From “what” to “how”: learning technology and digital skills

Published on Tuesday, 24 September 2019

On Saturday 21 September the Liceo Scientifico Volterra in Ciampino hosted a day devoted to technology and knowledge, based on the concept of “learning by doing”. The initiative saw the launch of the “Programme for multi-disciplinary skills and orientation”, promoted by Enel’s Global Digital Solutions division. Taking part in the project will be forty-eight students in a programme that will enhance their multi-disciplinary skills and digital expertise.

The programme will involve technical/operational training as well as the development of the so-called “soft skills”, which include teamworking and problem-solving.  

The aims of the initiative were outlined by Emilia D’Aponte, Head Teacher of the Liceo Volterra, alongside the Head of Enel’s Global Digital Solutions, Carlo Bozzoli.

D’Aponte emphasised the importance of human skills, the cornerstone of a “human-centric”, sharing approach. This linked up with the points Bozzoli put to the young students, highlighting the crucial importance of interaction and openness.

In this context the Head of Global Digital Solutions underlined the importance of digitalisation, which is revolutionising the educational model and the jobs market.

Companies like ours are playing a crucial role in this scenario shift. Since 2016 Enel has been developing a robust digital strategy based on three significant technological factors – the Cloud, platforms and data security.  

Enel, Bozzoli explained, has adopted an Open Innovation approach to generate greater value, involving an external eco-system comprising start-ups, companies and universities. We have launched ten Innovation Hubs in the various countries where we operate, including three in Italy. We have analysed over 6,000 start-ups across the world, many of which are Italian. We have also forged 13 academic partnerships with leading Italian and international universities, including the Polytechnic University of Milan, the University of Turin, the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and La Sapienza University in Rome in Italy as well as the universities of Berkeley, Stanford, MIT and Harvard in the United States.

Through this approach we seek to enhance high school students’ knowledge and awareness of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), developing the skills that schools don’t teach but the world of work demands.  

It’s nothing less than a way of investing in the future of our children and of the company.  

The young people will follow the course from November to June, and it will be split into two stages. The first takes place over the first term of the academic year and includes, in November, two days at our premises to work on “soft skills” such as creative problem solving, agile thinking and interaction between departments. This will be followed by a further two days before the Christmas holidays dedicated to “technical skills” and examining Artificial Intelligence, data processing, security, robotics and emerging technological trends. In January there will be a tour of an Enel power station in Civitavecchia, where the young people will visit the facility, control centre and training centre, experiencing a typical day at a production site.

The second stage will be operational. Assisted by technical tutors and via a remote platform, the students will develop an app to organise substitutions of school teachers, organising all the steps from interviews to constructing the application, creating the scenario of use, carrying out tests and then implementing the project. In June 2020 the initiative will be launched online and presented to teachers and parents.

The aim of the programme is to provide students with the instruments they need to nurture not only technical skills but also their attitude to working in a group and sharing ideas. “That’s what we want to teach these young people – to put ideas on the table, work together and listen to others so they can leave the room with a shared point of view,” said Bozzoli.

Companies are made up of people, and we cannot think of ours as being like an orchestra comprising only excellent soloists – a successful company is made up of people who can work well together. The ability to make mistakes and share errors is a fundamental part of the creative business practice of the future.

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