Social media sites, online games, video-sharing sites and gadgets such as iPods, iPads and mobile phones are now part of the culture of young people. They have permeated young lives in such a degree, that it is hard to believe that these technologies hardly existed less than a decade ago.
Today, young people may come of age and struggle for autonomy and identity, as their predecessors did. However, they do so in the midst of new worlds of communication, friendship and self-expression and it is based on the use of digital media. Digital Media and Technology has transformed how we teach and learn. The learning and self-development process do not always begin with teachers, they are also initiated by the learner, or supported by a youth worker. Digital media and technology it can’t be anything but part of youth workers’ training and capacity.
Young people in Europe spend an increasing amount of their time consuming digital media and (video streaming, messaging, networking, blogging, gaming, etc.). Some of the problems that young people are facing today are directly connected to digital media and especially social media, such as pressures of 24/7 social networking, hate speech online, cyber-bullying, internet and online games addiction. Unfortunately in almost all European countries, there are cases that young people were even led to suicide because of cyber-bullying or hate speech online or various, serious internet addictions. All young people today need technological skills, social media literacy and an agile attitude towards technology in their future work and daily life, and this should be encouraged by youth workers.
“ToDAY: Developing digitAl Youth work” project aims to promote quality youth work through supporting open and innovative practices and by helping youth workers understand digital youth work and develop their capacity on digital youth work. It will support digital youth work in a local, national, regional and European level. The main activity of this project is the Training Course, which will take place in Larissa, Greece, on the 29th of November to the 6th of December. 32 participants from 14 countries (Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Romania, UK, Slovakia, Spain, and The Netherlands) will participate at the TC.