Giovanni Di Gennaro

On February 18, 2021, the third International meeting of the European project team Re-Educoco-funded by the Erasmus Plus Program of the European Commission, took place online.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the progresses of the activities planned by IO1 – NEED ANALYSIS: Active citizenship for digital society that is in full swing.

The virtual meeting organized by the DiTES research center of the Link Campus University, as Applicant, allowed the European partners to verify the state of the art of the project, define the next steps in progress, and share methodology and contents for the organization future events, especially in light of the excellent results obtained so far from the activities carried out in Italy.

As a matter of fact, Italy was the first country to start with the cycle of activities linked to this action which, in addition to the Desk analysis dedicated to the identification of the transformations introduced by the digital revolution in the world of work, envisages a busy schedule of seminars and workshops dedicated to schools.

As far as the Italian situation is concerned, the calendar of events scheduled between February and March saw the involvement of cca. 430 students and 48 teachers from 9 Italian high schools. The participants were able, by answering a questionnaire administered at the end of each meeting, to express their appreciation for the quality of the interventions and content which were designed and organized in close collaboration with the Italian project partner AIDR.

The primary objective of this series of events dedicated to schools is to show development trends, new professions and the challenges posed by technological innovation, which, if on the one hand, makes many jobs obsolete, on the other it represents an extraordinary breeding ground for new professionalism.

In such a scenario, it is clear that the education system is invested with new and onerous responsibilities, as well as the duty to reduce the gap between education and the world of work and professions. Hence, this project wants to insinuate itself into this no man’s land in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the education chain through close collaboration between school-university and the world of work.

Big Data, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, etc., although they are elements which have now entered our lexicon, are still an unknown factor for many and, consequently, disinformation creates improbable and unjustified fears. It is no coincidence that the goal of the President of the European Union, Von Der Leyen, is to create a European educational space, based on digital skills, so as to bridge the skills mismatch between job supply and demand.

The seminars proposed were an opportunity to reflect on digital technology, analyzing it from different points of view: privacy and the dissemination of data, cyber security, fake news, digital ethics and artificial intelligence, the revolution industry 4.0, were just some of the topics covered. Through this cycle of meetings, an attempt was also made to sensitize the audience towards a critical use of social media and the problem of cyberbullying was addressed. A work session which involved many teenagers, through which it emerged that over 50% of the participants in the session had direct or indirect experiences in this regard.

The informative courses have been accompanied by orientation modules and training activities, through which the studentswere called to interact in research actions and group work. The aim was that of enabling them to confront with that skills’ setwhich the global and technological society increasingly requires today more than ever.

The Re-Educo project is in its first operational phase: at the moment more than half of the planned hours have been delivered, the activities in Italy will end at the end of March, simultaneously with the beginning of Finnish’ activities (March 22), coordinated by the partner Omnia. Subsequently, the activities will start in the other countries involved, under the guidance of the project partners who will replicate the experience gained in Italy in their respective territories: Greece, Spain and Cyprus.