A special presentation of the WYRED project

A major milestone for The Tel Aviv Summer University  program was achieved as the young students presented their projects in their graduation ceremony.
The program was led by Dr. Tal Soffer, head of The unit for technology and society foresight (TSF) at Tel Aviv University, and the Youth Summer University’s staff. The students were exposed to various issues related to the digital society in the present and in the future, focusing on the Israeli society. It was done through various tours in relevant places and lectures about different subjects. Following that, the students were asked to identify a problem that would be important in the year 2030, to explore it, analyze, and propose creative solutions that will engage with large audiences and reach the decision makers. The work was done in teams where the students could express their opinion in a moderated dialog.

During the graduation ceremony the WYRED project was presented, and the students showcased their projects to a wide audience including (no : necessary) senior representatives from  the Israeli Ministry of Education, researchers from Tel Aviv University, visitors from the third sector, educators and the families of the participants. 
You can have a small glimpse of two scenes video clip from one of the team projects, which deals with the refugees issue:

(Shown in the picture above : The young students are standing in front of a slide that says “Thank you” in a special font that combines letters in Hebrew and Arabic).

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Digital society, young people and decision makers: Wyred consultations

One of the partners of WYRED consortium, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, is consulting 180 young people taking part in University on Youth and Development on issues related to digital society.

What are their biggest concerns? What values should we have online? Do they feel that their voices are heard by decision makers and what are they demanding as young people from stakeholders for a better digital society?

Consultations are part of the revision process of WYRED Manifesto.

 

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E-EVALINTO was included in the MOOCs4Inclusion online catalogue

The E-EVALINTO project was included in the MOOCs4Inclusion catalogue in the framework of the “Study on MOOCs and free digital learning for inclusion of migrants and refugees” from the Directorate General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) of the European Commission. The study is coordinated by CARDET and addresses issues related to the provision of free digital learning opportunities for the inclusion of migrants and refugees.

For more information you can visit the following website: http://moocs4inclusion.org/

 

Young womens’ scientific text and reflections on impacts of new technologies

Bianca Neumann, Lisa Birett and Alina Bindu from Hertha Firnberg-Schools in Vienna tell us how New Technologies can impact our lives.

Our world is currently filled with modern technology due to the noteworthy progress scientists have made in recent years. Artificial intelligence and robotics have become significantly advanced and are commonly found in the modern working fields. The adoption of service automation is able to facilitate production, transportation, medicine, education, tourism, and many other areas. The question is whether or not the world of employment will benefit from this embrace of machinery and what challenges human employees might face if robots were to actively participate in various business departments.

This also accounts for  Virtual Reality which is one of the modern technologies that are nowadays used to alter our perception of the world that is surrounding us. Wikipedia defines VR as “a computer-generated scenario that stimulates a realistic experience”.

But what exactly does this mean? Headsets are usually used to either create a completely new environment or just change the outlay of the real world. Even props or physical environments can be used to generate realistic images and sounds that will completely pull the user into an alternative universe. To make the experience as authentic as possible the user is able to look and move around and even interact with virtual features or items.

Virtual reality can come in handy in many different fields and is believed to facilitate many tasks we have to face. In social sciences for example, VR is being used to study and replicate interactions of human beings in a controlled environment. Also, surgery training can nowadays be done through VR technologies. The benefits of an altered or artificial environment can be taken advantage of for educational or training purposes where individuals can develop skills without the pressure of failure and the fear of consequences which are constantly present in the real world.

But virtual reality is also used for entertainment purposes, in public or privately. This includes gaming, 3D cinema or roller coasters that are offering an extraordinary experience by using modern technologies.

Even though VR has many advantages there are various concerns especially regarding the health and safety of the users as well as the protection of their privacy. Some side effects of VR have already been noticed but most long-term effects on vision and neurological development are still unknown.

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“I want my students’ voices to be heard and their thoughts to be listened to”

Banu Yurtseven, with her way of teaching and thinking, is to be taken as a good reference point.

Let’s keep our ears close to the ground for her story!

 

My name is Banu Yurtseven. I am an English teacher at Çamlıca Theological High School for Girls. I have been teaching English as a second language since 2001. I have worked in some of the EU projects as a local expert. I am interested in social science, too.

Çamlıca Theological High School for Girls is a religious school for secondary and high school students; in Turkey, religious schools have a vocational programme. The school also offers English preparation classes, which means that 9th grade students take 20 additional 1-hour lessons in English. The goal of our school is to make our students responsible for their learning and to motivate them to reflect on how they learn best, to make them look at their own language and culture from a universal point of view by expanding their vision and knowledge of the world, to develop their critical thinking and to enable them to see problems from various points of view.

