Collectic and Open-AE project

1. Short introduction about Colectic

Colectic (formerly known as El Teb) is a non-profit cooperative that works for the inclusion, autonomy and empowerment of people and communities in the social, labour and technological fields. We understand and use technology as a tool for participation and social transformation. We work to promote universal access to ICT, by training and accompanying groups, social organizations and organizations from the Social and Solidarity Economy.

2. What is the background of Colectic in open and free technologies? 

We believe that the technology is a just a tool -a very good one- to promote autonomy and help people to be empowered; that’s why we work to promote universal access to ICT by providing training opportunities and accompanying social groups and organizations within the use of the technological services, tools and sources, and to be able to develop their own potencial.

We work into the social and solidarity economy (the opposite to the private and governed by capitalist logics one) and, as a consequence, we’re committed to encourage citizenships to be creative and not just “technology consumers”, to be capable of manage the sources they need to find answers to their own needs and motivations. We promote FLOSS, open software and hardware, because we believe that technology must be a common good, guaranteed and non exclusiva in the knowledge society.

In this sense, Colectic offers and favors learning spaces in groups, in the community, and in the exploration of this type of technologies (such as our digital laboratory RavalFab -where people learn to learn how to do digital manufacturing or our Omnia Room -a computers room that we dedicate to digital literacy). We not only do it in our territory, the Raval neighborhood of the city of Barcelona, but we also do an important job advising, training and providing technical assistance to telecentre networks (digital training centers), and especially to the profiles of the decision makers of the local and regional administrations and to digital facilitators and trainers.

3. Can you highlight any projects or initiatives your organisation has done in open culture or free software? How do you see your organisation contributing to the open movement? 

Besides offering learning spaces and consulting, advise and assessment, we have performed different migrations of computer’s operating system (from private networks of computers to open software network of computers), websites, productivity programs, etc. We have a long trajectory of accompaniment in the migration to free program to social entities too.

We also work on the advocacy level, as we promote the Floss culture by writting different articles in a web page dedicated to social entities and volunteers  (see

Colectic also co-organize the TecnoFESC (a fair) an space where you can find the main entities, cooperatives and companies that work in the technological world from a point of view of solidarity economy.  Through TecnoFESC you can learn to promote open, free and neutral telecommunications, sustainable management and revaluation of computer equipment and public procurement responsible for electronic equipment to improve working conditions in producing countries. You will also find providers of technological services of the social and solidarity economy and drivers of technological procommunication, and will include the strategic use of telecommunications for the development of social justice. If you’re at Barcelona from 25 to 27 October 2019, you will be very welcome.

4. What challenges with integrating free software and open source in the training of low-skills adults came up in your research? 

Colectic’s focus group participants are people who are specially sensitized in relation to the use of open technologies and open resources, and they considered that they are part of a group of privileged people who, through individual and self-directed learning strategies, have accessed a set of relevant knowledge in this environment. They promote and use this type of resources intensively.

The participants are aware that, to this day, the Catalan telecentre network (formed by more than 400 centers, more than half of them based on the exclusive use of the free and open software) uses free software for training. However, they are skeptical about the adherence of their colleagues and, especially, of the people in charge (management staff of the centers and telecentre networks project management staff) of the training centers.

In their opinion, companies, citizens and administration are very reluctant to adopt this type of open software and open educational resources.

It is necessary to generate a good curriculum based on open technologies and resources and generate strategies to keep it updated on a permanent basis, to avoid that the curriculum becomes obsolete with the passage of time.

On the other hand, they consider it is necessary the curriculum to be complete (include resources for all areas of competences) and that it must be accompanied by a guide of recommendations for its adoption. Especially institutions and governments should find it easy to implement.

What do you hope to achieve with the Open-AE project? 

We hope we will find an easy path to help people, collectives and governments to use and promote FLOSS. Building an international community will help, for sure.

What is copyleft?

Licenses are often used to protect intellectual property. Software developers and authors may often protect their outputs by putting on a license. However, the burden on improving the outputs often lie on the creators and the holder of the copyright or license. Some creators choose to have open licenses when sharing their work, this is done with the intention Copyright holders of creative works can unilaterally choose these licenses for their own works to collaboratively share and improve those creative works.

License provide a lot of background to understanding the basis of free software. One of the reasons why people use free software is that people have the freedom to use software the way they want to, not the way the owners of the copyright may wish for the user to use it. Examples to illustrate this are formatting and compatibility issues when sending a document from a windows device to a Mac, or the availability of some programmes on some online app stores with some devices. A license or license is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something. Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution while copyleft is a strategy of utilizing copyright law to pursue the policy goal of fostering and encouraging the equal and inalienable right to copy, share, modify and improve creative works of authorship.

