Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society
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Links-up is a two-year research project that is co-financed by the Lifelong Learning programme ...

Links-up is a two-year research project that is co-financed by the Lifelong Learning programme
of the European Commission. The project started in November 2009 and is carried out by an international project team. The overall aim of Links-up is to combine and enhance the know-how of existing projects in the field of inclusion with learning 2.0 in order to promote better future e-inclusion projects and policies...

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Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society Document Transcript

  • Learning 2.0 for an InclusiveKnowledge Society –Understanding the PictureEdited by Guntram Geser, Salzburg ResearchAuthors: Davide Calenda, Clare Cullen, Joe Cullen, ThomasFischer, Guntram Geser, Renate Hahner, Martijn Hartog,Damian Hayward, Wolf Hilzensauer, Else Rose Kuiper,Veronique Maes, Bert Mulder, Katharina Nasemann, SandraSchön, Diana Wieden-Bischof www.links-up.eu
  • Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society – Understanding the Picture
  • Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society – Understanding the Picture Edited by Guntram GeserAuthorsDavide Calenda, Clare Cullen, Joe Cullen, Thomas Fischer, Guntram Geser,Renate Hahner, Martijn Hartog, Damian Hayward, Wolf Hilzensauer,Else Rose Kuiper, Veronique Maes, Bert Mulder, Katharina Nasemann,Sandra Schön, Diana Wieden-BischofCopyright This work has been licensed under a Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
  • Project informationLinks-upLearning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society – Understanding the PictureLifelong Learning ProgrammeSub-programme: KA3-ICTAction: KA3 Multilateral ProjectsProject Number: 505544-LLP-1-2009-1-DE-KA3-KA3MPhttp://www.links-up.eu/Work Package 2 – Case Study Report on inclusive Learning 2.0Deliverable 2.1 – Report on in-depth case studies of innovative examples of the use ofLearning 2.0 and Web 2.0 for inclusive lifelong learning.ISBN 978-3-902448-28-6ContactThomas FischerInstitute for Innovation in Learning (ILI)thomas.fischer@fim.uni-erlangen.deFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergEditorGuntram Geser, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, Salzburg, AustriaAuthorsDavide Calenda, Servizi Didattici e Scientifici per l’Università di Firenze, Prato, ItalyClare Cullen, Arcola Research LLP, London, United KingdomJoe Cullen, Arcola Research LLP, London, United KingdomThomas Fischer, Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg,Erlangen, GermanyGuntram Geser, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, Salzburg, AustriaRenate Hahner, Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg,Erlangen, GermanyMartijn Hartog, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The NetherlandsDamian Hayward, Arcola Research LLP, London, United KingdomWolf Hilzensauer, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, Salzburg, AustriaElse Rose Kuiper, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The NetherlandsVeronique Maes, Arcola Research LLP, London, United KingdomBert Mulder, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The NetherlandsKatharina Nasemann, Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, GermanySandra Schön, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, Salzburg, AustriaDiana Wieden-Bischof, Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, Salzburg, AustriaA digital version of this Summary Report can be downloaded from http://www.links-up.eu/ This project has been funded with support from the European Com- mission. This publication reflects the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  • TABLE OF CONTENTExecutive summary....................................................................................................71 Theoretical and methodological overview...............................................................9 1.1 Learning, inclusion and Web 2.0..............................................................................9 1.2 Methodological approach .....................................................................................11 1.3 Research questions ...............................................................................................11 1.4 Research methods and case study design.............................................................122 Selection criteria and selected cases......................................................................15 2.1 Data collection and analysis...................................................................................15 2.2 Overview of selected cases....................................................................................163 Analysis of intervention concepts of Web 2.0 learning and social inclusion.............23 3.1 General observations on the intervention concepts.............................................23 3.2 Tabular overview of the intervention concepts.....................................................24 3.3 Important aspects of the intervention concepts...................................................274 Web 2.0 technologies used....................................................................................29 4.1 General observations on technology implementation and use ............................29 4.2 Tabular overview of tools and objectives...............................................................30 4.3 Patterns of technology implementation and use...................................................335 Problems encountered and lessons learned...........................................................35 5.1 Observations on major issues faced by the projects.............................................35 5.2 Tabular overview of problems encountered and lessons learned.........................35 5.3 Discussion of the main problem areas and lessons learned..................................436 Recommendation for successful projects in Web 2.0 learning and social inclusion...51 6.1 Overcoming resistance of organisational cultures.................................................51 6.2 Meeting user needs and requirements in e-skilling & inclusion............................51 6.3 Promoting open Web 2.0 based educational practices in schools........................52 6.4 Using appropriate e-learning & inclusion methods...............................................52 6.5 Driving participation on community websites.......................................................53 6.6 Securing sustainability and impact........................................................................547 The case studies and the landscape of Learning 2.0 for inclusion............................55 7.1 Introduction............................................................................................................55 7.2 The policy context..................................................................................................56 7.3 The theoretical context..........................................................................................60 7.4 The practices context ............................................................................................638 A ‘theory of change’ interpretation of the results...................................................67 8.1 Introduction: Theory of change and impact assessment.......................................67 8.2 Evidence on impacts...............................................................................................68 8.3 Summary of impacts: general theory of change analysis......................................719 Literature and sources...........................................................................................73
  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Background and aims of Links-up Links-up is a two-year research project that is co-financed by the Lifelong Learning pro- gramme of the European Commission. The project started in November 2009 and is car- ried out by an international project team: The project co-coordinator University of Erlan- gen (DE), Arcola Research LLP (UK), European Distance and eLearning Network (UK), Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft (AT), Servizi Didattici e Scientifici per l’Uni- versità di Firenze (IT) and University of the Hague (NL). The overall aim of Links-up is to combine and enhance the know-how of existing pro- jects in the field of inclusion with learning 2.0 in order to promote better future e-inclu- sion projects and policies. More specifically, Links-up will | collect and analyse information on projects that are using Web 2.0 tools and meth- ods for learning and social inclusion, | implement an “Innovation Laboratory” for “Learning 2.0 for inclusion” to support knowledge-sharing between different existing initiatives, | develop new approaches and tools building on the gathered expertise, and | test identified success factors in five learning experiments examining whether and in what ways they improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current learning 2.0 ap- proaches for inclusion. This research work reflects the increasing interest in the opportunities offered by “Web 2.0” for supporting innovative ways of learning, especially for those who are “hard to reach” or “at risk” of social exclusion. Links-up relates to, and aims to support, a number of current policy initiatives. On the European level this includes the EU i2010 initiative (2005)1, the Riga Declaration on e-in- clusion policy goals (2006)2; the Lisbon Declaration on e-inclusion (2007)3; the European Commission’s Communication “Ageing Well in the Information Society” (2007)4 and the “e- inclusion: be part of it” initiative5.1 i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment. Available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/i2010/index_en.htm [2010-09-15]2 Riga Declaration (2006). Available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/- events/ict_riga_2006/doc/declaration_riga.pdf [2010-09-16]3 Lisbon Declaration (2006). An Alliance for Social Cohesion through Digital Inclusion, Lis- bon, 28-29 April 2006. Available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/latin- america/regional-cooperation/alis/documents/lisbon_declaration_en.pdf [2010-09-16]4 EC Communication (2007) 332 final. Online available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexU- riServ/site/en/com/2007/com2007_0332en01.pdf5 e-Inclusion: Be Part of It! Online available at: http://ec.europa.eu/- information_society/activities/einclusion/bepartofit/index_en.htm [2010-09-10] 7
  • Case study report on inclusive Learning 2.0 This report presents an in-depth case study analysis of 24 examples of innovative use of Learning 2.0 and Web 2.0 for inclusive lifelong learning (project deliverable 2.1). A nar- rative descriptions of the 24 case studies is free available for download from the project website.6 The main objective of this collection and analysis of exemplary projects is to investigate the potential of Learning 2.0 to support the social inclusion of groups at risk of exclusion from society. In particular, problems encountered and lessons learned by the projects are summar- ised, and a number of practical recommendations provided on how to realise successful projects in Web 2.0 learning and social inclusion. The projects studied are also set within the current “landscape of Learning 2.0 for inclu- sion”, i.e. the contexts of policy, theory and practices. Thus the extent to which the cases support the major policies in the field, the conceptual thinking around social inclusion and the needs of excluded groups is evaluated. Moreover, the projects are reflected upon from the perspective of a “theory of change” approach taking account of the evidence on impacts they provide.6 http://www.linksup.eu or directly available http://tinyurl.com/linksup-cases8
  • 1 THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL OVERVIEW 1.1 Learning, inclusion and Web 2.07 ‘Inclusion’ is a complex concept, not least, because it is intimately associated with its op- posite – exclusion. As Glass (2000) observes, there is frequently a confusion in the liter- ature between trying to measure social exclusion and trying to measure the effects of policies aimed at eliminating it. The elimination of exclusion – inclusion – needs to ad- dress complex multi-dimensional phenomena. As the European Commission (2004) defined it, exclusion is ‘a process whereby certain individuals are pushed to the edge of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, or lack of basic competencies and lifelong learning opportunities, or as a result of discrimination. This distances them from job, income and education op- portunities as well as social and community networks and activities. They have little ac- cess to power and decision-making bodies and thus often feeling powerless and unable to take control over the decisions that affect their day to day lives.´ The growing ubiquity of ICTs in recent years, as a result of the burgeoning ‘Knowledge Society’, has attracted the attention of initiatives and projects aimed at harnessing tech- nologies to address exclusion and support inclusion. This has especially been the case with regard to ´Web 2.0´, and ‘social networking’ technologies, with their potential to support far greater social interaction than before. As a range of studies have demonstrated (see Redecker et al., 2009); the Web offers a lot of possibilities for self-expression and people are able to participate, e.g. to gain in- formation, to communicate and to collaborate in many different ways. For example, with the use of web 2.0 technologies, blind people are able to participate by using a braille display, a device which transforms the information on the screen into embossed printing. Also, migrants can use online tools to enhance their second language abilities with informal learning activities. Nevertheless, the ´digital divide´ between better-educated and higher-status groups and involuntary off-liners or people with low digital literacy still exists and limits the possibil- ities of participation. A recent report by the Oxford Internet Institute observed that: “technological forms of exclusion are a reality for significant segments of the popula- tion, and that, for some people, they reinforce and deepen existing disadvantages” (Helsper, 2008). There is strong evidence to suggest that significant numbers of people remain at the margins of the ‘knowledge society’ – not least because the complexity and diversity of their lives, and their roles in a ‘technologically rich’ society, remain poorly understood (Facer & Selwyn, 2007). Digital inclusion itself is therefore a new field for inclusion initi- atives, concerning e.g. the accessibility of web resources or digital literacy of people at risk of exclusion. Against this background, a number of initiatives have been established to support the application of ICTs – particularly Web 2.0 – to inclusion. In tandem, a range of initiatives aimed at awareness-raising and dissemination of good practices in the field have been implemented, including, several awards schemes. For example, the European e-Inclu- sion Award8 was established in 2008 in the following categories: ageing well, marginal-7 The following text is a slightly revised version of parts of Schaffert, Cullen, Hilzensauer & Wieden-Bischof, 2010, pp. 57–64.8 European e-Inclusion Award – http://www.e-inclusionawards.eu/ [2010-05-18] 9
  • ised young people, geographic inclusion, cultural diversity, digital literacy, e-accessibility, and inclusive public services. Altogether 469 European institutions had applied for the e-Inclusion Award in 2008. To build an overview of the results and lessons learned in the projects, the European Commission initiated a study (Osimo, De Luca & Codagnone, 2010) on projects and initi- atives in the whole field of inclusion by private and non-profit European organisations. The majority of case studies are in the field of e-accessibility (ibid, p. 10). Another study, published in 2008, gives an overview on the different fields of action and examples of e- inclusion in Austria (The Federal Chancellery, 2008). Furthermore eLearning Papers No. 19, a publication of elearningeuropa.info, has published a number of articles on inclu- sion and digital technologies (eLearning Papers, 2010). Learning with ICT is to be seen as a key driver for inclusion. It is increasingly argued that Web 2.0 can empower resistant learners and groups at risk of exclusion by offering them new opportunities for self-realisation through collaborative learning, and by changing the nature of education itself. This owes much to a notion that has come to the fore in recent thinking on learning – the idea that education is now focusing on ‘new millenni- um learners’ (NML), and that the future of learning is inextricably bound up with these learners. NML – those born after 1982 – are the first generation to grow up surrounded by digital media, and most of their activities dealing with peer-to-peer communication and know- ledge management are mediated by these technologies (Pedró, 2006). For example, it is easier to take part in open learning initiatives, profit from open educational resources and new tools that allow easy communication and collaboration for learners. There seem to be fewer boundaries to take part in these opportunities compared with formal education settings, where social milieu, family background, healthiness, socio-economic possibilities and the accessibility of educational institutions as well as the geographic location e.g. urban areas, are still the most important factors for (non) participation. Yet, as noted above, the evidence base for these conclusions is fragmented and con- tested. There is also counter evidence that Web 2.0 can reinforce exclusion and reduce learning outcomes. For example, it seems that people with better education and socio- economic backgrounds profit more from the new learning and participation opportunit- ies than others. This effect – those who have more will get more – is called Matthew’s effect based on a popular citation from the bible. Therefore, a sceptic view on projects within this field is needed. Critical questions comprise: Is learning 2.0 really supporting inclusive life-long learning? Can isolated experiments be mainstreamed and is learning 2.0 fundamentally changing the educational landscape? Until now, there have only been a few studies that bring together experiences in this field. For example, the aim of the project ´E-learning 4 E-inclusion´ is “to build a com- munity for those with valuable expertise regarding the use of eLearning for digital inclu- sion” (Casacuberta, 2007, 1). Another contribution which focuses on inclusion projects dealing with learning and Web 2.0 is called ´e-learning 2.0´ (Downes, 2005) or in short ´learning 2.0´. As a part of a wider project about learning 2.0 initiatives and their effects on innovation (see Redecker et al., 2009) a study based on case studies of eight projects on learning 2.0 for inclusion was implemented by Cullen, Cullen, Hayward and Maes (2009). Within this study, the described initiatives focus on learners ‘at risk’ of exclusion from the knowledge-based society. For example, the alternative online-school “Notschool” fo- cused on young people for whom school does not fit. Another example “MOSEP”,10
  • which developed training materials for trainers using the e-portfolio method, addressed the growing problem of adolescents dropping-out of the formal education system around Europe (Hilzensauer & Buchberger, 2009). The study delivered an overview about approaches and experiences within eight case studies concerning the innovative- ness, the barriers and success factors of the initiatives. Building on the results of the above mentioned study by Cullen et al. (2009), the Links- up project has been developed. Links-up will collect and enhance the know-how of se- lected European projects in the field of inclusion through learning and Web 2.0. The project aims at delivering recommendations for better projects and policies in the spe- cial field of inclusion through learning 2.0. This report is one important step in achieving this.1.2 Methodological approach From a methodological point of view, Links-ups recommendations will be derived through a four-step-process: Step 1: The project consortium will describe and analyse case studies of existing projects in the field of inclusion through learning 2.0 using a detailed tool-kit for case studies. Step 2: In five ´innovation laboratories´ Links-up partners will observe new Web 2.0 us- ages within existing projects using ‘action research’. Action Research (Pedler, 1997) fo- cuses on gathering and analysing data to assess the nature and scope of changes brought about by an innovative intervention – in these cases the use of Web 2.0 to sup- plement existing learning practices. Observations made by the project manager and by participants will be collected, selected and reflected on. The data collection and analysis will be linked to specific hypotheses posed by the initial Links-up research analysis. For example, the action research will test the hypothesis that ‘motivational resistance to participation in Web 2.0 learning environments can be reduced through peer support – especially with older learners’. On the basis of the action research results, a list of re- commendations will be developed as a guideline to make better projects and policies in the future. Nevertheless, the first part of our investigations will be an analysis of case studies.1.3 Research questions The overall research questions of Links-up are based on the assumption that, the usage of Web 2.0 supports inclusive lifelong learning. Links-up will therfore explore three main issues: | Is Learning 2.0 really supporting inclusive life-long learning? | Can isolated experiments be mainstreamed? | Is Learning 2.0 fundamentally changing the educational landscape? Other research questions providing additional input to the study are: | What kinds of Learning 2.0 applications are currently being developed and imple- mented to support lifelong learning and social inclusion? | What are their characteristics, in terms of technical configurations; learning scenari- os; pedagogic methods; institutional arrangements? 11
