EMPOWER: Empowering Digital Citizenship Through Media Literacy and Critical Thinking
Young people today use the internet to explore, connect, create and learn in ways never imagined. However, digital communications present a paradox:
- Too low levels of digital competence accentuate disadvantage and exclusion in the labour market and society.
- Too much, uncontrolled, use of digital media can lead to undesirable online behaviours that damage individuals’ interpersonal relations and encourage undemocratic values.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to both these aspects and are caught in the digital media skills gap – access to media has grown faster than the ability of our education systems to teach its responsible use. The consequences of such a vacuum are very concerning in light of the challenges posed to social cohesion by our country’s growing immigrant communities and changing attitudes to multiculturalism.
Therefore, EMPOWER is designed with a clear objective: significantly improve young people’s ability to critically assess the online and social media content they consume and create, empowering them to become responsible, confident digital citizens.
- Encourage knowledge sharing and peer learning among education and youth sector stakeholders to develop a Good Practice Catalogue (IO1) of leading and innovative approaches to teaching media literacy and critical thinking as linked to healthy online behaviour and active citizenship.
- Create and promote Digital Citizenship Education Toolkit (IO2) comprising open, online resources that Teachers and Educators can use with young people to explore the topic and strengthen their own skills. – Develop and widely disseminate a Teachers’ Guide to Digital Pedagogy (IO3) as a user-friendly, interactive online resource to support teaching staff in developing their own digital competences and mainstreaming digital literacy skills in their teaching and youth work activities.
The tangible RESULTS of the project, in the form of intellectual outputs (IOs) and multiplier events, will be supported by 3 horizontal activities which will run throughout the project (Management, Dissemination & Sustainability and Evaluation) which will also produce intangible results as a means to ensuring effective project execution.
On the basis of these results, the project can be expected to achieve its expected outcomes with target groups and wider stakeholders, including:
- Engagement of 50+ wide range of stakeholders engaged in VET, education, youth work, local government and social development policy from an early stage in project through input into O1 and our dissemination
- Recruitment of 60 educators and trainers and 60 students/young people who will participate in the development of the EMPOWER course and OERs, they will benefit from completing the course and will provide constructive feedback.
EMPOWER has been carefully structured to enable young people to critically assess social and digital media and interact more responsibly online. It will do so by increasing the capacity of educators, trainers and youth workers to deliver such education in an engaging and practical manner. The unique structure of the EMPOWER project provides a reliable means of introducing media literacy and digital citizen education for young people across Europe. Moreover, it demonstrates that there are many new and innovative ways to increase the social inclusion and civic engagement of young people, while also contributing to the overall European goal of social cohesion.
Folkuniversitetet Stiftelsen Vid Lunds Universitet, Sweden
MOMENTUM MARKETING SERVICES LIMITED, Ireland
Canice Consulting Limited, United Kingdom
Orizont Cultural T, Romania
European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Belgium
Duration: 1.09.2017 – 31.08.2019
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