The Erasmus+ project "Digital Competence and eSafety" embarked on a comprehensive research journey that delved into the heart of digital literacy and cyber safety within educational contexts. This research initiative was conducted through a dual-pronged approach, encompassing both a broader pre-test survey and smaller-scale investigations carried out before and after each short-term meeting.
To lay the groundwork, a general research effort was undertaken, punctuated by a pre-test conducted in December 2020. This initial step aimed to illuminate the prevailing state of digital competency within our participating schools. Moreover, a series of micro-research endeavors was executed on the cusp of each short-term meeting, lending insight into the immediate impact of these gatherings. The post-test phase ensued after the culmination of activities tied to the meetings, thereby allowing for a comprehensive evaluation.
This research endeavor proved to be a multifaceted tool, serving not only as a mechanism for internal evaluation but also as a means to track the transformative power of our project's initiatives. The data analysis, underpinned by correlated t-tests utilizing SPSS, consistently revealed statistically significant findings. These findings underscored that the activities linked to the project effectively augmented students' knowledge and skills in realms related to the project's overarching themes.
The research design was guided by a set of carefully articulated research questions. The first research question honed in on the students' level of digital competency concerning topics integral to the project—ranging from navigation and cloud computing to smart phones, presentation software, image/video processing, and systems' security. Intriguingly, this exploration extended further by probing potential correlations between this competency level and the existing culture and practice of online work within the country and school.
The second research question turned the spotlight towards students' awareness of eSafety matters and the myriad dangers that the digital realm presents. This encompassed issues like cyberbullying, addiction, grooming, sexting, eCommerce, and GDPR. These inquiries were bolstered by sub-questions that sought to unveil whether students had encountered any internet-related threats and whether they possessed the knowledge to navigate safely when confronted with such perils.
The third research question was particularly germane to the project's goals. It inquired into the extent to which the project's multifaceted interventions—ranging from lesson plans to diverse activities—had succeeded in elevating eSafety awareness and enriching students' digital competency. This question encapsulated the core essence of the project's aspirations and sought to ascertain its tangible impact.
During the C2 meeting in Poland we dealt with matters concerning:
Smart phones, Navigation, Addiction (excessive use of social networks,
online gaming and gambling), Security (viruses, malware, spam, phishing)
During C3 meeting in Iceland we dealt with matters concerning:
Cyberbullying, Digital footprint, eCommerce
During C4 meeting in Italy we we dealt with matters concerning:
Sexting, Sextortion, Personal Data Protection, Managing access to dangerous
During C5 meeting in Greece we we dealt with matters concerning:
Cloud services, Programming with Microbits, GDPR, Phishing, Grooming
During C6 meeting in Slovakia we we dealt with matters concerning:
Fast typing , vlogs, Fake news, Misleading advertisements and scams, Hate
Speech and Online extremism/radicalization
During C7 meeting in Sweden wewe dealt with matters concerning:
Internet ethics, Effects/influence of social media, Image/video processing
In sum, the research undertakings within the Erasmus+ project "Digital Competence and eSafety" constitute a rigorous effort to quantify and qualify the transformative potential of digital literacy and eSafety education within the ever-evolving landscape of digital engagement.