Archive of European Projects

DROP-APP: give voice to youngsters through new technologies to fight drop-out!
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Researches demonstrate that ESL is caused by a mix of individual circumstances, educational factors and socio-economic conditions. It often starts already in primary education and increases during transitions between schools or different educational levels; also mismatches between education / training curricula and labor market needs increases the risk of educational failure as pupils lack prospects within their educational pathway. Education and training systems often do not provide sufficient TARGETED SUPPORT for pupils to cope with emotional, social or educational difficulties and to remain in education and training. Responding to their different learning styles is still a CHALLENGE. Almost all aspects of modern living involve nowadays the use of ICT on a continuous basis. For youngsters in particular it means that SHARING and SEARCHING are at the hearth of information gathering and problem solving rather the traditional forms of knowing and experience. Professionals working with youngsters at risk of ESL (teachers, trainers, educators, school and career guide, etc) shouldn't avoid to acknowledge these changes and take them into account in their work. This project, promoted by 8 partners of different natures (association, VET institutions, networks, regional administration) from 6 European countries (Italy, Austria, Germany, Croatia, France and Spain) aims at defining, experiencing and disseminating effective prevention and intervention strategies for pupils at risk/drop-outs based on their involvement through an orientated use of ICT tools and methods that may ENHANCE YOUNGSTERS' EXPRESSION and so lead to a better comprehension of the reasons of their disaffection and to a promotion of their self-comprehension, self-esteem, critical think and autonomy. DIRECT TARGET GROUPS will be teachers, trainers, educators and/or school and career guides and youngsters aged 14-18 at risk of early school leaving. They both will be involved in testing project activities such as SUPPORT WORKSHOP (focused on empowerment, re-motivation, improving communication skills, etc) integrated with the use of ICT tools and methods, ONLINE MUTUAL-HELP SERVICES, production of VIDEOS and VIDEO INTERVIEWS; it is foreseen to involve in total 500-800 students and 100-200 teachers/trainers/other professionals. All the experiences collected among the project lifespan will constitute the core of the Guidelines, the final project output that sum up and present in an easy and effective way all the lessons learned in terms of effective approaches and tools to be used, study cases, assessment reports, suggestions and recommendations. The project will be carried out with a constant attention paid to effective ways to encourage youngsters' expression in order to feel they can "take out what they have inside" and being listened and feeling understood both by peers and adults. Teachers, trainers and in general all professionals who deal with young students, in particular those that live with an evident discomfort their school life, have to take into account that outside schools, youngsters use ICT tools for a wide range of daily action: to communicate, to be in contact with peers, to look for information, to talk about themselves and to express their thoughts and feelings through images, comments, tags, links, etc. Internet-based applications, both by computers and mobile phones, have also become a way to build knowledge and competences. All these aspects lead to look for NEW APPROACHES to be implemented in order to better support the more fragile students. RESULTS foreseen by the project regard the improvement of effective approaches tackling early school leaving that may lead to the reduction of dropouts rates and the increase of attractiveness of education and training systems, in addition to an improved awareness of the phenomenon of ESL – causes, consequences, methods to fight it, youngsters’ needs. These results will specifically emerge from the EXPECTED IMPACT on the direct target groups: teachers, trainers, educators, school and career guides will show an improvement of pedagogical and educational competences, to be adopted particularly with students early school leavers or at risk of, as a consequence of an intensive use of ICT tools in the communications and interactions in school-life and other educative contexts; at the same time, youngsters aged 14 to 18 at risk of dropping out or / and without any secondary school qualification or vocational training and school drop-outs directly involved in project activities will testify to a general increase of locus of control and the capacity of goals setting, a raising of engagement to school/training paths and behaviours more respectful of the rules and of other people both at school and in the society at large. The local communities will take advantage from these results, emerging from tested interventions which will be appropriate to be included in comprehensive local policies.
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