  • | What kinds of new digital skills are emerging as a result of the use of Learning 2.0 ap- plications? | What other, non-digital key competences for lifelong learning, are being supported by Learning 2.0 applications? | In what ways are Learning 2.0 applications equipping users with skills that will in- crease their labour market opportunities? | What examples of good practice can be identified and how can these be used to sup- port future policy and practices in the field? 1.4 Research methods and case study design The research design of this study is a slightly modified approach of the approach de- veloped for Cullen et al (2009). The methodological approach adopted follows accepted models and practices used in case studies (Yin, 2002), but incorporates additional ele- ments chosen to suit the particular focus of this study – particularly the research ques- tions outlined above – and the environment in which Learning 2.0 initiatives operate. Six of these additional methodological elements applied were: | Behavioural additionality analysis (Georghiou & Clarysse, 2006) – a method used to measure both individual and aggregate changes in learning and social interaction be- haviours, using self-reported measurements; | Theory of change analysis (Chen, 1990) – an approach used to identify both the ex- plicit and implicit paradigm of change that lies at the heart of an innovation – in oth- er words the transformative model that is embedded within it; | Cultural logic analysis (Habermas, 1981) – a ‘discursive’ approach used to supple- ment the ‘theory of change’ analysis and aimed at de-constructing the conceptual and theoretical paradigms underlying the initiatives, their ‘vision’ of Lifelong Learn- ing, Learning 2.0 and e-Inclusion and their intended outcomes; | Pedagogic audit – a tool for assessing learning outcomes (see as an example the Aus- tralian Flexible Learning Community, 2004); | Digital skills audit – a method focusing on capturing the extent to which Learning 2.0 applications are developing and supporting e-skills over and beyond the basic ICT skills typically aimed at in conventional digital literacy programmes; | Social capacity audit – an instrument designed to assess the effects of participation in Learning 2.0 initiatives aimed at promoting social inclusion on promoting individu- al capacity and social participation (see Freire, 1970 and Horton & Freire, 1990). The case study methodology design is based on five inter-connected stages: (a) logistics, (b) positioning and profiling, (c) data collection, (d) analysis, (e) synthesis. Table 1 sum- marises the objectives of each phase together with the methods and tools used to im- plement it.12
  • Phase Objectives Methods and ToolsLogistics Establish protocols for implementing case studies Case study procedures Identify key informants and data sources. Contact Logistics audit key ‘gatekeepers’. Arrange site visitPositioning Desk research to collect preliminary data on the Case profile templateand Profiling case Situate the case in its cultural and organisational Environmental Audit lifeworldData Collect preliminary data on key research questions Key informant Interview scheduleCollection with main informant Collect data generated through utilisation of plat- Guideline for automated data col- form and tools lection Collect data on user experiences Self administered user question- naire Collect in depth data on user experiences User interview schedule Collect group data on user experiences Focus Group Guidelines Observe how the initiative operates on the ground Observation Guideline Analyse content produced by the initiative Content analysis GuidelineAnalysis Assess key outcomes and impacts for individual Behavioural additionality analysis users template Compare intended outcomes with actual outcomes Theory of change analysis tem- plate Evaluate the ‘vision’ of the initiative Cultural logic analysis Assess learning outcomes Pedagogic audit Assess innovative e-skills outcomes Digital skills auditSynthesis Integrate the results of the data collection and ana- Case Summary template lysis to answer key research questions Table 1: Case Study Design (see Chen, 1990) 13
  • 14
  • 2 SELECTION CRITERIA AND SELECTED CASES 24 cases were selected for a detailed analysis. The detailed narrative description of each case is free available for download from the project website9. The selection of cases re- flected the following priorities: | Different Learning Settings – include formal and non-formal learning settings; differ- ent target groups, in particular ‘at risk’ and ‘hard to reach’ groups; training situations (i.e. workplace, at home; distance or face-to-face), training needs (i.e. general, voca- tional, leisure; re-skilling, up-skilling) and interactions (i.e. learner-teacher, learner- learner, teacher-teacher), organised learning (i.e. in schools, universities, training centres); | Different Social Computing Applications – include a variety of uses of social comput- ing applications in learning contexts, involving wikis, blogs, podcasts, social book- marking, editing and networking tools, virtual realities/immersive technologies, as well as networking, sharing, reviewing, commenting, collaborative knowledge cre- ation, editing or publishing; | Maturity and Potential of the Initiative – include initiatives that provide examples of sustainable development; | Geographical Distribution – include a range of different geographical locations and cultural environments. The procedure adopted for case study selection was as follows: | A first list of potential projects within the field of inclusion and learning 2.0 was com- piled by our partner Arcola Research LLP, through intensive research for cases and projects from a diverse range of European publications and repositories. | The partners additionally looked for interesting projects within their language area. This was a very productive step as the partners found a lot of projects from outside the UK: Typically they are described and documented in their native language without an English translation (which is normally only needed in European collabora- tions or in UK). | Afterwards, the partners selected possible projects (with the help of the criteria de- scribed above) and contacted project managers of potential case studies. | Depending on the interest and agreement of the projects the final list of case studies was discussed and decided by the project partners. 2.1 Data collection and analysis As noted above, the study approach incorporates a multi-methodological design in- volving the use of different data collection methods (quantitative and qualitative) and a diverse range of actors that consider each of the examples from different perspectives. As a result, data collection varies from case to case in terms of the type of data collec- ted, the range of actors represented, the balance between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ data. However, the case study procedure involved synthesising and interpreting the res- ults using a common template in order to promote standardisation and support cross- case comparisons. This approach was successfully used (Cullen et. al., 2009), and we slightly modified templates and procedures due to the partners needs.9 http://www.linksup.eu or directly available http://tinyurl.com/linksup-cases 15
  • 2.2 Overview of selected cases10 Scope of Inclusion Ageing well Marginalised Geographic Cultural diversity Digital literacy (e.g. generation people inclusion (e.g. migrants, (e.g. all popula- 50+) (e.g. educational (e.g. regional fo- ethnic minorit- tion groups) – school drop cus, non-urban ies) out, gifted or rural area) people, illness, economic, labour market, social exclusion risks...) ALPEUNED Assistive Technology Wiki Avatar@School BREAKOUT Conecta Joven Cyberhus EduCoRe FreqOut! HiStory ICONET Mixopolis MOSEP Mundo de Estrellas Nettilukio Notschool Pinokio rePlay Roots & Routes Savvy Chavvy Schome Park Seniorkom.at TRIO Web in the Hood XenoCLIPse Table 2: Classification of the cases according to the different categories of e-Inclusion Table 2 gives an overview of the cases and shows the variety with respect to their ´scope of inclusion´. The classification of inclusion scenarios is based on the categories of the e- inclusion awards11. Table 2 shows that in this sample most of the projects focus on the inclusion of marginalised people. Other important dimensions are cultural diversity and digital literacy, whereas ageing well and geographic inclusion are (intentionally) less present.10 A detailled description of each case can be downloaded from the project website: http://www.linksup.eu or directly available http://tinyurl.com/linksup-cases11 http://www.e-inclusionawards.eu/16
  • Target groups Young kids Teenagers12 Students13 (young)14 Adults Seniors ALPEUNED Assistive Technology Wiki Avatar@School BREAKOUT Conecta Joven Cyberhus EduCoRe FreqOut! HiStory ICONET Mixopolis MOSEP Mundo de Estrellas Nettilukio Notschool Pinokio rePlay Roots & Routes Savvy Chavvy Schome Park Seniorkom.at TRIO Web in the Hood XenoCLIPse Table 3: Target groups addressed Table 3 shows that all age groups are well represented, although most cases include the category teenagers. Obviously, Web 2.0 strategies focus more on the Net-Generation as well as on the adolescence. Most projects have more than one target group, which of- fers a variety of implementation scenarios as well as transferability of results.12 Persons between the ages of 13 and 19.13 This category includes young people who attend a regular school or university curricu- lum.14 FreqOut! As well as Roots & Routs targets young people aged 13-25 years old. 17
  • Learning activities formal15 non-formal16 informal17 ALPEUNED Assistive Technology Wiki Avatar@School BREAKOUT Conecta Joven Cyberhus EduCoRe FreqOut! HiStory ICONET Mixopolis MOSEP Mundo de Estrellas Nettilukio Notschool Pinokio rePlay Roots & Routes Savvy Chavvy Schome Park Seniorkom.at TRIO Web in the Hood XenoCLIPse Table 4: Category of the Learning Activities Most of the learning scenarios focus on informal learning outcomes, often in combina- tion with either formal or non-formal aspects. Although informal learning activities are hard to categorise, the cases focus on the indirect acquisition of skills by ´doing´ something with the internet (in different settings) or by using Web 2.0 technology. The documentation and reflection upon these activities allow for informal learning out- comes.15 Formal learning is learning that takes place within a teacher-student relationship and educational setting (e.g. school).16 Nonformal learning is organized learning outside the formal learning system. For exam- ple: learning by coming together with people with similar interests and exchanging viewpoints, e.g. in a youth organisation.17 Informal learning occurs in everyday life, e.g. situations at work, conversations, playing, etc.18
  • Inclusion objective Educational Supporting Digital Overcoming Low Addressing So- Re-insertion Disability Literacy ICT Use cial IsolationALPEUNEDAssistive Technology WikiAvatar@SchoolBREAKOUTConecta JovenCyberhusEduCoReFreqOut!HiStoryICONETMixopolisMOSEPMundo de EstrellasNettilukioNotschoolPinokiorePlayRoots & RoutesSavvy ChavvySchome ParkSeniorkom.atTRIOWeb in the HoodXenoCLIPse Table 5: Inclusion objective With regards to the inclusion objectives, the cases are quite heterogeneous. Most of the projects provide strategies against social isolation, accompanied with other measures. Often the inclusion objective is combined with an educational focus, where up-skilling and competence development are key. Also some cases with a focus on inclusion of people with disabilities are included in the sample. 19
  • Tables 6 and 7 below present the fields of intervention combined with the different cat- egories of learning activities and age groups: Young kids Teenagers Students (young) Adults SeniorsAgeing well (e.g. gener- HiStory Seniorkom.atation 50+) Seniorkom.at Avatar@School BREAKOUT Cyberhus Avatar@School Assistive Techno- FreqOut!Marginalised people BREAKOUT logy Wiki ICONET(e.g. educational – Cyberhus ALPEUNED Conecta Jovenschool drop out, gifted, MOSEP Conecta Joven Mundo de Estrellas TRIO EduCoReillness, economic, la- Nettilukio TRIObour market, social ex- rePlay ICONET FreqOut! Mundo de Estrellasclusion risks...) Web in the Hood Roots & Routes Notschool Pinokio TRIO rePlay Roots & Routes Schome ParkGeographic inclusion Nettilukio(e.g. rural area) FreqOut! ICONET Mixopolis Conecta JovenCultural diversity Pinokio Nettilukio Mixopolis FreqOut!(e.g. migrants, ethnic Savvy Chavvy Pinokio Conecta Jovenminorities) XenoCLIPse Roots & Routes Web in the Hood Roots & Routes XenoCLIPse Savvy Chavvy Schome Park XenoCLIPse Conecta Joven Conecta JovenDigital literacy FreqOut! FreqOut! HiStory(e.g. all population Web in the Hood Web in the Hoodgroups) Seniorkom.at Seniorkom.at XenoCLIPse Web in the Hood Web in the Hood Table 6: Addressed age groups and fields of inventions of the case studies20
  • formal non-formal informalAgeing well HiStory HiStory(e.g. generation 50+) Seniorkom.at Seniorkom.at ALPEUNED Assistive Technology Wiki Avatar@School Avatar@School BREAKOUT Cyberhus EduCoRe Conecta Joven ICONET FreqOut! CyberhusMarginalised people MOSEP ICONET(e.g. educational – school drop EduCoRe PINOKIO Mundo de Estrellasout, gifted, illness, economic, la- FreqOut!bour market, social exclusion Nettilukio Nettilukio ICONETrisks...) rePlay Notschool MOSEP Roots & Routes rePlay Mundo de Estrellas Schome Park Roots & Routes rePlay TRIO Schome Park Roots & Routes Schome ParkGeographic inclusion Nettilukio Nettilukio(e.g. rural area) Conecta Joven ICONET ICONET ICONET Mixopolis FreqOut! FreqOut! Nettilukio Mixopolis MixopolisCultural diversity Pinokio Nettilukio Pinokio(e.g. migrants, ethnic minorities) Roots & Routes Roots & Routes Roots & Routes Schome Park Savvy Chavvy Savvy Chavvy XenoCLIPse Schome Park Schome Park XenoCLIPse Conecta Joven FreqOut! FreqOut!Digital literacy HiStory HiStory XenoCLIPse(e.g. all population groups) Seniorkom.at SeniorKom.at Web in the Hood Web in the Hood XenoCLIPse Table 7: Addressed learning and field of interventions of the case studies 21
  • 22
  • 3 ANALYSIS OF INTERVENTION CONCEPTS OF WEB 2.0 LEARNING AND SOCIAL INCLUSION The diverse project descriptions presented in the Links-up project contain theories and models of change. The expectation is that introducing some innovative components into a social environment – in our cases Web 2.0 tools and methods – will promote different behaviour of individuals, social groups or organisations, achieving beneficial impact and change. These changes include re-engagement in learning and greater achievement of learners, which may lead to improved employment prospects. Projects using Web 2.0 supported learning for social inclusion can be viewed according to a macro-model and a micro-model of change. In the example above, the micro-model is about the learner’s re-engagement and achievement (how can this be realised more effectively) linked with a socio-economic macro-model that requires people with certain qualifications and aspirations (how to provide the economy, business and other sectors with knowledgeable and dedicated workers). Similar models already exist for issues of social anomy (e.g. deprived communities) and social exclusion (e.g. of ethnic minorities and migrant communities). In these situations, the intended impact of using Web 2.0 tools and methods is to strengthen communities and promote social inclusion. However, processes of social learning also play a key role (e.g. activities that vitalise a social community, help develop mutual understanding among social groups, etc.). The models inform interventions aimed at tackling problems in learning and social inclu- sion and realising favourable impacts and changes in attitudes, knowledge and beha- viours. In the sections below, we analyse the intervention concepts of the projects stud- ied. The intervention concept of each project comprises the problem addressed, the tar- get group(s), the intervention using Web 2.0 tools and methods, and the intended im- pact of the intervention. The sections below are structured as follows: 1. provides general observations on the intervention concepts of the projects studied; 2. presents a tabular overview of the intervention concepts; 3. discusses and illustrates important aspects of the concepts. 3.1 General observations on the intervention concepts Problems addressed: The main problems requiring intervention are understood to be lack of competences and participation in social life, i.e. social inclusion which requires active engagement by the individuals and social groups themselves. In particular, en- gagement in education, vocational training and lifelong learning in many social groups is seen as a core issue. Equally, acquisition of e-skills as a basis for employability and parti- cipation in the information and knowledge society is also presented as highly important. Furthermore, better counselling in critical situations as well as for vocational orientation and job finding is seen as a vital need. There is also a trend for developing innovative ap- proaches that challenge established ways of providing public services. Such approaches should allow for re-evaluating education and new scenarios of schooling, as well as new methods in crime prevention and offender rehabilitation services. 23
  • Target groups: Groups that stand out as intervention targets are ´hard to reach´ learners in deprived communities, including ethnic minorities and larger groups of migrants. Young people are a prime target for interventions because they are seen to be ´at risk´ (including ´at risk´ of offending), often present the necessary skills for a career in creat- ive industries, and may strengthen their community by becoming role models of achievement and a voice for their interests. Other intervention targets are children, stu- dents and adults with disabilities or medical conditions. Intervention approaches: A ´blended´ approach is the most common form of interven- tion. The main reason for this is that in many interventions, target groups face barriers to learning which need to be overcome, such as poor e-skills, lack of motivation and trust. A ´blended´ approach also allows for developing social relationships and exchange of experiences among participants (community building) that can be supported, facilit- ated and enhanced by using Web 2.0 tools. ´Online only´ approaches are used in con- texts where there is an established portal or community website and users can be ex- pected to have sufficient e-skills already. Intended impacts: Re-engagement in learning, vocational training and lifelong learning, as well as improving employability and social inclusion are the strongest themes presen- ted by the sample of case studies, as with a majority of similar projects across Europe. 3.2 Tabular overview of the intervention concepts The table below provides an overview of the intervention concept of each project stud- ied. The concept comprises the identified problem, the target group(s), the intervention using Web 2.0 tools and methods, and the intended impact of the intervention. Details about the particular Web 2.0 tools used are provided and analysed separately in the next chapter. Problems & target group addressed Web 2.0 supported intervention and inten- ded impact ALPEUNED Equal learning opportunities and social Promote peer communication and coun- inclusion of distance learning students selling in forums on the distance learning with disabilities portal to address problems of disabled stu- dents and increase social inclusion Assistive Improvement of ICT and e-learning op- Allow for active online participation of more Technology portunities for disabled adults and chil- members on the organisation’s website to Wiki dren through cooperation in a dedic- create momentum and receive new ideas ated membership organisation and support24
