantastic panel with us. Joanna Kulesza teaches international law and media law. Tito de Natris, The Internet Safety Guy, is the founder of Projecto MiudosSegurosNa.Net, KidsSafeOnThe.Net Project. Janice Richardson author of books on digital citizenship and founding member of several networks on literate related topics.

And in the second part of the session we will be discussing best practices. So a number of European countries. Anastas Mishev from the faculty of computer science and engineering. Ida van Praag, social media coach, and Oliana Sula, university lecturer in Albania. And Anna Borkowska from NASK Poland. And let me also introduce Andrijana Gavrilovic from the Geneva Internet Platform who will be preparing a report for us and messages to be agreed upon at the concluding part of our session.

All session reports together will form the messages of 2020 to be forwarded to the UN IGF and distributed among key institutions in Europe.

And for the first question, which I would like to direct to each of the key participants, Joana and Tito and Janice, will the digital transformation in education sector, (cutting out).

>> I think that Joana will go first.

>> JOANA KULESZA: Happy to do that. Just to be brief I indeed am hopeful of this digital transformation to be here to stay. I am looking forward to this session. And I hope we will be right in predicting the positive outcomes of this challenging time. I am looking forward to the discussion. Thank you for having us onboard. Tito, the floor is yours. Thank you.

>> TITO DE MORAIS: First of all, let me unmute myself. I would like to thank Narine for her question, but before answering I would like to thank Rich Davis for the invitation to be part of this EuroDIG session. And thank you for the preparatory work so that we can be here discussing these important topics. And let me also greet my key participants and speakers that will follow and greetings also to Marco. And let me point to also (inaudible) child labor and education is a great tool, if not the best tool against child labor. And I believe it is Janice’s turn, is that right?

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Janice Richardson, the floor is yours.

>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Thank you. Hello. Sorry, I wasn’t unmuted. So Janice Richardson, yes, I’m really happy to be here amongst all the remote participants of EuroDIG. I’m not sure if you want us to immediately to respond to your question or just introduce ourselves very briefly beforehand.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: You can introduce yourself, Janice, and pass to the question.

>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Okay. So I have a very long, almost half century experience in education and the last 35 to 40 years in digital education. And I’m really very sad to say that I don’t believe that there has been a transformation in education yet. I think that this recent period of confinement has actually shown the schools are unable to leapfrog in to the transformation that we are expecting from them. I did send a slide, I’m not sure if you are showing that slide. But we see about 1 in 18 primary school students actually have access to technology at school and 1 in 7 or 8 secondary students. So how could they have prepared for the transformation?

Secondly, teachers in fact, countries like France report that 4 or 5% of teachers just simply disappeared from the radar, never to be seen again and hopefully they will turn back up in the classroom. Thirdly, figures from Germany show that it wasn’t actually the parents or the teachers who were helping children during this remote period. 27% of children in Germany say that they got their instructional guidance from schools. And only much less than 20% actually from family.

So I think that what we really need to do to modify the pedagogical processes if we are going to recognize and be part of this transformation in school education, we need to modify the way teachers teach. We need to modify the way we train teachers. We also need to look at the tools and the relationship that schools and teachers have within industry.

So for me until we have these three things and until we really stop people working in their silos and get them to work together in a multi‑stakeholder approach, we are not going to see a sensible transformation which means for me that almost 1 in 4 children are simply not going to have a quality opportunities to learn. Thanks, Narine.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Janice, for pointing to those important points. Now we see your presentation on the screen. 1 in 3 primary students and 1 in 2 in lower secondary attend highly digitally equipped schools. So we see from this slide that for some families especially for parents with limited education, it has been challenging to keep up this learning or keep up – (cutting out).

Prepared to leapfrog to remote learning. So maybe we could listen now to Joana about – has the digital transformation in this education sector worsened (cutting out)?

>> JOANA KULESZA: Thank you, Narine. Again thank you for the introduction. I am a born optimist. So I like to seek out students in every challenge. I like the topic of this session and I appreciate the opportunity to set the stage so to speak. So bear with me starting off with a more general look at the framework I would like us to refer to looking at opportunities that this global pandemic has brought upon us. If I could have the next slide, please.

One of the hats that I wear is being involved with the European Union’s fundamental rights agency. I particularly appreciate the fact that we have experts here who have worked with the Council of Europe who have done a wonderful work looking at literacy opportunities that bring to younger members of society. Being involved with the Council of Europe I also look at the works that are being done with the fundamental rights agency. Please note that the agency has been quite quick to react to the pandemic providing a series of bulletins. Those bulletins focus on challenges that the global pandemic has brought upon in the context of protecting fundamental rights to which end international context we refer to as Human Rights.

If I could have the next slide, please. These bulletins look at four areas that were particularly impacted by the global pandemic. You can see those four areas here. The first impact would be on the restrictions we experience in everyday life. That is something that impacts the youth as well particularly when it comes to the right to enjoy freedom of movement, for example, which I will refer to at the end of this presentation. I would like us to focus on the second group. There is a specific impact on particular groups of society. And this would be next to the elderly that you can see here on the graphic would be the youth. Their right to benefit from fundamental rights that have been granted to them in the EU and in international law is limited. And that is what I would like us to focus on at the beginning of this discussion.

You can see here that there are other issues that have been provoked by the global pandemic. We are witnessing a new wave of this information when it comes to Coronavirus and a new trend of discrimination when focused on those of Asian origin. This particular focus and privacies of specific concern and I know we will address security or cybersecurity issues in this panel as well.

If I can have the next slide. I would like us to focus on one specific aspect of this pandemic and one specific right and that is the right to education. Now the right to education proved particularly challenging in the time of the pandemic. All of a sudden we moved online. All the kids were assumed to have a laptop computer that they could use and a sufficiently quick Internet access. This proved not to be the case in a majority of cases when we look at the global landscape. We will go in to details during this session. So I’m just going to use this general reference as a point of the departure. International law, European law grants youth the right to education. This right to education needs to be provided by the state by taking active measures and it needs to be nondiscriminatory. We need to educate all the youth, those who have a computer and those who do not. Those who have a quick Internet access and those who do not. If they do not enjoy those benefits of quick Internet access, the state needs to take active measures to make sure that the right to education is granted to every youth that has the right to enjoy it.

