Using ICT and electronic music to reduce school drop out in Europe


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Author: Franco Alvaro
In Europe, too many young people leave school prematurely without those basic skills that an active involvement in the knowledge society requires and that are necessary to shift into the labor market. The core aim of the EU funded E-Motion project is to reduce the school drop out rate with a particular emphasis on young people who are at risk of social exclusion (migrants, ethnic minorities, poor socio-economic backgrounds).

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Using ICT and electronic music to reduce school drop out in Europe

  1. 1. Using ICT and electronic music to reduce school drop out in Europe Franco Alvaro E-Motion Project Coordinator Summary In Europe, too many young people leave school prematurely without those basic skills that an active involvement in the knowledge society requires and that are necessary to shift into the labor market. The core aim of the EU funded E-Motion project is to reduce the school drop out rate with a particular emphasis on young people who are at risk of social exclusion (migrants, ethnic minorities, poor socio-economic backgrounds). The approach chosen to achieve this objective is to use innovative techniques to modify the way in which learning is delivered to this group, particularly through the use of electronic music, making the school curriculum appear more relevant to those students who have dropped out or at risk of doing so. If we change the way knowledge and competence are transferred with an innovative use of ICT, this will surely cause some interest in children with difficulties to learn. The use of ICT in E-Motion is not an end in itself, but a tool to transform learning and teaching processes using novel ways alongside more traditional methods. The project aims to apply an experimental approach using ICT, particularly electronic music and informatics. An understanding of sound technologies contributes towards understanding important physics concepts such as acoustics and wave technologies, and the creation process of electronic music also requires elements of mathematics, physics and informatics. With this innovative approach the project intends to improve young people’s level of competence in core curriculum subjects such as maths and foreign languages. The Lisbon Strategy identified the need to tackle the number of young people who leave school and attempt to enter the labor market with few or no qualifications. Many of these teenagers end up becoming part of the “NEET Group” (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The strategy set specific targets to ensure that young people are suitably qualified to enable a smooth transition from education to employment, targets which many Member States are currently failing to meet. Keywords: E-Motion, youth, drop out, dropout, risk groups, ICT in education, didactic methodology, Lisbon Strategy, computer music School drop out, a complex phenomenon The project aims to create an innovative learning approach based on informal education and the use of ICTs in music to encourage young to re-engage in learning. The pedagogic pathway proposed combining creativity, fun and key-competences learning, particularly mathematics, sciences and ICT offers the young at risk of exclusion or dropouts a concrete chance to reconnect to learning. eLearning Papers • • 1 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  2. 2. In this instance E-Music is being used as a “hook” by the project to engage or re-engage disadvantaged young people in the learning process. As a result they are able to acquire key competences relevant to the labor market but to do so in a fun environment and via a vehicle in which they already have an interest. This article is focused on the European Project EMOTION and on the potential of ICT and E- Music as a catalyst of social and educational innovation and change using of two focal elements that are attractive to young people: ICT, particularly the Internet to communicate and exchange data online, and music created via computers and exchanged online in order to provide them with the necessary competences to be active in the labor market and wider society. The main goal of the project is to develop and to apply an experimental approach based on the ICT use, namely of electronic music and informatics so as to enhance the learning of key competences (mathematics, physics, etc) in groups at risk of exclusion and to have an insight of the impacts of such an approach on final learning. E-Motion intends to prove that the use of innovative and youth-friendly didactic instruments help to reduce school drop out and improve the project target group’s skills, which is, young people (aged 15-24) at risk of exclusion (from poor socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic minorities, areas of extreme deprivation, migrants) as it is evident that both music and the use of new technologies massively contribute to reducing their disadvantage. Through this article, the reader can reflect on various learning methodologies, discover an alternative methodology to reduce learning disaffection and to help disaffected young people learn