  • Problems & target group addressed Web 2.0 supported intervention and inten- ded impactAvatar Aggressive social exclusion (e.g. bully- Provide a virtual environment as a safe place@School ing) requires competence in conflict for role-playing in conflict situations and mediation of students and teachers learning about how to behave and mediate in such situationsBREAKOUT Need of new approaches in youth Allow for Web 2.0 based communication in crime prevention and offender rehabil- “action learning” of students at risk, teach- itation services ers, probation services and youth offending teams to prevent offending behaviourConecta Joven Vocational training and lifelong learn- Provide hands-on ICT training combined with ing opportunities for marginalised so- online learning and exchange of experiences cial groups of adults to allow for em- to keep learners engaged and socially con- ployability and social inclusion nectedCyberhus Meaningful leisure activities and coun- Provide a save on-line environment where selling for kids and teens “at risk” kids and teens can connect, learn together and get support by skilled counsellors in crit- ical situationsEduCoRe Support employability and participa- Blended training and counselling approach tion in society of people that suffer for people in the physical rehabilitation pro- from physical disabilities after an acci- cess (hospital, rehabilitation centre, home) dent or illness to allow for skills acquisition and social con- nectednessFreqOUT! Promote creative activity, social inclu- Blended approach to engage, train and con- sion, and employability of young nect talented young people and provide a people from deprived communities platform for creative uses of technology, and to encourage opportunities for careers in the creative sectorHiStory E-inclusion/participation of seniors Engage seniors to participate in the digital that is also beneficial for the wider so- sphere by telling their stories of personally cial community and society experienced historical events and develop- ments online (active e-citizenship)ICONET Recognition of informal vocational Develop validation procedures in a train-the- skills of students gained in extra-cur- trainer environment and promote adoption ricular experiences to leverage em- of the procedures potentially raising employ- ployability ment prospects of studentsMixopolis Need of better vocational orientation Attract, inform and connect young people and job searching for young people from the target community through an on- with migration background line career orientation portalMOSEP Prevent early school leaving and help Motivate and train teachers and vocational students to recognise their educational counsellors to use e-portfolios and online achievements. Support students with collaboration methods to better inform stu- preparation for vocational careers dents about their education and vocational career choices 25
  • Problems & target group addressed Web 2.0 supported intervention and inten- ded impact Mundo Increase well-being and learning of ill Provide the children with an online environ- de Estrellas school-age children in hospitals ment for learning, recreation and social com- munity Nettilukio Students and adults who cannot parti- Provide a flexible learning environment for cipate in the regular school system self-directed coursework and communication (e.g. parents with small children, shift- with tutors and peers to prepare for the na- worker, disabled persons, students liv- tional exam ing abroad) but want to gain an upper secondary school diploma Notschool Re-engage learners and remove barri- Enable personalised and self-directed learn- ers to learning for young people who ing with community support (tutors, peers have become disaffected in traditional and other community members) to allow for school environments or excluded from resilience and educational achievement of school due to behaviour or other cir- students cumstances Pinokio Addresses the need to promote inter- Combine story telling (fables) with new me- cultural dialogue against social exclu- dia to co-create narratives that enable dis- sion of migrants involving pre-school cussion and better understanding social ex- and primary school children, teachers clusion and parents rePlay Intervention programs for social (re-) Provide an environment for game-based so- integration aimed at marginalised and cial learning and integration in centres for young people and those “at risk” of of- young offenders and schools in deprived fending. communities Roots Promote creative activity, social inclu- Blended approach of face-to-face learning & sion, and employability of talented and hands-on development of skills in creat- Routes young people from deprived com- ive production with online community and munities presentation of creative products, which may encourage careers in the creative sector Savvy Chavvy Strengthen ethnic minorities by en- Provide a safe, self-managed environment couraging young people to take pride for young people from the Gypsy and Travel- in their culture ler community to connect, share experi- ences, and tell stories about their culture Schome Park Explore new educational possibilities Provide a virtual world for open learning for co-learning and peer mentoring of practices that challenge traditional teacher- young people with difficulties in main- student roles and assessment of learning, stream schooling providing a platform to re-evaluate educa- tion and develop new scenarios of schooling Seniorkom.at E-inclusion of seniors by providing op- Engage seniors on a dedicated portal by al- portunities for recreational, learning lowing for meaningful and largely self-organ- and community activities ised activities with own contributions26
  • Problems & target group addressed Web 2.0 supported intervention and inten- ded impactTRIO Retention of adults in vocational train- Provide a regional portal with e-learning ing and lifelong learning courses and communication features that help counter learner drop-out and improve retentionWeb in the Strengthening deprived communities Blended approach of physical meeting placesHood through e-skilling and community-fo- for socialising and online activities for com- cused activities of adults munity members aimed to encourage people to care for each other and form stronger community ties.XenoCLIPse Strengthen ethnic minorities and mi- Support media production and presentation grant communities by encouraging of young people from the target communit- young people to produce their own ies potentially opening up careers in media media images of their culture organisations Table 8: Overview of the intervention concepts 3.3 Important aspects of the intervention concepts Problems addressed At the most general level, the core problem is social inclusion that requires active parti- cipation of the target groups addressed. More specifically, lack of engagement in educa- tion, vocational training and lifelong learning of people in all age groups is seen as a prime target for intervention. The majority of the case studies addressed this area. Clearly, an inclusive knowledge so- ciety cannot be realised if many people do not acquire the necessary e-skills and voca- tional experiences needed for employability and participation in social and economic life. Additionally, there is a vital need for better counselling services to help people in crisis situations, as well as services offering valuable careers advice. These issues are ad- dressed by some of the projects (e.g. Cyberhus, ICONET, Mixopolis and MOSEP). There are also several projects that respond to the demand for innovative approaches that challenge established ways of providing public services. This includes Schome Park, which aims to develop a new educational format, and Breakout, which tested new methods in crime prevention and offender rehabilitation services. Target groups addressed The major intervention targets are a range of social groups that are understood as “hard to reach” and comprise unemployed low-skilled adults, young people “at risk” that should be re-engaged in learning, and ethnic minorities and migrant communities lack- ing social inclusion and participation. There is a strong focus on social groups in deprived (urban) communities. Young people are seen as a priority group because of their potential to play a role in strengthening 27
  • their communities. They may become role models, encouraging others to respect ethnic minorities and migrant communities, and serve as a voice for their culture and interests. A particular focus of projects in this field is to recruit and train talented young people for a career in the creative industries (e.g. FreqOUT!, Roots & Routes, XenoCLIPse). Other particular intervention targets are children, students and adults with disabilities or medical conditions (e.g. ALPEUNED, Assistive Technology Wiki, EduCoRe, Mundo de Estrellas). Intervention approaches Most projects employ a “blended” approach, which is adapted for different target groups and interventions: At the base level there are interventions that primarily aim to overcome barriers to so- cial inclusion and learning, and additionally support development of basic e-skills and promote activities on the Web (e.g. Conecta Joven and Web in Hood). A special case is Notschool, an initiative which has developed a whole system for re-en- gaging school drop-outs in learning, allowing for: self-directed learning without fear of failure or pressure to achieve; connecting with a supportive community (peers, tutors and other community members) and securing formal accreditation and certification of educational achievement. Interventions that focus on young peoples’ talents and skills enable the acquisition of skills in creative production (workshops, summer schools, etc.), online social networking and presentation of products, potentially opening up a path towards a career in the cre- ative industries (e.g. FreqOUT!, Roots & Routes, XenoCLIPse). Furthermore, there are interventions which prepare teachers and vocational counsellors to use innovative tools for better assisting students in education and vocational orienta- tion and preparation, e.g. e-portfolios (MOSEP) or a method for validating informal vo- cational skills of students gained in extra-curricular experiences (ICONET). Also of note are examples of interventions that focus on teachers, students and parents to develop awareness and skills (e.g. story telling, conflict mediation) for overcoming so- cial exclusion (e.g. Avatar@School and Pinokio). Approaches that mainly or only use online activities can be found in the context of es- tablished online portals, for example, a distance learning university (ALPEUNED), an In- ternet-based upper secondary school (Nettilukio), a regional portal for vocational train- ing (TRIO), a career orientation portal for students (Mixopolis) or a platform for seniors (Seniorkom.at). Furthermore there are open or restricted community websites that implement Web 2.0 tools to allow more members to share ideas and collaborate on topics of interest (e.g. Assistive Technology Wiki, Cyberhus, Savvy Chavvy). In such cases the target groups are expected to already have sufficient e-skills for ac- cessing information, participating in activities, and communicating with peers or a coun- sellor.28
  • 4 WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES USED This section analyses what technologies, in particular, Web 2.0 tools have been used by the projects. The observations concern what platforms and specific tools are used and what similarities there are in terms of purpose, target groups and whether they use the same or different sets of Web 2.0 tools. The sections below are structured as follows, 1. provides general observations on how the projects are implemented and the range of Web 2.0 tools used; 2. presents a tabular overview of what project objectives were supported by which Web 2.0 tools; 3. discusses some patterns identified in the implementation and use of the tools. 4.1 General observations on technology implementation and use Often several tools have been used – most often communication and collaboration tools such as weblogs, wikis, forums, chat and podcasts. Media sharing platforms such as YouTube, flickr, slideshare are also an important ele- ment in many projects. Such tools and popular platforms are seldom combined with “classical” e-learning portals and course programs. The Moodle platform has been used by several of the projects; others used Drupal or a home-grown system (e.g. the social software inspired and highly user-friendly system of “Web in the Hood”). Social networking platforms were used by projects aimed at bringing together creative people from marginalised communities, e.g. Facebook by FreqOUT! and Ning by Savvy Chavvy. Projects also explored how to use virtual worlds, e.g. Second Life by Schome Park and OpenSim by Avatar@School. 29
  • 4.2 Tabular overview of tools and objectives Web 2.0 tools used Objective for which the technology has been used (and by whom) ALPEUNED Interactive forums on a distance learn- Support student peer counselling related to ing portal issues of disabled students (Spanish National University for Distance Learning - UNED) Assistive Wiki and media sharing on a Moodle Engage members of AbilityNet that focuses Technology platform; wiki related features in- on improving ICT for people with disabilities Wiki cluded Wetpaint, a „Wiki Weekly Di- (registered national charity, UK) gest“ e-mailed to members, a „Com- munity Spot-light“ introducing a mem- ber Avatar OpenSim virtual world with avatars for Trial a virtual learning approach for conflict @School role playing of students mediation in situations such as bullying and other social aggression (EU Socrates project) BREAKOUT Weblog, forum and podcasts function- Allow for communication among teachers, ality on a EU project website probation services, youth offending teams and others who work with young people at risk (EU Socrates project) Conecta Joven Weblog, forum, co-authoring and me- Offer 23 community support centres collab- dia sharing on a regional portal dedic- orative and blended learning opportunities ated to adult workplace and lifelong aimed to overcome “digital divide” (large- learning scale regional project in Catalonia, Spain) Cyberhus Several tools such as weblogs discus- Provide a save online club environment for sion forum, Q&A, instant messaging kids and teens including counselling by vo- clients and others, implemented on lunteers (non profit organisation) Drupal EduCoRe Weblogs, forum, wiki, implemented on Trial e-inclusion of people that suffer from Moodle physical disabilities after an accident or ill- ness; e.g. Weblog as learning diary, online collaboration and e-counselling (EU Gruntvig LLL project) FreqOUT! Uses a wide range of tools such as Support creativity projects with marginalised weblogs, social networking (Facebook young people (13-25 yrs) in deprived com- group), YouTube and other content munities (Vital Regeneration, UK, funded by production, sharing and presentation public grants and private sponsorships) tools HiStory Weblogs for writing, aggregating and Trial e-inclusion of senior people who tell commenting on personal stories their stories of personally experienced his- torical events and developments, promote inter-cultural/generational exchange (EU Lifelong Learning project)30
  • Web 2.0 tools used Objective for which the technology has been used (and by whom)ICONET Web 2.0 features in a train-the-trainer Trial vocational counselling tools aimed at tool, forums to share ideas and access documenting relevant vocational skills of material for counselling of students secondary general school students that are not covered in school leaving certificates (EU Leonardo project)Mixopolis Wiki, forums, weblogs, chat, poll, so- Portal for accompanying young people with cial bookmarking and other tools and migration background (but also others) in vo- functionality cational orientation and job finding (part of the German national “Schulen ans Netz” ini- tiative)MOSEP E-Portfolio software (Mahara), Wiki, Train teachers and vocational counsellors on video podcasts e-portfolio work with students who prepare the next phase of their education or a voca- tional career (EU Leonardo project)Mundo Personal Learning Environment, inter- Support learning and well-being of school-de Estrellas active forums, online games and other age children in 32 public health service hos- features pitals in Andalusia (Spain) since 2000Nettilukio Learning management system with vir- Allow students and adults who cannot parti- tual classroom technology, wikis, for- cipate in the regular school system to gain an ums, weblogs, Skype; recently a virtual upper secondary school diploma (start fund- conference room for remote participa- ing by ESF, national funding for regular oper- tion in a classroom at Otava Folk High ation) School has been addedNotschool A range of tools such as weblogs, Work with young people who have become “MySpace” functions (notes, book- disaffected in traditional school environ- marking, etc.), podcasting; implemen- ments or excluded by behaviour or circum- ted on First Class plat-form; parti- stances from school (UK DfES funded-pro- cipants also received an iMac com- ject) puter and a printer (also access to di- gital media equipment) and internet access at homePinokio Weblogs, ebooks, podcasts, slide-share Promote intercultural dialogue against social and other tools for producing and exclusion of immigrants involving pre-school sharing stories and primary school children, teachers and parents (EU Comenius project)rePlay 3D game environment for learning Develop and trial a game platform for social situations aimed to prevent anti-social (re-)integration of marginalised young behaviour people, meant to be used by secondary schools in deprived areas and centres for young offenders (EU FP7-ICT project) 31
  • Web 2.0 tools used Objective for which the technology has been used (and by whom) Roots Weblogs, social networking and multi- Engage marginalised young people between & media sharing tools; the web tools 15 to 25 in creative activities, bring them in Routes were used in combination with voca- contact with professionals from the arts and tional internships, summer schools and creative sector, and pave a route towards other face-to-face learning opportunit- further learning and career development (EU ies Leonardo project) Savvy Chavvy Social networking (Ning based com- Provide young people from the Gypsy com- munity), weblogs, discussion forums, munity with a safe place to share stories, podcasting and video sharing (via You- podcasts and blogs about their culture (fun- Tube/Blip.tv); leaders from the online ded and promoted by On Road Media, UK, community were trained to adminis- based on School for Social Entrepreneurs trate and moderate the site and Unltd awards) Schome Park Second Life virtual world, wiki, web- Explore new educational possibilities of co- logs, forums, media-sharing (YouTube, learning and peer mentoring in an inclusive blip.tv, Flickr) community; participants were young people aged 13-17 with difficulties in mainstream schooling (Open University project, UK – fun- ded by the National Association for Gifted and Talented Youth, the Innovation Unit, Becta) Seniorkom.at Portal with a broad range of function- Engage senior people in recreational, learn- ality from weblogs to web radio, and ing and community activities such as contrib- ensuring easy access to features and uting content (articles, photos, videos), keep- content ing a diary, participate in forums and chats, games, etc. and offering news and advice on special themes (funded and promoted by several Austrian senior organisations and media, software and communications pro- viders) TRIO Forums and wiki on a Moodle based Lower school drop-out rates and increase platform offering e-learning courses learner retention through a vocational train- ing portal by allowing communication among learners and tutors (portal funded and man- aged by the Administration of the Region of Tuscany) Web in the Web toolbox with which people can Provide e-skills training for adults and help Hood create their own website in ‘4 clicks’ them create their own web pages aimed at and then develop their profile, use a promoting social inclusion in the neighbour- logbook, add content, etc.; there is hood; “animators” connect the people be- also a module for starting an activity hind the websites (funded by the Commissie and inviting people to join dag indeling [NL], Oranje Fonds, EQUAL-ESF)32
