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Students at DV8 media college in Brighton recently took part in a Social Dialogue Session as part of the WYRED project. Each student was creating a photo essay and a film project on issues that were important to them. Subjects ranged from online gambling addiction to the effect of technology on the behaviour of young children to the impact of stereotyping on youth groups.
One student had chosen to take portraits of the people in the streets of Brighton to explore the issue of diversity. If you’ve ever walked up to a stranger on the street and asked to take their picture then you’ll know how hard that can be. Another girl made a photo essay about Brighton at 4am showcasing the characters, colours and curiosities of the city streets late at night. “I was struck by how many people were out and about.”
The short film on the effects of gambling illustrated how certain betting companies will offer freebies and reminders and incentives for people to return to their websites. This can be very difficult for someone who is actively trying to give up an addictive and detrimental relationship with gambling. The films also showed how easy it can be to get into serious debt and the other severe consequences. “I was surprised how many companies offered incentives for people to spend a target amount each month.” Although only available to people over 18, the easy access from your smartphone as soon as you turn 18 is an issue that is important for some young people.
DV8 students will be uploading their projects onto the WYRED platform soon. They would love to get feedback on their projects and participate in online dialogues with other young people across Europe.
Join their community to find out more!
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Number of participants: 14. Age: 17
Project and topics discussed: What’s wrong with the education system and how it can be improved.
Summary of discussions:
The problem: What’s wrong with the education system in Israel – “vomiting the learned material”
During several meetings, discussions developed regarding the shortcomings of the education system in Israel as perceived by the participants. The discussion focused specifically on the difficulties that arise from the conduct of the current education system, which, in our opinion, makes our learning very difficult and hampers our ability to reach high level achievements. Highlights are listed below:
In the discussions we have reached the understanding that the current situation is very burdensome and does not allow us to maintain an efficient lifestyle that includes participation in additional frameworks other than the school.
We feel that the education system does not really see us as students, as individuals. Our feeling is that we are wasting our time memorizing material that will not help us in future.
During the exams period, the students are under a heavy pressure. The teachers don’t consider us and our difficulties in this period, and give us a lot of homework. This doesn’t help to alleviate the pressure.
We feel frustrated in particular because every teacher is sure the she is the only teacher, and gives a lot of homework without considering the assignments we get from other teachers.
All these – assignments, homework, exams – cause us to fail; Instead of helping us, the teachers only increase the burden, and they don’t understand that we have life outside of school.
At the end of the day, we feel frustrated from the school system, because the way it works today really makes our life difficult.
We want the school to pay more attention to values and less to grades. We want more meaningful learning, so that we learn necessary life skills, rather than memorizing the material.
Our desire is to change the teaching method, to apply the learned material in a useful way, and that the system find a better way to appreciate the student, besides exams.
Specific expectations from decision-makers:
Listening to young persons and understand them in order to alleviate the burden that students experience. They should come not just to hear us but also to really listen.
Changing the education approach and the curriculum. Reducing the workload and more consideration of students’ private lives.
To open the possibility for students to choose the topics of learning, namely allowing them to choose the subjects of study in a broader manner.
Reduce the number of compulsory subjects.
Changing the reform done in the high school curriculum, returning the start of matriculation exams to 10-th grade, and distributing the exams over the three years in high school.
The implementation of so-called “meaningful learning” in a clearer and broader sense.
To stop causing the students to just “throw up” the learned material, with an emphasis on changing the teacher-student relationship.
Especially to emphasize the significant reduction of pressure on high school students and the expansion of their activity possibilities after the school hours.
Planned artefact: Graffiti
We decided to present our frustration from the education system through a graffiti on the school wall. The aim is to arouse attention and awareness of the stressful situation that we experience as 11-th graders.
Proposed design of the Graffiti:
An image of a “hypnotized” person whose brain explodes due to extensive learning. To this image, we will add a statement that will express our frustration and feelings towards the Israeli education system.
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Gender and non-binary gender identities group have been set up in order to address the issues of individuals with different identities and expressions. The YEU volunteers, aged between 20 and 30 years old and based in Belgium, researched the ways different societies react towards the topic of gender, and what is the role played by Social Media in this.
Research Question: What is the impact of Social Media on building awareness and understanding around gender and gender identities?
The participants chose this topic because of their past experience working on different international events and projects on it as organizers, facilitators, trainers etc. By analyzing Social Media and other online sources, the group recognized that in most debates about gender identities, the non-binary gender identities and expressions are less addressed and debated. Consequently, it is also obvious that many young people around Europe here lack of the proper understanding and awareness on this topic.
The main outcomes* of the group’s work and researches were:
– The sources promoting understanding and awareness on gender issues are just a few;
– There are lots of aggressive and “hate” speeches online;
– There is the need to promote a gender-sensitive educational approach online and offline from early years;
– There is a necessity to talk about this kind of issues, especially in relation to online behavior, respect and tolerance;
-It is very important to link Formal Education and Non-Formal Education to actually promote, support and raise awareness on these issues. That can also support the development of digital material and help people tackle related issues.
*Note: These are the current conclusions, with the finalization of the process (beginning of June 2018), there could be more results.
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The first WYRED youth-led meeting, suitably named “Young researchers in the digital society”, took place last Friday at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the University Roma Tre in Rome, Italy.
Our partner Oxfam Italia , organized and supervisor of the whole initiative, briefly introduced the project and the work carried out by the young participants over the last academic year and then merged into the roundtables that were scheduled for the day. The meeting did not provide for an external moderator, in order not to steal the show from the young researchers and let them expose the methodologies used, make their points, host and foster the debate on their own. The audiences consisted of students, lecturers, representatives from the main local authorities, all praising the innovativeness of the event, the methodologies used and the topics chosen by the young ones. Sometimes, the Oxfam staff had to cut the debate short to make it possible for everyone to have their say…they were so caught up in conversation that they totally forgot about the time limits!
The topics discussed between the young researchers and their audiences are listed below. We truly wish to repeat this wonderful experience next year, so that even more young people will be able to enjoy the opportunities provided by the WYRED Project. Please keep supporting us!
The Showcase Workshop’s roundtables:
- Young people, media and self-depiction – social media foster the narcissistic need of receive approval from peers: as a consequence, relationships developed online often lead to social isolation, emotional distress, performance anxiety, and then to bullying and cyberbullying. However, young people often are not informed about data privacy and Internet security at all. What to do?
- Young people, labour-market and political participation – The research projects all point out that young people today do not feel any sense of belonging to communities and/or generations. They do not feel anything that is not apathy and withdrawal when confronted with civic engagement and rational voting. They do not even recognize themselves as NEETs and prove to be unable to find individual solutions to achieve active citizenship and personal fulfilment. What to do?
- Young people, globalization and social inclusion– The stereotypes on Italy and Italians by foreign people show how, even in our country, people changed their perception of immigration over the last few years. Only the negative side of globalisation are addressed, that is precisely why foreign students are often discriminated in schools. What to do?
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Hi everyone i’m Maria Chiara and I study Political Studies at university of Roma Tre. Some of my reflections and the daily use of Social Media, led me to wonder: what happens to the things that I share on a social? What is “the media narcissism”? And above all, as a result of the scandal Cambridge Analytica, my personal data, are really protected? I did some research and I’ve interviewed two people of two different countries and generations … and the results are amazing! If you’re curious to know the answer to the questions written above … my research will clarify something.
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