again. School drop out is a complex phenomenon; it can be defined as a complexity of factors that affect the regular school life of a student. Its terminology can vary from country to country. In Europe, reduction in school drop out rate is one of the five benchmarks the Conference in Lisbon set. Member States will have to achieve it in education by the end of 2010. The indicator used to portray the phenomenon in Europe is calculated from work force surveys carried out by Istat. The index is defined as “number of young people (aged 18 – 24) with a school degree at max ISCED 2 (lower secondary school) that do not take part in educational/vocational programs in respect of 18 – 24 year old people” (early school leavers). The 2010 goal is to reduce the rate of early school leavers to 10%. Europe is a very diverse place and consequently the issue of early school leaving differs dramatically from region to region often even within individual Member States. In the EU as a whole one in seven young people do not finish upper secondary education and are considered early school leavers. As a result of EU policies and measures implemented in the different Member States, the number of early school leavers has reduced over recent years. However, in the majority of the European countries, appropriate measures for dealing with early education leaving are yet to be found. The latest data on the Progress Report “Progress Towards the Lisbon Objectives in Education and Training” 2008 emphasizes the necessity to increase our effort and find innovative and common solutions. In 2007, the average rate of early school leavers was 14,8% for EU-27, 2.8 percentage points lower than 2000. Progress is slow and at the current improvement rate the benchmark of no more than 10% of early school leavers will not be attained by the end of 2010. The issue of school drop out is still massive in numerous Member States. In the latest EC communication (March 3, 2010) “Europe 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, the Commission proposes five measurable goals of the EU for 2020 that are going to lead the progress and to be national objectives”. Among these, the share of early school eLearning Papers • • 2 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  3. 3. leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree”. In the project Emotion, with co-funding of the Program LLP – KA3, 4 reference countries have been selected on the basis of their geographical, cultural and social features: Italy, Spain, UK and Romania. Italy The data of the Ministry of Education reported that in 2006, there were 890,000 early school leavers. They were 18 – 24 years old (equal to 20,6% of the total of this cohort), they had a lower secondary school degree and they did not participate in any vocational or educational courses and were not participating in any training programs. This means that the lower than 10% goal looks a distant dream at the moment. Furthermore, school drop out or absence from school is still very high; almost half a million students in Italy drop out of school every year or they fail. Data published in May 2008 (referring to 2007) identifies slight progress (from 20.6% to 19.3%). School dropout rates are particularly high in Valle d’Aosta, Sicily, Campania and Puglia. Despite the slight progress in several Member States, the EU Commission stated in its Communication on 2007 how critical efforts are to work on competences due to high school dropout rates in the EU Countries. The situation in the UK is also significant. Although indicators confirm the rate of early school leavers is 13% (Eurostat 2007) and that it decreased significantly between 2000 and 2007, the situation is alarming. The “NEETS group” phenomenon is growing. According to recent data, there were 206,000 Neets, aged 16 to 18, in England (2006). Other sources estimate that 10% of all 16 to 18 year olds in England are NEETS (Statistical First Release (SFR), 2007). Romania has low levels of education indicators compared to EU benchmarks. This is attributable to relatively low completion of secondary education, take up of tertiary education, and very low rates of participation in life long learning. Romania has relatively high proportions of early school leavers. In 2007, the early school leaving rate reached 19,2%. Even if this percentage illustrates a slight decrease as compared with the previous year it still remains among the highest rates among EU Member States. Vulnerable groups -in particular Roma and poor communities (both rural and urban)–are the people most affected by this phenomenon. The situation in Spain which has one of the highest percentages of early school leavers in the EU is also alarming from this point of view. In 2007 the school drop out was 31% of the population, which is more than double the average of the EU (14,8%). From 2000 to 2007, the rate actually increased from 29,1% in 2000 to 31% in 2007. There appears to be a significant difference in the Basque Country and Navarra (14,5% and 12,6 % as compared to the national average of 29,9% for Spain. These are the two regions which have a higher regional financing (which directly determines the quality of social services). The EU total drop out of immigrant students is 31%, whereas the Spanish