  • Web 2.0 tools used Objective for which the technology has been used (and by whom)XenoCLIPse Online course and hands-on training in Empower and make visible interests of eth- video clip creation; the videos were nic minority and migrant communities and made accessible online and a special promote media careers of students from Web 2.0 element was a geo-referenced these communities (EU eLearning project) directory for people interested in reaching clip producers (e.g. journal- ists, media companies) Table 9: Overview of tools and objectives 4.3 Patterns of technology implementation and use Use of Web 2.0 tools and features on existing institutional platforms The majority of the projects use Web 2.0 tools in the context of EU projects (e.g. EU Le- onardo, Socrates and other) and have set up a dedicated project website. Yet there are also a number of initiatives that use Web 2.0 tools and features on existing institutional platforms, e.g. ALPEUNED, Assistive Technology Wiki, Cyberhus, Mundo de Estrellas, Nettilukio, Seniorkom.at, TRIO. The fact that a platform is already implemented can be an advantage or a hindrance to the full use of a Web 2.0 approach. Open platforms with Web 2.0 tool modules (e.g. Drupal, Moodle and others) ease the setup, customization and interoperability of tools. Other platforms may considerably limit what tools a project can use (and in which ways) and, even, impede a Web 2.0 approach. An illustrative case is Cyberhus, which in 2009 changed to a flexible platform (Drupal) and, as their project manger reported, “saw an explosion in use of our forums and ques- tion and answers columns”. Another example may be TRIO: Managed by the Administration of the Region of Tuscany this platform has offered traditional e-learning courses since 1998. TRIO has over 120,000 registered users and provides thousands of hours training each month. TRIO re- cently moved from a proprietary system to Moodle and implemented forums and wikis. Do similar projects use the same set of Web 2.0 tools? We tried to identify if projects that are similar in terms of purpose and target groups use the same set of Web 2.0 tools. The answer for our sample of projects is “no”. It is more the case that a core set of tools is used by very different projects, although most of the projects want to engage and support people in community building. The core set of tools comprises weblogs, wikis, forums/chat and is used by projects with purposes and target groups as diverse as e-inclusion of people that suffer from physical disabilities (EduCoRe), support of young people with a migration background in voca- tional advice and finding a job (Mixopolis) and online engagement of seniors (Seni- orkom.at). 33
  • Use of one core tool A couple of projects illustrate that simple tools, as well as more advanced environments, may be used as the core tool: For example, HiStory used Weblogs to engage seniors in history telling; ALPEUNED im- plemented a dedicated forum on their distance learning portal to support student peer counselling related to issues of disabled students. Among the advanced environments are an OpenSim virtual world with avatars for role playing of students used by Avatar@School, and a 3D game environment developed and trialled by rePlay for purposes such as re-education programmes in centres for young of- fenders. “Low tech with high touch” Among the outstanding examples are uses of “low tech” (yet still state-of-the-art) tools such as weblogs, social bookmarking and slideshare. For example, Notschool’s success at re-engaging teens in education or Pinokio’s success at engaging kids and parents to work on themes related to the social exclusion of immigrants.34
  • 5 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND LESSONS LEARNED The projects studied encountered a number of problems and learned some interesting lessons that are of interest to other Web 2.0 based e-learning and e-inclusion initiatives. The sections below present and discuss these problems and lessons learned. They are structured as follows: 1. provides general observations on major issues faced by the projects; 2. presents a tabular overview of the main problems and lessons learned; 3. summarises and illustrates the main problem areas and lessons learned. 5.1 Observations on major issues faced by the projects Organisational cultures: The most fundamental issues have to do with organisational cultures. Projects may face resistance by such cultures to use Web 2.0 communication and collaboration tools. Often a change in mindsets and practices would be necessary in order for Web 2.0 approaches to be successful and beneficial. User needs & requirements: Identifying and meeting the needs & requirements of the target groups is one of the key success factors. Some cases that used Web 2.0 tools for e- inclusion were seemingly unable to properly identify and address them until later phases of the project. Level of participation: Some projects did not reach the expected level of participation of target groups. Sometimes, project managers had higher expectations about the active participation of the users of a portal or community website. In some cases high motiva- tion and self-organisation of participants can drive an online community, others need moderation by skilled community managers. Measuring learning gains and securing formal certification: Projects that use Web 2.0 approaches usually imply that students have more freedom than in a traditional learn- ing environment. However, there are considerable issues with regards to assessment and formal recognition of learning outcomes. Project-to-project work with difficult to reach communities: A number of cases demon- strate critical issues with regards to sustainability and impact of initiatives that work with hard to reach social groups under the pressure of sourcing and maintaining funding Working with socially excluded groups: Successful work with social groups such as ethnic minorities and migrants requires buy-in and self-organisation of leading members of the excluded groups. Availability of ICT: Last but not least, there are issues relating to out-dated ICT in some places (e.g. schools), lack of access to ICT by people in deprived areas, and the need for more adaptable and easy-to-use tools. 5.2 Tabular overview of problems encountered and lessons learned The tabular overview below notes the specific context and focus of each project (e.g. EU project focused on particular objectives, regional e-skills initiative, etc.), and summar- ises the Web 2.0 elements, the main problems encountered and most important lessons learned by each project. 35
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learned ALPEUNED Initiative of the Spanish National Uni- Web 2.0 elements: The university implemen- versity for Distance Learning (UNED) ted interactive forums on the distance learn- aimed at supporting peer counselling ing portal to allow for peer communication of students with disabilities and counselling. Problems: Student motivation and engage- ment was felt to be low. Only 482 disabled students out of a total of 4026 enrolled were interested and visited forums. Lessons learned: There was much „chatting“ (e.g. about the university administration) which was not moderated and channelled towards productive ends. Assistive Membership organisation (registered Web 2.0 elements: The organisation imple- Technology national charity, UK) that aims to im- mented a wiki and media sharing to allow for Wiki prove ICT for people with disabilities active online participation of more members. and supports e-learning opportunities Problems: The level of participation was for disabled adults and children much lower than expected, most content was generated by only a few members. Lessons learned: Web 2.0 applications do not necessarily drive participation. Diverse in- terests of different potential users must be taken into account and their needs and re- quirements addressed thoroughly. Avatar EU Socrates project focused on conflict Web 2.0 elements: An OpenSim virtual world @School mediation in situations such as bullying with avatars was used as a safe place for pu- and other forms of social exclusion pils to role-play in conflict situations and learn about how to communicate in and me- diate such situations. Problems: Some technical problems in schools that lacked up-to-date computers or had restrictions due to internet firewalls or filters. Lessons learned: An application such as Avatar@School should be used as part of a wider social integration strategy.36
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learnedBREAKOUT EU Socrates project focused on crime Web 2.0 element: The project used applica- prevention and offender rehabilitation tions such as weblogs, forums and podcasts to promote communication among students at risk, teachers, probation services and youth offending teams. Problems: Resistance of organisational cul- tures to adopt the project approach („action learning“) – lack of sufficient participation on the collaboration platform. Lessons learned: Established practices of hierarchic organisations are difficult to over- come. Yet, Web 2.0 applications can provide an environment for students at risk that is external to their normal patterns and vehicles of social interaction and they may engage in a self-help support culture.Conecta Joven Large regional project in Catalonia Web 2.0 elements: The project provides aimed at e-inclusion of marginalised hands-on ICT training and blended learning social groups involving 23 community opportunities with Web 2.0 features. support centres focused on adult Problems: Difficulty of attracting funding to workplace and lifelong learning secure sustainability and potential extension of the activities to other localities. Lessons learned: The key success factor of the project is voluntary participation of young trainers and motivators and continuity of their work on the local level.Cyberhus Non profit organisation that provides a Web 2.0 elements: The online environment safe online club environment for kids offers a wide range of tools such as weblogs, and teens including counselling by vo- discussion forum, instant messaging and oth- lunteers ers. Problems: Good online counselling (e.g. on how to face problems in school) required better and different interaction tools. Lessons learned: Implementation of a flex- ible platform and tool set allowed enriching the interaction with the youngsters. 37
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learned EduCoRe EU Gruntvig project focused on people Web 2.0 elements: A set of Web 2.0 tools that suffer from physical disabilities (e.g. blog, wiki, forum) allowed a blended after an accident or illness that training and counselling approach for people threaten their employability and parti- in the physical rehabilitation process (hospit- cipation in society al, rehabilitation centre, home). Problems: Initial training content and setting was not appropriate for patients with physic- al disabilities; some scepticism amongst medical staff. Lessons learned: User needs & requirements must be analysed thoroughly and organisa- tional contexts fully taken into account. FreqOUT! Initiative managed by the independent Web 2.0 elements: Use of several tools for charity Vital Regeneration that works communication, social networking and con- with deprived communities in bor- tent sharing and presentation. oughs in London (funded by public Problems: Project-by-project based work grants and private sponsorships) with hard to reach social groups under the pressure of funding programmes. For ex- ample, longer intervention is often needed to reach, train and engage creative people from deprived communities. Lessons learned: Strong barriers to learning require differentiated methods of involve- ment; importance of demonstrating impact to sponsors and mainstreaming of successful projects. HiStory EU Lifelong Learning project focused Web 2.0 elements: Primarily weblogs for on e-inclusion of senior people who writing, aggregating and commenting on tell their stories of personally experi- personal stories. enced historical events and develop- Problems: Some reluctance of seniors to ments commit to personal contributions with ICT; difficult to customise tools (e.g. multilingual- ity). Lessons learned: Good guidance and support is necessary, e.g. workshops with seniors to explain the project approach, step-by-step guide on how to use tools.38
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learnedICONET EU Leonardo project aimed to develop Web 2.0 elements: Web 2.0 features in a and promote tools for evaluation of in- train-the-trainer tool, forums to share ideas formal vocational skills of students and experiences. gained in extra-curricular experiences Problems: Scepticism about adoption of the interview and validation tools in routine practice. Lessons learned: Adoption of the tools and recognition of validated informal skills by po- tential employers will require changes in mindsets and practices.Mixopolis Portal of the German national Schulen Web 2.0 elements: Portal with several com- ans Netz initiative that wants to ac- munication and networking tools (e.g. wiki, company young people with migration forum, poll, social bookmarking). background (but also others) in voca- Problems: Attracting and retaining users tional advice and finding a job. from the target groups. Lessons learned: Need to systematically in- volve third parties and multipliers such as schools, migrant organisations, youth centres and others.MOSEP EU Leonardo project focused on teach- Web 2.0 elements: E-Portfolio software (Ma- ers and vocational counsellors working hara), Wiki and video podcasts for train-the- with students who prepare the next trainer approach. phase of their education or a vocation- Problems: Different educational cultures and al career requirements of participating institutions, tu- tors and learners necessitated developing a broad picture of possible e-portfolio uses, processes and outcomes. Lessons learned: E-portfolio adoption re- quires promoting a collaborative teacher role and a change in institutional mindsets and practices.Mundo 32 public health service hospitals in Web 2.0 elements: Personal Learning Envir-de Estrellas Andalusia that since 2000 provide ICT onment with access to forums, online games to school-age children to allow for and tools for sharing of experiences. learning, social community and well- Problems: Mainly technical issues and in- being creasing expectations of users of online fea- tures, i.e. upgrade infrastructure to provide new applications, services and a wider range of content. Lessons learned: A well-balanced platform offering (i.e. learning, community and recre- ation), integration within hospital environ- ment, and engagement of families and carers must be achieved. 39
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learned Nettilukio The Internet Upper Secondary School Web 2.0 elements: Virtual classroom and (Finland) that allows people with diffi- conferencing, wikis, forums, weblogs (incl. culties to attend a regular school cur- personal learning portfolio and diary). riculum to gain a school diploma (start Problems: Some initial problems with the vir- funding by ESF, national funding for tual classroom and conferencing technology regular operation) (loading time, communication features, etc.). Lessons learned: Importance of finding a good balance between self-directed learning and communication with tutors, peers and the wider school community in order to stay in contact and encourage the learners. Notschool UK DfES funded-project aimed to re- Web 2.0 elements: Several tools for virtual engage young people who have be- presence, enhancing basic skills and allowing come disaffected in traditional school for social community (tutors, peers and oth- environments or excluded from school er community members). due to behaviour or other circum- Problems: Intermediaries between home stances; involves some 500 young and school must be dedicated to following people each year innovative and unconventional methods. Ini- tial difficulties in assessing measurable learn- ing gains and securing formal certification. Lessons learned: Disengaged students per- form better when taken out of a standards- driven school environment, as there is no fear of failure or pressure to achieve. A con- structivist approach with personalised, self- directed and community-supported learning empowers learners and removes many of the barriers to learning. Pinokio EU Comenius project involving pre- Web 2.0 elements: Weblogs, ebooks, slide- school and primary school children, share and other tools for producing and teachers and parents to promote inter- sharing stories. cultural dialogue against social exclu- Problems: Promoting co-creation in a school sion of immigrants environment where traditionally the teacher is expected to mediate content and assess learning achievements. Lessons learned: Combining traditional story telling (fables) with new media provides fer- tile ground for pedagogical innovation, e.g. co-creation of narratives allows for discuss- ing and better understanding of processes such as social exclusion.40
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learnedrePlay EU FP7-ICT project that develops and Web 2.0 elements: Social interaction mainly trials a game platform for social (re-) within the game and face-to-face with ther- integration of marginalised young apist, teacher or social worker, however, on- people, meant to be used by schools in line applications such as a discussion forum deprived areas and re-education pro- may be integrated. grammes in centres for young offend- Problems: Some initial problems were tech- ers nical robustness and design for boys and girls; possible difficulty to achieve market take-up. Lessons learned: Need for high flexibility of the learning environment, e.g. different user profiles and con-tent related to specific pre- ventive and intervention programs.Roots EU Leonardo project aimed to engage Web 2.0 elements: Weblogs, social network-& marginalised young people between ing and multi-media sharing tools supple-Routes 15 to 25 in creative activities, bring ment and build upon vocational internships, them in contact with professionals summer schools and other face-to-face from the arts and creative sector, and learning opportunities. pave a route towards further learning Problems: Engaging the target groups and and career development establishing close connections with vocation- al training centres and the professional world of cultural and creative production. Lessons learned: Success requires high visib- ility (branding), ambassadors and multipliers in the communities, and role models for the talented young people.Savvy Chavvy Initiative of On Road Media (UK) that Web 2.0 elements: Social networking (Ning), provides young people from the Gypsy discussion forums and media sharing tools community with a safe place to share (e.g. YouTube); leaders from the social com- stories, podcasts and blogs about their munity administrate and moderate the site. culture (funded by School for Social Problems: Initial lack of interest and buy-in Entrepreneurs and UnLtd awards) by the target community that had faced ra- cism and exclusion on other social network- ing platforms. Lessons learned: Importance of gaining cred- ibility and trust, finding community ‘champi- ons’, ownership and moderation of the regis- tration-based social networking environment by the community. 41
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learned Schome Park Open University UK project that ex- Web 2.0 elements: Second Life virtual world plored new educational possibilities of with several communication and media-shar- co-learning and peer mentoring in an ing features. inclusive community; participants were Problems: Lack of fast internet access and e- young people aged 13-17 with diffi- skills by some members of the target group; culties in mainstream schooling (fun- educational staff asked for more direction ded by NAGTY, The Innovation Unit, (e.g. clearer alignment to curriculum) and Becta) technical support; difficult to monitor and assess learning progress and outcomes. Lessons learned: Open learning models chal- lenge traditional school settings, in particu- lar, teacher-student roles and assessment of learning outcomes. Teachers are likely to fear loosing control and need pedagogical as well technical training to develop collaborative e- learning skills. Seniorkom.at National portal for engaging senior Web 2.0 elements: Portal with a broad range people in a broad range of recreation- of functionality from weblogs to web radio, al, learning and community activities also taking care of easy and barrier-free ac- (funded and promoted by several Aus- cess to features and content trian senior organisations and media, Problems: Providing, marketing and main- software and communications pro- taining many opportunities for e-participa- viders) tion. Keeping the high-level of support by promoters and sponsors. Lessons learned: Strong motivation from, and self-organisation by, the user community is key („a web-site of seniors for seniors“). TRIO Regional vocational training portal fun- Web 2.0 elements: Moodle based platform ded and managed by the Administra- offering e-learning courses with additional tion of the Region of Tuscany features such as forums and wikis. Problems: Constant concerns are learner drop-out and retention rates in vocational training and lifelong learning. Lessons learned: Communication and collab- oration features have been implemented, yet they are more frequently used among tutors. The learners must be motivated and skilled in using the tools as part of the curriculum.42
