Whether technically, linguistically, artistically or just for fun, continuing education makes sense in many ways – and awakens undiscovered potential. Hardly anyone knows this better than the educators at the Volkshochschule Darmstadt (vhs), who deal with lifelong learning in adulthood. Together with Smart City Darmstadt, the vhs (adult education centre) is now publishing the Digital Education Pathfinder Darmstadt. ‘This new portal is an ever-expanding offer for professional and vocational, voluntary and recreational education in Darmstadt, which we hope will be actively used,’ explains Darmstadt’s Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch about the new online education offer. ‘It’s motivating to look something up in this educational guide and see what you can learn in Darmstadt, a city of science and culture.’ explains Darmstadt’s Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch about the new online education offer. ‘It’s motivating to look something up in this educational guide and see what you can learn in Darmstadt, a city of science and culture.’
vhs Director Dr Monika Krutsch explains: ‘In the Science City Darmstadt, with its many cultural institutions, museums and clubs, so much expertise also lies dormant outside of the typical educational institutions. Unfortunately, far too few people realise that.’ This is precisely why vhs has developed the Digital Education Pathfinder together with Smart City Darmstadt. vhs Director Dr Monika Krutsch explains: ‘In the Science City Darmstadt, with its many cultural institutions, museums and clubs, so much expertise also lies dormant outside of the typical educational institutions. Unfortunately, far too few people realise that.’ This is precisely why vhs has developed the Digital Education Pathfinder together with Smart City Darmstadt. The platform is the right place to go (online) for anyone who wants to catch up on school-leaving qualifications, or anyone who is looking for skills for work, (vocational) training or studies, or who wants to learn a language or do something completely different. Maybe a mosaic class or a memory-training course? The portal should also be the first stop for anyone who wants to learn how to acquire the skills to become a volunteer in a hospital (a ‘Green Lady’) or to become qualified as a telephone counsellor. From now on, Darmstadt’s Digital Education Pathfinder will present the wide range of educational opportunities in Darmstadt in an easily accessible way.
The online platform was developed with the support of h_da researchers Dr Pia Sue Helferich and Dr Werner Storck from the departments of administration and online communication, who thought about the prerequisites, expectations and intentions of an educational pathfinder. In summary, education for work and leisure time is an attractive mix for an educational portal. What’s more, the offerings should be categorised according to city districts so that users can navigate the site quickly and easily. And so 45 educational providers from Darmstadt are already taking part in the launch of the platform. ‘Online portals such as the Education Pathfinder would be inconceivable without digitalisation. If you were to print a kind of telephone book with all the courses, seminars and educational opportunities in Darmstadt, it would be immensely cumbersome and more difficult to update than an online tool. That’s why, as a digital city, we are naturally keen to create lasting clarity and transparency about our offerings in Darmstadt with projects such as the Digital Education Pathfinder,’ says Simone Schlosser, managing director of Smart City Darmstadt.
Users can expect a clear and straightforward structure at www.bildungswegweiser.darmstadt.de in which they can find educational offerings using the slide function. Providers of educational opportunities are encouraged (effective immediately and for the future) to use the Education Pathfinder to advertise their offerings and to fill in the database so that the people of Darmstadt can benefit as much as possible from their city of science and culture. The portal is being developed with the financial support of the state of Hesse. Hessian Minister for Digital Strategy and Development, Prof. Kristina Sinemus, explains: ‘Lifelong digital learning is the prerequisite for a good life in the digital future. But we are already expected to have digital skills. That is why I am extremely pleased about the fact that a pathfinder is now available to the Darmstadt area, helping people to navigate through the jungle of offers out there and presenting the regional opportunities for strengthening digital skills. This complements the state-wide overview that we offer on the “wie-digital-bin-ich.de” website very well. Adult education centres are important players in lifelong learning, including with regard to digital education. The Pathfinder will make it even easier for Darmstadt residents to take action and improve their own skills.’