one is 43%. Only Portugal, Italy, Greece and Malta have a higher drop out rates for immigrant students. Because of educational shortcomings, a quarter of all youngsters attempt to enter the labor market without sufficient qualifications. There are too many young people leaving school or vocational programs without the necessary competences to be part of the knowledge society and a smooth transition into employment. They are therefore at risk of social exclusion including being deprived of life long learning from birth. Causes of school drop out Yet, behind such statistics and numbers there is evidence of many young people who are no longer inspired to learn or discover. School drop out means attendance rates and European statistics; it also means thousands of individual young people risking a tragic situation when eLearning Papers • • 3 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  4. 4. thinking about their own future in that they are so frustrated or resigned, or unaware of the risk of degradation that could affect them. The causes of this phenomenon are numerous. Various studies have been undertaken into the causes of early school leaving and they all show that the reasons for leaving education early are very much specific to the individual and that there are a wide variety of determinants and a wide range of influential factors. Four groups of explanatory factors are obvious however: individual, family, school and society. The first group of explanatory factors concerns the characteristics of the students themselves. Individual characteristics are for example gender and ethnicity, and traits like motivation and cognitive skills. The second group is related to the family. These family characteristics, for example cultural and social capital or family composition, are very important in explaining early school leaving. The third group concerns school characteristics, for example, the proportion of minority groups in the school, the level of urbanisation, the number of students in a classroom and the homogeneity of the school. The last and fourth explanatory factor is society, for example the economical situation of a country or region. General studies concluded that some factors have an influence on the probability of leaving school early and that a combination of factors mutually reinforce each other. At-risk young people have often had negative experiences with school itself. The attitudes and behavior of socially disadvantaged young people are often marked by a strong resistance to innovations and a lack of openness and flexibility. With this attitude, they tend to protect themselves from any unknown, and therefore threatening, experiences. The reasons could be a lack of control, a lack of manageability or of self-esteem, formed by negative social experiences. These factors also reduce the motivation to learn the methods and contents of a teaching process. Disaffection from learning and lack of interest in learning topics and teaching systems are some of the main causes of school dropout. In accordance with the joint interim report of the Council and of the Commission on progress under the ‘education & training 2010’ work program, the Council has repeatedly emphasized the crucial role of education and training systems. They are an integral part of the social dimension of Europe because they transmit values of solidarity, equal opportunities and social participation, while also producing positive effects on health, crime, the environment, democratization and general quality of life. All citizens need to acquire and continually update their knowledge, skills and competences through lifelong learning, and the specific needs of those at risk of social exclusion need to be taken into account. In a world that is increasingly more complex, school programs have to be updated and to adjust to the needs of the modern society. As in the EC service working paper “SCHOOLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY”, in this evolving world creativity, the ability to think laterally, transversal skills and adaptability tend to be valued more than specific bodies of knowledge. How can schools be organized in such a way as to provide all students with the full range of key competences? How can schools equip young people with the competences and motivation to make learning a lifelong activity? ICT - New potential for equity of learning opportunities Technology is closely connected with creative capability, which is a feature of human beings. ICTs may well represent in diverse levels transformation and progress milestones. There are several surveys on teaching methodologies and the use of ICT, also on school drop out. Yet, an experimental approach is still missing that emphasizes the positive impact of ICT and electronic music on the improvement of basic competences and on school drop out reduction in at-risk groups. eLearning Papers • • 4 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  5. 