Free software tries and make use of copyleft, the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License and the General Public License (GPL). Users can utilize the 4 freedoms

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

These freedoms and the licensing that grants these provide the foundation for software freedom, which is free not gratis.

Find out more information




Bridging the digital skills gap with FLOSS

The Open AE: Promote open source technologies in non-formal adult education project (OPEN-AE) aims to train e-facilitators, animators and trainer in digital competence centers and telecentre across Europe in using Free Libre Open Source Software

(FLOSS) technologies for inclusion.  The project partners have conducted a desk research and focus groups with trainers to develop a curriculum that matches training needs of trainers with available open education resources.

Partners and trainers in met in Barcelona hosted by OPEN-AE partner and ALL DIGITAL member COLECTIC. The focus groups conducted by partners with trainers in the field provided a lot of insight into challenges when incorporating FLOSS options to trainings. The trainers and partners taking part in the OPEN-AE project primarily work with digital excluded people who are trying to gain skills into order to gain access to services or the labour market. Learners in such position are aware of the software and skills they need to learn; however, they may often tie these skills with a propriety software option. The challenge of the e-facilitator is answering the need of the learners with equivalent FLOSS options, while ensuring that the needs of the learner are still recognized. Bridging this gap, proved on of the biggest challenges which the training tried to answer. Answering learner’s needs proved to be a challenge.

The training then focused on strategies, resources and best practices to address the learner’s needs. In order to guide this, a large portion of the training focused on the philosophy behind FLOSS and free culture. Supporting the “movement” is not exclusively with the use of Free and open software, there is the philosophy with ensuring content and creations can be freely shared.

Over the next weeks we will share themes

Open-AE Kick-Off Meeting in Brussels

A new Erasmus+ KA2 project on Strategic partnerships for Adult Education has started. ALL DIGITAL is the coordinator of the project OPEN-AE: Promote Open Source Technologies in non-formal Adult Education, which will be implemented with four other ALL DIGITAL member organisations. Open-AE was awarded through EPOS, the National Agency for Erasmus+ programme in Flanders.

The project will promote open source technologies in non-formal adult education to support the digital upskilling of both educators and learners. Its aim is to build capacity of non-formal training organizations, such as digital competence centers, to deliver high quality and relevant digital skills training to adults by improving staff competence on open source technologies.  The project objective is to improve teaching and digital skills of e-facilitators through a modular blended course on open source technologies.

Open-AE will promote access and learning through Open Educational Resources (OER). It includes the generation of open educational content on open source technologies, using open technologies for its production. It will promote open access to such content through a modular blended course (on-line and f2f seminars) and the generation of such content by the participants (e-facilitators) through work projects on open source technologies, as part of their training.

Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu) will be adopted to map the Open-AE course curriculum. Specifically, 10 e-facilitators will be trained in each project country on open source technologies through the Open-AE modular blended course. This will lead the creation of sustainable communities of practices around open source technologies, which will facilitate outreach to other educators, adult users and stakeholders across Europe.

The project was kicked off in Brussels on 12-13 December 2018 at the ALL DIGITAL office. As the project started already on 1 November, partners had previoulsy met at the ALL DIGITAL Summit in Brussels and held an online meeting to start activities.

The kick off meeting then focused on preparing the Open-AE curriculum. To do so, partners will research and prepare national reports for participating countries and one European report on the state of open source technologies in non-formal education. Partners will also hold focus groups with e-facilitators to understand their needs. Together the information from the national reports and focus groups will develop the backbone of the Open-AE training curriculum. The training curriculum will then be piloted in all participating countries on 10 e-facilitators. In total 40 efacilitators will be trained.

The pilot and Open-AE curriculum is expected to be a valuable resource for many ALL DIGITAL members. The Open-AE project was developed following the ALL DIGITAL 2017 members survey, wherein key challenges faced by e-facilitators working with adult learners in centres for non-formal education and digital competence centres were identified:

  1.  the need of innovative approaches to develop digital skills in light of rapidly changing technologies there need to be more user-focused modules on the development of skills;
  2.   the need to shift focus to the development of adaptable digital competences and not merely skills in light of these rapidly changing technologies;
  3.   the need to use standardised frameworks like DigComp and DigCompEdu.

