ON_OFF4youngsters will develop a new game facilitated by a pedagogical approach designed specifically for youngsters to be delivered by Augmented Reality technology that has high educational potential. The game will empower children to identify and interpret causes and risks that interact with excessive online engagement and have negative effects on their emotional, academic and social life and help them to embrace a balanced approach between heavy Internet use and offline interactions and activities. The didactical approach and the game will be used by professionals working with children as a means for reaching out to children more effectively.
The ON-OFF4youngsters project will result in a Toolkit (IO2) comprising:
- A new pedagogical approach to attract children’s attention and then achieve the learning objectives by offering a teaching and joyful interactive gaming experience to the children. An important tool in this equation is the use of augmented reality (AR) technology as a delivery tool.
- A new curriculum for teachers and youngsters to be used in the classroom by the teachers, comprising a teachers’ guide and learning activities that will raise awareness about the risks of constant and passive engagement with the Internet, while it will suggest ways how youngsters can embrace more constructive and mindful use of the Internet.
- An Augmented Reality game which will also be used by teachers to develop new games or co-create games with children on any subject.
- An online network (ON-OFF4YOUNGSTERS Academy) involving:
- Teachers, allowing them to exchange opinions and experiences with colleagues from other countries with different educational systems.
- Pupils, allowing them to experiment with balanced approaches between online engagement and offline alternatives.
- Parents having access to resources and tools about factors interacting with excessive online commitment of their children and the risks related to their physical, emotional and social development.
The project results will extend current knowledge in effective communication with children with regards to important issues affecting their well-being, such as excessive Internet use and offer practical tools to those working with children, designed specifically for the children's needs.
It will enable teachers to improve their pupils’ media literacy skills and enhance critical thinking by children and thus help to develop a deeper understanding of how problematic Internet use may affect their physical health, emotional well-being, academic, familial and/or social life, and alongside it will infuse the value of pragmatic/offline activities into the play game rules.
More publicly available outcomes of the project will be provided here as the project progresses.