5. Some analyses also represent the basis for the project’s development. For example, the PISA study shows a positive connection between the duration of ICT use and the student’s performance in mathematics, in the OCSE Countries (OECD 2004). The English survey “The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Pupil Learning and Attainment” outlines the positive impact of ICT on learning in primary school, in particular in English and sciences – Harrison 2003. The ‘Impact2’ study (Harrison et al, 2003) was a large scale and detailed assessment of the impact of the use of ICT on learning across the curriculum. It studied the time students spent using technology to support subject learning and found statistically significant relationships between students’ using technology in a variety of ways to support learning and student-level ‘value-add’ scores. That is, achievement beyond what would be expected given prior results and social circumstances, thus effectively controlling other factors which impact on attainment. In all subjects and stages there was a positive relationship between use of technology to support learning and value-add scores. Significant positive impact was found in: • KS2 English, where the average gain from ICT use was 0.16 of a national curriculum level (equivalent to a term’s additional progress) • KS3 Science, where the average gain from ICT use was 0.21 of a national curriculum level (also equivalent to a term’s additional progress) • GCSE Science, where the average gain from ICT use is 0.56 of a grade (52,484 students moving from grade D to C) • GCSE D&T the average gain from ICT use is 0.41 of a grade (10,020 students moving from grade D to C). Interestingly, the study found that schools’ use of technology across the curriculum in a variety of ways was a key factor in learning gains. That is, impact was not solely achieved from using technology in individual subjects. Use across the curriculum was important in both developing learner skills in using technology, to support learning and in promoting an orientation towards independent learning with technology. Some uses of technology, including the use of the internet to support revision at GCSE level, were particularly strongly linked with improved performance. School-level e-maturity and school improvement Drawing from a nationally representative sample of schools in England, Butt and Cebulla (2006) analyzed the relationship between school outcomes and indicators of ‘e-maturity’, taking into account known factors in school performance. ‘E-maturity’ is the extent of provision, management and use of technology to support learning across the curriculum. The relationship between technology provision and outcomes is not a simple one. However, the study found that secondary schools exhibiting strong development in e-maturity over the previous four years demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in absence rates compared to other schools. They displayed statistically significant improvements in KS3 average points scores and GCSE point scores and the percentage of A* – C grades at GCSE, as well as better KS3-KS4 value added scores. The researchers concluded that the results suggest there is a link between performance and e-maturity, albeit that it may not be a simple one. Mediating and contextual factors such as school ethos and general leadership approach are also likely to be important. This analysis does, however, indicate that e-maturity is an important part of the mix in school improvement strategies. eLearning Papers • • 5 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  6. 6. More recent research which looks at the role of technology within strategies for school improvement backs this up. A recent study found that, for 181 sampled schools which had been removed from Special Measures and Notice to Improve, 82 per cent reported that technology had played a key role in this improvement. Strategies for using technology in these schools included greater use of information systems for monitoring and analyzing learner achievement and progress; IT systems for managing and monitoring attendance and behavior (lesson registration, parental alerting); greater use of technology to engage under-achieving pupils, especially creative and applied learning using technology; and supporting the ability for learners to express themselves through online polls and forums (Hollingworth et al., 2008). Home use of technology to support learning Valentine et al (2005) conducted a survey of the use of technology at home by secondary school aged students. They used a multiple linear regression to assess the influence on Key Stage 3 and GCSE outcomes of ICT-related behaviors, including in the model other indicators of social capital and attitude to school. Relative performance was obtained by comparing each student’s actual achievement with predicted achievement, derived from ‘baseline’ scores. The researchers found a statistically significant positive association between pupils’ home use of ICT for educational purposes and improved attainment in national tests for: • Maths KS 2 (PIPS added value 6.00) • Maths KS 3 (YELLIS added value 0.30) • Maths GCSE (YELLIS added value 0.38) • English GCSE (YELLIS added value 0.29). The study found that use of ICT to support learning at home delivered a range of benefits including motivational and self-confidence effects, particularly for under-achieving learners. Importantly, the study demonstrated the role of the school in guiding and building learning- oriented behaviors with technology. Students