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Digital Skills for You(th)
Start date: Jan 1, 2017, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The internet and social media play a continuously growing role in the lives of young people: they are using it extensively and are prone to immediately take up new digital media appliances and devices. Young people from socially or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to receive the guidance necessary to fully develop their digital media skills in their families. Likewise, it can be difficult to address them in school education, if they go to school at all. In order to reach them, new areas of work with young people have come into focus. Social youth work can play a role in improving the digital literacy of this target group. This is no surprise since understanding young peoples’ behaviour and providing them with the support they need for their growing up is the main task of social work. Since digital literacy is generally not yet included in the curricula of social work education so far and nearly no institutionalised training or systematic further education is offered during the working life of professionals working with young people, there is a certain need for professionals working with young people in further education on current issues that touch the daily lives of their young target group to fulfill comprehensively their independent educational mandate. But the ground is well prepared: Professionals show a high awareness for the need to deal with the topic and a high motivation to get themselves ready to guide their young target group through the digital world.The project’s objectives are• to help young people, especially from socially or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop digital literacy as a key competency for their personal development and active participation in society (using digital media to their private benefit) as well as for their professional development (using digital media for educational purposes, job search, setting up a professional profile online, networking, digital skills required on the labour market etc.)• to empower them in a strength-oriented approach to use the social web in an active, autonomous and safe way (e.g. with regard to data protection) and thereby lay the foundation of their ability to use upcoming digital media appliances and devices, especially in the mobile online environment, competently in the future• to raise the awareness of professionals working with young people of the topic of digital literacy as an important requirement for personality development and identity building• to provide these professionals with profound basic knowledge and methods to address the opportunities and challenges of digital media (self-portrayal, participation, employment, online safety etc.) in the work with their young clienteleThe project strategy• responds to the general needs of young people growing up as ‚digital natives‘, especially focussing on young people from socially or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds• points out that the "real" world and "virtual" world is not an opposite and digitisation opens an extra dimension that provides opportunities for education and personality development• focuses on strengthening the young peoples’ awareness of the opportunities and challenges of the social web, especially in the mobile online environment• builds on the professionals’ detailed knowledge of and acquaintance with their target group • enhances the professionals’ knowledge of digital literacy within the work with their young target group• and thus encourages young peoples’ most beneficial use of the social web and digital mediaThe project will• analyse the (country-specific) needs and lacks of knowledge of professionals working with young people in the field of extracurricular education with regards to the key competence of digital literacy• develop an adequate blended learning concept that responds to the needs of professionals working with young people and circumstances of their professional life and provide guidelines for its provision• develop and provide curricula for a face-to-face training with accompanying online learning material and online learning units that offer a consolidation in specific digital media subjects dependent on the individual working area, including online learning material and a toolkit (examples for workshops for the work with young people and guidance for the inclusion of parents)• develop guidelines for the integration in national institutionalised structures• develop guidelines for the transferability to other European countries• exploit and valorise the project's findings and results.The project will develop a qualification offer which is transferable to or able to be embedded in institutionalised national structures to ensure a continuous learning. Keeping up with the fast development and innovation of the internet and its appliances especially in the area of social media is one of the most challenging tasks in education in the years to come.
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