If we could move to the next slide. The silver lining I see in the pandemic is an enhanced discussion on the right to Internet access. All of a sudden we find ourselves in a world where the right to Internet access is fundamental for the enjoyment of the well established right to education. If you are locked down in your house, cannot go out and you cannot get access to education if you do not have the right to Internet access.

Now EuroDIG is a specifically welcoming ground to have this discussion. We have had panels at EuroDIG on the right to Internet access. And we have Governmental representatives telling Civil Society activists well, we are not really there yet. We don’t know what it is. We don’t know what it means. Here is the global pandemic. If you don’t have Internet access you cannot enjoy other rights. And these are challenging, globally challenging times.

If I could have the final slide, now this is just a heads up that as much as us academics all Internet users have been discussing this issue over and over again, the youth are well aware of it. And they know where to knock to make the grownups aware. A young gentleman in Poland, 17‑year‑old high school student, alarming the UN Human Rights Council about the situation in Poland. He is evoking his restriction on mobility imposed on the Government. He alleges unrightfully and his limitability to prepare for the mature test he was to pass just this past few days. His right to education was effectively restricted limited by the global pandemic and insufficient measures that were taken by the Polish state. And he’s making sure that right can be enjoyed by all youth in the country equally.

I’m going to stop here. I wanted to set the stage for the discussion and the context of availability of resources of the right to Internet access. I appreciate the opportunity to intervene again later on the agenda. And I look very much forward to the discussion and questions. Thank you, Narine.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Joana, for particularly emphasizing the principle of nondiscrimination. We have seen that many kids were discriminated against with regard to their right to education as limited Internet access in COVID‑19 pandemic has exposed that many countries – negative impact on lockdown were felt disproportionately by children from poor and families, children with disabilities. So less prosperous and less digitally quick families are more likely to have their children left behind when classes are back online. Some household, Networks can’t afford service being cut from the education opportunities. Listen to Tito about his particular experience (cutting out).

>> TITO DE MORAIS: Thank you, Narine. Actually I think that the pandemic we are currently living in is showing us that digital transformation in the Asian sector hasn’t really happened yet. And it is urgently needed to become a reality exactly to avoid worsening of inequalities and polarization in our society.

Let me make my intervention. The suspension of the classes was announced on Thursday, March 12th. From Monday, Monday 16th all classes were held online. We had the weekend to prepare. And a state of emergency was declared on Saturday, March 13th during the weekend. As a result many teachers and students were caught without computers and tablets and Internet connections to follow their classes. They released some 7,000 children at risk or in danger, around school age children living in the 450 residential parent homes which exist across the countries were caught in this situation. Many had Smartphones but not data packages that allowed to follow their classes. And Smartphones are not the best devices to learn online.

Most of these residential care homes will have the devices to follow their classes. And the same thing happened in some family settings with parents working remotely and children learning online, there simply weren’t enough computers and tablets to go around in most families. In order to minimize these impacts the push for Civil Society mobilized itself. We saw citizens creating Facebook groups together with parent delivered refurbished computers for children in need. Municipalities and counties stepped up and purchased and distributed computers and tablets to children that didn’t have them. I personally was involved in a project with the Internet Society. SOS digital (inaudible). That funded computers to children in residential care homes.

Realizing the problem after the Easter break, the Ministry of Education launched classes on TV for students from grades 1 to 9, but most of them resorted to Zoom video conferences classes.

Realization of this situation made evident in the apparent digital exclusion is a reality and not just in underdeveloped countries. The right to education as Joana mentioned is a fundamental right is at stake and we should not forget. The right to education is – Declaration of Human Rights is Article 28 of the Convention of Rights of the Child. Article 14 of the European Union charter are fundamental rights. The right to education is a fundamental right and it is at stake because there are other things that are not happening.

But other rights of the Convention were also at stake because of the situation. Namely Article 13, the right to Freedom of Expression; Article 15, the right to Freedom of Association; Article 17, the Right to Access Information. And last but not least the right to play, Article 31. Summarizing, without one computer tablet per child and an Internet connection, the most fundamental rights of children are at risk. As we speak most children are still learning remotely. As we speak despite the many ways we try to minimize this impact there are still children with these rights at risk. If we don’t act quickly, we will only be deepening the digital divide that already exists. We will deepen the digital exclusion, inequalities and polarization in our society. That’s why we need to make universal ownership of a computer or tablet and access to Internet a universal right today. Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Tito, for pointing to those important issues and fully agree with you. And we see that many schools are funding some solutions to continue teaching, but anyway, the quality of learning is very much dependent on the level and the quality of digital access. After all only around 60% of the world’s population is on the right way.

I would like now to again ask Janice Richardson to speak briefly about what educational strategies and policies should be implemented to mitigate those negative impacts of polarization or the digital knowledge gap. Janice, the floor is yours.

>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Thank you. One right that we haven’t mentioned is that every child should be able to realize and to exploit the full learning potential. And all of the solutions should be shaped around that. I think that this new paradigm we have been talking about since the middle of the ’90s and it hasn’t happened, teacher training is pretty much the same now as it was back in the mid ’90s. And this is information that comes to me from teacher trainers.

Secondly, I think that education has a big role to play in things like the Internet Governance Forum, but every year that I have attended I have noticed that there are really very few people from the education world. Thirdly, I think equipment is very important but adaptive equipment is even more important. And when I see teachers using commercial type platforms it really concerns me. I think they don’t have any idea of the privacy issues. They are even showing parts of their own home which for me is a really big problem because they simply haven’t learned. We need a lot more piloting and they need to learn about interaction and get industry working together with families and also with the education sector.

