ACTin’YOUth bridging the digital divides

Let’s talk about digital opportunities and challenges for online and blended youth work!

The COVID-19 crisis represents considerable risks in the fields of education, employment, mental health and income for young people, especially for vulnerable youth. While youth and future generations will shoulder much of the long-term economic and social consequences of both the more recent economic crisis, their well-being may suffer more immediate harm also by economic loss and growing inequality. The lock-downs also demonstrated the importance of digital competences. When learning and working was moved to our homes, the consequences of the three levels of digital divide (access, usability and empowerment) were made very clear.

In ACTin’YOUth we believe that technology has a great potential to help humans to thrive and to empower people to achieve things that seemed impossible. We want to use technology as a great tool and strategy for equality, not a source of divide. Closing the digital divides on a global level requires many many projects and strategies around the world.

ACTin’YOUth starts from local face2face workshops, where young people work together on social, communicative and intercultural skills in a series of theater based workshops, where we establish quality relationships and build self confidence in young people, a part from working on digital competences through practical use of digital tools.

Theater and learning-by-doing are two important methodologies within the project. As digital tools we’ve chosen audiovisuals and online platforms. Combining these, we work on breaking social exclusions mechanisms and stereotypes around and within participant groups. The audiovisual pieces created and produced by youth, are a representation of their cultural and social reality, which become a powerful tool to develop social inclusion and cohesion. Partner organizations provide support, training and digital tools for audiovisual creation.

The ACTin’YOUth online platform wants to help bridge the usability and empowerment gaps, our goal is to build a platform for youth workers and for young people equally, where they find inspiration and learning resources, and want to share their experiences, as well as the results and process related documentation from their local workshop in the different partner countries.

The digital infrastructure is of crucial importance.

How can certain multinational companies offer massive free online platforms and services? How come it’s free for me? Do they not pay for their servers and the people maintaining them?

The answer is simple, we are not their users, we are their products. Their business model is based on selling our data and our profiles.

The need of good quality data protection and a responsible and critical use of massive social networks is especially important in times of fake news and online harassment.

The ACTin’YOUth platform itself is hosted on our own infrastructure, and built by integrating well-established free software tools, a modern lean design and a basic set of features for learning, creating, exchanging and sharing.

The very basics of the platform!

  • Moodle: e-learning environment for sharing the project’s methodology and curriculum
  • Moodle: a repository of good practices as an e-incubatoror online space for good practices and activities to intercultural learning and communication
  • BigBlueButton: a live session tool for streaming workshops, sessions and conferences
  • WordPress: a website for sharing project related news and events, we want to transform into a virtual network integrating participation related features in the next months! Watch out for our updates!