FOOTPRINT: Building digital media skills to raise climate change awareness among young people
Climate change is no longer a concept or theory; it is now a harsh reality that all people need to face up to. There is ample evidence that young people all over the world are facing up to this challenge. Global demonstrations in 2019 were largely organised and led by young people demanding action. However, protest alone is not sufficient to address the climate change challenge.
Action is needed on an individual and collective level to change peoples habits; to adopt more environmentally friendly patterns of production and consumption; and to find solutions to the climate change challenge we all now face. In society today opportunities to harness the potential of ubiquitous media applications for promoting environmental and climate goals are plentiful.
There are now a wide range of always-on digital devices that are affordable, widely available and user-friendly. Mobile phones or smartphones were the devices the most used in 2016 by internet surfers in every EU Member State. The Netherlands is one of the highest rates in the EU at 88%. Ireland at 84% is not far behind. In Portugal the rate stood at 82% and according to a study about Android use in Turkey by strategy consultants OCC&C, mobile penetration of the total population had reached 94% as of 2016 and smartphone penetration was at 68%.
Although this is the last year that comparable data is available there is ample anecdotal evidence that penetration rates and usage rates have risen significantly in the last 4 years. Even the cheapest new smartphone has significant media production capacity and these devices can provide learning opportunities for young people that are attractive and engaging.
Target groups of the FOOTPRINT project are; – front-line youth workers working in formal, non-formal and informal settings; – young digital natives who are interested in accepting the climate change challenge and trying to instigate change. Climate change is a global issue and today’s young digital natives are the key guardians of the planet for the future. If every one of the over 8 billion people on Planet Earth today made one small change the impact would be significant. There is no silver bullet to solve climate change.
A series of changes by every individual to their patterns of consumption is the only way of stemming the flow of environmental degradation. Affording young people from different countries the opportunity to consider the climate change issues and be solution focused is now essential.
Aims of the FOOTPRINT project are; – to promote quality and innovation in youth work by building the skills of youth professionals to support them to address climate change issues in their formal, non-formal and informal learning/engagement activities; – leverage the interest of young people in climate change and empower them by building their critical thinking skills especially where climate change and environmental issues are concerned; – encourage young people to be peer leaders and influencers in the fight against climate change.
Objectives of the FOOTPRINT project are; – to provide bespoke in-service training for front-line youth workers to enable them introduce smartphone film making into their everyday practice; – to build key transversal skills of young digital natives through the design and development of an innovative film production training programme using smartphone devices; – to provide a suite of educational resources that develop critical thinking skills to address climate change and motivate them to promote solutions to the many pollutions that accelerate the impact of climate change; – to support young people to script, film, edit and promote thoughtful short films that address a number of critical climate change and environmental topics.
The following results will be achieved during the project lifetime:
1. An in-service training programme will be developed and 36 youth workers will complete the training to develop their skills and competences to use digital and social media production and digital media platforms as robust, pertinent and highly attractive learning environments for today’s young digital natives. In addition to essential pedagogic instruction to support the use of inquiry-based, embedded-learning the in-service training will also address issues relating to working in non-formal and informal training environments and using digital and social media environments as learning environments. This in-service training will include ab initio instruction in each of the 3 stages of audiovisual production using widely available portable technology devices like smart-phones and tablets and cutting-edge open source software.
2. A curriculum of bespoke digital media inquiry-based and embedded learning resources to support the acquisition of key transversal skills will be produced. These resources will be specifically designed for the youth target group and will comprise ab initio instruction in video and audio production using available portable media devices like smart-phones and tablets to develop their digital competence; film research and story-boarding training resources to build environmental awareness; film production training resources to include planning shooting schedules, costume and make-up, permissions and waivers and budgeting to develop literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking competences and to build teamwork skills; editing, marketing and promotion to build an entrepreneurial mind-set. Training resources will address the 3 distinct stages of audio-visual production namely, – Pre-production; Production; Post-production – to ensure that the youth target group can adopt a role that suits their interest and personality
3. A suite of environmental awareness training resources that address 12 key topics that relate to climate change will be developed. Topics like waste management, sustainable travel, ethical fashion, consumer habits, energy consumption, food production, water conservation, etc. The full list of topics will be agreed at the first partner meeting. 12 different, thought provoking, training resources will be produced to help inform the youth target group about the environmental consequences of unsustainable practices that are accelerating climate change.