You may not know but in November 2019, 47 Governments adopted a recommendation from the Council of Europe to promote digital citizenship in education. Perhaps you can show the slide that I have prepared because the Council of Europe has also developed or is developing a partnership agreement with industry to try to help, focus on all of those aspects that are so important if we are really going to bring solutions and allow every child to really exploit their full learning potential.

They can – the Council of Europe considers it is really important to have a multi‑stakeholder approach. One, to raise awareness of the tools, platforms, challenges and solutions. And all of this is in the partnership agreement which should be really I would say within the next two or three months.

Secondly, to really optimize the technical infrastructure so that everyone gets fast, secure, reliable Internet access which would cut up all of these problems cybersecurity. It is important though to connect classrooms to the wider world. Active participation, critical understanding of what’s going on is to cut out those problems, false information, Fake News, et cetera. We have to enhance learning opportunities. There is such a wealth of resources of different environments of content to teachers have to go out of their classroom and be part of the wider world. And for that they need a partnership not only within the street, but with all of the key actors.

And finally the Council of Europe has developed a group of competencies that they consider so important for children to develop. These are built on values, skills, attitudes as well as knowledge and critical understanding. And I think until we take in to account the importance of all these competencies children are simply not going to able to be part of this transformation. They are not going to benefit from the opportunities. Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Janice. Now let’s turn to some specific educational examples, programs from various countries. Audience speaker, what are the existing programs in their countries that are helping people to become more prepared and equipped in terms of the global COVID crisis. Let ask them about programs which can serve as a way forward for others. Examples for other. Oliana, you have done research in – about online learning readiness for the pandemic comparing situations in Estonia and Albania. Please could you share with us your findings, the floor is yours.

>> OLIANA SULA: Okay. Yes. Because I was muted I asked to be unmuted. Thank you, everyone. Thank you to the organizers for letting me share my research and experience as well from the field. My research was done before the pandemic. And I defended my Ph.D. just before the pandemic, but it seems to be really relevant for today’s situation.

My research was based on students from Universities on how to use online tools for interpreter learning basically as I teach business related disciplines. And what it was found back in time it was that what matters are not just the right tools, but what matters more it is what we need to know on how to use these tools.

So what are our competencies in order to take benefit from this online tools? Back in time, I analyzed basically social media platforms, not specific tools that help the online learning processes. And it turned out that students are lacking of many competencies in order to be prepared to learn online which focuses not just on the technical aspects of platforms, but basically they lack more of the other skills or competencies such as how they can monitor information, how they can filter information that is online. And here, you know, it is not just about how we protect ourselves online but how as well we know which information is right and which is wrong, which is true and which is maybe Fake News.

Then how maybe we can be content creators. What I see even today is teachers and as well students lack a bit of creativity, competencies and content competencies for online learning which is different from learning in real life conditions. And then how to collaborate online and how to improve our communication skills online. How to preserve our ethic online. It is very important to have some interaction when we teach online. Most of the time in Zoom we felt we are doing our own monolog without having this impression that we are in a real virtual classroom. Even when using more specific tools of virtual classrooms.

So those are worth the most important findings of my research. And when it comes to policy making I guess that now it is required more and more from decision makers maybe to think on how to integrate how to take benefits from online tools, from existing tools. Not to invent new. We can improve what we have now, but how we can take more advantage of what we have already. From my experience we didn’t make any big transformation in education right now in my country specifically. We just improvised with a pandemic. I’m saying maybe a word that, not be politically correct, but I feel that we overcomed the pandemic because currently we are back to school. We are experiencing another stuff on how this online was (inaudible) from the comeback. And for me it was that before we improvised now for the future we don’t need to do need any more improvisation. And we need to be more focused on how we can benefit from learning online. Because in my country there is another problem that online learning has and online teaching, online education is not very widespread among young people. We adapted but still I see a lot of skepticism from students and teachers and as well as new generation.

We need to maybe raise our awareness that this is going to be part of our life for a long, long time. It demands, first of all, a kind of let’s say multi‑stakeholderism but a need more of collaboration from every one of us. Online learning is more strategic. It is a strategic tool for education. It is not something that before or maybe we thought we can do it just in a time of crisis.

So thank you very much. Those were my thoughts. Of course, I can share later on in the discussion some more specific cases on what we did here in Albania, but I just wanted to connect maybe more practically with my research.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you for emphasizing the importance of those diverse skill sets, information and literacy. We have seen that learning parties are coming to across Europe to utilize the digital platforms to teach about those important skills. But I would also like to ask about what about cyber safety skills. How do we ensure that necessary cyber safety skills are taught from elementary to high school? I thought we’d have Anna Borkowska.

>> ANNA BORKOWSKA: Thank you. Maybe I will introduce myself and introduce my institution because it is important that we are not a part of the education system but we support the education system. We – the National Research Institute under the supervision of the Ministry of Digital Affairs, and so our main goal is Information Society development and Internet safety as Narine mentioned. And this is the field we are working in. And before I start to show some examples what – how we work during the pandemic, I would like to add something to our discussion that we have – had at the beginning of panel. We implement, experience the same barriers as I suppose other countries did. And we know that we don’t have proper equipment and access to Internet for all the students and all the teachers. And we have to prepare ourselves better with online resources to support teaching and so on and so on. But I suppose that like in other countries a lot of – a large sum of money was allocated to provide students and teachers with Internet access and proper equipment like tablets and laptops and so on and so on. For instance, in Poland it was in total 40 million Euros allocated on that purpose. But, of course, the action just has started. And we know that we will be maybe better prepared maybe for autumn or something like that. Because even if we can make it in a very fast track, it is – I suppose we still – it was short in time. But I think that pandemic showed us what barriers, restrictions we have but also I am optimistic as Joanna is. The pandemic showed us how we benefit from online education and Internet and electronic tools. And we have such examples here in Poland. And if I could focus on one of them just to show you a good example of overcoming the challenges and how we can benefit from the situation which is really extreme and not inspected. And we had to do something that overcome the challenges that we faced. And we had some examples that we did and we have learned the lesson I hope for the future.

