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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
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

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society – Understanding the Picture
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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-KA3MP 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 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.
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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: [2010-09-15]2 Riga Declaration (2006). Available online at: 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: america/regional-cooperation/alis/documents/lisbon_declaration_en.pdf [2010-09-16]4 EC Communication (2007) 332 final. Online available at: riServ/site/en/com/2007/com2007_0332en01.pdf5 e-Inclusion: Be Part of It! Online available at: information_society/activities/einclusion/bepartofit/index_en.htm [2010-09-10] 7
  7. 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 or directly available
  8. 8. 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 – [2010-05-18] 9
  9. 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, 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 13. 14
  14. 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 or directly available 15
  15. 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 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: or directly available
  16. 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 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
  17. 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 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
  18. 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
  19. 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+) 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) XenoCLIPse Web in the Hood Web in the Hood Table 6: Addressed age groups and fields of inventions of the case studies20
  20. 20. formal non-formal informalAgeing well HiStory HiStory(e.g. generation 50+) 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) Web in the Hood Web in the Hood XenoCLIPse Table 7: Addressed learning and field of interventions of the case studies 21
  21. 21. 22
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 24. 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
  25. 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 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
  26. 26. 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
  27. 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 ( 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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/; 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, 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) 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
  32. 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,, 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- 33
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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