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Beyond SUN: an educational project for responsible use of digital and robotic technologies

Beyond risks, only benefits

Beyond SUN, Smart Use of Network, is a project aimed to promote the responsible use of the Internet and new technologies. Promoted by Regione Liguria, University and Youth Policy Service, and Aliseo, it is co-financed by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Department for Youth Policy and Universal Civil Service. The implementation of Beyond SUN has been entrusted to School of Robotics.

Beyond SUN (2022-2023), comes after three SUN projects mainly dedicated to countering cyberbullying and aggressive behaviour conveyed by digital.

Dedicated to students of Professional Training Institutions recognised by the Liguria Region, Beyond SUN involves more than 200 young people, with their teachers. The heart of the project is training on the responsible use of technologies based on Artificial Intelligence and robotics, so as to provide young people with the skills necessary for a careful evaluation of their benefits and risks.

An important tool of Beyond SUN is The SUN APP which contains several sections dedicated to supporting young people to use new media and social responsibly, but not only. It orients them to consider new technologies as opportunities for learning and new professions. In fact, it contains a section devoted precisely to these issues.

The SUN APP also contains a Glossary of important terms and items on the subject of responsible digital use and STORIES, written and narrated (audio) on the subject of cyberbullying and prevention. These are stories written by young people for young people. Stories that can be read, listened to and shared. Because words can change the world.


The scenario of Beyond SUN

The spread of new technologies, particularly emerging ones (IoT, robotics, advanced technologies) is changing the social structure. Available estimates foreshadow profound changes in the coming years not only in the labor market-with the rise of new professions and the gradual reduction of others-but also in the ways and times in which social relations and identity-building processes will be structured.

The rhythms and forms of daily life that we experienced during the pandemic resulting from the spread of Covid-19 accelerated the digital transition and highlighted the opportunity to use technology effectively. At the same time, however, the huge gap between those who have access to these tools, especially in terms of skills, and those who, on the contrary, still remain excluded, has unfortunately become evident.


The beneficiarie 

The recipients of Beyond SUN are the Vocational Training Institutions accredited by the Liguria Region who will receive the training and any other activities free of charge:

The young participants, a total number of 200 aged between 14 and 16, attending three-year vocational courses geared to individuals with a first-cycle school diploma, will follow workshops designed according to participatory methodology.

Digital technologies can promote a process of re-appropriation of the skills of reading, text analysis, writing and artistic activities; in fact, we see that the use of digital technologies has sparked young people’s interest in analog activities. For example, writing an article, a post that is well written and clear for comprehension and, using apps for drawing, creating videos, photography, etc.

This process on the contrary leads young people to revisit literary communication skills from technologies.

Therefore, the concept of inclusive education today means recreating knowledge processes within a learning community. The activities we propose have the goals of providing young people with the tools–understood, responsibly thought out and well controlled–to be an active and aware citizen using digital and analog technologies.

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