Building a Powerpack – Training and Reverse Mentoring path around digital skills

During the Erasmus + “Big Time Take Over” project we found ourselves having to develop a tool useful in helping a target of teenagers in creative expression and active citizenship content in the digital and virtual context, and from the first moment it was clear that we were invaders. How could we invade such a proprietary field for those who are digital natives, so changing, constantly evolving, amidst new developments and fashions? How can we teach something to someone who at best thinks we are cringe and sneers at our explanations? We just had to turn the question around and ask the group of young people we had recruited for the project to give us their vision of the digital world, to teach us the digital world.

The response was immediately positive, in fact, guys are used to being continually scolded by the world of adults because they spend most of their time with their mobile phones or in front of the computer playing games and they saw our actions as an opportunity to express their point of view.

They immediately felt like a group, a brand, a voice other than that of the adult world. They gave themselves a name and developed a logo.

During a series of meetings, including public ones, in front of insiders and local authorities, the young people elaborated and presented their vision of video games and the whole universe of gaming, which they perceive not only as a source of fun and distraction but also as a source of learning and an opportunity to meet people, of the Social Networks and the multiple chances they offer, of the Internet in general perceived as a great source of training and information.

To stimulate them to a more serious reflection on the topic, we have encouraged the young people to have a guided discussion in order to seriously highlight and elaborate all the critical points on the subject and to integrate them into their thinking.

At this point, we asked them which tool, which shape they would most willingly use to transmit what they have built together with their peers, to create a support and empowerment tool, and they almost unanimously indicated the video podcast, which is the training and information they use the most.

All that remained was to ask them to create a prototype, perhaps imperfect, but indicative of what they wanted to express. We, therefore, invited them to first carry out some experiments to test their limits and then to launch themselves into the project by unleashing all their creativity and activating all their technical skills. Finally, we asked them to highlight and list all the digital tools they used to create their product and to integrate them. This is the final result: 

All this work has contributed to building the Big Time Take Over Powerpack, entirely designed and built with the active contribution of the group of kids involved. The Powerpack is more of a process than a guide. First of all a process of healthy discussion between different generations, then a process of training and tutoring from the side and not from above, in a non formal context, finally a useful model to be able to follow in tackling a project that involves digital, because, as a process, it can regardless of the aging of the various digital tools.

The proof of the effectiveness of the Powerpack, the real test, took place during the 5 days of training in Matera in July 2022, in which, with 18 young people from five different countries involved, we applied the methodology developed with the kids from Rome with results that immediately proved to be exciting because the students took possession of all phases of the work, from brainstorming to conception, from building the working group to the business plan, from visual identity to management, from research into the creation of content around the theme of environmental education, which turned out to be a shared priority for them:

It would be interesting to suggest, apply and test the Powerpack model in different contexts and different experiences, we will not fail to do so, since, also seen from our point of view as trainers, it has proved to be a useful and effective tool for the approach, the comparison and relationship with boys of that age group.


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