from schools where the use of technology was more common were more likely to use technology to support learning. Given that the study also demonstrated some negative relationships between using technology at home for leisure purposes and GCSE attainment, building learning-oriented behaviors with technology in school is likely to be critical important in enabling learners to achieve educational success. ICTs, Music and Scientific Subjects Seminal musical experiences with electronic equipment date back to the 1950’s with electroacoustic composers (L. Berio, K. Stockhausen, B. Maderna, H. Pousseur, S. Reich , E. Varèse to name but a few). Their activity started with national radio stations, these being the only bodies with capital to invest on expensive electronic equipment and the necessary instruments. Since then, a lot has been done and in the last 15 years, thanks to rapid technological development (particularly in miniturisation) computers and software have acquired power and features that can be applied to music. Also, tools are increasingly easier to use. Nowadays, composers, conservatory students and professional musicians use computers because of the development of new composition and music recording softwares. Because its eLearning Papers • • 6 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  7. 7. use is very simple, clever amateurs can also have results that are similar to those of professionals in the sector. Since ancient times, man has been keen on the relation between sounds and the link to sciences, in particular those referring to mathematics and physics starting with Pitagora’s studies (which related to the height of the diatonic scale sounds which Western music applies), up to the last century with dodecaphonic music and later in non-commercial electronic music. New sounds currently exist that originate from technologies and computers thanks to a mathematical methodology called “treatment of the signal”; this has no relation to the use of traditional real instruments. The latest music also has inspirations from mathematics: algorithm of fractal geometry. Fractals are geometric shapes that eternally repeat the same element on an increasingly reducing scale. Generally, they are represented visually but because they are mathematic functions, it is possible to combine a sound representation with all possible pertaining implications. A simulation of a wave on a string. It is possible to modify the string tension, frequency amplitude but also damping. The key point of the project is to modify the way in which we deliver learning. Cultural enrichment through interesting young people in topics such as music and art, use of technologies, social competencies, problem-solving skills in computer science, autonomy and sense of purpose may help childhood and adolescence to achieve an improved engagement in school and a sense of educational accomplishment. Music Technology and music education foster a number of non-musical factors important for success in school and life. Three areas are important here: 1. Developmental goals such as self-esteem, self-discipline, and individual creativity; 2. The development of important academic and personal skills; and 3. The contribution of music to other areas of study. eLearning Papers • • 7 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  8. 8. Such skills are both implicit and explicit in music instruction. The inherent mathematical underpinning of music, for example, powerfully reinforces the analytical dimension of higher cognitive skills. Abstract concepts such as counting, fractions, and ratios acquire concrete and tangible meaning when applied in a musical context, and the relationships between symbol and context are much more readily made. Music requires the integration of hand-eye co- ordination, rhythm, tonality, symbol recognition and interpretation, attention span, and other factors that represent synthetic aspects of human intelligence. On a didactic prospective, the relationship between music and mathematics is in the rhythmic division of the musical meter. This is indicated with a mathematical fraction and also in the sound distribution over different heights, in the different temporal instants and voices of singers. The use of the modern music composition and recording software and audio signal treatment equipment implies the introduction and therefore the study (at different levels) of basic and advanced mathematical and physics concepts. These are necessary for a correct use of the software (fractions, Beat Per Minute, frequences and sampling resolutions, binary and esa decimal mathematics). Galileo used to say that “from ordinary things, we can acquire very curious news, which is so often far away from any fantasy”. Notions of musical acoustics explain notions of basic physics in a simple and pleasant way. For instance, the nature of the sound waves enables us to explain how sounds move through materials and the relationship between energy and waves. With the nature of a sound wave, we can explain to the students how sounds are produced through vibrations, and impart knowledge in the pressure physics field. Introducing the intensity and the Decibel Scale, we can explain to the students what an inverse square relationship is and