ASAP - A Systemic APproach to social media and pre-adolescents through thinking skills education.
The already significant digital transformation experienced over the last 30 years has been given a strong boost by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s school kids are not only digital natives; they were also forced for almost two years to move most of their daily learning and relational activities to online platforms. Digital spaces are, therefore, increasingly institutionalised even among children and in the school context. Digital transformation and resilience ASAP addresses digital transformation from the onset age by fostering a conscious use of digital and social media in kids. ASAP works on metacognitive skills aiming to develop the kids’ understanding of how media shape and transform the relation between the inner and the outside world. Digital transformation will not end; therefore, kids need to develop skills related to awareness, metacognition, and abstraction, linked to thought and critical thinking, thus building resilience and capacity to feel at home in changes. Also, ASAP aims at the creation of a school community speaking not only through social media but also about social media.
The community takes the challenge and starts from building an authentic intergenerational dialogue that allows kids to claim their expertise on social media and adults to redefine their mediator role of kid's knowledge and emotions.
Inclusion and diversity
ASAP activities work on the awareness of dangers and hazards of the digital realm and the psychological aspects involved in the use of social media, which can lead to phenomena such as cyberbullying or exclusion. Developing awareness and empathy through metacognitive activities allows not only to prevent discrimination, but also to rethink the community's use of social media in a way that values diversity, respect, and plurality (also relevant for Common Values, Civic Engagement and Participation horizontal priority).
ASAP starts from what students already know about social media, and the motivation and curiosity that drive every kid on the web. There is a strong belief that being a digital native means having technical digital skills, which are in fact not enough and thinking skills are needed. This is where the educator (teacher or parent) has a major role to play. With proper training, educators become able to guide reflection on the media (also relevant for Supporting Teachers, School Leaders and the Teaching Professions school priority)
ASAP addresses several Key Competences, i.e. Digital, Literacy, Personal & Social, Citizenship, Cultural Awareness & Expression competences. Most importantly it addresses Learning to Learn; metacognition, indeed, strengthens the kids’ ability to think about their actions on social media and prevent impulsive behaviour and disquiet in surfing on the internet.