Workshop A “The Content” was led by Ilkka Jormanainen (Jensuu Science Society – Scifest, Finnland) with input presentations from Kristy Collins (Kids Tech University, Virgina - USA), Deboar d’Avila Reis (Universidade das Crianças, Minas Gerais - Brazil), Susana Neves (Ciência 2.0, Porto - Portugal) and Helen Smith (AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna - Austria). It was the aim to discuss the content available through ICT as well as the chances or jeopardizes ICT can provide in the field of science in society activities.
To ensure a very practical point of view, the workshop started with presentations of various projects and was then continuing with smaller group discussions. Besides serious gaming, the focus lay on the ICT components of children university activities. Throughout the discussion it was made clear that similar objectives – such as topics related to daily life, presented in a fun and interactive way – are important for ICT as well as for activities on location. In this sense serious gaming is an example of how content can be presented to the target group. But not only how the content is presented to the kids does have an influence on learning journeys, also the fact of around the clock availability changes how children and young people learn.
Including ICT into the curriculum or in other education projects in general, the role of educators and pupils/children can change fundamentally. That does mean new challenges for both sides as well as it requires self-confidence of educators within the changed role. Are educators still the ones to ask questions, or do educators probably ask their kids for help? What role do parents and peers play? Just to name a few issues discussed.
Content is available every time and everywhere, which means that the reliability of content presented by the educator or found online can be questioned/needs to be questioned. To address this new situation, intergenerational interaction or mentoring were named as possible approaches. Thus a co-learning situation can be created for the benefit of all those involved.
To take the changed situation as a chance, we have to break long-established roles and methods. Science in society activities very often break fresh ground and could therefore be seen as innovator for ICT in the field of education as well as leading a redefinition of the relationship between educators and learners.