  • Context / focus Web 2.0 elements / main problems en- countered / most important lessons learnedWeb in the E-skills training and community build- Web 2.0 elements: A web toolbox that al-Hood ing initiative for adults in deprived lows easy creation and enrichment of user communities in the Netherlands fun- websites and communication (e.g. a module ded by the Commissie dag indeling, Or- for starting an activity and inviting people to anje Fonds, EQUAL-ESF join). Problems: Social community workers are not necessarily interested in ICT for their clients; also the approach to address all (not only marginalised people) and encourage people to care for each other was much harder to implement than the initiators thought. Lessons learned: The core of the initiative is the „blended“ approach with physical meet- ing places for socialising and exchanging ideas as well as the online community. The idea that the participants could eventually organise and manage Web in the Hood themselves has not yet been realised. A pro- fessional “animator” is still very important to drive participation.XenoCLIPse EU eLearning project aimed to em- Web 2.0 elements: Video clips created by the power and make visible interests of participants are presented online and a Web minority and migrants communities 2.0 based directory is offered for people in- and promote media work/careers of terested in reaching the producers (e.g. students from these communities journalists, media companies). Problems: Facilitating access to digital pro- duction tools and development of media skills and products is only the first step. Lessons learned: Involvement of mainstream media organizations and associations is ne- cessary so that community empowerment has societal impact. Table 10: Overview of problems encountered and lessons learned 5.3 Discussion of the main problem areas and lessons learned Below we summarise main problem areas of, and lessons learned by, the projects. Selec- ted examples illustrate critical issues. Many lessons learned about success factors may be transferable to other projects contexts. Resistant organisational cultures The majority of case studies present projects that involved individual or a group of or- ganisations from the educational sector, i.e. schools, universities, vocational and adult & lifelong learning centres. Other projects involved rather different organisational cul- tures, for example, social workers (Web in the Hood), offending and drugs services (Breakout), hospitals and physical rehabilitation centres (EduCoRe). 43
  • Some of the projects had to face reactions by the organisational cultures that ranged from active resistance (e.g. against using collaboration tools) to a moderate, and prob- ably realistic, degree of scepticism by the professional staff (e.g. about usefulness of the results in routine practice). The strongest resistance was felt in the Breakout project, which involved organisations that are focused on crime prevention and offender rehabilitation. For example, there were tensions between and within professional groups because of „territorial boundar- ies“, hierarchy and competition among units. This contributed to a lack of sufficient commitment and participation in the project’s „action learning” approach. The need to instigate change in organisational thinking and practice was also experi- enced by the Notschool initiative, where intermediaries between the young people and the project team had to commit to following innovative and unconventional methods. A less obvious example is Web in the Hood, which challenged current social work prac- tices (at least in the Netherlands). It could be expected that social work organisations would be very positive about an initiative aimed at increasing e-skills and Web activity of members of deprived communities. However, the experience of this project demon- strates that this is not always the case, or at least not always a priority. Most import- antly, Web in the Hood took a different approach to the dominant paradigm. While pro- fessional social workers mainly focus on marginalised people, the Web in the Hood ad- dressed everybody and aimed to foster a sense of community spirit and encourage people to care for each other (Kuiper, 2007). Projects that involved educational organisations, e.g. schools, distance learning uni- versities and vocational training platforms also identified issues of organisational cul- ture. Those issues relate to the open educational approaches for which Web 2.0 environ- ments and tools were used. Open learning models challenge traditional school settings, in particular, teacher-student roles and assessment of learning outcomes. A good example is Schome Park, which used a Second Life virtual world to explore new educational possibilities of co-learning and peer mentoring in an inclusive community. Some staff members and students found it difficult to re-imagine teacher-student roles and how education is delivered. Teachers asked for more coordination and pedagogical and technical support. The need to promote a collaborative and co-creative teacher role not only to teachers but also to students, parents and other stakeholders was also expressed in projects which experienced “no resistance”. For example, in the Pinokio project, which involved primary schools that establish a rather traditional image of the teacher. It should be clear that in the school environment, projects often face problems that are associated with timetabling and additional burdens of staff. School staff working under pressure with time constraints are very likely to see new projects as a nuisance rather than a potential benefit. Key lessons learned: Projects involving organisations such as offending and drugs ser- vices may have to cope with considerable resistance by organisational culture and ten- sions because of professional rivalry, competition for resources, disciplinary differences and disputes.44
  • Introducing an online collaboration platform will very likely have no impact on their or-ganisational culture and practices; only little use of such platforms can be expected.In order to promote unconventional approaches and methods, ingrained paradigms ofprofessional communities must be identified and addressed, whether from medicalstaff, social workers or teachers.Open educational approaches that use Web 2.0 environments and tools will challengetraditional school settings and teacher-student roles, encouraging much-neededchange. Teachers are likely to fear loosing control and need pedagogical as well as tech-nical training to develop collaborative e-learning skills.Measuring learning gains and securing formal certificationSome of the projects had to deal with issues of measuring learning gains (e.g. to demon-strate impact) and of securing formal certification of outcomes. These issues are closelyrelated to the objectives of educational institutions and their core role of providing cer-tified qualifications.ICONET developed and promoted procedures and tools that enable validation of relev-ant vocational skills gained by students during extra-curricular experiences. The projectfocused on teachers in secondary general schools and careers counsellors. There re-mained some scepticism about the impact on routine practices, i.e. wider adoption anduse of the interview and validation tools. Recognition of learners’ informal skills by po-tential employers also seemed relatively uncertain, e.g. if the formal school leaving cer-tificate was not convincing.Schome Park found it difficult to identify progress in learning in the Second Life virtualworld, because the explorative and communicative methods allowed students muchmore freedom than a traditional learning environment. Teachers asked for more direc-tion (e.g. clearer alignment to curriculum) and worried about how to assess learningoutcomes.Notschool also experienced initial difficulties in assessing measurable learning gains andsecure formal accreditation. Yet these difficulties could be overcome by developing ascheme of point scoring qualifications that enable initiatives to award certificates recog-nised by a national awarding body.Key lessons learned: Projects that use Web 2.0 approaches must address the issue ofhow to assess learning progress and outcomes. As such, projects are often considered tobe pilots, with the expectation that some of the experiences are transferable intoroutine practice. Yet such practices will not flourish if alignment with curriculum goals ismissing, or cannot be adequately assessed.Measuring learning gains is also important in contexts other than formal educational in-stitutions such as social inclusion programmes for deprived communities or social workwith talented young people from migrant and ethnic minority groups. While formal cer-tification may not be an issue in such cases, demonstrating some form of impact usuallyis (e.g. re-engagement in learning, presentation of creative products, etc.).Active participation of target groupsSome projects found it difficult to reach the expected level of participation by their tar-get groups. 45
  • In the ALPEUNED project, the Spanish National University for Distance Learning (UNED) implemented forums for disabled students to allow for peer communication and coun- selling. Yet there was a lack of student motivation, only 482 disabled students out of a total of 4026 enrolled visited a forum. There was much „chatting“ which was not moder- ated and channelled towards productive ends. As the communication also included is- sues concerning the university administration the “chatting” may also have been unwel- come and a potential threat of community lobbying. AbilityNet implemented Assistive Technology Wiki to allow for active online participa- tion of more members, but the level of participation was rather low; most content was generated by only a few members. TRIO, the regional vocational training portal of the Region of Tuscany implemented com- munication and collaboration features to counter learner drop-out and increase reten- tion. Yet the features were more frequently used among tutors than students. Mixopolis, a portal of the German national Schulen ans Netz initiative that wants to ac- company young people with migration background (but also others) in vocational ori- entation and job finding also found it difficult to attract and retain the target group in an online community. Seniorkom.at seems to fare much better by not only providing seniors with a broad range of Web 2.0 functionality but motivating and empowering them to self-organise. HiStory faced some reluctance by seniors to commit to personal contributions with ICT, which could be overcome by offering workshops to explain the project approach and how to use tools. Sometimes project managers have too high expectations of active participation by the users of a portal or community website. According to the widely accepted 90-9-1 rule for user participation in online communities, 90% of users do not contribute at all, 9% from time to time, and 1% a lot and account for most contributions. Important is to re- tain and motivate the 9%, and probably more, of occasional contributors (Nielson, 2006). This may to the “stickiness” of a website. Some further issues in community participation that relate to the special situation of working with groups such as ethnic minorities are addressed in a separate section be- low. Key lessons learned: Web 2.0 applications per se do not necessarily drive participation and communication among members of the target community. Existing diverse interests of different potential users must be identified and taken into account and the particular needs and requirements of the users addressed thoroughly. According to the project objectives, third parties and multipliers such as schools, cultur- al organisations, community and youth centres must be involved systematically. Strong motivation and empowerment of users may help to achieve self-organisation, “stickiness” and growth of an online social community. In most cases, however, support by dedicated “community managers” will be needed. Web 2.0 applications invite “chatting”. This can be a starting point of peer communica- tion and community building, but often there is need of moderation and channelling the communication towards productive ends. Unwelcome and threatening contributions must be dealt with seriously.46
  • User needs and requirementsUser needs and requirements must be analysed thoroughly. Some cases seemingly wereunable to identify and address them until later phases of the project.EduCoRe worked with people in the physical rehabilitation process (hospital, rehabilita-tion centre, home) and experienced that the initial training content and setting was notappropriate for the patients.Mundo de Estrellas seems to have achieved a well-balanced offering of tools and ser-vices for learning, community and recreation of children, integration within hospital en-vironment, and engagement of families and carers only after some trial and error.Online learning and inclusion programmes using Web 2.0 tools and methods will oftenhave to cope with lack of digital literacy of participants young and old. (cf. Breakout,Conecta Jovens, HiStory, Web in the Hood and others).Initial lack of e-skills in any case necessitates a “blended approach”, which also musttackle other barriers to learning and convince people that it is worth the effort.For example, Web in the Hood found that quite some time of their „animators“ is neces-sary to convince people that they can make websites that support their own activitiesand are beneficial in their daily life.Young people “at risk” in the first place need a web of supportive social relationshipsthey accept and Web 2.0 approaches may provide elements of such as web.Breakout experienced that young people „at risk“ are unlikely to consult public services(e.g. drug misuse prevention), but a Web 2.0 environment may allow for providing a“self-help support culture” that is external to their normal patterns and vehicles of so-cial interaction.Notschool proved that a constructivist approach with personalised, self-directed andcommunity-supported methods can empower learners and remove many of the barriersto learning.Cyberhus found that providing more and better online counselling (e.g. on how to faceproblems in school) required a Web 2.0 environment for rich input by, and interactionwith, the youngsters.Key lessons learned: Identifying and meeting the needs and requirements of the targetgroups is one of the key success factors of projects that use Web 2.0 tools for e-inclusionand learning. The tools as such are not a panacea.The organisational frameworks and working conditions of organisations such as hospit-als, offending and drugs services, schools and other institutions of formal educationmust be taken into account. Such organisations and their staff have their own needs andrequirements.Initial lack of e-skills always requires a “blended approach”. In the first place barriers tolearning must be addressed and people convinced that engagement in learning and so-cial activity on the Web is worth the effort.If there are already some e-skills, they may still vary considerably (level, selectivity, toolsused) because of differences in social background and cognitive factors such as learningstyles. Use of a peer mentoring approach can drive learning gains as well as communitybuilding. 47
  • Because Web 2.0 applications can be used to connect, communicate and co-create they are more likely to meet students’ needs and expectations of new tools and allow for constructivist pedagogical approaches. A constructivist approach with personalised, self-directed and community-supported learning can remove many of the barriers to learning people young and old experience with formal educational settings. Project-to-project work with hard to reach communities Some projects found it difficult to secure continuous funding to allow for sustainability and potential extension of the activities to other social groups and localities. These are projects that work with deprived communities and are funded by regional agencies, city councils, foundations and individual private sponsors. Conecta Joven focuses on e-inclusion of adults in 23 Catalan community support centres. Young people are trained and then serve as trainers and motivators for the adults. The success of the initiative largely depends on ensuring continuity of the work of the trainers and motivators on the local level. Roots & Routes works with talented young people from deprived communities in the city area of Rotterdam and received funding by the city’s Art and Culture Service and EU Culture and Leonardo da Vinci programmes. The work follows a mixed approach that combines vocational internships, summer schools, etc. with Web 2.0 elements. Sustain- ability and impact depends on many factors, in particular, role models of success as mo- tivation for the target communities, participating organisations and funding bodies and sponsors. FreqOUT! runs a similar project-to-project programme and experienced that funding re- gimes have significant impact: Small funding streams and strict output targets make it difficult to recruit and engage hard-to-reach groups, manage a number of fragmented projects that work with artists, cultural centres and funding sources, and demonstrate the impact of the programme with hard data. Savvy Chavvy provided young people from the Gypsy community with a safe place on- line to share experiences and creative expressions. The project found it difficult to gain trust and buy-in by the target community. In order to prevent racism, the social net- working platform had to be restricted to legitimate users and leaders from the com- munity trained to administrate and moderate the site themselves. XenoCLIPse enabled members of ethnic minorities and migrant communities to produce and present online video clips about their culture. In order to get from community em- powerment through media skills to societal impact a strong involvement of mainstream media organizations and associations would be necessary. Key lessons learned: Funding schemes often lack awareness of the difficulties in devel- oping and sustaining skills development and social inclusion programmes. Longer inter- vention time and differentiated methods of involvement are necessary to reach, train and engage creative people from deprived communities. Projects with communities that have faced racism and social exclusion in the first place need to build trust and achieve buy-in by leading community members. Web 2.0 envir- onments for such communities require strict management to prevent racist attacks or48
  • being taken over by hardliners of the community that do not commit to the objectivesof the project.A series of projects that tend to fragment and become unmanageable needs evaluationand mainstreaming of successful approaches and methods.Regular collection of data on interventions and results over a longer period of time isnecessary to allow for demonstrating the impact of skills development and social inclu-sion programmes.A wider societal impact requires involvement of many organisations and businesses.Media and other organisations of the cultural and creative sector can play an importantrole as young people are often trained in skills for a job career in these sectors.Issues of technology access and flexibilitySeveral projects faced issues that had to do with technical infrastructure, implementa-tion of new tools and lack of sufficient technical support.The large-scale and long-term project Mundo de Estrellas found it difficult to upgradeICT infrastructure in the hospitals for providing new applications, services and a widerrange of content.Avatar@School reported some technical problems in schools that lacked up-to-datecomputers and because of internet firewalls or filters.Nettilukio had to overcome some problems with virtual classroom and conferencingtechnology.HiStory found it difficult to customize their weblogs to allow for multilingual interfacesand contributions.TRIO and Cyberhus needed to implement a more flexible platform to offer new tools forenriching the interaction between users and tutors or counsellors.Schome Park noted that in work with members of deprived communities availability ofstate-of-the-art computers and fast internet connection cannot be taken for granted.FreqOUT! reported about lack of state-of-the-art technical equipment and support inseveral of their projects because of low funding.Web in the Hood wanted to make it possible for everybody to create an own websitevery easily and developed a special web toolbox to achieve this goal.Breakout had to implement a hierarchical website structure in order to comply with de-mands of high security and confidentiality, but the interface, navigation and low inter-activity was felt to be off-putting by young participants.RePlay developed and trialled a high-tech game platform for simulating consequences ofoffending behaviour. The original plans for the Breakout project included using such in-teractive games, yet costs were found to be prohibitive.Avatar@School found that the students liked their OpenSim virtual world for role play-ing with avatars in social conflict situations, yet that the use of such technology shouldbe embedded in a wider social integration strategy. 49