There are 4 transnational partner meetings scheduled in months 1, 7, 15 and 23. Each partner will send 1 representative to all meetings. As coordinator, INNEO will send 2 representatives to all meetings.
Partner Meeting 1 will be held in Ireland in M1 to; (1) allow a detailed project examination clarifying roles, responsibilities and the scheduling of all activities; (2) project administrative and financial management, quality assurance and quality planning guidelines; (3) agreeing the value proposition for the IO1 and IO2; (4) establishing the principles for engagement of target group members through local working groups; (5) agree the parameters for an effective dissemination strategy; (6) agree a project branding concept and a web architecture framework.
Partner meeting 2 will be held in Portugal in M7 to; (1) support project and quality management; (2) review progress and milestones achieved; (3 ) review all on- going development
work; (4) agree the value proposition for IO3; (5) plan for the C1 Short-term joint staff training event in Ireland in M13 Partner meeting 3 will be held in Greece in M15 to (1) support project and quality management; (2) review progress and milestones achieved; (3 ) review all on-going development work; (4) review implementation of IO1; (5) sign-off on IO2 and IO3; (6) plan for the C2 Blended mobility of youth event in Spain in M16 (5) plan the implementation phase for all resources in each partner country.
Partner meeting 4 will be held in Poland in M23 to; (1) complete all project reporting; (2) participate in the Transnational Final Conference planned to coincide with the partner meeting; (3) agree plans for future development and possible further collaboration.
These face-to-face partner meetings will be supplemented by a minimum of 3 online meeting through Skype/Zoom. Online meetings will be scheduled in M3/M4; M12/M13 and M18/M19. Where necessary, bilateral Skype meetings will be arranged to ensure the smooth progress of the project through all development phases.
The in-service training will place a significant emphasis on working with non-traditional embedded-learning and inquiry-based approaches and on capitalizing on the ubiquity of new online learning environments. It will explore the different roles of educators and support workers in these environments. The proposed key competence resources will potentially bring a wide range of new educational environments into the learning process especially social media platforms.
The emphasis of the in-service training programme will be to ensure that youth workers have the necessary skills:
a) to provide training in audio visual production using available media devices and open source software;
b) to be comfortable working with the new resources and suitably trained so they can deliver training in a blended learning and inquiry-based learning environment;
c) to be fully bought in to the benefits that on-line learning can bring and yet fully aware of the risks that pertain in on-line environments;
d) to be able to safeguard against possible negative on-line factors.
Partners will work closely with their local working groups to identify the precise training needs to be addressed in the in-service curriculum. The in-service curriculum will comprise 50 hours of training made up of 21 hours of workshop-based face-to-face instruction focusing on the audio visual production modules and 29 hours of self directed on-line learning addressing the more pedagogic and theoretical elements of the curriculum. The in-service training programme will be available on-line as a hand-book in pdf format for printing and as a flip-book for on-line use. The audio visual production modules will be supported by a series of demonstration/simulation videos. The complete in-service training programme will be available in all partner languages.
FOOTPRINT proposes a completely new development approach for the acquisition of key transversal skills through smartphone film making in a climate change context. It will include a range of bespoke learning approaches to engage young people and build their confidence and their competences. In addition to a wide range of administrative, creative and technical skills that will be addressed in the film making training programme other key transversal skill areas that will be addressed through the proposed inquiry-based and embedded learning methodology include:
– Inquiry based: climate change awareness; understanding you environmental footprint; sense of initiative; critical thinking.
– Embedded-learning: literacy; numeracy; teamwork; communication skills.
The full suite of resources will reflect the requirements to produce the films including budgeting, obtaining filming permissions, set design, roles and responsibilities, planning, researching topics, producing storyboards, documenting production schedules, logging footage, costume design, set design, etc. These activities will address such skills as literacy, numeracy, teamwork, and communication skills, climate change awareness; understanding you environmental footprint; sense of initiative; critical thinking. In the actual production and editing of the audio-visual outputs the digital competence of target groups will be developed with the same media production learning outcomes as those proposed for those youth workers who complete the audio-visual training elements of the in-service training. The advantages of using smartphone film making in a climate change context are that a wide range of different skills and competences can be developed in each of the pre-production, production and post-production phases.
A value proposition for the proposed learning resources that sets out the precise learning outcomes to be achieved for each film making skill and each transversal skill will be agreed by all partners following consultation with their local working group. Each curriculum resource will include step-by-step guides to the process to be followed in the making of the audio-visual productions to ensure that the required learning outcomes are achieved.
