The youth organization aha Liechtenstein works with partners from Austria and Germany to develop a digital toolbox. The goal is to help young people get involved in society through digital channels and to help youth workers and educational professionals better support young people.

Getting young people involved in digital activities seems easy. Which teenager doesn’t like to hang on their phone or play video games? But games are not what it’s about. A key challenge for parents and educators is teaching kids how to use digital channels responsibly and get involved in useful activities digitally.

That’s what the EU project “Fit for European Youth Work Practice: e-Participation digital, diverse, hybrid” (FITDDJI) is all about. It’s a joint project by aha Liechtenstein, a youth organization that organizes activities and support programs for young people, aha Voralberg, and the German Youth Agency Baden-Württemberg.

Digital Toolbox

The goal of FITDDJI is to involve young people in a comprehensive participation process, also online. To get youngsters ready for digital participation, they need to know more about online interaction than gaming or social media.

The project started with a digital kick-off, a two-days’ workshop which has taken place in Vorarlberg, Austria. Young people, youth workers, and experts from the educational sector developed a prototype for a digital toolbox that should help young people with digital interactions.

The digital toolbox is a website that will provide basic information about the most important platforms and their functions, data security, costs, advantages, and disadvantages. This way, young people understand the pros and cons of different channels, how they may affect their privacy, and how to best use them.

Next steps

The next step will be to finetune the prototypes developed so far. For example, there will be tools in the digital seminar box tailored to the needs of the target group, “people who work with young people.”

Nineteen years old Victor Claußen, who is also part of the project, explains: “At the youth center, I kept getting the impression that it is not that easy to reach young people digitally. That’s why I thought I would like to contribute ideas to the project as a young person.”

He touches on an important point: People working with teenagers, who often didn’t grow up as digital natives, don’t always understand how kids use digital tools and which tools they use. Thus, one goal of the project is to give youth workers and educational professionals a more solid understanding of the digital space.

Workshop 14th December

The next workshop takes place on 14th December 2022, from 5 to 8 pm at aha Dornbirn. Creative design thinking methods will be used to keep improving the prototypes. Anyone who wants to participate or give feedback or input is welcome. No previous experience is required. Those interested can register with Annette Bernhard 05572 52212-23 or annette.bernhard@aha.or.at.

Altogether that’s a worthwhile project, and it’s great aha Liechtenstein is participating. The progress on such tools could also help improve the digital youth work in Liechtenstein.

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