we can relate Decibel Scale on real common sound. Some examples of mathematics and physics concepts described through music and sound augmentation are provided on our website. ICT Innovation in didatics and in the way to approach young people School drop out is a complex reality requiring multiple solutions. A change and innovation in the didactic methodology is indeed the key to reduce premature school drop out, particularly of young people at risk of exclusion. The key point is to modify the way to deliver learning. ACSI (Associazione Italiana Cultura, Sport e Tempo libero) was the lead partner of the previous European Project “Espair” (, in partnership with Italy, Spain, Ireland and France, with EU co- funding – Program Socrates (DG Education and Culture); the project was completed in December 2006. ACSI is a national association promoting social issues through activities in the cultural and leisure field. It’s main objective is to increase, coordinate and promote cultural, leisure and sport activities in order to enhance the cultural development of citizens, particularly young people, through improving the way that we use our free time. The project ESPAIR focused on the issue of early school leaving through an alternative educational module, which used sport as a hook. Achievements and conclusions of the project ESPAIR outlined the positive implication of non formal and informal education and particularly of innovative literacy based on leisure, recreational and sport activities, learning capability and reduction in school dropout rates. Excellent results emerged from the implementation of the project in Kerry County – Ireland: the project involved a class of 13 15- yearold teens at risk of exclusion. eLearning Papers • • 8 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  9. 9. The pilot experience implemented in Kerry County, Ireland (CEO Kerry Education Serviced), was a great success with remarkable achievements: • 100% of the participating young people were determined to continue their learning; • 85% improved their reading skills; a remarkable improvement in mathematics learning was also noted with 84% regularly attended their classes during the year that the experimental programme took place; • Greater satisfaction levels of students, teachers and parents. It was evident from the data collected during the project that students were particularly fond of: sports, namely extreme sports (this is the field the experts of Espair worked on) and certain types of music. Great interest and remarkable competences were evident in the use of the latest technologies, especially when applied to music (Ipod, file Mp3, downloading from internet, etc.) The experience with the Project Espair demonstrates that one of the key factors in the success of learning approaches for at-risk groups lies in motivation, in understanding their expectations and needs and also in the importance of promoting stronger learning out of school, in external and welcoming leisure environments. In its document “An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering”, the EC sees it as main goal “to Develop non-formal learning opportunities as one of a range of actions to address early school leaving”. Enhancing formal education is a key priority, but skills can be acquired outside the classroom through youth work and the use of new technologies. On the grounds of our experience in these years of work, we firmly believe that the educational system must detach from the rigid schemes in operation today and be open to the youth, their social and cultural interests, their models and myths. Our work intends to prove that whenever you have the courage to modify traditional educational processes with new subjects (or new learning modules) students are familiar with, you can achieve brilliant results and problems that affect the school world are reduced. Accordingly, ACSI and 4 European countries have teamed up in a new challenge based ICT applied to music. Transforming learning provision also through the innovative use of ICTs and especifically of music with the computer is an exhilarating opportunity to encourage at-risk students back into learning. The EC project E-Motion represents an alternative way to reflect on and fill some gaps of schooling and to communicate with at-risk young people using a language they are familiar with. The project focuses on possible alternative procedures that are close to the motivations and attitudes of young people at risk. Motivation is the magic word. The core of the new transnational project E-Motion is to contrast to school drop out rates, define new methods of approach and pathways that are based on the interests of young people. Music and particularly electronic music and the unusual application of musical technologies are our “bait” so that young people can acquire the key competences they need to be part of our society. Transforming the way competences and knowledge are provided, also through the innovative use of ITC and computer music will be the tools that encourage them to learn. E-MoTion is a project co-funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme – ITC; the Italian Association A.C.S.I (Associazione Cultura e Sport Italiana) and 4 European Partners (Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Tehne Centre for innovation in education, ICCMR - Plymouth University, Barcelona Media) intend to prove that the use of eLearning Papers • • 9 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  10. 