The ‘Friday’s for Freedom’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’ demonstrations in the autumn of 2019 were a clear sign to all that young people today are motivated and can be mobilised to get involved in climate change and environmental issues. What is also clear, however, is that much of the energy that is being expended by these activists is misguided and ill-informed.
Protest, on its own is not a solution to any issue. Educated opinion, a broad understanding of the issues at hand, and the critical perspective and insight to propose solutions to the many pollutions that are at the very heart of the climate change debate. It is beyond argument that education is the key to ensuring that the energy and commitment of this new cohort of activists is properly harnessed. FOOTPRINT will turn the spotlight for solutions back at today’s young digital natives with a thought provoking toolkit of environmental awareness training resources.
Partners will develop 12 training resources that look at different environmental themes such as waste management, sustainable travel, ethical fashion, consumer habits, energy consumption, food production, water conservation, etc. The full list of topics will be agreed at the first partner meeting. 12 different, thought provoking, training resources will be produced to help inform the youth target group about the environmental consequences of unsustainable practices that are accelerating climate change. These resources will present facts that relate directly to modern consumer habits and present research challenges to young learners to find alternatives. The resources will be produced in media-rich formats like Powtoon Videos, Videoscribe, comic strips, infographics, etc. or whatever media-rich format is deemed appropriate for the specific target group.
In research conducted with 12 young digital natives in each partner country in autumn 2019 partners asked a series of questions related to the environmental impact of certain consumer items. for example, respondents were asked if they knew how many litres of water are used in the making of a pair of denim jeans. The highest number suggested within the group of 45 people who answered this question was 200 litres. The actual number is 7,400 litres. when young people were asked why white plastic packaging was recyclable while black plastic packaging was not only 1 person knew that this was due to the light scanning method used to separate waste plastic products. Project partners are confident that the proposed toolkit will build a key understanding of each of the 12 thematic areas selected and the youth target group will then be encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge and awareness in the short films they will have to research and produce.
This toolkit represents a real innovation in youth education and will help to build a cohort of knowledgeable peer leaders where climate change and environmental awareness is
concerned in each partner country.
- E1 Poland
- E2 Ireland
- E3 Czech Republic
- E4 Spain
- E5 Portugal
- E6 Greece
A short film festival will be held in every country as a key focal point in the learning experience of the youth target group. The 16 youth engaged in the training will be formed into groups of 4 to produce a series of 4 minute short films. The topics for the short films or documentaries will be selected from the themes addressed in the environmental awareness training resources. Each of the 4 the films or documentaries produced in Ireland will be focused on one of topics and the individual production teams will have to research, plan, produce and edit their own short film using available media like smartphones, tablets, etc. and open source software like audacity.
A public event to be held in Turkey. It will attract an audience of at least 50 persons drawn from the youth work and youth development sectors at management and practice levels. This event will be used to promote the FOOTPRINT model and launch the full suite of resources developed. As the award for the best short film will also be presented this event will be available as a simultaneous webcast in each partner country. It will be scheduled to coincide with the final partner meeting and all partners will present an overview of the project achievements in their own country.
Training provided will support skills acquisition in audio visual production using available media devices and open source software. Partners will select 2 front-line youth workers who have a close affiliation with their organisation and who are interested in using audio visual production as a learning environment to build the key transversal skills and build climate change and environmental awareness of young people. Partners will select youth workers who will agree to support the cascading model of training proposed by supporting the training of a further 6 front-line youth workers in their home country.
Partners will send 2 young people to this blended mobility in Spain to enhance their understanding of climate change challenges and build environmental awareness. This event will offer the young people to debate and discuss these issues with their peers from 4 different countries and to produce additional video content that captures the perspectives and opinions of those attending. Partners will select young people who have completed the training programmes and each partner will send a youth worker to accompany their participants.
IO1 – In-service Training_EN Version
IO2 – Smartphone Film Making Training Programme_EN Version
IO3 – Environmental Awareness Training Resource Toolkit_EN Version
Ethical Fashion/ Slow Food Movement / Reducing Plastic Waste
Escape Room 1_ Major threats to the oceans
Escape Room 2_Ecosystems destruction and biodiversity loss
Footprint Newsletter 1 EN
Footprint Newsletter 2 EN
Footprint Newsletter 3 EN
Footprint Newsletter 4 EN