Project ACTiFE aims to contribute to the achievement of the Europa 2020 strategy objectives among which is building up an EU that is “smart” and competitive and this requests actions that address firstly the young generations, thus ACTiFE’s general objective is to increase the attractiveness of STEM among young students and more specifically,creativity through Coding and “Internet of Things” (IoT) related processes. Through the proposed innovative non-formal teaching methodologies and the deployment of a carefully designed serious game, young people will have the chance to either get involved in “hands-on” projects and “gamefied” scenarios or they will be inspired to deploy the newly built knowledge to the widely acclaimed field of “smart” entrepreneurship. This will potentially enhance future employment opportunities in innovation-related sectors that are expected by policy makers to drive economic growth. Besides, digital skills are considered among the basic and transversal competencies that are necessary in wide economic sectors and as such must be developed among individuals with diverse professional and career aspirations, independently of area. In addition, teachers and policy makers will benefit from their involvement in the project, by developing wider and up-to-date teaching methodologies and educational design models.
The project further promotes the strategic deployment of ICT, Control technologies and IoT in education as a learning tool. It promotes the development of a sound and validated learning framework as well as of CT applications for learning and the integration of digital tools as complementary educational content within wider, blended learning and teaching processes. The project promotes high quality in education by linking learning practices to emerging state-of-the-art game-based technology and related active learning pedagogical frameworks. The integration of proposed technology and pedagogies offer broad learning benefits to both learners and teachers by enhancing motivation, promoting long-term engagement with the learning process, providing timely and constructive feedback, and promoting critical and entrepreneurial thinking mind sets.
In addition, through targeted interventions, the project is expected to enhance the professional prospectives and pathways especially of adult individuals that face the risk of prolonged unemployment or social exclusion thus ACTiFE contributes to potentially reducing unemployment and facilitating sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, individuals at risk of exclusion, namely persons that are not employed and/or not in education or training (NEETs), are of low income, migrants and other minorities, are at increased risk of facing employment challenges because of ineffective or inexistent skill sets and inadequate digital competences. It comes as a result the urgent need for interventions in education and training practices towards strengthening the state of the art digital skills of individuals at risk of exclusion, with an emphasis on control technologies, coding, problem solving, entrepreneurial mindsets and other “next generation digital skills” that are driven by modern market demands and are expected to increase the employability potential of adult individuals for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of their communities and for businesses that support innovation and economic activity in an evolving, knowledge-driven economy. Last but not least, initiatives and actions such as those that ACTiFE proposes are expected to further strengthen the competitiveness of Europe in the global economic environment in the long term thanks to highly trained work force