Social Mindedness in LEaring communiY
The SMILEY project (Social Mindedness in LEaring communiY) gives a strong contribution in addressing social exclusion and marginalization among young students by the use of ICT as an effective educational tool integrating the conventional teaching methods. This bottom-up approach allows teachers and students to debate about the social and civic problems through a ICT-based learning methodology. Thanks to the project, Referring Teachers improve their capacity in recognizing and dealing with risky situations and behaviours among pupils, while students learn how to face daily situations in a constructive and cooperative way. To reach this purpose, an online educational role-playing game called Your Town has been developed and implemented as a tool to raise the social awareness and sensitivity of young people towards these issues.
The project has been implemented through the following phases:
The first phase is aimed at the development of a specific SMILEY methodology enabling the teachers involved in the project to apply the multimedia technologies having as final aim engaging the students on different social issues and problems such as bullying, violent attitudes, ethnic and religious discrimination, etc...
The second phase is oriented to practical training of Referring Teachers in the use of ICT in education. The specific objective of this phase has been achieved through the design and implementation of integrated courses and through the provision of specific textbooks designed to allow teachers to make the best use of digital potential and to facilitate the transmission and dissemination of the SMILEY methodology to other teachers in the respective countries.
The third phase will be addressed to the direct involvement of students through the experimentation of “Your Town”, an educational role-playing game (ERPG) as an interactive tool of testing and stimulating the students' level of social mindedness. Through a game-based learning approach and within a safe virtual town scenario, this exciting new game encourages players age 10–16 years to think about various positive and negative social issues and situations with a view to promoting constructive, co-operative, social minded behaviour.