Narine, give me a few minutes more so I can show what we have done in Poland and as a good example of what we could do in this very extreme situation. What have we done with one of our programs that is aimed at increasing student’s digital skills and safety. And we have a project the Young Programmer’s Club and it has been running since 2018. And the main goal is to increase student’s digital skills but also other life skills, problem solving, positive use of Internet and so on. And until March 2020 the project has been implemented offline through the network of local clubs. And we established the clubs mainly in small towns in Poland just to give the chance to children not living in big cities where the opportunities are much bigger. And it was very popular. And I have – and a lot of students were interested in participation in these workshops. And, of course, we planned to start next cycle because students can take part in a series of ten workshops. And which are – which are conducted by experienced educators and trainers and it is – it is in a traditional format offline.

In March we couldn’t, of course, open these clubs after the winter break in our schools because of the lockdown in Poland. So but we also didn’t want to postpone the project or cancel. And we decided how it would work in another environment. We transferred the project to the Internet and opened these clubs online. And the students were fully virtual and they are for the time being. And we supposed that – in one workshop in offline environment a maximum 15 students can take part. So we suppose when we open the clubs online this amount of students would be much bigger. So we decided to open it for 10,000 students for each age group. We had two age groups. And just to show you the overall view of what will happen, in one day we had over 20,000 students registered to the program which shows that there is a big interest, interest in workshops like in programs like this. And we saw that this is our opportunity. So we decided to open these clubs for everyone who is interested in taking part in it. And we didn’t limit access to 1,000 students per workshop. And we opened the Livestreaming. So everyone can take part in it without limited access. And the workshops are safe and available online. We can use much more than before Internet tools and Internet access and our other programs. And I can see Narine is smiling. So clearly I am talking too long. So maybe just – this is it. And if you ask I can put something in to our later discussion. So thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you, Anna. Very interesting. Very interesting. COVID‑19 has become a catalyst for various stakeholders across Europe for innovative solutions and new methods and new partnerships. We see now innovation not only in technology but in partnerships as well. Public/private educational partnerships has grown in importance. Diverse stakeholders including Governments, technology providers, telecom operators coming together to utilize digital platforms as a temporary solution to teach those necessary skills. Today we are very happy to have media which was founded in Netherlands which started in the Netherlands, an interesting initiative to combine network forces in implementing digital inclusion programs. Ida van Praag, the floor is yours.

>> IDA VAN PRAAG: Hello. My name is Ida van Praag and I’m just an educational designer in the Netherlands. We started before the closure of schools, we started to make an inventory when we meet to express digital education to all the children. And I need to say something. I just hear you all say about education for teachers, education for children, education for adults but we should be aware of the bottom‑up approach. What do children need to access digital tools and to become part of social and blended learning? And if I say social and blended learning I mean digital citizenship is about being a citizen of the world. So we need to access the world and learn from things surrounding the social environment of all the children. If you are living in a city, we need access to the city. We need access to the Internet. We need access to the local authorities to make your life liveable. That’s what we should learn our children.

Next to that they need to learn to read and to write and all that sort of things. They are competencies. If they want to go to the next level of education, they need those basic skills, then they need excellent skills to participate in our wide society. Those excellent skills should be also digital excellent skills. Then you come to the part where the students will become the teacher. Because the youth, at this point I have been involved in 12 weeks of digital learning and digital lessons approach to the whole Netherlands. And we learned one thing, those youth and those youth members are more aware of digital tools and digital skills than their teachers. And that is a great problem. Because if the teachers are not aware of the usage of digital tools to make social and blended learning happen, then our youth cannot attend an excellent education.

And the next part is they want Internet access. And we learned in the past few weeks that Internet access in the Netherlands is not well organized. We need it. The infrastructure is still there. But the Internet access is not available to all children in the Netherlands. And that was the main problem we found out the first week we started with home schooling our kids. The next problem was that parents and teachers and schools and local authorities needed to cooperate in multi‑stakeholder groups to make sure – pretty damn sure that all the children could follow their educational, follow their lessons online. And that was a really, really great problem to follow the lessons online. Because one kid didn’t have a device. One kid didn’t have Internet access. So all the teachers were not teaching or giving their digital lessons. Now they were well aware some of the students of their classrooms were not there. I spoke to many, many teachers in the Netherlands and they all were aware that the students were not online. So my colleagues and I started a campaign in the Netherlands to make sure that every student in the Netherlands could have access to the Internet or access to a device. If you don’t have access to the Internet or a device, please tell us.

All the primary needs to follow education. And we provided 10,000 students with Internet and laptops just by organizing multi‑stakeholder groups locally in the Netherlands to make sure if a student at our school wasn’t able to follow the lessons because he or she was not able to access the Internet or go – and didn’t have a device, we just provided them with something. And not only a Smartphone, only a device. A device could be a tablet or a laptop. Someone in the community donated to make sure that little boy or little girl could follow their education. And that made the schools aware, the parents aware, and the teachers aware if we wanted to make this digital transformation during the COVID‑19 lockdown we needed to work together socially to make sure that our kids who follow their lessons and their education. And that was a necessity because parents were working from home and kids were learning from home. And if you want to socialize in our community, you needed Internet access. You needed to be able to socialize with your friends from school, with your family. That is the main problem that we found out in education in the Netherlands because it is about social and blended learning. If the education was not doing the right competent – having the right competence we needed to provide for those kids or those students.

