Our Youth – Speeding On The Information Highway?
Date du début: 14 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 13 sept. 2017
When you compare the life of young people today with that of previous generations, you will notice that the difference is gargantuan especially with respect to two developments: Globalisation and digitalisation. These two developments are happening more and more quickly, and the speed at which they have become more and more visible, prevalent and also influential over the last decades has grown exponentially, with no end in sight. Now, both developments offer huge benefits to people, especially young people. A prime example of the benefits of globalisation is the European Union, a union of states who have realised the idea of unity in diversity, a union of states who foster friendly relations. Digitalisation, or, the term coined by sociologists, the information age, offers benefits such as making grass-roots democracy easily possible or giving theoretically unlimited instant access to worldwide knowledge. However, both developments come with downsides as well, like a more competitive labour market or prejudices towards different cultures with regard to globalisation, or things like information overload or privacy concerns with regard to digitalisation.
In order to embrace the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of both globalisation and digitalisation, young people need to be well prepared for a life in the information age, in a more and more globalised world of friendly partnership between European nations.
The aim of this project is to give young people this kind of preparation, and the objectives are thus promoting the abilities and attitudes needed to benefit from a united Europe of friends in a globalised world. Such abilities and attitudes comprise international teamwork and foreign language skills, achieving a climate of mutual understanding, trust and friendship among European nations and fostering dialogue and personal relationships between European citizens of different nations (including fostering the specific relationships between the four partners). A second set objectives is to be seen in abilities necessary to cope with the challenges of the information age, which comprise skills on a technical as in "how to properly use ICT" kind of sense, as well as an awareness of benefits and downfalls of digitalisation and the knowledge of how to take advantage of the former while avoiding the latter. Needless to say, in order to give our young people this kind of preparation, educators need to be up to the task, and hence another set of objectives of this project is to foster everything just mentioned in teachers as well, in addition to teachers' ability to guide and instruct students and also fellow colleagues therein. Only that way can teachers pass on to future teachers and students what they gained in this project, and thus make it a project with a long-term added European value.
The four participating schools from Austria, Finland, France and Germany are all schools with a strong European focus who have grasped the idea that a united Europe works best when its citizens unite at a grass-roots level. All schools can look back at successful experiences of European integration at school-level, be it in EU-funded projects or in independent undertakings such as student exchange programmes. Also, the four partners have put their focus on providing their students with an enriching learning environment with regard to digital skills, offering both instructions with regard to the technical aspects as well as guidance on the sociological, economical and personal effects of digitalisation. With the help of this project, the four European schools hope to improve even more on what they can offer their students, both with regard to globalisation/European integration and digitalisation.
To achieve this, the methodology used in the various activities will be that of workshops of mixed international student teams, who, guided by mixed international teacher teams, will produce various material suitable to enhance digital skills, foster the ability to profit from digital globalisation and raise awareness to advantages and disadvantages thereof. Such material may comprise theatre pieces to raise awareness, guidebooks on how to deal with privacy issues, or lesson plans on the methodology of dealing with cyberbullying. Project work will be carried out by international collaboration, be it via remote communication or during transnational learning activities.
This international collaboration, apart from the impact the results themselves will have on dealing with digital issues, will result in all partners establishing a mutual intra-European friendship, both on the level of individuals and the organisational level. Thus, the project will foster the European spirit among our young generation, a spirit they will pass on to neighbors, friends, and also future generations. Hence, this project will make its contribution to a future of a united Europe of friends and mutual collaboration.
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