10. innovative didactic systems young people are particularly keen on may reduce school drop out, improve the competences of students and their involvement in social life. Music and informatics are a mere tool to achieve a precise objective. They are the way through which subjects students are traditionally disaffected from may still hold some interest for them (maths, physics, history and more). The project E-Motion aims at the involvement of teenagers that have left school prematurely (or even better to prevent such a phenomenon occurring) through the experimental inclusion of the latest musical technologies in school teaching programs. The goal is to enhance their competences, not only in the music files but also to encourage their interest in the connected subjects: physics, maths, informatics etc. and to encourage them to attend school regularly. The Project E-Motion kicked off in January 2009; it will last 2 years and be structured into 3 phases: 1 - Development of the methodology of new teaching models. The methodology is coordinated by the ICCMR – Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research, University of Plymouth. ICCMR, directed by Prof. Eduardo Miranda who is a pioneer in digital music research (e.g. ICCMR is developing Brain-Computer Music Interface (BCMI) technology aimed at special needs and Music Therapy particularly for people with severe physical disability but with capacity for brain function – for further information visit the website: 2 - Implementation of pilot projects in sample schools in the Countries involved To “test” the validity of this experimental pathway, the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Tehne and Acsi will implement the model in schools of 3 Countries (Liverpool - UK, Romania and Italy). The three pilot projects should give rise to some modernization in the dydactic systems and prove the importance of investment in technologies and particularly on training teachers in them. 3 - Analysis of data: monitoring, assessment of the pilot experiences – coordinated by Barcelona Media (ES). Expected results: • Assess the positive impact of ICT as a basic education and training tool, particularly for young people at risk of exclusion. Exploit the potential of a new didactic approach based on ICT to reduce the Drop-out rate in Europe in the long term and to reduce the low skill level. • Sensitize and draw attention to the positive influence of ICT on the learning process, particularly the improvement of scientific and mathematical literacy competences. Technology and E-Music, our challenge The challenge for the future is to promote a learning culture that keeps pace with change and equips people with the relevant knowledge, skills, ideas and values that they need to become lifelong learners. The project aims at a complex sector: education and pedagogy. The E-Motion Project has the ambition to combine analysis and experimentation to demonstrate and better understand how and in what circumstances the innovative use of ICT can improve learning and basic competences. How does ICT influence the learning ability of pupils at risk of social exclusion? A new pedagogic approach might provide data useful for further thinking in view of the objectives that the EU wishes to reach by the end of 2010. eLearning Papers • • 10 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  11. 11. Our objective is to exploit the potential of ICT as a lever for innovation and change for young at-risk of exclusion through a combination of music and ICTs, two elements that young people are extremely interested in. This unusual use of ICTs is an extraordinary element which plays a fundamental role in combating exclusion. The new phenomenon of social networks and the creation of a social network of digital music the students involve in the project will design are essential in the back-to-learning and back-to-social involvement process. Sound techniques contribute to understand important concepts of physics, e.g. acoustics. Making electronic music requires elements of mathematics, physics and informatics. Creativity in learning is about fostering flexibility, openness for the new, the ability to adapt or to see new ways of doings things and the courage to face the unexpected. The use of modern technologies applied to music implies the introduction of concepts of informatics and electroacoustics into the didactic pathway E-MoTion. As far as informatics is concerned, the link is already there (the use of a computer implies the study of it, of its use possibilities, the study of the network and internet). As far as electroacoustics is concerned, two subjects of physics emerge: acoustics and electricity. In order to use at the best the modern technologies applied to music, it is necessary to master concepts such as decibel, sound wave propagation, electric current, frequency modulation synthesis, hertz, watt, etc. When studying both subjects, we necessarily study (at different levels) further subjects connected to classical physics. Examples of