In society today opportunities to harness the pervasiveness and potential of media applications for developing key competences of marginalised groups are plentiful. What stifles the development of new educational interventions, in many cases, is the unpreparedness, even reluctance, of educators to engage in new environments that undermine their perceived role as educators.
There are now a wide range of ubiquitous learning environments that are accessible and user-friendly and offer potential learning opportunities for marginalised groups that are attractive and engaging. In this evolving education landscape the old 'sage-on-the-stage' model of institutional based provision is no longer the only educational act in town. Adult and community education programmes, free from the shackles of institution based provision, are often places where real educational innovation takes place. Theses programmes differ significantly from formal education and according to the Eurydice Report in 2014 "adults are much more likely to participate in non-formal learning activities than in formal education and training...the take-up of non-formal education and training is nearly six times higher compared to formal education".
There is a significant lack of appropriate in-service training to support the CPD of educators and nowhere is this more apparent than in the adult and community education sector which is traditionally the poor relation where investment in CPD is concerned. Between 2011 and 2016 the rate of early school leavers dropped from 14.9% to 11.2% in the UK; 41.9% to 34.9% in TR; 5% to 2.8% in HR; 17.8% to 14.1% in IT; 10.8% to 6.9% in IE; 5.6% to 5.2% in PL and 9.8% to 8.7% in FI.
Of the partner countries involved only the Czech Republic saw the rate of ESLs grow in the period in question from 4.9% to 6.7%. Although there has been significant progress in the last 5 years ESL remains a significant problem in many Member States. Research shows that the prospects for early school-leavers throughout the remainder of their lives are bleak. They face significant difficulties in finding work and are more often unemployed and dependent on welfare benefits. There is also a cyclical element to early school-leaving with children of parents with low levels of educational achievement more likely to leave school early themselves without appropriate qualifications. In today's economy medium to high skilled employments increasingly account for the vast majority of emerging job opportunities. It is imperative to provide appropriate supports for those with no or low-level educational attainment to enable them bridge the skills gap and fulfill their potential.
1) Design and implement a bespoke in-service training programme for adult and community educators that supports them to use digital media production and digital media platforms as robust, pertinent and highly attractive learning environments. This in-service training will include ab initio instruction in video and audio production and post-production using open source software.
2) Design and develop a comprehensive suite of digital media embedded learning and enquiry-based learning key competence resources for use with marginalised young adults in formal and non-formal settings. These will include: - ab initio instruction in video and audio production to develop their digital competence - a range of media based, embedded-learning resources to build social and civic competence; and cultural awareness and expression - a range of enquiry based learning resources essential for media production like research, planning and budgeting to address literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking competences
3) To provide a series of virtual learning and collaborative environments that bring adult and community educators in 8 countries and young marginalised adults in 8 countries together to support exchange of best practice, stimulate collaborative endeavors and raise awareness of cultural diversity.
The DIME project is not primarily about digital media: it is a project about developing specific key competences; about responsibility, tolerance, respect and inclusion. It is a project that gives voice to young adults and in doing so will cultivate attitudes, raise awareness and understanding. The project will focus on the personal development and inclusion of young marginalised adults for whom formal education has failed. Digital media production is the medium; not the message. Key target groups are adult and community educators for whom a bespoke in-service training programme will be developed and the young marginalised adults they work with to develop key their key competences. Developing DIME in a trans-national environment affords partners the opportunity to explore the potential of the digital media environment for bespoke learning and guidance provision and to learn from the experiences of others who bring specific media production skills to the table.