Then the teachers would work together in teams and upskill or upgrade their lessons to make sure that the lessons they were providing on paper or through books was available online. In the primary schools they have methods and all the digital platforms, the digital platforms just kept on screaming you need a license, you need a license to access this education. You need a license to access this education. We didn’t provide licenses to students. We just provided them with education made by the teachers. The teachers made their own education, but well aware that there are methods we need to use to make the education stick to what the students need and that’s the main thing I saw happening. Educational practices, programs – practices, yes. Programs, no. Because programs are made from A to Zed and A to Zed didn’t work online. So we need a new standard to provide digital lessons and also social learning lessons. And this is why the Netherlands has provided in the upcoming year a new standard for the curriculum for education in primary and secondary schools to make sure that all the students following education in Netherlands will be well prepared to find a job in the next future and that those are future jobs.

So I am totally aware we need to make our students future proof, future proof. Future proof, tomorrow we need digital tools and the day next we need digital schools. Because if we don’t go the digital way the citizens of the whole world cannot communicate in the near future. Because if there is coming a new pandemic like this one COVID‑19 we are not able to communicate with each other. If this pandemic happened in the early ’60s we were not able to communicate with each other. And that’s the main problem we tackled by noting teacher platforms where teachers make the educational, the education and education programs digital. And they are – during this three years in a row to make sure the digital education is compliant with the educational needs of children. And those educational needs of children are in a description of the curriculum in the Netherlands. So that was my –

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Very interesting. Thank you for pointing to blended learning and that – we all see that as you rightfully mentioned parents are working from home and at the same time children are working from home. So we see in a matter of weeks COVID 19 has changed how students all over the world are educated. And these changes have – have caused maybe some uncertainty and have speeded up new examples of educational innovation like you mentioned. And thank you also for mentioning that we all need to build resilience, especially in the face of new threats.

And I have now just received a very interesting questions via chat and we would like to use this opportunity to ask some people who want to present to speak briefly about experiences in their countries. We have Susan from Armenia with us. Susan, the floor is yours. Please unmute yourself and raise your points.

>> Hello, everyone. Thanks for the opportunity and actually all the speakers were very precise and very comprehensive. And I see that the example we had in Armenia looks much like the other examples, like the problem of access, the problem of gadgets, the problem of parents working at the same place with children and taking in to consideration the parents might be teachers themselves and a gap between the IT knowledge of children0 and teachers and moreover their parents.

I would say that in Armenian reality we had some materials already digitalized. There is a special center with the Ministry of Education in Armenia working on digitalization of the content. And there was some pragmatic platforms and local platforms of private schools. As a parent of a kid, I would just like to tell my daughter’s experience that the digital classroom sometimes helped her to be more focused and to work on the content without much noise. But she still was missing the contact with – the social contact with the peers. I don’t want to take too much of your times, time but I just wanted to mention that there is also a lot of lack of knowledge on the protection of personal data and a lot of schools were even putting up the process of their teaching with the pictures of students online and there is big, big room for improvement in terms of media education. And I would just like to conclude by telling that I believe that the situation appeared is just sort of a signal for us to have wisen use of technology. The Internet learnings, ethics, that were not participating. They were escaping from classes, switching off their webcams sometimes the kids. Also the need to promote connectivity and contact to shift to the new realities is important. The Internet should serve to public good. And it should be the tool for freedom for education and also for – for our children we should make them ready, skilled and knowledgeable and responsible.

We feel that education is not only a right to be assured as a positive obligation for the state but an opportunity to grow, value the education more than they do sometimes. And on the other hand I think that also the content should be improved and diversified to meet all the needs and expectations of the modern generations. Thank you very much.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Susan, for raising these important points. And we have a professor from North Macedonia. I am very pleased to pass you the floor. Professor, can you please tell us about the lessons learned during the transition from the traditional classroom toward distant learning? The floor is yours.

>> Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for organizers who are having us here. I would like to pick up on where the previous speakers left on the importance of having access to the Internet and access to technology and access to computers, but it seems that these solutions or these actions by themselves do not solve the problem. We have had the project computer fire many years ago and it didn’t solve the issue here. We had efforts here from the telecom providers granting free access to families in need, schools sharing their school computers to the families that cannot provide from themselves just to help the students connect to the digital environment, the Internet environment for learning, but it didn’t help. It didn’t solve the biggest problem. And the biggest problem was the readiness, readiness of society as a whole and the readiness of the educational system. We saw a broad spectrum of examples in our case starting doing nothing which is on all degrees of education starting from the school, primary schools but to the faculties and universities that did nothing at all to the whole different end of the spectrum where you can have faculties and Universities. That break only lasted for maybe less than a week.

In our case the faculty was less than a year in our educational process because of readiness, because of existence of platforms that were well‑known to students because of their work – used to doing things online. They were used to doing things online and used to doing things in the classroom but also online. So these – we are currently in the middle of the exam session and everything has almost, almost the date as it was supposed to be before this hit us. So this gives us the idea to speak up to the community and to ask the state for establishing several important things. First is policy. Policy on education. Policy on introducing the distant education as a blended form of education with a standard plan. I would be more than happy to see the education on every cycle of education and have at least half a day a week digital online learning in combining it with the standard classroom learning. So when the next pandemic starts or the next climate change, weather, bad weather hits us we will be much more ready. We are using this experience and trying to push all the relevant instances in the country to establish, first of all, the policies and establish a national platform. It is very important to establish a national platform. Otherwise you are left to the capabilities, to the incentives of individual schools, individual teachers, individual organizations, but if you have a national platform that is supported, that – and if you have teachers that are educated and trained to use this platform that’s almost no excuse I would say for not going digital. And, of course, establishing this platform in parallel with the normal classroom process is very important. And, of course, it was not all that bad. It may be a personal experience as a parent of school kids also. We have seen a very positive thing within the pandemic and that was the boost of digital skills development. It was self‑taught and it was parent taught in many cases, but we saw a huge boost in digital skills development in all layers, in all levels that’s happening and especially in the school children. Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much. Thank you. This is really very interesting. And we now can just see what questions do we have from audience participants and try to answer those questions. Can I give the floor to you to maybe speak a bit from your perspective of security professional and also bring some questions which have been discussed in the chat room? Thank you very much. The floor is yours.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Yes, this is Wout. Good afternoon all. And thank you for the very lively presentations and discussion in the chat. As I said I am an independent consultant in the Netherlands, focusing on Internet Governance. The angle I took on first joining this workshop was from a very specific angle which we sort of dropped because of the COVID‑19 situation that developed since we started working together. And, of course, that had to take a back seat, but it is something I would like to stress because when we are talking about cybersecurity, there is a very specific angle that has come to the attention of a report I wrote in the past six months. And that is that a lot of people, young people leave education, whether it is vocational or at University and everything in between without much knowledge of cybersecurity, Internet Governance or Internet architecture. An example, when you do media training here then you learn to design websites and all the children leaving the vocational training leave without any knowledge about cybersecurity. I know that from firsthand experience, not for myself but for my stepson. At University some of these topics are not taught and they learn languages that are ages old to program in, but nothing about how to make a secure product. And that is something which may have to change in the near future if we want to have a more secure society. If it is impossible for children to build a secure website or to design products securely or design software secure, then we will remain inherently unsafe as a society as a whole.

