Telekom is dedicated to promoting media skills in society. The focus here is especially on showing children, young people and seniors how to use the new information and communications media safely, because the new media can help them make their lives easier and participate in the information society. This is one of the goals involved in our action area "Connect the Unconnected," which we have set forth in our CR strategy.
Examples of our activities include the Telekom@School project, our collaboration with the "Internet mentors sharing experience" project launched by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, data privacy projects at schools and computer training courses, which we offer in cooperation with the Lebenshilfe organization.
We launched several campaigns revolving around the European Year for Active Aging and Solidarity between Generations in 2012. In addition to initiating the competition, "The Internet—it's not a question of age," we also supported the Heroes with Heart campaign and offered training courses for seniors, like the one conducted at our Telekom Shop in Frankfurt.
In February 2013, Telekom held a panel discussion on "Digital learning—smart learning" at our Berlin Representative Office. At the event, which was part of the telegraphen_lunch series, experts discussed the opportunities and risks involved in increasingly digital teaching. One of the main points of the discussion was how teaching methods at schools need to be improved by adding more digital content in view of changing learning patterns—an issue that Telekom has been addressing for years in different projects such as Telekom@School.
The "Surfing together" convention was held at Telekom's Representative Office in March 2013 in the context of the European Get Online Week. The event was addressed to people who volunteer or work full-time directly with people who have never used the Internet or do not use it very often. Participants learned methods that they can use to teach the people they work with how to use the Internet safely and responsibly. The convention was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV).
During the reporting year, we extended our offer of free Internet access within our Telekom@School initiative. The project has enabled schools without or with slow Internet connections to apply for a broadband line; depending on local service coverage, it offers a speed of 12 Mbit/s instead of the previous 6 Mbit/s.
There was no charge for the switch-over or for subsequent use of the Internet. Telekom also gave each school licenses for its new child protection software. We also offered to upgrade the connections of all schools in VDSL expansion areas to VDSL at reduced rates. VDSL enables data transmission speeds of up to 50,000 kbit/s. Deutsche Telekom has invested a nine-figure sum since the infrastructure project was launched and has equipped some 34,000 general and vocational schools in Germany with free online access.
In Greece, for example, Cosmote offers free, wireless broadband Internet access to schools on remote islands and in remote regions through its Surfing the World program. The company installs the required 3G-enabled devices (desktop PCs, WLAN routers, multi-functional devices and webcams) at schools to provide the children and teachers with fast Internet access. In 2012, more than 1,200 students and teachers from 46 schools throughout Greece benefited from the 240 devices that were donated as part of this program. Cosmote has installed wireless Internet access at numerous schools with a total of more than 3,000 students since the program was first launched.
Crnogorski Telekom, Deutsche Telekom's Montenegrin subsidiary, provides free ADSL Internet connections to elementary and secondary schools in Montenegro. The company's goal is to improve both theoretical and practical PC and online skills, raise awareness of the significance of the Internet and promote the information culture in Montenegro. A total of 150 schools participated in the program. The agreement made with the Montenegrin Ministry of Education and Science has been extended.
The dangers of using the Internet, data privacy and necessary security measures are all topics of four video spots that the Telekom Foundation filmed together with students from the "Interactive schools" project. In the videos, students answer questions like "Is it ok for me to be friends with my teacher on Facebook?" or "Which private data is ok to post online?". All of the videos can be seen on the www.teachtoday.de platform, which was set up for teachers as well as parents who want to learn more about modern media.
The goal of the project is to encourage students to use new media responsibly. The project works to teach students how to anticipate the consequences of their actions, particularly in terms of social networks.Find out more
Teachtoday Deutschland is an initiative that was founded by Telekom, Google, Microsoft, O2 and Vodafone. In cooperation with European Schoolnet, the klicksafe EU initiative and Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Multimedia-Diensteanbieter (FSM) e. V., the voluntary self-control of multimedia service providers, the initiative focuses on actively helping teachers safely use ICT technologies and providing support for young people in the media age.
The European Parliament proclaimed 2012 the European Year for Active Aging and Solidarity between Generations. Against this backdrop, Deutsche Telekom launched various projects in 2012 to promote media skills among seniors:
- "Internet—it's not a question of age" competition: In February 2012, Telekom, the German association of senior citizens organizations, BAGSO (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen), and klicksafe, the EU initiative for a safer Internet, launched the competition, "Internet—it's not a question of age!". The competition was conducted under the patronage of Kristina Schröder, German Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Seniors, Women and Youth. Around 150 participants submitted their projects in the "advice and training" and "online offers" categories with the chance to win between EUR 2,000 and 5,000. The seven winners—including the winner of a special prize—each received between EUR 2,000 and 5,000 to help finance their projects. Telekom granted a total of EUR 26,000 in prize money.
- Heroes with Heart competition: In 2012, Telekom also sponsored the Heroes with Heart competition, where family members can nominate their grandparents for the "Best grandparent in the world" award. The competition was initiated by the German senior citizens organizations, Deutsche Seniorenliga, and sponsored by Telekom. One of the jury members who evaluated the submissions was a Telekom representative.
- Presentations at the Telekom Shop in Frankfurt: In 2012, a free presentation for seniors on the topic of "Internet for late-comers" was held as part of a pilot event at the highly-frequented Telekom Shop in Frankfurt's shopping district. Visitors learned how to shop online, what mobile e-health solutions have to offer and how to use the Internet to plan vacations. Because of the tremendous response, the presentations were repeated in early 2013. Additional presentations are planned over the course of 2013.
With the completion of the federal project sponsored by Telekom, "Internet mentors sharing experience," Telekom employees in Hanover moved their mentoring activities over to the Sharing Experience association. There, they continue to pursue their mentoring activities, helping older people and people from immigrant backgrounds take their first steps online. By late 2012, some 175 Telekom employees had decided to get trained as Internet mentors. The federal project ended in late 2012 after three years. Telekom continues to support Internet mentoring under its engagement@telekom program.
In the reporting period the eMacedonia Foundation launched a new program and donated about EUR 50,000 to encourage the development of the information society. One of the program's highlights was the donation of three fully equipped e-classrooms at three locations around the country. These e-classrooms enable a total of 300 socially vulnerable people to obtain basic computer skills free of charge, e.g. learning how to use Word, Excel, e-mail and the internet. These skills can help those attending the e-classes in getting a job and in their everyday lives.
In recent years, social networks, and in particular Facebook, have become very popular in Macedonia. Unfortunately, online behavior is not always what it should be. This is why the e-Macedonia Foundation has launched an e-Bonton project with the aim of promoting good manners in online communications and raising public awareness of how best to communicate via social networks. The program involves the creation of an e-Bonton manual for electronic communications, with anybody who is involved in online communications able to get involved. This manual is expected to consist of a set of rules for ethical conduct and communications. The project is also supported by the NGO Metamorphosis, the Youth Education Forum and the School of Journalism and Public Relations in Macedonia.