“The structure, methods and communication channels of youth work should adapt to the digital world: it should use technology and pedagogical practices to increase access and help young people cope with digital means. Digital youth work should be incorporated into youth workers‘ training and – where they exist – youth work occupational and competence standards.”
--Communication from the Commission “Engaging, Connecting and Empowering young people: a new EU Youth Strategy” COM(2018) 269)
The European Commission issued special Guidelines for Digital Youth Work that have been designed to clearly define Digital Youth Work, its impact and the value of youth work as an important educational practice which can empower young people in a digitalising society. The Guidelines demonstrate how digital youth work plays a role in International agenda, preventing a digital divide between young people, by ensuring that they have a more equal access to digital technology, and by enhancing their technology-related skills.
Aims of EYNCRIN Digital Youth Work Programs
EYNCRIN Digital Youth Work Programs aim to support youth organizations and youth workers, young people and those working with youth to upskill their digital competences, in the youth work they already do; in support of youth-centered non-‐formal education, youth mobility projects and exchange events; youth volunteering and community outreach.
We work on the development and implementation of a wide range of important digital tools for youth workers and youth organizations across Europe such as digital coaching, digital facilitation skills; digital mentorship and digitally-conducted youth-friendly training programs and projects. In addition, EYNCRIN creates learning opportunities for young people towards career planning, career management and equal employment opportunities.
Digital youth work as tool supporting creative thinking and behavior
Our youth work approach is based on the idea that some of the main characteristics of creativity can be developed with the aid of Digital youth work. Digital youth work is now the medium of choice by which an outcome is created. One of the best understood features of Digital youth work, to increase the speed of a process, can be exploited for the creativity process and enables young people to use ICT to develop their creative skills for innovation.
In EYNCRIN`s we believe that digital tools and approaches in particular can enhance learning outcomes by:
• Supporting different senses with multimedia visualisations and representations, both in materials and by providing new opportunities for creativity for the young learners;
• Supporting collaboration with new online production, commenting and networking tools, improving both overall and individual performance;
• Supporting differentiation and diversity by supplying youth workers and trainers with a wide variety of didactical and methodological tools that can be fitted to the respective learning objectives;
• Empowering learners to personalize their learning process in a supportive environment of mutual assistance, reflection and critique and in interaction with their trainers and peers, combining formal, non-formal and informal learning activities.
Supporting non-formal learning innovation with new tools
• Encouraging youth experimentation
Innovations in the process of non-formal youth learning and training emerges from different actors, both learners and educators. We aim to empower youth organizations, educational actors and institutions in their local contexts to develop innovative approaches to learning with added value in their environment, (e.g. with different local languages, or by using digital tools and media creatively for specific learning topics).
• Networking and good practise exchanges
We encourage and support youth organizations to document and share with the EYNCRIN network members the innovative practices they have developed and encountered in their youth learning activities, as knowledge of practical applications for new approaches in different environments is scarce.
• Youth workers training and support
Digital youth work can improve the effectiveness of learning and the learning outcomes, but results depend on the approaches used. Therefore EYNCRIN provides a range of youth workers and trainers training in order to disseminate insights and best practices with new innovative approaches, encouraging youth workers to experiment with digital and media technologies and to reflect on the learning impacts of their own non-formal educational practices.