  • Key lessons learned: Appropriateness of particular technical tools to the project pur- poses must be reflected and in most projects the use of ICT can be but one element, e.g. as part of a blended learning approach. Projects that target deprived communities must be aware of lack of ownership or access to state-of-the-art computers and fast internet connection in such communities. Web 2.0 projects that want to use a range of tools in an integrated and scalable manner may have to implement a robust and flexible platform. Hierarchical website structures with off-putting interfaces, navigation and low interactiv- ity or barriers such as internet firewalls or filters can get in the way of Web 2.0 ap- proaches. Large-scale and long-term projects will very likely face issues of technology obsoles- cence and increased user expectations of connectedness, interactivity and richness in media.50
  • 6 RECOMMENDATION FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS IN WEB 2.0 LEARNING AND SOCIAL INCLUSION The sections below provide recommendations on how to realise successful projects in Web 2.0 learning and social inclusion. The set of recommendations is not a comprehens- ive checklist of “to do’s” or meant as a project management tool. Rather the intention is to emphasise and make productive important lessons learned by a larger number of projects which used Web 2.0 tools and methods for promoting learn- ing and social inclusion of different groups of participants. Many of the projects focused on social inclusion by developing e-skills and Web-based activities as part of a blended approach. Not every e-learning project will have social in- clusion as a core objective, but will certainly benefit also from recommendations drawn from such e-inclusion projects. 6.1 Overcoming resistance of organisational cultures Expect facing resistance by organisational cultures to adopt a Web 2.0 approach of open collaborative practices. Dominant paradigms, mindsets and practices of many organisa- tional cultures, in particular, hierarchical and bureaucratic ones, will work against such an approach. Be prepared that among participants who are willing to participate there can be consid- erable tensions because of professional rivalry, competition for resources among units, disciplinary differences and disputes. Identify objectives and practices of the organisational cultures that could benefit partic- ularly from using Web 2.0 tools. Demonstrating tangible benefits may be the trigger to impact on and achieve some change in organisational cultures. Also secure support by important intermediaries (e.g. school directors or social workers) who should commit to following innovative and unconventional methods. 6.2 Meeting user needs and requirements in e-skilling & inclusion Identify properly the needs and requirements of the primary target groups of the pro- ject (e.g. students and teachers; young people “at risk” and their families). Meeting their needs and requirements is the most important criteria of success. Understand and take account of the specific organisational frameworks and working conditions of the involved organisations (e.g. hospital, probation service, school or voca- tional training centre). Such organisations and their staff have their own specific needs and requirements. Consider thoroughly the appropriateness of particular technologies to the project pur- poses. In most projects the use of ICT can be but one element, e.g. as part of a blended learning approach. Use a blended approach if there is an initial lack of e-skills by target groups and also oth- er barriers to participation must be overcome (e.g. lack of motivation and trust). Consider also differences in gender roles and patterns of behaviour in ethnic minorities and migrant communities that may determine levels of participation and learning styles. 51
  • Be aware that a project in a deprived community cannot expect ownership or access to state-of-the-art computers and fast internet connection by the target groups. Also ICT in schools and other places of learning may be out-dated. Thus appropriate access to ICT must be organised and secured for the duration of the project (and beyond). Be prepared that specific software, equipment for creative work, etc. may be needed and that tools may need to be customized (e.g. to allow for easy use, multilinguality, etc.). Re-evaluate the user needs and requirements in the course of the project. Some import- ant elements may have been overlooked or not fully addressed in the first phases of the project. 6.3 Promoting open Web 2.0 based educational practices in schools Be aware that open educational approaches that use Web 2.0 tools challenge the dom- inant paradigms and practices of schools, in particular, teacher-student roles. Help teachers re-envision and change their professional role from dispenser of subject- based knowledge to facilitator (coach, mentor) of students’ self-directed and collaborat- ive learning. Address the issue of how to monitor progress in learning and assess learning outcomes allowing for formal certification. Innovative educational practices will not flourish if alignment with curriculum goals is missing and learning outcomes cannot be adequately assessed. Be prepared that teachers will fear loosing control and need institutional commitment and appropriate pedagogical as well as technical support. Demonstrate to teachers how to facilitate successfully self-directed and collaborative learning of students. Also point out how the teachers can benefit new competences and skills they acquire themselves. Make sure that Web 2.0 initiatives are not left to individual teachers and that those who lead by example and share expertise are recognised appropriately. Provide boards and supervisors of educational institutions with suggestions on how to scrutinise whether an institution is employing Web 2.0 approaches. That teachers and students use weblogs, wikis or e-portfolios to document and communicate project res- ults may serve as a good indicator. 6.4 Using appropriate e-learning & inclusion methods Convince people that gaining e-skills and engaging in social activity on the Web is worth the effort (e.g. easier access to vital information and services, connect and learn togeth- er with peers, role models for job careers, etc.). Identify already available e-skills and other competences which may vary because of dif- ferences in social background, gender, and cognitive factors such as learning style. Combine face-to-face meetings of participants (e.g. workshops, summer schools, etc.) with Web presence and activity (e.g. Weblogs, social networking, media sharing on pop- ular platforms such as YouTube or Flickr).52
  • Use a peer mentoring approach that can drive learning as well as community building. Privilege constructivist approaches of self-directed and community-supported learning that can remove many of the barriers to learning people young and old experience with formal educational settings. Allow for relevant learning experiences, learning in which real world problems are ad- dressed, learners work collaboratively, and learning content and results are reflected critically. Suggest learners to use an e-portfolio or weblog for documenting and reflecting on learning progress and results as well as sharing creative work they are proud of.6.5 Driving participation on community websites Be aware that Web 2.0 applications per se do not drive participation and communica- tion among members of the target community. Provide for a robust and flexible technical platform particularly if several Web 2.0 tools should work in an integrated fashion and the environment capable to scale and respond to new demands in the future. Consider that different users groups will have diverse interests and want to use the web- site for different purposes. Do not nourish the notion of “build it and they will come”, rather expect to not immedi- ately achieve a high level of active participation of the envisaged target groups of the website. Gain trust and buy-in by leading members of the target user community. This is particu- larly important with communities that have faced severe social exclusion (e.g. ethnic minorities or migrant communities). Identify and involve people who are highly motivated to work on certain issues and help them to self-organise with Web 2.0 tools and achieve “stickiness” of the online com- munities. Empower website users to achieve something themselves and share experiences and own content. Websites that nourish a top-down approach of delivering content (e.g. learning material) typically show little growth in terms of user base and contribution. Provide or train online community managers that are skilled to identify topics of inter- est, understand online user behaviours, can engage users and moderate discussions. Moderate and channel discussions towards productive ends, e.g. mutual understanding of different concerns of participants, consensus about critical issues, etc.). Address un- welcome and threatening contributions seriously. Provide a safe place for communities that have faced severe social exclusion such as ra- cism. Such websites for social networking and sharing experiences require strict (self-) management and moderation to prevent unwelcome visitors or being taken over by hardliners of the community that do not commit to the objectives of the project. 53
  • 6.6 Securing sustainability and impact Make clear to policy makers that ICT supported learning and social inclusion allows people to develop competences that are necessary to participate successfully in the knowledge society. Expect that policy makers and funding agencies will lack an understanding of the diffi- culties in working with hard to reach target groups. Explain what such work demands and provide eye-opening examples of problem situations and how they might be over- come. Be prepared that small funding streams will make it difficult to develop and sustain a learning and social inclusion programme for such social groups. It may be hard to recruit and engage participants, longer intervention time and differentiated methods of in- volvement may be necessary, and strict output targets not met. Systematically identify and involve third parties and multipliers that are important for achieving the core project objectives. Consider that a wider societal impact requires the involvement of many organisations and businesses. Media and other organisations of the cultural and creative sectors can play an important role, as young people can be trained for careers in these sectors. Regularly collect data on interventions and results (e.g. re-engagement of people in vo- cational training, participation of talented young people in creative activities, media cov- erage, etc.) Identify and present role models of success as motivation for the target communities, participating organisations, funding bodies and sponsors. If undertaking a series of different projects that work with several supporting organisa- tions and different funding sources, observe if they become increasingly fragmented and unmanageable. Evaluate the projects and try to mainstream particularly successful approaches and methods.54
  • 7 THE CASE STUDIES AND THE LANDSCAPE OF LEARNING 2.0 FOR INCLUSION 7.1 Introduction In this section, we draw together the results of the profiling and analysis of the Links-up case studies in order to summarise their features and characteristics, and set these within the ‘landscape of Learning 2.0 for inclusion’. We re-visit the key dynamics and processes that have shaped this landscape and assess the extent to which the cases covered reflect these dynamics and processes. We consider the extent to which and in what ways the cases support the major policies in the field; the conceptual thinking around social inclusion and the needs of excluded groups. Against this background, we also re-visit the review of the ‘landscape’ of Learning 2.0 as portrayed in the Links-up Report on ‘Review of State of the Art’, which was carried out in work package 1 of the project, and discuss what further contribution the case study analysis has made to our understanding of this ‘landscape’ and what are the remaining ‘gaps’ in our knowledge. The case studies provided in this Report can be seen as ‘exemplars’ of a ‘landscape of Learning 2.0 for inclusion’. The whole description of each of the 24 cases is free available from the project website18. This landscape is embryonic and still-evolving. It represents different views on the causes of social exclusion and different positions on how exclu- sion can be addressed through the use of ICTs and particularly the use of ‘Web 2.0 for learning’. As noted in our previous review of the literature and research in the field, this ‘landscape’ of ‘Inclusive Learning 2.0’ in Europe is driven by four inter-connected dy- namics or drivers, as illustrated in the ‘inter-connectivity map’ show in Figure 1. These drivers are: | the policy fields shaping programmes and interventions in the domain; | conceptual and theoretical work in the field, mainly derived from the academic liter- ature and from research; | the ‘lifeworlds’ of excluded groups, which shapes their situation and needs; | the world of ‘communities of practice’ where programmes and interventions are de- livered to support excluded target groups.18 http://www.linksup.eu or directly available http://tinyurl.com/linksup-cases 55
  • Figure 1: Key drivers in the ‘landscape’ of Inclusive Learning 2.0 7.2 The policy context State of the art First we will present some policy figures: | 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed. | 3% of the EUs GDP should be invested in R&D. | The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the young- er generation should have a tertiary degree. | 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty. There are seven ‘flagship’ initiatives specified to implement the programme, and both education and ICTs are seen as key drivers in these initiatives. Again, several of these flagships directly relate to ICTs, learning and inclusion. These are: | "Youth on the move" to enhance the performance of education systems and to facil- itate the entry of young people to the labour market. | "A digital agenda for Europe" to speed up the roll-out of high-speed internet and reap the benefits of a digital single market for households and firms. | "An agenda for new skills and jobs" to modernise labour markets and empower people by developing their of skills throughout the lifecycle with a view to increase labour participation and better match labour supply and demand, including through labour mobility. | "European platform against poverty" to ensure social and territorial cohesion such that the benefits of growth and jobs are widely shared and people experiencing56
  • poverty and social exclusion are enabled to live in dignity and take an active part in society.The main EU E&T policy instrument is the strategic framework for European cooperationin education and training ("ET 2020"), which sets key targets for education and trainingin the EU. The strategic framework takes a holistic approach of education and training,one that explicitly links education objectives to social inclusion, and which highlights therole that can be played by ICTs.ET2020 places ICTs at the heart of its efforts to link education objectives to social inclu-sion through initiatives that: promote access to quality services, e.g., transport, e-inclu-sion, health, social services within the sphere of education and training; make effectiveuse of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen participa-tion of a spectrum of people, particularly young people; make new technologies readilyavailable to empower creativity and capacity for innovation.The education and training policy field is also one of the main sources of funding forprogrammes and projects aimed at addressing issues around exclusion – particularlythrough the Lifelong Learning Programme. However, the emphasis placed on excludedpeople and those at risk varies across the sectoral and transversal sub-programmes ofthe LLP.Policies specifically targeted at particular excluded groups include ‘youth’ policies,policies for the unemployed and policies for older people. The key EU policy documenton youth is the 2009 Communication "An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Em-powering. A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and op-portunities". The new strategy forms the basis for the ‘Youth in Action’ programme – amajor initiative that will take youth policy forward to the year 2013. ICTs are ‘hidden’rather than ‘up front’ in the Youth in Action programme.Policy for older people is supported through the ‘Active Ageing’ programme. The otherEU policy fields where there is a focus on ICTs and excluded people are in employment,social affairs and equal opportunities; health and regional policy. These fields are lesswidely developed and the attention and resources devoted to ICTs and inclusion at riskvaries across them.The case studies in the policy contextOur earlier review of the policy context identified five key transversal themes in whichthe case studies could be situated:| Job and education mobility: Equipping people with skills to move across European borders and across jobs in line with the ‘flexicurity’ principles appear regularly across the policies and programmes. This entails equipping people – particularly young people with e-skills, education and training in STEM subjects, language and other measures which support job and education mobility.| Modernised education and training systems: there is a policy focus on job and educa- tion mobility that emphasizes how education and training systems can support people to enter the labour market in their country of origin or elsewhere (e.g. the Bologna process, ongoing work on a European Qualification Framework, Erasmus programmes etc.). Furthermore, the policies focus improving the quality of educa- tion systems and ensuring that young people are equipped with the right skills that 57
  • make young people employable now and in the future (i.e. New Skills for New Jobs agenda and ‘flexicurity’). Finally, this also implies provision of apprenticeships, lower- ing of drop-out rates/increased participation rates and deploying new learning tools. | Modernised employment and labour markets are key to supporting the above and are at the heart of Europe 2020 and the majority of policy documents addressing people’s inclusion in society and the knowledge economy. This indicates a policy logic in which opportunities in life are closely associated with labour market participation. | Cultural dialogue and awareness is at the heart of both education and training policies in the EU as well as culture policies. This component focuses on inter-cultural dialogue and cultural awareness. | E-inclusion has been on the forefront of European information society policies for the last couple of years, but the focus is still mainly on economic aspects of inclusion: access to the ICT infrastructure and e-services as well as e-skills to make people able to participate and contribute to the European knowledge economy. This also sup- ports the other components of the policy typology mentioned above (modernised la- bour markets, education systems and job/education mobility). The case studies show that the programmes and initiatives currently being implemented in the EU that use Learning 2.0 to support social inclusion are making a contribution to all of these thematic policy areas. However, a number of gaps can be identified. The policy gaps we have identified come in two forms. First, the gaps in the actual provision of EU policies and policy instruments that can support the development and implement- ation of Learning 2.0 to support social inclusion. Second, the gaps in policy agendas and priorities in the field that are not currently effectively supported and addressed by cur- rent practices. In the first case, the following findings can be summarised: | Although EU policy has in recent years become more ‘joined-up’ and integrated, in line with what is known in the theoretical and practitioner field as the multi-dimen- sional nature of social inclusion, there is still a sense that some areas of policy pursue ‘parallel lines’. Whereas education and training policy links key agendas and goals in learning with inclusion policy, e-inclusion policy and ICT policy, the same cannot be said for employment, health and regional policies. There is a case for more ‘joined- up’ thinking and bridging between these policy domains to help address social inclu- sion issues. | The knowledge base of ‘Learning 2.0 for inclusion’ is embryonic, evolving, fragmen- ted and contested. Little is known about ‘what works’ and a culture of knowledge- sharing has not taken root. Provision exists, for example, within the OMC, for sup- porting trans-national co-operation between stakeholders in the field. This needs to be built on to support better co-operation, dissemination and knowledge-sharing and the cultivation of a stronger evidence base. This could be done, for example, through publicising opportunities available to support knowledge sharing through the PROGRESS Programme; working more closely with EU-funded European net- works to build European resource/knowledge centres on specific priority themes | Securing funding for start-ups and later securing further funding to ensure the sus- tainability of initiatives is a common problem identified by the cases. The evidence is that the major sources of EU funding in this field – the Lifelong Learning Programme; the ‘Youth in Action’ Programme; the ‘Ageing Well’ programme and the IST pro- gramme in FP7 – attach little priority to ‘Learning 2.0 for inclusion’. Dedicated action58