And that is a topic that will need to be addressed somehow and how to change educational curricula to take on these sort of topics. So that when the children leave their education they will at least they know about these problems and that they may have to find solutions for this when they get to first and second jobs. So that was the angle basically that I looked at.

Also discussed another angle which was on education. And that is if the teachers come up in the chat, so I will pass the word on to others to fill this in, but if we look at teachers that are not being told how to teach their children online and, of course, this is a crisis of which everyone hopes it will never happen again, but there are countries in the world where totally other sort of crises are ongoing and it is impossible to go to school as well. Still children need to be told somehow and need to have access to that – to that teaching. So how do we make sure that teachers are up to speed on the – on this topic which has been expressed, but apparently they know less than the children they teach? We are in a very worrying situation in my opinion which in the end Governments will have to look at how they learn their teachers to get up to speed on this topic. And I understand that in Bulgaria there is an example of it. Also a totally different sort of question from Todi which I would like to ask if he is interested or she, sorry, I don’t know, to bring that in to the discussion. So that’s the first two I would like to start with. Thank you, Narine.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much, Wout. Thank you. Are we now inviting Oliana to the floor? Am O right to understand that you have invited Oliana? The floor is yours. Please unmute.

>> Hello? Do you hear me?

>> Yes, we can hear you.

>> Yeah?

>> Hello.

>> Yes, we can hear you.

>> Go ahead.

>> Sorry, I don’t share more than what I wrote by the chat because I take this data from this year’s DESI, from the European Commission tool what measures the Information Society progress, yearly progress for the European Member States. So I can only try to get more information from my colleague from the Ministry of Education. And then I can write to you more about this project. Sorry but I don’t know more information.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Do we have questions in the chat?

>> There are two questions. There is a question from Todi who has been waiting for a long time and from Alessia and Todi is the oldest one for me personally. I invite her to present first and then Alessia.

>> Thank you very much. This is Todi. I really was asking – I wanted to know about the direction of the discussion because I believe that the right to education is beyond school children and teachers, especially middle education. I was asking if anyone would like to comment or talk about education beyond formal traditional education, et cetera, and that’s beyond teachers, students and schools. Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you very much. And now Alessia, the floor is yours.

>> Hello to everyone. I’m Alessia from Italy. I’m a member of the Internet Society Italian chapter. And it is a pleasure to be a part of this. Between pioneers and young generation and it is a really formative experience more than any course or any lesson. Last year maybe for the first time so many young people took part in the global IGF in Berlin. I was there with other guys and it was a wonderful experience for all us. Despite the people normally think many young people are interesting topic like Internet Governance and digital divide and social implications, privacy and cybercrimes. One year ago with my local Association, Epsilon generation, we organized an event at (inaudible). We tried to raise awareness of these issues. We talked about the Italian Internet rights adopted by the Italian Parliament in 2015 and we analyzed the 14 EARLs and a member of Stefan that invested so much time and energy to work on it. And on education with Laura and with the Italian youth observatory we decided to work on the project of this book entitled Internet Bill of Rights. We reflected on 14 Articles of Italian the Bill of Rights.

The idea of the civil consultation about the Internet Bill of Rights shows how important it is for everyone to have awareness about it. That’s why we wrote this book. The aim of this book is impact to foster the interest in these topics and to provide the full knowledge of rights and duties on it by people in the digital and mutual environment.

Normally we talk about the digital divide as a gap between those who have access to the Internet and to the technologies and those who don’t have access, but all of us know that the digital divide is much more than that. It touches every aspect of our life, cultural, economic, social and political, freedom, transparency and equal. That’s what the Internet Bill of Rights represents and that’s what the internet should be represented. The book is also available in e‑book format. Unfortunately at the moment it is only in Italian but we are working on its transaction. If this works out there will be for sure another time for sharing the English version. I hope you can read it soon. I would like to close with a question, how we can fight the digital divide that depends on political and economical choices? Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you, Alessia. Very interesting question but it is maybe a reference question. Maybe for the next meeting we will try to touch upon this question and approach it from various angles. This is very interesting indeed. And let’s now pass to the final part of our workshop, (cutting out).

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Narine, you are breaking up.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Just a moment. Let me check.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Are you still there? Then I’ll just take over from there. There are two questions left. One is from Hara. And the other one is from myself. Hara, you were asking about the – I have to bring the question back up. There were two questions. Would you like to expand on them? Hara, are you there? Can anyone hear me?

>> Yes.

>> We can hear you. Yes.

>> Yes.

>> Yes.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Okay. There is a question from Hara from the Council of Europe. And it says one big aspect of the pool environment in education. How this can happen via online lessons. And the second question is many educators have difficulties with new technologies and they are afraid they will break things. Don’t know how to teach online. How can we overcome these issues. I think that the second question was answered. The first one is more of a social question. It has not been answered. Perhaps somebody would like to answer that question. Or Hara, are you there?