In addition, they learn about their own religion from a wide range of perspectives.

As a teacher, I want my students’ voices to be heard and their thoughts to be listened to. Since teaching on its own is not enough, we have to nurture their emotions and motivate them to become equipped with the necessary skills required today. They should gain a positive overview of different people and cultures.

To work with girls is very advantageous as they are calm, easy going, hard-working, ambitious, gregarious and considerate. They are mostly able to remain neutral before forming their opinions. They are able to find creative, ingenious solutions to problems. They are good at developing projects and use their creativity to tackle problems.

Nevertheless, teaching in a Theological High School can present the occasional difficulty. Sometimes it is difficult to engage students with political or universal subjects, because of their cultural and religious bias and preconceptions. They need to develop trust in you and talk in a rather cautious manner, as they combine typically adolescent behaviours with conservative lives. Unfortunately, their parents do not let them talk a lot. They are especially very sensitive about Islamophobia and do not want to discuss it. As girls, they want to express themselves but they are confronted with obstacles and dilemmas. This is why at every opportunity I encourage them to voice their opinions, sometimes discuss newspaper columns at break times, ask their thoughts about daily news etc., in order to encourage them to talk so that they can develop more self-confidence. With the help of EU projects, I try to encourage them and teach them to excel at public speaking, project management and ICT skills. On the other hand, I try to engage them with different activities and platforms, in order to start conversations with other young people. The EU project platforms motivate them to have their voices heard, which also strengthens their confidence.

Our lessons include debates and MUN classes (Model of United Nations), which provides them with an opportunity and the confidence to express themselves, as well as hope to be able to become brave, self-confident mothers. In my opinion, young people should learn to express themselves at an early age, for them to be able to make use of those skills during the rest of their lives.

As educators we must support them in the process, teaching is only a small part of our job.

 

Banu Yurtseven

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The positives and the negatives of the cyberspace

Despite their young age, the Northern Ireland WYRED group of children is very clear-headed about the online world.

They were asked to share their thoughts on the positives and the negatives of the cyberspace and that is what came out.

They do like how easy it is to interact with their friends and families through, for example, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. No matter how far you are, these new means of communication make you able to stay in touch with the people you love.

“You can shop online”, a child says and “it is a great way to pass the time”.

The entire group agrees on it. The online world is very entertaining: you can listen to the music, watch video on YouTube and play online games with your friends.

The cyberspace also satisfies your curiosities: “I like being able to research on google”, “I like that I can see different places around the world and what they are like”, “It gives you an idea of other stuff that is going on around the world”.

Anyway, the children are not deceived by the bright side of the online world. On the contrary, they are aware of the risks hiding behind the computer screen.

They don’t like that personal information concerning them can be easily seen from people they don’t know. They feel their data are exposed to several dangers: “People can find your digital footprint and work out what websites you have visited”, “bad people can put a virus on your device”, “I don’t like that you can get hacked“.

These children don’t feel safe due to the the lack of privacy: “I don’t like that other people can be rude and see where you live”. They fear they can be tricked and, of course, the risk of Cyberbullying is just around the corner.

They can also run into some harmless trouble, such as lagging, a wifi that doesn’t work, or annoying and inappropriate ads coming on during a video.

 

 

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Simona

Is the way cyberbullying is tackled in schools effective and up to date, according to students?

Through the Wyred project, aimed at giving young people a voice, Simona from Roma Tre University carried out a research about this topic and discovered that something is definitely missing

Click here to watch the video on the Wyred YouTube Channel!

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Academic Secondary School of University of Social Science from Poland joined the E-Evalinto project

Academic Secondary School of University of Social Science took part in the piloting performing the activities from E-Evalinto platform. Teacher Mr.  Adam Gogacz conducted educational classes e.g. about Ukrainian music. Due to those activities, students got familiar with the culture of the other students.  All students involved in the project were very interested in the new activities.

 

The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Noemi

What does the audience actually know about critical situations described by the media?
Noemi, a student from Rome Tre University, brings to our attention the research that she carried out through the Wyred Project and its surprising results.

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Maria Chiara

Does it exist a social media awareness amongst digital natives?
Do they actually know where their data are going to be used and how? Maria Chiara, a student from Roma Tre University, urges the institutions and schools to provide a proper social media education.

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