Telecentres, cybercafes, libraries and civic centres with Internet access… Internet public access points have evolved into much more that just places where access to online content and services is provided. There has been an evolution of public access points, and most of them have taken up a role of promoting digital and social inclusion, either directly or indirectly.
Even more important, other institutions not specifically aimed at promoting ICT usage — firms, schools, universities, governments… — have set up “ICT spaces” to help with the adoption of ICTs within their walls.
Those ICT spaces are usually run by a person or a team with a singular collection of skills: they are managers, they are computer engineers, they are social workers, they are communicators, they are educators… all at the same time.
During much of year 2011 I had the luck to be working with the Catalan Government and its Institut Català de les Qualificacions Professionals (ICQP) [Catalan Institute for professional qualifications, part of the Catalan Ministry of Education] to try and define what were the competences, skills and, very important, training required to run an ICT space.
There were five of us on the team: two of us — Isidre Bermúdez Ferran, from Fundación Esplai, a major telecentre actor in Spain, and I — provided experience on the field, while three others — Xavier Delgado Alonso, from the Catalan Institute of Social Services, and Manuela Merino Alcántara and Bru Laín i Escandell, from ICQP — provided all the methodological background.
Working sessions were really intense and what was learnt from the whole process was incredible. Now, the result of our work has been made public for public scrutiny and can now be downloaded from the ICQP website, both in Catalan and Spanish. Comments are really welcome.