>> In the chat, yes. I cannot open his mic. He cannot use his mic.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: He cannot use it.

>> No, he cannot use it.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Okay. Then that – then that is it. And the final question was one of myself, how are we going to disseminate the messages that we are going to arrive at. Most people involved are not present at this discussion. And they need to be made aware of best practices. I will hand back to Narine to start wrapping up looking at the time. Thank you.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Can you hear me? Can you hear me well?

>> Yes, very well. Narine, you have to unmute yourself because we are not hearing you. Okay. Now it is fine.

>> Thank you. So I’m going to wrap up the discussion today. It is yet early to conclude how COVID‑19 has affected educational institutions and educational (cutting out) around the world. (Cutting out). Traditional face to face learning is replaced with new learning methods, virtual reality experiences. On the other hand, we have seen that public/private partnerships have grown in importance and while most initiatives may be inconsistent to Coronavirus can pave the way to be formed around common educational goals. COVID‑19 is also a good opportunity to remember about the digital skills as well as the importance of such skills as informed decision making, creativity, problem solving and resilience built in to our educational systems as well. Today we have touched upon the problem of digital (inaudible). (Cutting out)

On the other hand, even if schools find solutions to continue teaching, the quality of learning heavily depends on the quality of digital access. And today only 60% of the world’s population is online. So spread of COVID‑19 has revealed the weaknesses of not only our education system, but our societies in general. And it has shown us the importance of building resilience in the face of various threats.

Now I am pleased to pass the floor to Andrijana to present the messages. We should agree upon those messages with rough Consensus. If nobody has strong objections those messages will be adopted and will later be published in the messages from 2020. Andrijana, the floor is yours.

>> ANDRIJANA GAVRILOVIC: Thanks for the floor. I’d just like to add you described the process beautifully. Even if we adopt the messages today we can still adjust it a bit in the later stages. We need the rough Consensus. The pedagogical process needs to be modified. We are advising and the digital transformation in school education. The way teachers are taught, the way teachers teach and the tools used and the relationships of the teachers of the industry need to be modified.

There is typo there I apologize. Are there any strong objections? Please raise them in the chat.

I would say we can go to our next message then. The right to education needs to be provided by the state and it needs to be nondiscriminatory. The states need to take active measures to make sure that the right education is granted to every youth.

And I think we can go to out next message and no comments on this one either.

The multi‑stakeholder approach is necessary to raise awareness of the tools and platforms to optimize the technical infrastructure for Internet access to tackle cybersecurity which is important in connecting classrooms to the wider world.

No objections. Let’s go forward.

The bottom‑up approach is necessary to gain awareness of what children need to access digital tools, to become part of social and blended learning and to become digital citizens. A new standard is needed to provide digital lessons and social learning lessons. No objection.

Let’s go to our last message. The universal ownership of a computer or tab – and I do expect some objections on this one. The universal ownership of a computer or tablet and access to the Internet must be observed as universal rights today. I have a very strong yes. Thank you very much for that one. Universal access to computer or tablet and Internet. Okay. We can do that. Ownership is too strong. So universal access. Okay. Thank you all very much. Narine, thank you for the floor. And now I give it back to you.

>> Can I just say that –


>> Access is a problem that we have because if you don’t own a device, you don’t have – you might not have access.

>> NARINE KHACHATRYAN: Thank you for raising this important, interesting point. Let’s – let’s just – don’t consider this as an end of discussion. And let’s try to continue this discussion later at the global IGF and next EuroDIG as well.

Dear participants, now I’m closing the meeting. Thank you again all the speakers. So key participants, thank the co‑Moderator and everyone who participated and team members, the reporter and the EuroDIG Secretariat for providing the platform and this possibility of organizing this wonderful workshop. And thank you – thank you all. And have a nice day, everyone.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Let me add two seconds here as co‑Moderator. Thank you, Narine, for all the hard work you put in to the session. And Louie who is not present but after we started this discussion, and thank you for a very lively discussion. Let’s be provocative and see how far we can take this message and see what happens to it. Thank you very much. And have a very good day. And hope to speak again to you on this topic in the near future. So thank you.

>> Thank you very much as well. Thank you for the excellent session. Bye‑bye.


