Telecentre Europe Awards 2016 Entry: Best Practice

Digital Pathways for Youth Across Europe

Geographical range: Ireland, Poland, Germany

Links: www.digitalpathways.eu

http://www.thedigitalhub.com/futurecreators

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDv2Ay-OSjM&feature=youtu.be

Contact person: Karolina Wojcik 

1. BRIEF EXPLANATION

The Digital Pathways for Youth across Europe is a project funded by Erasmus + Programme through Léargas, the Irish National Agency. The project focuses on developing young people’s digital literacy skills in an out-of-school context by providing them with a series of structured learning activities through the Digital Pathways Programme.

The inspiration for the Digital Pathways project came from an existing programme called The Future Creators, which was established by the Digital Hub Development Agency and delivered by the National College of Art and Design and H2 Learning. The Future Creators programme aims to equip young people with digital skills such as coding, app development, digital photography, film-making, and website development.  The project has run successfully in the Dublin 8 area since 2011 and continues to evolve to meet the needs of local young people.

The concept of digital literacy is a new and evolving notion in modern society. Now, more than ever, there is a need to equip our young people with core digital skills and the ability to critically use digital media in creative and ethical ways. Our young people live in a complex, fast-paced world, and we need to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to use digital tools for the betterment of society as a whole.

The Digital Pathways project aims to provide young people, across Europe, with opportunities to develop a range of digital literacy skills, and to expose them to a variety of potential careers in this rapidly expanding digital industry.

The following two project outcomes have been developed:

         1. Digital Pathways Programme

         The programme consists of sets of learning modules, ‘taster sessions’ and digital artefacts. The structure allows young people to work together and develop their digital skills in areas such as image manipulation, coding, printing, animation and film production. During the ‘taster sessions’ they have a chance to explore specific areas of digital media, as well as engage with people from across the digital media industry. In this way young people can link their ‘fun’ out-of-school activities with the real world of work.

         2. CPD materials for Digital Mentors

The project has developed a set of CPD materials for Digital Mentors (youth tutors) to support them in the preparation and delivery of the Digital Pathways programme. The CPD materials provide guidance on developing strategies and approaches that have already proven successful in engaging young people with digital media.  The materials showcase how Digital Mentors can support young people to learn and develop their digital media skills in collaboration with their peers, both in face-to-face settings and online.

2. WHY IS IT A BEST PRACTICE

The project is assisting young people in developing their digital competences outside of their school settings. A supported tutoring model has been created, so that young people can take part in challenging, digital-based learning activities within their own community.

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