Teenagers Create Digital Learning Materials and Expand Technical and Social Competencies in Handling Digital Media
In the project “Digital Spaces”, the Ilse Arlt Institute for Social Inclusion Research of the St. Pölten UAS – together with young people currently undergoing dual vocational training – developed digital learning materials and a methodical concept that will make it easier for vocational education institutions to create such material in future. In addition to the technical aspects of handling new media, the social dimension of using digital platforms played an important role in the project as well.
Social Injustice in the Digital Space
The progressing digitalisation is having an impact on the labour market: Digital competencies are increasingly taken for granted in all professions. However, there are major differences in how and how well people use digital media and these differences go hand in hand with social inequalities, partly even aggravating them further.
Digital Media: Risks for Young People
Moreover, the use of social media is accompanied by certain risks – both in terms of health and social aspects. For example, the intensive media use that is widespread among adolescents can have consequences for sleep, psychological well-being, and behaviour. On the other hand, fake news, unrealistic beauty ideals, and online violence are risks that need to be taken seriously and that young people should be educated about.
Strong Demand for Digital Competencies
“From conversations with teenagers, we know that there is a strong need for actively dealing with their current online usage and for expanding their existing digital competencies”, explains project lead Alois Huber from the Ilse Arlt Institute for Social Inclusion Research at the St. Pölten UAS. “This is where we come in with our participatory approach to connect the two areas. Together with the teenagers, we develop digital learning materials that are tailored to the needs of these young people in training and assist them in acquiring digital competencies at the same time.”
Barbara Giustiniani from the cooperation partner Lehrlingsstiftung Eggenburg: “The workshop was very interesting for us. We were not aware of the teenagers’ remarkable digital skills that have now come to light. It was a surprise for us all that opens up novel ways of learning.”
Usable Results for All
The developed learning materials and methodical concept are freely accessible for apprentices and other interested groups of persons via social media. In addition, both the contents and the methodical concept will be made available on the websites of the supporting institutions and the project website of the St. Pölten UAS.
The Campus & City Radio 94.4 accompanied the project within the framework of the broadcasting series “Arbeitswelt 4.0” where the participating apprentices had the opportunity to voice their thoughts alongside the project team.
Project Digital Spaces – “Digitale Möglichkeitsräume zum Erwerb beruflicher Kompetenzen von, mit und für Lehrlinge“
Among the cooperation partners were Landwirtschaftliche Fach- & Berufsschule Langenlois, Lehrlingsstiftung Eggenburg, Tischlerei Krumböck, Jugendzentrum Steppenwolf, and Campus & City Radio 94.4. The project was funded by the Lower Austrian Chamber of Labour via the project fund Arbeit 4.0 and ran from 01/05/2022 to 31/10/2023.