  • Rui André S. Esteves, Experienced ICT Teacher, with a substantial working history in various scholar institutions, teaching at different levels. Presently, teaching in a public secondary school in Madeira Island - Portugal. Before, worked as IT Administrator, in several public entities/organizations. Experienced in ITIL, IT Service Management, TCP/IP Networks and Operative Systems. Holds a first degree in Computer/ Information Administration and Management, and a Masters Degree in ITIL Framework, from Bragança's Polytechnic Institute – Portugal. Member of Internet Society Portuguese Chapter.
  • Narine Khachatryan, Narine Khachatryan has over a decade of experience in project development and coordination in the field of ICTs with extensive experience of working with stakeholders from government, industry, civil society and international organizations. Ms. Khachatryan has been a coordinator of Safer Internet Armenia -, raising public awareness and educating about Internet safety and risks, which over the last decade has given start to numerous educational initiatives in the fields of ICTs involving many thousands young people and adults. Ms. Khachatryan acted as national contact for such organizations as INSAFE / Better Internet for Kids and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ the Global Online Safety Awareness Campaign. As a co-founder of programs promoting media and digital literacies, she engaged as an expert with a number of international partners, such as Council of Europe, UNESCO, the U.S. University of St. Thomas.
  • Wout de Natris, Consultant and trainer/owner, De Natris Consult. Wout de Natris started De Natris Consult in 2011 after six years in national and international cooperation on spam enforcement and cybercrime. Wout has experience as a spam investigator at OPTA, was chair and coordinator of several national and international cooperation bodies and provided training in spam investigations and law at the global level. Currently he is an Internet governance expert and recently published a report on the (lack of) deployment of internet standards as program leader for an IGF pilot. Over the past years he has worked as a consultant for, among others, the UN/IGF secretariat, Microsoft, the NL Govcert, Internet Society, eco e.V., SIDN. He has organised and moderated workshops on Internet governance for ecp, ISOC, Ministry of Security and Justice, NLIGF, the NL Cyber Security Council, etc. at the national and international level. Wout has published regularly on spam enforcement and international cooperation at the national and international level. He co-owns and consults for cyber consultancy company MKB Cyber Advies Nederland (e.g. SMEs and municipalities).
  • Joanna Kulesza, Joanna Kulesza is a tenured professor of law and teaches international law, internet governance and media law. Currently serving as a scientific committee member for the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union and for the At-Large Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, she successfully combines academia with policy work. Most recently she was elected as the Chair of the ADvisory Board of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise. She is an expert of the Sino-European working group on international law and its application to cyberspace, set up by the CICIR and GCSP. She has also been involved with the Sino-European Cybersecurity Dialogue (SECD) and the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC). Professor Kulesza has been serving an expert on human rights online for the Council of Europe and European Commission. She has been a visiting professor with the Oxford Internet Institute, Oslo University, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, and Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster. Kulesza was also a visiting researcher with the University of Cambridge and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
  • Tito de Morais, The Internet Safety Guy, is the founder of Projecto MiudosSegurosNa.Net (KidsSafeOnThe.Net Project), a family-run initiative that, since 2003, helps Portuguese speaking families, schools and communities promoting the ethical, responsible and safe use of the Internet by children, adults and lately, senior citizens. Tito is on the Advisory Board of Portugal’s Safer Internet Center, on Board of International Advisors of Cybersafety India, on the Advisory Board of the Portuguese team of the EuKidsOnline project, collaborated with NetChildrenGoMobile’s Portuguese team and was an external evaluator of “Cyber Training – Taking Action Against Cyberbullying”, a project that produced a train-the-trainer manual on cyberbullying. Represents StopCyberbullying and in Portugal and Projeto MiudosSegurosNa.Net as Partner at Google’s Family Safety Center and Facebook’s Safety Center. Tito is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and the Cybersafety Standards Task Force.
  • Janice Richardson, Janice Richardson has been conducting research on digital literacy, children’s rights and their online wellbeing for several decades, and has extensively advised governments, industry and international institutions on digital education across the world. She is author/co-author of a dozen books, and founding member/coordinator of several networks on literacy-related topics including the European Commission’s 30-country Safer Internet network (Insafe) and ENABLE, a network to tackle bullying through social-emotional competency development. Achievements include the creation of Safer Internet Day (celebrated since 2004, now in more than 140 countries), winner of a Facebook Digital Citizenship Grant (2012) and a European Diversity Award (2013) for outstanding use of digital technology in education. She has been expert to the Council of Europe on various topics including digital citizenship and child protection since 2002, co-authoring a half dozen CoE publications. Janice sits on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board and Youth Advisory Board, Twitter’s Trust and Security Council, and the Power of Zero steering committee on early childhood education, and is content creator/education expert in Huawei’s ongoing SmartBus programme.
  • Oliana Sula, Lecturer and researcher at the Department of Management, Faculty of Business at the University “Aleksandër Moisiu” Durrës, Albania. PhD in Management from Estonian Business School in Tallinn, Estonia. Her previous educational background is from France and Argentina. Her research interests are social media, youth entrepreneurship, social innovation, digital literacy, digital inclusion, cybersecurity education, youth policies, youth entrepreneurial culture and sustainable focusing in South East Europe and Latin America. She is part of different initiatives about Internet Governance at regional and European level. Her hobbies are nature, travelling, literature, spirituality, fitness and fashion design.
  • Anastas Mishev, PhD, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, North Macedonia. Chairman of the Board of MARNet, Macedonian ccTLD Registry for .MK and IDN МКД, President of the Supervisory Board of IGF MKD.
  • Ida van Praag, IDA Interim Development Advice, Ida Social Media Coach, Mediabalans, The Netherlands. Ida Social Media Coach is a subsidiary company which provides educational advice concerning digital- & media literacy. The initiative Mediabalans was created with Gül Akcaova to share expert knowledge and to combine network forces. During the coronacrisis and home schooling of children they started a campaign for digital inclusion and equity as the primary condition “Let’s go Digital”. They activated network contacts to provide internet access and devices for underprivileged families in the Netherlands, which were not able to participate in the digital transformation. Over 10,000 students were facilitated and it sparked the social interaction between students, parents, educational institutions and the (local) government policy frameworks for education.
  • Anna Borkowska, NASK, Poland. 'The Young Programmer’s Club' is the project addressed to primary school students (1-3 grades and 4-6 grades) promoting computer programming/coding skills among the youngsters. Till March 2020 the project has been implemented 'offline' through the network of local clubs, established mainly in small towns in Poland, where children could take part in series of ten workshops conducted by experienced educators and trainers. The project has been running since 2018 and has been very popular among children and parents. Interesting statistics as a result of doing the workshop in a virtual format: over 20 000 students registered for the workshop online, 5000 of whom took part compared to about 10-15 students in an offline workshop.
  • Susan (Syuzan) Marukhyan, ARISC Armenia Director & ISOC Armenia Chapter Board Member.

The COVID crisis was both a health challenge but an education challenge for Armenia, as for the whole world. Despite the availability of some online education resources, there still were essential problems to address. The lack of sufficient IT equipment and an internet connection, inclusion mechanisms for children with special needs and disabilities, as well as the need to develop IT skills for students, teachers, and parents and to ensure the safety of the online education process were among those. The situation we appeared in is a signal to have better and wiser use of technologies. Enhancing media education, promoting connectivity and the content will help us to shift to the new reality. The Internet should be served to the public good. It is a tool for freedom through education, but we have to make our children and ourselves ready, skilled, knowledgeable, and responsible to profit from it. On the other hand, education content should be improved and diversified to meet the needs and expectations of the modern generation. Enhanced media literacy and efforts to overcome the digital education divide got momentum.