DigCompEdu: from formal to non-formal, enriching digital youth work!

YouthProAktiv has successfully conducted another training in Brussels for youth workers between the 16th and the 21st of October on the topic “DigCompEdu: from formal to non-formal, enriching digital youth work!”, under the framework of the Erasmus+ program and co-funded by JINT

This training based on non-formal education activities was proposed, planned and implemented in order to meet the need faced by youth workers in the recent and upcoming years through the analysis, assimilation and exploitation of the DigCompEdu framework, confident that new technologies & digital ways, are a powerful tool for transforming the learning process and the society we live in. In a rapidly changing world, youth workers need to be progressively more digital and be prepared to adapt to new digital methodologies & sources as well as be ready to boost the digital aspect of their daily work practices.

For this reason, YPA has organized this training by targeting the following key objectives:

  • Increasing the digital competencies of youth workers ensuring better professionalisation and motivation of their work
  • The betterment in terms of quality and recognition of the non-formal work conducted by youth organisations, especially through the boost of digital youth work and the innovation of their methods and structures
  • Ensuring greater inclusivity of young people and disadvantaged young people into the digital and technological era.

More particularly, the training was designed in order to:

  • Increase youth workers understanding on the Digital Competence for Educators and how it may be used and exploited in a non-formal learning context.
  • Boost youth worker’s professional engagement & use of digital technologies for communication, collaboration and professional development to respond creatively and responsibly to new technologies in relation to young people.
  • Improve youth worker’s professional competences to create & share digital resources; enhance their digital learning & teaching non-formal methodologies & assess and evaluate their non-formal teaching impact and their specific target groups learning processes.
  • Equip youth workers with digital competences to engage and address better young people, especially those with a disadvantage background.
  • Supply youth workers with a common language and a logic starting point for developing, comparing and discussing different instruments for developing their own digital competences and share them in a national, regional or local level.
  • Foster a stronger sense of partnerships between participating organisations and increasing their ability to operate transnationally and in cooperation with international partners for better engagement of European youngsters’ challenges.

Hence, throughout the five training days, the training “DigCompEdu: from formal to non-formal, enriching digital youth work!” gathered in Brussels 25 youth workers from different countries, including: Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Georgia, Albania, Romania and North Macedonia. During the training, the participants had the opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge in the field of DigCompEdu framework with the support of Marina Angerri and Francesco Tognoni from YPA and Paloma Cantero Gómez, CEO at WeDoPositiveLiving. They exchanged best practices from their organizations, used creative methods for understanding the DigCompEdu framework as well as the main digital tools that can be found in each of the digital competences making part of the framework.  The program also included different hands-on activities, such as presentations, workshops, practical exercises, icebreakers, community-building activities for peer learning and self-reflection sessions.

An important aspect of our training were our partners: Klub Koroških študentov, EKO Greece, Social innovation and Integration group, ZIP Institute, YPA Spain, Creative+, LDA Balkan and SEGA Prilep. They carefully selected very motivated and involved youth workers who brought their knowledge on the topics and previous experiences, which undoubtedly added value by increasing the quality and diversity of the exchange.

The first day of the training was meant to introduce each of the other organizations and got in touch and reflected about the Erasmus+ core values, key priorities and the importance of understanding the DigCompEdu framework. At the same time, our trainers introduced the following topics along with several practical exercises: organizational communication, securitization of digital devices, Digital Continuous Professional Development and how to best select digital resources. Likewise, our partners from Slovenia were also in charge of leading one session on self-assessment practices.  Finally, participants also got a first introduction to the YouthPass Certificate and its importance for young people and for youth workers.

On the second day, our participants from Georgia and Romania made specific presentations on digital resources in the non-formal teaching practices and self-regulated learning respectively. In addition, Pieter-Jan De Graeve, Project Officer at SALTO Youth joined our sessions in order to talk about SALTO Youth and explained the existing tools that SALTO offers nowadays to youth workers and how this could benefit the youth work of participants. In the same vein, our YPA teams focused on Emotional Intelligence, Digital Leadership and the professional competence on “Creation and modification of digital resources”. The final highlight of the day was a self-evaluation exercise in which participants had to self-reflect on the skills, knowledge and attitude gained during the first two days of training.

During the third day, our partners from North Macedonia made their presentation on “Interaction through digital technologies in the media context” and after that Paloma Cantero carried out a personality test in the session devoted to “Analysing Evidence”.  Nikolaos Ioannidis, researcher at VUB, lead an insightful session on “protection personal data and privacy” which was followed by a very constructive debate on the current cyber threats between the participants and the external speaker. In the afternoon, participants joined two interesting sessions on Feedback and Planning and the alignment between DigCompEdu and ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence).

On the fourth day, the morning started with a highly energizing ice-breaker in which youth workers had to test their knowledge on DigCompEdu framework. Later on, extensively worked on Responsible Use and Netiquette with the help of YPA team. On this day, participants from Greece and Albania were in charge of leading the sessions devoted to “Digital communication and collaboration with youth” and “Digital problem solving” respectively. In addition, an expert on Digital Content Creation, Patricia SanMiguel, joined virtually in order to explain the world of media content creation and which rules apply in the case of creating digital content on social media platforms.

The fifth day of the training marked the end of the week in which participants had the opportunity to deeply reflect on the learning outcomes gained over the four previous days. At the same time, they filled the post-evaluation feedback survey which provided a lot of useful insights on the work done during the week. Lastly, participants attended the YouthPass Award Ceremony whose diploma certifies the full participation of participants in all the activities. This was followed by an emotional goodbye.

Even though the agenda of participants was pretty busy and intense, they had also time for leisure in the evenings by visiting the most attractive and emblematic spots of Brussels. In particular, they had the chance to visit the Grand Place, Maneken Pis, Sablon, Notre Dame du Sablon and the Atomium.

With this stunning experience  in their professional portfolios, participants will be able to increase their sense of mutual belonging and foster their digital leadership within their youth organizations which will provide new opportunities for the disadvantaged youngsters all over Europe to participate in mobility projects. Through this training we are taking a step towards motivating and activating a key group of people who often struggle to engage with their networks or society.

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