this are the concepts of speed, acceleration and reflection of sound wave transmission. Concepts of history, sociology, civil education and languages will be in the didactic module E- MoTion. Music will be an extraordinary tool for this, as multicultural elements are a feature of music (it is also the only language everyone can comprehend). As they deserve, diverse musical expressions from any corner of the world will be equally worthy: we will reflect on the social, religious and storical environment where such music has originated. This ensures the maximum interest and involvement of students of the project, regardless their origins. They will be encouraged to understand the social, cultural or religion grounds of other ethnic groups. References Becta, Harnessing Technology: Next Generation Learning 2008–14, Coventry, Becta., 2008 Benchmarking Access and Use of ICT in European Schools 2006, European Commission, Information Society and Media Directorate General, August 2006 Butt, S., and Cebulla, A. (2006), E-maturity and school performance – A secondary analysis of COL evaluation data. London: National Centre for Social Research. Becta. Commission staff working paper schools for the 21st century, Brussels, 11 July 2007 Commission Staff Working Document, Progress Towards the Lisbon Objectives in Education and Training, Indicators and benchmarks – 2008 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Promoting young people's full participation in education, employment and society - SEC (2007) 1093, 5 September 2007 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities, 29 April 2009 eLearning Papers • • 11 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  12. 12. Communication from the Commission “Europe 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, Brussels March 2010 Cropley, Creativity in education and learning, a guide for teacher and educator, Routledge 2001 Duru-Bellat M., Mons N., Suchaut B., Caractéristiques des systèmes éducatifs et competences des jeunes de 15 ans : l’éclairage des comparaisons entre pays, Cahiers de l’Irédu, n° 66, 2004 Embedding ICT Final Report, University of Newcastle, April 2005 European Commission, The Impact of Culture on Creativity, July 2009 Faveresse D., Kohn L. & Piette D., Etude de la santé des jeunes en décrochage scolaire et du cannabis à l’adolescence, Rapport de recherche financée par la Communauté française, Direction Générale de la Santé, octobre 2000 GHK (2005), Study on Access to Education and Training, Basic Skills and Early School Leavers, Final Report, GHK (2005) (Ref. DG EAC 38/04), European Commission DG EAC, Brussels. Hollingworth, S., Allen, K., Hutchings, M., Abol Kuyok, K. and Williams, K. Technology and school improvement: reducing social inequity with technology? Coventry, Becta, IPSE 2008 ImpaCT2 - The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Pupil Learning and Attainment - Maragliano R., “Le tecnologie come campo di problematizzazione dell’educazione”, in Alessandrini G., (a cura di), Pedagogia e formazione nella società della conoscenza, Angeli, Milano, 2002 Marescotti E., (a cura di), La dispersione scolastica. Alcune riflessioni sui modelli teorici, metodologie di ricerca, ipotesi di lavoro, in “Prisma”, n. 2, 2000. Ministerio de Educación, Plan para la reducción del abandono escolar, November 2008 Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, La dispersione scolastica, Indicatori di base, Anno scolastico 2006/07, Rome, May 2008 Miranda E., “Elaboration of the Module: Definition of the Programme”, Research report, October 2009 Modernising education and training: a vital contribution to prosperity and social cohesion in Europe. Joint interim report of the Council and of the Commission on progress under the ‘education & training 2010’ work programme », JOC79/1, April 2006 National Institute for Statistics, Romanian Statistical Yearbook, Romania, 2008 NEET Statistics, Statistical First Release (SFR), Department for children, schools and families, 2007 OECD, Learning for Tomorrow’s World. First PISA Results 2003 Policy paper on Recognition of non-formal education: Confirming the real competencies of young people in the knowledge society, European Youth Forum, Brussels, 11-12 November 2005. Policy paper on early education leaving adopted by the General Assembly Rotterdam, the Netherlands, European Youth Forum, 13-15 November 2008 Valentine, G., Marsh, J. and Pattie, C. (2005), Children and Young People’s Home Use of ICT for Educational Purposes: The impact on attainment at key stages 1-4, DfES eLearning Papers • • 12 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542
  13. 13. Author Franco Alvaro Project Coordinator E-Motion project Copyrights The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Com m ons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeW orks 3.0 Unported licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them, eLearning Papers, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on Edition and production Name of the publication: eLearning Papers ISSN: 1887-1542 Publisher: Edited by: P.A.U. Education, S.L. Postal address: C/ Muntaner 262, 3º, 08021 Barcelona, Spain Telephone: +34 933 670 400 Email: Internet: eLearning Papers • • 13 Nº 19 • April 2010 • ISSN 1887-1542