From these three challenges, the priorities for the Open-AE curriculum were set :

  1.  promote access and learning through Open Educational Resources (OER);
  2.  promote Open Source (OS) technologies in the non-formal educational sector to support the upskilling of adult educators and learners;
  3.  address adult trainers working in the non-formal educational sector to reinforce digital skills and competences. To achieve this end, OPEN-AE will adopt the DigCompEdu in the develop of its training curriculum.

The partnership also involves:

  • – a Swiss organisation dedicated to empowering citizenship and training on tools for socio-professional development and has a strong expertise in open technologies and collaborative skills training programmes addressed to adult learners;
  • Associazione Centro Studi di Foligno – an Italian training agency with a long-term experience in delivering of continuous and permanent training programmes to adult learners and in coordinating and participating in transnational projects focused on digital skills and digital innovation using open source technologies;
  • Maks vzw – a Brussels-based NGO recognized as a non-formal adult education center. Maks runs an IT learning centre where people can take low-cost courses or workshops tailored to their needs and a counselling service, helping people to get a job. Annually, Maks coaches about 500 adult jobseekers;
  • Colectic – a Spanish non-profit organisation working in fields related to community networks and technology. It promotes the use of open technologies to improve the situation of communities and citizens’ groups, with special attention to the weakest groups (NEETs, unemployed people, women, migrants etc.).

OPEN AE (mini) kick off at ALL Digital Summit

A new Erasmus+ KA2 on Strategic partnerships for Adult Education has started. ALL DIGITAL is the coordinator of the project  OPEN AE- Promote Open Source Technologies in non-formal Adult Education. Open AE was awarded through EPOS which is the National Agency for Erasmus + programme in Flanders.

OPEN AE will address these key challenges and generate best practices based on these needs. The twofold aim of OPEN AE are to: 1) Contribute to the development of e-facilitators competences to deliver high quality and relevant digital skills training to adults;

2. Contribute to the promotion of open source technologies and open education in non-formal adult education

At the ALL DIGITAL Summit partner met briefly to start planning actions for the first months of the project which are to develop a curriculum and training scheme to develop a better understanding of the main e-facilitators’ training needs in relation to the use of open source technologies and define the “state of the art” in teaching open source technologies by mapping available training offers and available OERs at country level. Four countries reports and a European report will be developed in early 2019.

In addition to the coordinator ALL DIGITAL, YNTERNET.ORG (Switzerland), COLECTIC (Spain), Centro Studi Citta Di Foligno Associazione (Italy) and Maks vzw(Belgium), are in the partnership for the OPEN AE project.

The official OPEN AE kick off meeting will take plan in Brussels in December.

Open AE: Promote open source technologies in non-formal adult education

Project Funded by:  Erasmus+ KA2 project awarded through EPOS – National Agency for Erasmus+ programme in Flanders

Project Duration:  24 months

Start Date:  01/11/2018

End Date:  31/10/2020

Open AE: Promote open source technologies in non-formal adult education

Open AE: Promote open source technologies in non-formal adult education is an Erasmus+ KA2 project awarded through EPOS – National Agency for Erasmus+ programme in Flanders.

Open AE has three priorities:

  • to promote access and learning through open educational resources (OER);
  • to promote Open Source (OS) technologies in the non-formal educational sector to support the upskilling of adult educators and learners;
  • to address adult trainers working in the non-formal educational sector to reinforce digital skills and competences.

Open AE will address key challenges and generate best practices based on these needs identified by ALL DIGITAL members in developed sustainable curricula for adult education, particularly with a focus to upscale low-skills unemployed adults. OPEN-AE wants to support European digital competence centres in becoming innovative training hubs.

The twofold aim of Open AE is to:

  • contribute to the development of e-facilitators competences to deliver high quality and relevant digital skills training to adults;
  • contribute to the promotion of open source technologies and open education in non-formal adult education.

Expected results and outputs:

  • Develop a curriculum training scheme on open source technologies addressed to e-facilitators working in non-formal adult education, mapped on the DigCompEdu Framework (CSF will lead this work)
  • Create an online toolkit for e-facilitators in five languages (EN, NL, FR, IT, ES) by adapting open educational resources already available. It will serve as guidance for adult education strategies, tools and approaches for developing digital skills training. (led by
  • Develop a modular blended course of 60 hours in open source technologies and pilot it with 40 e-facilitators from four countries to improve their knowledge of open digital learning technology, tools, platforms and using them (led by Colectic)
  • Produce guidelines for transferability and upscaling of project results and recommendations for non-formal education providers and policy makers (led by ALL DIGITAL)

Please follow the #OpenAE on facebook and twitter

Project partners: