The SocialWeb - SocialWork training campaign started

On Monday, 18th February 2013, the very 'first' training session of the SocialWeb - SocialWork project - a kind of test run of the newly developed training curriculum - took place in Warsaw, Poland. Each project partner sent their trainer or a person responsible for the trainings to our Polish partner - the Nobody's Children Foundation - who hosted the meeting.

The trainings enable social youth workers to guide and support vulnerable children's and youths' Internet usage in order to improve their online safety by availing the positive energy and influence of social work. The social workers will learn how to improve the digital skills of their young target group and how to strengthen their resilience. In each country, ten training sessions will be organised by the national partner organisations in their national language during the next months.

The training curriculum is based on the ex-ante survey results providing interesting and supporting information structured in the following six modules:

  1. social web and its appliances,
  2. understanding the internet usage of children and youths,
  3. addressing children and youths appropriately with regard to their online behaviour,
  4. online risks and threats,
  5. methods and ways of intervention in case of endangerment,
  6. methods and ways of prevention of risky online behaviour

The 'train-the-partner' training provided the opportunity to discuss the training curriculum, methods and materials and to adapt the content to local needs, which will help the trainers to prepare their face-to-face training session. The main objective of the meeting was to synchronise the training content in all partner countries. To achieve this, the participants dealt with national differences in training methods and understanding of the curriculum. They discussed the special needs of the different trainees and how to address these by the curriculum. The exchange among the project partners was essential for the enhancement and finalisation of the training curriculum and materials prior to the start of the training campaign. The face-to-face training is accompanied by online learning units, which are currently in development.

After the kick-off training for the project partners in Poland, the first trainings of the project SocialWeb - SocialWork have taken place. About 240 of 500 social workers are trained so far. In all partner countries the training campaign started successfully.

project work at the whiteboard

Here, all experiences, options and challenges, as well as new findings and technologies, will be considered and - if applicable - included in the training curriculum. This approach is due to the circumstance that the (internet) world is changing faster and faster. Therefore, with regard to the project design, it was necessary to decide that the training curriculum must be a dynamic tool that is continuously developed further.

Due to the given module structure, all trainings begin with an introduction of the trainees and their respective fields of work. Experiences show that special themes related to social networks arouse the trainees' curiosity. Introduced to the fascination of young people in social networks and other social web applications, trainees are carefully led to understanding the risks and threats on the Internet. By imparting intervention and prevention measures to the trainees they get acquainted with suggestions how to safeguard children and youths and how to react appropriately in situations when young people are in trouble because of the Internet.

Insights into the training content and its appropriateness are also derived from the feedback of the trainees. Here are some of the already expressed comments:

  • "Now I have ideas and steps in mind what can I do when we are faced with cyber bullying"
  • "I have an idea of what young people do on Facebook"
  • "I know now it can have wide-spread impacts when young people publish things on social networks and what privacy settings are"

In order to strengthen the effects of the face-to-face-training, additional online learning units are provided. All online learning units are freely accessible on the projects website.

Those interested in taking part in a training session, please contact the national partner.

At the end of the project's runtime, the final results will be published at an international conference in Berlin in April 2014 and a version of the training curriculum will be made publicly available and published - please look forward to it!

For more information about the project, please click here: SocialWeb - SocialWork.


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