The European Computer Driving Licence: A Standard of Basic Competence for Personal Computer Users

The European Computer Driving Licence: A Standard of Basic Competence for Personal Computer Users

Michael Sherwood-Smith (University College Dublin and ECDL Foundation, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-70-4.ch015
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There is a recognized need to spread computer literacy across every level of society to generate an inclusive global information society, in which every citizen has an opportunity to participate (WRC, 1998; Dolan, 1997; European Commission, 1996; Green Paper, 1996). The visionary comments and actions of Commissioner Bangemann of the European Commission sparked off the recognition of the need for a computer literate population. He suggested that launching initiatives in areas of education, training and work organization was a basic requirement for supporting inclusion for the citizen in the information society. Establishing the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) as a basic standard of computing competence for every citizen underpins this objective. Computer literacy programs based on encouraging and motivating people to obtain an ECDL support the objective of including all citizens in the development of our information society. ECDL deployment programs have been launched to address the recognized need to increase computer literacy. Some of the issues raised in the European Commission reports were the following: • Greater efforts must be made in our schools, to prepare the next generation to participate and benefit fully; • Greater efforts must be made to stimulate European citizens to create content for new services whether education, entertainment or business; • Continued efforts must be made to keep Europe at the forefront of technology and infrastructure development and deployment for everyone; • Sustained efforts must be made to increase the public awareness of the benefits of active participation in the information society; • New collective efforts are needed to realize broader social benefits, particularly at local and community level. The European Computer Driving Licence addresses most of the above issues. The overall objectives of the ECDL dissemination program are: • To raise the level of computing competence for all European citizens, for those in the work force, seeking to join the work force, for those at home and for students. • To increase the productivity of all employees who need to use the computer in their work. • To enable better returns from investments in information and communications technology. • To ensure all computer users understand the “Best Practices” and advantages of using a computer. The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is a certified standard of basic competence for the users of a personal computer (any brand of personal desktop or portable computer). The ECDL, discussed subsequently in detail in this Chapter, is a certificate awarded to a person who has achieved a basic standard of knowledge of the concepts of information and communications technology and has acquired a basic standard of competence using a personal computer. The objective of this chapter is to describe the ECDL standard. It gives the background to what has been done in Europe, with the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) initiative. It describes the ECDL standard in terms of content, procedures for certification and the organization around the deployment of the ECDL. It concludes by outlining the development plans for the ECDL and the aspiration to establish a ‘de facto’ standard through the general acceptance and worldwide take up of the ECDL concept.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Yesha Y. Sivan
The diverse uses of “standards” define the goal of this work, namely, to develop a general framework of standards and to reflect on the process and... Sample PDF
Knowledge Age Standards: A Brief Introduction to their Dimensions
Chapter 2
Consensus Versus Speed  (pages 19-34)
Roy Rada
One standards organization takes years to reach consensus, while another standards organization takes months (Rada, 1995a). Changes are occurring in... Sample PDF
Consensus Versus Speed
Chapter 3
Petri Mahonen
Information Technology is one of the most rapidly developing areas in the technological world. In fact, the classical information technology that... Sample PDF
The Standardization Process in IT - Too Slow or Too Fast?
Chapter 4
T. M. Egyedi
The effect of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on our daily life needs no explanation. That standardization reduces diversity... Sample PDF
Institutional Dilemma in ICT Standardization: Coordinating the Diffusion of Technology
Chapter 5
Martin B.H. Weiss, Michael B. Spring
This chapter explores several issues related to intellectual property in the standardization process. Different intellectual property issues... Sample PDF
Selected Intellectual Property Issues in Standardization
Chapter 6
Eric J. Iversen
In today’s environment of rapidly evolving information and communication technologies (ICTs), technical standardization is said to be confronted by... Sample PDF
Standardization and Intellectual Property Rights: Conflicts Between Innovation and Diffusion in New Telecommunications Systems
Chapter 7
Robert Moreton
The purpose of this chapter is to define the context of standards within an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy and to suggest... Sample PDF
Standards, Strategy and Evaluation
Chapter 8
Wilhelm Hasselbring
For integrating heterogeneous information systems, semantic interoperability is necessary to ensure that exchange of information makes sense — that... Sample PDF
The Role of Standards for Interoperating Information Systems
Chapter 9
Klaus Turowski
The field of business applications encompassing software for production planning or order management is dominated by some big vendors offering large... Sample PDF
Establishing Standards for Business Components
Chapter 10
Jaroslav Blaha
NATO as an international organization consists of representatives from 19 nations and has to satisfy the political, operational and technical... Sample PDF
A Standards-Based Common Operational Environment
Chapter 11
Falk v. Westarp, Tim Weitzel, Peter Buxmann, Wolfgamg Konig
Every interaction and all coordination in economic processes is based upon communication. The exchange of information necessarily requires both the... Sample PDF
The Standardization Problem in Networks - A General Framework
Chapter 12
Simon L. Lelieveldt
The business of payments and the provision of payment instruments have a rich history, which can be drawn upon in a discussion of standardization.... Sample PDF
Standardizing Retail Payment Instruments
Chapter 13
Joel West
The influence of institutional pressures on standards and standardization are readily apparent in their most direct form. For example, in the... Sample PDF
Institutional Constraints in the Initial Deployment of Cellular Telephone Service on Three Continents
Chapter 14
Vladis Fomin, Kalle Lyytinen
This article analyses social networks by looking at the standard making processes. As a framework for analysis, actor network theory is chosen.... Sample PDF
How to Distribute a Cake before Cutting It into Pieces: Alice in Wonderland or Radio Engineers' Gang in the Nordic Countries?
Chapter 15
Michael Sherwood-Smith
There is a recognized need to spread computer literacy across every level of society to generate an inclusive global information society, in which... Sample PDF
The European Computer Driving Licence: A Standard of Basic Competence for Personal Computer Users
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