  • lines in this field and in these programmes would greatly increase the likelihood of innovative initiatives being developed and sustained.In the second case, the initiatives currently being implemented in the field suggest thatfurther work could usefully be done to support the following policy priorities and ob-jectives:| EU Strategy for Youth. Action field 1: Education – states that ‘Complementary to formal education, non-formal education for young people should be supported to contribute to Lifelong Learning in Europe, by developing its quality, recognising its outcomes, and integrating it better with formal education.’ The results of the case studies suggests that, at present, initiatives in Web 2.0 for inclusive learning focus on non-formal education as an alternative to formal education, mainly providing sup- port for school drop-outs and those who are not able to attend school. There has been very little work in using Web 2.0 to complement and add value to formal edu- cation. In this case Learning 2.0 could provide a valuable contribution to reducing risk of exclusion by improving educational performance.| EU Strategy for Youth. Action field 2: Employment – states that “Employment policy action in Member States and at EU level should be coordinated across the four com- ponents of flexicurity in order to facilitate transitions from school to work or inactiv- ity or unemployment to work. Once in work, young people should be enabled to make upward transitions. Increase and improve investments in providing the right skills for those jobs in demand on the labour market, with a better matching in the short term and better anticipation in the longer term of the skills needed”. Again, very little work appears to have been done in using Web 2.0 to develop training that will develop ‘flexicurity’ and to link inclusion objectives to the changing needs of la- bour markets.| EU Strategy for Youth. Action Field 6: Social Inclusion – aims to “prevent poverty and social exclusion among disadvantaged youth groups and break their intergeneration- al transmission by mobilising all actors involved in the life of youth (parents, teach- ers, social workers, health professionals, youth workers, young people themselves, police and justice, employers.” The case studies suggest that much of the current work targets ‘end users’ – i.e. excluded people. Although many initiatives involve ‘in- termediaries’ – for example youth workers – their representation is lower than might be expected. In addition, not enough initiatives work with the broader spectrum of inter-relationships between at risk people and ‘mediators’ (family; friends; teachers etc.).| Europe 2020 Strategy – a key target in the strategy is “20 million less people should be at risk of poverty”. The results of the review of literature in the field clearly high- light the significance of poverty as a key structural dynamic in the ‘causes’ of social exclusion. Although poverty is represented in Learning 2.0 initiatives analysed in the case study examples, it is regarded as a ‘mediating factor’ rather than a primary in exclusion. Initiatives directly targeting poverty and using Web 2.0 to address it are not represented. 59
  • 7.3 The theoretical context State of the art Our review of the literature showed that the theoretical and conceptual knowledge base is contested and contradictory; it is fragmented, and there is a lack of a sound evid- ence base on ‘what works’. In social inclusion theory, opinion is divided into three camps: the ‘structuralists’, who emphasise the operation of structural inequalities, and the persistence of an ‘e-underclass’; the ‘social capital’ perspective, which emphasizes community resources and the development of community resilience to combat exclu- sion; and the ‘life politics’ approach, which emphasizes ‘risk’ behaviours and the cultiva- tion of individual resilience. The first perspective has long linked social exclusion to structural factors that lead to so- cial deprivation, albeit often mediated through family practices (Coleman & Hendry, 1999; Schoon & Bynner, 2003) This emphasizes the notion that the risks of social exclu- sion are multi-dimensional in nature. (Burchardt, Le Grand & Piachaud, 2002) Sustained and repetitive exposure to social and economic ills – poverty; ill-health; upheaval; un- employment – itself saps the collective spirit and therefore ultimately increases the vul- nerability of those exposed to social and economic pathologies. (Elstad, 1998; Berkman & Kawachi, 2000) The second perspective shifts the focus from an ‘underclass’ perspective to a ‘social cap- ital’ perspective. The three main authors – James Coleman, Robert Putnam and Pierre Bourdieu – argue in various ways that social capital is achieved through the formation of social relationships built up over time which enable individuals to achieve more than they would be able to achieve if they acted solely on their own (Coleman, 1988); that social capital is linked to a community’s capacity to tackle social and economic problems such as unemployment, poverty, educational non-participation, and crime (Putnam, 1995); and that social capital, or the lack of it, is a tool of cultural reproduction in main- taining inequalities, for example through unequal educational achievement (Bourdieu, 1992). The third perspective, exemplified by the work of Beck, Giddens and Lash, argues that changes in post-industrial society have led to the emergence of ‘risk’ society. As the old institutions of industrial society - family, community, social class - are undermined by globalization, each individual must learn to navigate society for themselves. The most vulnerable groups in this are the old and the young. (Giddens, 1999) On the one hand, this allows unprecedented freedom and opportunities. On the other, self and identity become fragile, and the pressures it generates in terms of having to achieve, conspire to promote sense of failure, marginalisation and, for some, mental ill-health (Rutter & Smith, 1995; EGRIS 2001; Lash 2000; Tulloch & Lupton, 2003). In learning theory, the field has been dominated by constructivism, and a focus on de- veloping collaborative systems that actively engage the excluded as co-producers of knowledge. However, there is a counter-prevailing school which emphasizes context and ‘pragmatism’. Our review of the literature on Learning 2.0 and social exclusion showed that there are two polarized position around how ICTs and Web 2.0 link to social exclusion. The ‘Utopi- an’ perspective suggests that ‘evolutionary progression’ and the increasing ubiquity of ICTs embedded within everyday social, economic and cultural life, are making the notion of e-inclusion more and more redundant. For example Redecker et al. (2009) cite nu-60
  • merous examples to support the view that projects using Learning 2.0 strategies have ahigh potential to re-engage excluded groups in learning.However, the ‘pessimistic’ perspective argues that ICT access, use and quality of use ishighly correlated with social exclusion. The overall conclusion from research is that weare now witnessing a new ‘exclusion dualism’ where the long-established structuralfactors associated with exclusion – family background; education; employment; income- are being mutually reinforced through lack of access to ICTs and lack of access to digitalskills. For example, the evidence suggests that access patterns for young people areshaped by ‘habitus’ and lifeworld. Eurostat shows, in 2009, that more than 90 % ofyoung Europeans aged 16–24 who accessed the Internet within the past 3 months didso from home and almost 50% from a place of education, whereas a much larger pro-portion of the older age groups did so from work. This suggests that young people whoare homeless, or NEET (not in education and employment) are much more likely to ex-perience a ‘dual exclusion’. Data from EU Kids Online, from Eurobarometer 2009 andfrom national studies show a clear link between individuals socio-economic backgroundand their use of the internet.A report by Oxford Internet Institute observed, “that technological forms of exclusionare a reality for significant segments of the population, and that, for some people, theyreinforce and deepen existing disadvantages. Technology is so tightly woven into thefabric of society today that ICT deprivation can rightly be considered alongside, andstrongly linked to, more traditional twentieth century social deprivations, such as low in-come, unemployment, poor education, ill health and social isolation. To consider ICTdeprivation as somehow less important underestimates the pace, depth and scale oftechnological change, and overlooks the way that different disadvantages can combineto deepen exclusion”. (Helsper, 2008)There is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that actual usage of ICTs – and in-creasingly Web 2.0 – reinforces this process of ‘dual inclusion’. (Facer & Furlong, 2001;Facer & Selwyn, 2007) Danah Boyd, for example, argues that, in the USA, utilisation ofsocial networking technologies reflects complex class and status stratifications in Amer-ican youth. Whereas MySpace is the spiritual home for the culturally and socially mar-ginalised, Facebook attracts “upwardly mobile hegemonic teens”. As she puts it;“MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, ‘burnouts’, ‘alternat-ive kids’, ‘art fags’, punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didntplay into the dominant high school popularity paradigm….. MySpace has most of thekids who are socially ostracised at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.”(Boyd, 2007) Livingstone and Helsper (2007) suggest that even though increased accessand usage to ICTs will increase opportunities for children, children from affluent back-grounds learn better and faster, so that, in the long run, ICTs actually increase social dis-parities rather than decrease them. 61
  • Figure 2: e-exclusion spectrum Other studies show that, although social class and income are key determinants in shap- ing e-exclusion patterns, cultural factors make the picture even more complex. For ex- ample, women even in affluent households are less likely to use Web 2.0 because they are socialised into the perception that ICTs are the territory of husbands and sons. (Cr- amner, 2008) Similarly, the EU Kids Online studies suggest that there is a growing ‘bed- room culture’ for teenagers and solitary use of the internet is increasing, particularly for boys. These findings suggest that the structural determinants of ‘e-inclusion’ are further com- plemented by cultural and behavioural factors. Figure 2 provides an illustration of how this process might work. At one end of a polarity of e-exclusion are people who are ex- cluded from ICTs by their socio-economic status. However studies suggest that a signific- ant proportion of EU citizens are ‘self-excluding’ – they have no inclination to participate in the ‘Knowledge Society’, or who are ‘uninformed’ about opportunities. At the other end of the spectrum are people who are socially excluded because they are ‘always on- line’. The case studies in the theoretical context The case studies have not provided much evidence to shed further light on the efficacy of these different perspectives on social inclusion and the role of learning and Learning 2.0 in it. The continuing gaps in our knowledge highlighted by the case studies are: | How initiatives using ICTs and Web 2.0 contribute to the production of social capital and community cohesion. Most of the case studies we analysed focus on individual behaviour changes – even in cases, like TRIO, Conecta Joven and Web in the Hood, that are specifically located within community environments. | None of the cases we analysed consider the ‘life politics’ perspective on social inclu- sion. The ways in which Web 2.0 changes how ‘identities’ are constructed, and how these link to risk behaviours and risk scenarios, is not covered in the case studies. | Evaluation and assessment methodologies – the evidence base in the Learning 2.0 field is poorly-developed; fragmentary and contested. An evaluation culture has not62
  • yet taken root. Robust and appropriate impacts assessment approaches, methods and tools are unevenly applied. | Much of the knowledge that is derived from the case studies is about ‘excluded groups’. The literature makes a strong case for ‘prevention’ rather than cure. Not enough is known about ‘risk scenarios’ – the factors that make certain groups in cer- tain situations more vulnerable to exclusion, and how ICT is being and can be used to support activities that reduce risk. | What methodologies and tools can be used to engage excluded people more actively in the design and implementation of methods, approaches and tools supporting ‘Learning 2.0’ for inclusion? | The use of 3D and immersive worlds is growing and has produced some positive out- comes. Yet some of the case studies highlight issues about which little is known. These cover: new forms of accessibility issues (since many of these technologies are ‘high-end’ and expensive); issues around accessibility for disabled people; issues around governance and participation of users. | As noted above, the evidence base in this field is poorly developed. More research is needed on how learning and practices can be effectively disseminated and valorised. | The work on NEET and on early-school leaving and how ICTs can address this signific- ant set of issues is currently under-developed.7.4 The practices context State of the art Our review of the practices carried out in work package 1 showed that five broad clusters of practices can be distinguished. To some extent these represent relatively autonomous Learning 2.0 ‘spaces’, with little overlap between them. They can be defined as follows: | Personalised Learning Environments - the evidence does suggest the embryonic de- velopment of ‘PLE’s’. There were a number of initiatives identified in the review that exhibit a highly individualized approach to inclusion through learning, employing so- cial networking technologies to support self-directed learning. | Adult Learning – a primarily institutional learning space that targets adults with low educational levels and status, and which generally supports informal and non-formal learning albeit through formal settings such as training centres. | Special Needs – a significant number of initiatives target distinctive target groups with particular profiles – mainly covering immigrant and ethnic minorities; people with disabilities; ex-offenders. The main inclusion approach aims at social re-engage- ment, using a variety of Web 2.0 tools and approaches. | Youth at Risk – young people have become the main focus of attention for Web 2.0 for inclusion. The review identified a significant number of initiatives targeting a range of exclusion and at risk scenarios. A common feature of these initiatives is the emphasis on cultivating digital literacies. | NEET – a distinctive sub-category of initiatives aimed at young people are those aimed at young people not in education or training (NEET). What is distinctive about 63
  • this cluster is the more intensive use of novel forms of Web 2.0, like virtual reality en- vironments, and the exploration of innovative forms of pedagogy, for example ‘Notschool’, that create new roles for both student and teacher. The case studies in the practices context The case studies analysed in Links-up shed further light on how learning and social inclu- sion objectives are linked to the use of different combinations of Web 2.0 approaches and tools. Figure 3 summarises how these practices are related together. Figure 3: Inter-relationships of the case studies There are four key clusters that reflect how Web 2.0 use is seen as providing solutions to the complex social exclusion scenarios outlined above, and the key policies and meas- ures that are being driven forward at the macro-level to support social and e-inclusion. These are: | Reducing social isolation, | Promoting educational re-insertion, | Improving health and well-being, particularly for people with disabilities, | Improving life-chances and opportunities, particularly in the field of employment. Analysis of the case studies shows that the expected outcomes derived from these inter- ventions focus primarily on increasing various forms of capital: individual capital (for ex- ample the acquisition of new digital skills and ‘soft skills’ like team-working); the acquisi- tion of ‘social capital’ (for example increasing the resilience of communities) and the ac- quisition of technological capital (for example through improving access to technologies). Two dominant implementation activities are carried out by these interventions. The first one involves delivering courses. These cover a spectrum of subjects and content areas – particularly IT skills and digital literacy. The second main category, ‘social interaction’, fo-64
  • cuses on developing and applying ways of getting people to share experiences, know-ledge and skills. A number of initiatives support people in ‘telling their stories’. The ap-proach used reflects a number of desired outcomes, such as encouraging sharing and in-teraction with others; getting people to valorise their life experiences; using their storiesto create learning content; dealing with ‘otherness’ and promoting acceptance of di-versity. A similar approach can be found with projects that use multi-media within acommunity context. In this way, dealing with difference and supporting interactionbetween culturally diverse groups is taken out of the personal space and expanded tothe community and societal level.Less frequently found are implementation activities involving awareness-raising, coun-selling, personal development and networking and good practice sharing. With aware-ness-raising, the aim is to provide people with information that is seen as essential inproviding them with tools to empower themselves, for example their rights under thelaw.A minority of projects provide specific counselling or personal development. Personaldevelopment approaches can be seen in some ways as a ‘social’ variant on counselling,for example, by providing advice and counselling on finances, social behaviour, mentalhealth issues, physical condition, motivation, practical skills and daily activities.Finally, networking and good practice sharing is a small but important category of inclu-sion strategy operated by projects. The main focus here is not on direct end users, buton making available to the wider user groups and communities of practice resources,and evidence-based knowledge, that can support the development and implementationof actions supporting social inclusion.The inclusion approaches adopted, and the pedagogic models applied, reflect specificideas about which platforms, and which combinations of Web 2.0 are likely to yield thebest results. Virtually all of the cases analysed are web-based, though some use otherforms of technologies, such as community-based broadcasting and mobiles. A numberof initiatives involve some form of audiovisual media, such as videos and video confer-encing. The applications most commonly used are social networking applications likeFacebook and media-sharing, like YouTube. Blogs and wikis are becoming more com-monly used, as is the use of virtual environments, like ‘Second Life’, to develop innovat-ive approaches to ICT-based support for at risk young people. Most projects use a com-bination of tools to support an integrated approach to inclusion.Overall, the ‘landscape’ of ‘Inclusive Learning 2.0’ shows many similarities. Indeed, a keyfinding of the case study analysis is the extent to which initiatives adopt a multi-dimen-sional approach to the use of ICTs and Web 2.0 to address social exclusion. Many of theinitiatives analysed are ‘composite’ entities, drawing funding from a range of sources; in-corporating a range of platforms and tools; pursuing a mixed set of inclusion and learn-ing objectives and multi-targeting strategies and implementing an integrated set of ser-vices and activities to realise their objectives. This could reflect the increasing recogni-tion in the field that social exclusion is multi-dimensional in nature and scope, and thatthe needs of socially excluded and at risk people are complex and similarly multi-dimen-sional and require a holistic and integrated response.The case studies suggest that the main gaps in the provision of programmes and initiat-ives in the field of ‘Learning 2.0’ are as follows:| There is still a strong focus on developing and implementing initiatives aimed at spe- cific target groups – people with disabilities; the unemployed, and so on. This reflects the persistence of a prevailing view that social inclusion is homogeneous. However, it 65
