SoRuraLL! – Rural Social Networking for Life-Long Learning (2009-2011)

State-of-the-art widespread ICT networking tools and platforms have the potential to enable individuals to enhance their social networking, and in this way, potentially also enhance their learning. Groups at risk of exclusion may benefit from such technologies by getting the means for connecting themselves to public services, learning and civic engagement.

The SoRuraLL! project aims to investigate the potential for enhanced lifelong learning offered by social networking tools and platforms to those living in geographically and socio-economically disadvantaged rural areas.

Experimental learning approaches will be developed and implemented, examining the potential offered by these new trends and tools for the alleviation of the disadvantage suffered by such populations in Europe through the enhancement of opportunities for effective and meaningful lifelong learning.

The project will bring together and further develop content, services, pedagogies and practices for social lifelong learning in rural areas, formulating specific scenarios of use of social networking tools and platforms which will be tested with real learners and their teachers in disadvantaged rural areas, and evaluated in terms of their impact on learning (self-learning, informal peer-learning, formal learning) and inclusion (development of e-skills and competences, linking up of learning communities, building up of new partnerships), consolidating thus an evidence base on the added-value and impact of social networking tools and platforms for rural learning, with a particular attention to institutional as well as pedagogical innovation and change.

Several technological solutions will be tried including weblogs, wikis, podcasts, social software, virtual social sites, as well as tools such as mobile phones, and various usage schemes in the various sectors of lifelong learning, both formal (school, higher education, VET, adult education) and informal. Options for citizens’ access to the digital resources will also be examined, making use of good practice examples in areas of work such as the operation of telecenters in disadvantaged areas, the use of satellite broadband in remote rural areas, as well as other open and distant access approaches. A major outcome will be the promotion of a new vision for the use of social networking tools and platforms for learning in favour of the geographically, socio-economically and digitally disadvantaged, which will be proactively fed into policy making and education and training systems, aiming to achieve a multiplier effect across rural Europe.

Overall, the innovation produced in the project will be carefully grounded on already existing knowledge and experiences, through an introductory comparative analysis of existing practices aiming to identify transferable good practice and success factors. A clear lifelong learning stance is taken, addressing multiple sectors including school education, higher education, adult education and professional training.

Financial entity: European Commission- LLP Programme, Key Action ICT

Tutor UB: Mario Barajas Frutos

Participants:

  • Universitat de Barcelona (Spain)
  • Research Academic Computer Technology Institute (Grecee)
  • EllinoGermaniki Agogi (Grecee)
  • Atit - Audiovisual Technologies, Informatics & telecommunications (Belgium)
  • Arbeit und Bildung (Germany)
  • Fundacja Progress & Business (Poland)
  • Recreation and Development Union (Bulgaria)

Date: 2009 – 2011