Changing your privacy settings, “flagging” strangers, recognising advertising as “phishing” a first encounter with social networks in the internet should not be dangerous and should take place in a protected space. We are developing a social network called Junite a network for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Project partner is the funding initiative “A Net for Children” (Ein Netz für Kinder), carried by the, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Minister of Culture, Monika Grütters.
Upon logging in www.junite.de the participants first learn about the basic functions of a social network. The schedule for the learning modules can be flexible and take between 90 minutes and two weeks. Junite features special tasks and challenges: strangers post friend requests; games and competitions require private data – those who react correctly gain experience points. Playing takes place using a home computer or mobile devices. In contrast to real life, problematic actions by players are immediately registered by Junite and reported to the teacher in charge. Evaluation takes place in the classroom and sensitises the children to a safe use of social networks.
The technical framework was specifically designed for Junite and is based on the most up-to-date technologies in web applications. The main aim is to make Junite “be like Facebook.” Thanks to a sufficient amount of testing and further development, the Junite features come close to this aim. Real-time communication, group chats and live updates on bulletin board entries; points system, bonus steps, avatars and a personal password coach complete the long list of features. The platform's defining characteristic is the interplay of the features: Junite comes very close to the reality of social media and at the same time playfully conveys educational media-related content, thereby alerting the young players to the functionalities and effects of social media.
What is currently going wrong in the EU and what should Europe's economic, social and political future look like? Following a commission by the European Parliament, we posed these questions to around 5000 young Europeans in the spring of 2014 – first online and then face to face. We developed and implemented an ideas lab complete with a four-week online critique phase for the European Youth Event plus ten workshops in the Parliament building in Strasbourg. Based on the collected criticisms, more than 750 selected participants developed visions and ideas for a better Europe. The most interesting visions were documented and submitted to the members of the European Parliament in the summer of 2014.
We developed a responsive website (languages: GER, EN, FR) for the online critique phase. On this site, the 5.000 participants were able to register their thoughts on the deficits presently faced in Europe. The website functions as follows: all posts can be seen on the virtual bulletin board – participation, however, is only possible after registering. Once registered, participants can create posts and add pictures or audio material. Every post can be assigned to one of the five main categories as well as being tagged, allowing posts on the bulletin board to be filtered. It is possible to rate other users' posts or report inappropriate posts to the editorial team at planpolitik. This causes a reaction via the CMS: after assessing the post, the editorial team may remove it.
Following the online critique phase, we carried out ten ideas labs over a period of two days at the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg. During each of the three-hour workshops we had parallel debates in up to six teams: young people from all over Europe engaging in intensive conversations about the best paths towards a better Europe. At the end, each creative team posted its best ideas on the digital bulletin board and presented them to high-ranking EP representatives.
The website can also be used for other interactive formats; e.g. as a closed real time commentary tool at conferences or workshops, or at the outset of an integrative change management process in your organisation or company.
The online-supported simulation game series “Next level: Europe” - commissioned by the European Commission Representation in Germany – focuses on the role of the regions in the European political process. The kick-off event took place on May 21, 2015!Show more
We realised that many pupils do not know a lot about the role the regions play in the European political process. Our solution: the simulation game series “Next level: Europe” on the topics of “European Asylum Policy” and “European Energy and Climate Policy”, as commissioned by the European Commission Representation in Germany. Over the following three years we will present these simulation games all over Germany and train multipliers in facilitating them. In order for the multipliers to have access to the simulation game materials and to be able to give their pupils up-to-date background information at all times, we have developed the project-related website www.europaplanspiel.de.
The responsive online portal for Next level: Europe is aimed at teachers and pupils. The teacher area with restricted access contains simulation game materials, methodical advice and background information, available as a free download. There is also an interactive assistant for distributing roles and for facilitating the game. If necessary, the editorial team will update and extend the materials – a great advantage compared to working with quickly outdated print materials. In the pupil area – open to all – users can take part in quizzes and earn so-called learning badges. The info center contains multimedia packages for beginners, advanced players and experts – everybody can find the material best suited to them. A virtual bulletin board – supervised and edited by planpolitik – invites youngsters to exchange ideas and opinions on the EU and the topics of asylum and Climate change.