Author: SALTO Inclusion & Diversity / JINT
Findings & Recommendations
Digital learning gives many young people wide-ranging opportunities. However, for some, especially young people with fewer opportunities, digital learning opportunities may also present further barriers to participation, though we’ve learnt that new ways of engaging are also to be found in such situations. While the COVID-19 Pandemic stimulated an electronic shift, the process had already begun before the pandemic, with National Agencies, SALTO RCs, youth organisations, youth workers and trainers having already started to move their services online and re-design relevant parts of their delivery. This was with a view to targeting young people where they were and was an attempt to respond to the current youth needs and interests.
In order to document the existent learning experiences and consider the future development of the hybrid, blended and online mobility activities, SALTO Inclusion & Diversity, within the framework of the Strategic Co-operation between National Agencies on Digital Youth Work (SNAC – DYW), gathered information and data about practices, methodologies and experiences. These could go towards setting out valuable guidelines for youth mobility activities involving digital environments, be they complete or partial ones. The data was based on a questionnaire, circulated to the National Agencies, through which valuable experiences from activities implemented in 2020 and 2021 were obtained, or from experiences organised by NAs (for instance with TCA/NET budget), programme beneficiaries or other stakeholders since the onset of the pandemic. The subjects reviewed their own experiences of this last year of the pandemic and identified digital activities which, in their opinion, included methodologies/structures/tools which made a substantial difference. They were not simply attempting to re-organise previous activities within digital platforms, but brought something new to those spaces, recreating non-formal learning interactions, informal connections among participants through innovative or unexpected solutions.
To strengthen the process, SALTO I&D also co-ordinated the work of an Expert Group composed of 15 experts from 10 countries, recruited due to their previous experiences of developing Erasmus+ activities involving one of the specified components or their involvement with different policy and research processes which had contributed to the advancement of digital, hybrid and learning mobility activities. The experts took part in two working sessions in May and June 2021 and produced a set of findings which would support both the National Agencies and the beneficiaries (NGOs) in the running of better-quality learning mobility activities with a digital component. These would also feed into the policy development processes that the European Commission is set to continue or develop in its support of digital youth work.
The result is a document that provides a set of conclusions that address the European Commission and offers a set of practical tips on how to support National Agencies and their beneficiaries and to equip them with additional resources that will bolster the development of quality learning activities with an online component. To access the full document and learn more about the findings and learning experiences of blended, hybrid and online mobilities click here.