  • is clear from the evidence that social exclusion is complex and multi-dimensional; that people present ‘multiple needs’, and that these needs change over time and in different situations. Initiatives need to be more flexible and responsive to the fluidity of social inclusion. | Very little attention has been paid to the ‘cultural’ dimension of inclusion and learn- ing, beyond the broad identification of macro-cultural concepts for example the pri- oritization of Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities. Virtually no work has been done, and no initiatives identified that addresses, for example: women’s position of e-exclusion within the household environment; the position of ‘technophobes’ and ‘uninformed’ and ‘disinclined’; how ‘extremists’ – those who are ‘always on-line’ – are affected by immersion in the Web 2.0 world. | Few initiatives address the role of organizational culture within the educational en- terprise. There is some evidence, for example, in schools, that organizational resist- ance is inhibiting the use of Web 2.0 in teaching. There is also evidence that the use of Web 2.0 in the classroom is actually exacerbating differences in educational per- formance between students from higher status backgrounds and those from lower status backgrounds. | Many initiatives take an individuated approach to inclusion. Few of them, with the exception of TRIO, Web in the Hood and Conecta Joven, consider the broader com- munity and societal issues, and how Web 2.0 can impact on social capital and com- munity cohesion. | As noted above, the role of multipliers, mediators and intermediaries is critical in successful initiatives. Very few projects address the need for training of these key actors. | Many initiatives are ‘insular’ in the sense that they fail to bridge the gap between the inner world of the initiative and the harsh realities of the external environment. For example, initiatives that provide training in e-skills for ethnic minority women can fail when these newly-acquired skills cannot be used within the local labour market be- cause there is no demand for them. There is a need for new initiatives that take into account and address how research and R&D results in the field can be effectively ap- plied to external conditions.66
  • 8 A ‘THEORY OF CHANGE’ INTERPRETATION OF THE RESULTS 8.1 Introduction: Theory of change and impact assessment In work package 1, we developed an approach to assessing the ‘effects’ of initiatives us- ing Learning 2.0 to support social inclusion that was based on a ‘theory of change’ mod- el. Theory of change approaches seek to identify both the explicit and implicit paradigm of change that lies at the heart of a programme or initiative – in other words the ‘trans- formative model’ that is embedded within it. Theory of change involves unpacking the theory behind interventions - i.e. the intended outcomes – that underpin their ‘vision’ and their ‘intervention logic’ (Weiss, 1995; Sulli- van & Stewart, 2006). On the one hand, the theory of change method helps to identify what are the intended outcomes and impacts of the policies and initiatives that are be- ing implemented using Web 2.0 to support excluded people and those at risk. On the other, it represents a methodological strategy that aims to solve some of the problems that crop up in research in trying to establish ‘cause and effect’ in complex and dynamic situations – for example what kind of technology works best in supporting inclusion. It can be defined as a systematic and cumulative study of the links between activities, outcomes and context. It involves the specification of an explicit theory of how and why an intervention is intended to or might have caused an effect. The focus of the theory of change approach is therefore on causal pathways. Theory of change is particularly useful in situations where impacts measurement data is variable, and where evaluations of interventions have not followed ‘experimental’ ap- proaches, for example using ‘control-comparison’ methods. This was the situation with the Links-up case studies. Some of the cases had not carried out impacts assessment at all. In many cases, the impacts assessment is based on ‘self-reported’ data provided by the projects themselves and based on, for example, the subjective opinions of project managers. Following Jan Steyaert (2010), we looked at how the cases are positioned in terms of the approaches taken to impacts assessment in terms of the ‘effectiveness ladder’ model. This has five levels to reflect the ‘robustness’ of the evidence used on impacts assess- ment, as follows: | Level 0: ‘Marketing information’ – spreading good news about how things are done. | Level 1: Expert opinion; descriptive studies; case studies. | Level 2: Cohort studies – surveys; correlation analysis for example between participa- tion in an initiative and educational performance. | Level 3: Experimental studies – for example user surveys and baseline statistical ana- lysis done before and after the intervention (pre-test/post-test). | Level 4: Randomised controlled trials. In relation to the ‘effectiveness ladder’, the majority of initiatives are placed on the low- est level of the effectiveness ladder – Level 0. This typically involves the use of ‘market- ing information’ – spreading good news about how things are done; providing anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes. A small proportion use ‘Level 1’ assessment, which is mainly carried out through ‘external’ evaluation done by experts; through descriptive studies, and through case studies. Around a third use ‘Level 2’ assessment, involving co- hort studies – user surveys; correlation analysis of statistical data that measures the re- 67
  • lationship for example between participation in an initiative and educational perform- ance. A small proportion use ‘Level 3’ approaches, entailing experimental studies – for example user surveys and baseline statistical analysis done before and after the inter- vention (pre-test/post-test). One example is ‘Replay’, which carried out extensive before and after testing of the user game. We found no initiative that had implemented the ‘gold standard’ of assessment – randomised controlled trials. Most impacts assessment methods used in the case studies involves carrying out sur- veys with users. The other two most frequently used assessment methods involved ‘technology utilisation’ data analysis and interviews. The analysis of the use patterns of platforms and tools used to deliver services to young people is a convenient way of find- ing out how effective the initiative is. A common method is to analyse website visits and hits using ‘Google analytics’ or a similar monitoring tool. Analysis of Web 2.0 tools and applications is also often applied. This involves statistical analysis of participation and utilisation rates in social networking sites, as well as qualitative analysis of applications like podcasts and discussion forums, using techniques like content analysis. For example, Cyberhus registers and analyses each chat session when it is completed. This provides statistics on duration, age, sex, and topic. Most of the cases used ‘triangulation’ – combining a number of methods in order to ar- rive at a more systematic evidence-based view of impacts. For example, Notschool have developed a very sophisticated monitoring system which enables them to track all pro- gress made by students, from their activity around the site, to emails from their tutors as well as their replies. Annual evaluation includes: analysis of attendance rates; analysis of course completions; socio-economic profiling of participants; user surveys. On the basis of the available data, we present below the results of our analysis of the ‘impacts’ identified in the case studies. 8.2 Evidence on impacts As noted above, the impacts assessments carried out by the initiatives selected for case study analysis vary considerably in approach, relevance and credibility. Many of them employed ‘self-assessment’ approaches and methods, rather than more objective ways of evaluating evidence. Against this background, we have applied ‘triangulation’ to the data drawn from the initiatives survey. This involves cross-checking of data to search for regularities in the research data. We have distinguished between the outputs, outcomes and impacts of initiatives in our approach to reviewing the ‘effects’ of initiatives. We have also reviewed the ‘expected’ outcomes and impacts as set against the actual out- comes and impacts as reported by the initiatives themselves. Our analysis suggested two dominant implementation activities carried out by projects. The first one involves delivering courses, for example Conecta Joven. These cover a spectrum of subjects and content areas – particularly IT skills and digital literacy. The second main category, ‘social interaction’, focuses on developing and applying ways of getting users to share experiences, knowledge and skills. Some of the cases – for ex- ample HiStory and Pinokio- support people in ‘telling their stories’. The approach used reflects a number of desired outcomes, such as encouraging sharing and interaction with others; getting people to valorise their life experiences; using their stories to create learning content; dealing with ‘otherness’ and promoting acceptance of diversity. A sim- ilar approach can be found with projects that use multi-media within a community con- text – for example ‘Web in the Hood’. In this way, dealing with difference and supporting interaction between culturally diverse groups is taken out of the personal space and ex- panded to the community and societal level.68
  • Less frequently found are activities involving awareness-raising, counselling, personaldevelopment and networking and good practice sharing. With awareness-raising, theaim is to provide people with information that is seen as essential in providing themwith tools to empower themselves, for example the products and training available fordisabled people, as illustrated by the Assistive Technology Wiki. Counselling services areeither on-line one-to-one services providing support on things like self-harm, or serviceswhere ICTs are used to supplement other counselling methods, like group therapy, forexample Cyberhus. Personal development approaches can be seen in some ways as a‘social’ variant on counselling, for example EduCore.On terms of expected short-term outcomes, one group of cases aim to support inclusionthrough developing technical skills, primarily through providing courses, for exampleICONET and Conecta Joven. Another group focus on addressing social isolation. Thesecover a range of risk scenarios – from the estrangement of immigrant and ethnic minor-ity groups from their ‘host’ culture through to issues associated with young people whohave problems in going to school, for example Notschool. A third group aims to improvethe social skills of participants, through team-working and social interaction, for ex-ample Avatar@School. A fourth category anticipates increasing participants’ chances ofsuccess in the labour market, for example FreqOut!.The actual short term outcomes reported by initiatives are difficult to quantify, sincedata are not readily available across cases. That said, the main areas in which positiveoutcomes were reported by the initiatives were as follows:| Re-engagement in education and training – some initiatives reported that parti- cipants had taken up further study.| Social skills and social interaction – some initiatives reported improvements in parti- cipants’ social skills and social engagement.| Physical, psychological and emotional well-being – most projects reported improve- ments in user confidence and self-esteem.| Technical skills and digital literacy – most of the projects reported improvements in the acquisition of technical and ICT skills.| Employment – a small number of initiatives reported that participants had gone on to find work.Examples of the outcomes reported include:| Schome Park – a virtual world for young people who have dropped out of the educa- tion system showed clear evidence that users developed their knowledge age skills throughout the project and included communication, leadership, collaborative learn- ing, creativity, development of analytical skills.| Notschool – the alternative on-line school has successfully enabled 98% of young learners to re-engage in learning. Other evidence suggests: increasing in motivation to learn; increasing confidence and self-esteem; developing advanced technical skills; acquire qualifications.| MOSEP – an initiative using Web 2.0 to develop the competences of trainers engaged in supporting the inclusion of young people with poor education through e-portfolios reported that teachers and trainee teachers involved in the project were able to de- velop their own e-portfolios and help their students create e-portfolios. Students in- 69
  • volved in the partner institutions learned how to collect and organise evidence for their e-portfolio, make choices about what to select and omit, as well as reflecting on and evaluating their own work as well as the work of their peers. 93% of students felt ‘proud’ of their E-Me portfolio, 81% felt that it helped them to ‘record what I have learnt and done’, 64% ‘enjoyed’ working on their E-Me and 67% felt that they would continue using and developing their E-Me without school involvement. | Avatar@School - aims to develop capacities in conflict mediation for young people through the use of a 3D virtual platform as well as increasing ICT skills and indirectly improving intercultural and language skills. In general, according to the project man- agers the project seems to have achieved its aims. School peer mediation and virtual role plays have proven to be excellent learning methods if combined together. In total, 94% of respondents said that they had a “very good” (36%) or “good” (58%) impression. | BREAKOUT – an initiative aimed at reducing youth offending – reports that the areas in which BREAKOUT has worked particularly well, and has had a ‘High impact’ for users include: raising awareness amongst young people of key issues around crime, drugs and how they effect life choices and life chances; providing e-skills and social skills training to serving inmates in prisons via a blended e-learning model. Areas where BREAKOUT has made a moderate contribution include: Contributing to im- proving offenders’ personal relationships, for example by raising self-esteem and so- cial skills; contributing to improving the effectiveness of service administration. The expected longer-term impacts reported by initiatives reflect three main visions: the vision of social cohesion and social capital; the vision of improving lifelong learning and the vision of increasing employment. These goals are consistent with current EU policies, as reflected in EU 2020; the ET 2020 agenda and the renewed Lisbon goals. Less highly prioritised are impacts in ICT access and skills; crime reduction; health improve- ment; reducing homeless and the integration of immigrants and ethnic minorities. Virtually all of the cases had no evidence to assess whether these long-term impacts are being realised. In almost all cases, the projects reported that ‘it was too early to say’. However, a number of the initiatives reported evidence of ‘potential impacts’. For ex- ample, the Notschool project reports that 50% of students entered into further educa- tion, 26% entered college related employment and 18% entered full time employment. This suggests that the initiative has contributed investment to young people’s future. The FreqOut! project reports anecdotal evidence of ‘breaking down the barriers between different groups’, e.g. inter-generational; gang cultures.’ However, the initiatives survey identified a number of barriers to realising objectives. The key problems are: | Getting target groups motivated and then retaining their interest; | Accessing intermediaries with the skills necessary to deliver objectives; | |Securing funding and ensuring sustainability; | Technical problems, associated with: poor equipment; technical support; the rapid obsolescence of ‘high end’ technologies; | Getting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage with other young people from different cultures; | Managing initiatives and promoting good governance;70
  • | Getting innovative and unconventional educational and training initiatives accred- ited. 8.3 Summary of impacts: general theory of change analysis In this final section, we provide an integrative summary of the impacts identified from applying the ‘theory of change’ approach to the case study analysis using a ‘logical mod- el’. This presents the overall linkages across the case studies as a whole between: | Objectives and goals, | The activities planned or being implemented to achieve the objectives and goals, | The expected outputs associated with the activities, | The expected outcomes and impacts realised by using the outputs, | The indicators used to measure the outcomes and impacts, | The means of verification – the data collected to verify indicators. Key objectives / goals Key activities Key outcomes Key expected impactsReduce isolation Awareness-raising and Improve social skills and Integration of isolated communication social interaction and IEM Counselling & Personal Increase social cohesion development and social capital Social interactionEducational re-insertion Training Re-engagement in edu- Supporting and improv- cation and training ing lifelong learning Counselling & Personal developmentImprove well-being Counselling & Personal Improve social skills and Improve health development social interaction Social interaction Improve physical, psy- chological and emotional well-beingIncrease employability Training Improve technical skills Increasing employment and digital literacy Counselling & Personal development Find new employment Table 11: Summary of case study results based on ‘theory of change’ analysis As table 11 shows, the case studies have identified four main clusters of objectives of ‘Learning 2.0 for inclusion’. These are associated with a set of implementation activities that are to some extent common across the different objectives clusters. The four sets of objectives are in turn linked to four main sets of outcomes and expected impacts. However, the case study analysis suggests that most initiatives have not clearly identi- fied the indicators and means of verification that are required to assess the extent to which and in what ways these outcomes and impacts are being achieved. Therefore these aspects are not included in the table. 71
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  • Against the background of the increasing penetration of social computingand social networking into all aspects of modern life, the Links-up projectinvestigates whether and under what circumstances ‘Web 2.0’ technologiescan support lifelong learning for people who experience social exclusion orwho are ‘at risk’ of social exclusion.This report, which covers the initial phaseof the two-year project, draws together the evidence from research studies,evaluations and case studies of initiatives to present the main features ofthe ‘landscape’ of ‘Web 2.0 for inclusive learning’.Links-up identifies ‘what works for whom under what circumstances’ and con-siders how the outcomes and impacts of using Web 2.0 for inclusive learning canbe measured. Finally, on the basis of the ‘lessons learned’ and the pitfallsexperienced in developing and implementing Web 2.0-based support forexcluded groups, the Report provides practical recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners in order to help make future programmes andprojects in this field more effective.ISBN 978-3-902448-28-6 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.Photos: Fotolia.com © Coka, Franz Pfluegl, Jason Sitt, Miroslav, Mosquidoo, Yvonne Bogdanski