The Greek DEPAL Workshop

The Vardakeios School`s Greek DEPAL online workshop based on Participatory Learning and Digital Storytelling has reached its third session on the 20th of March 2021. The participants are educators from different islands of the Aegean and after 9 hours of training, interaction and creation they have built a learning community which explores different pathways of the learning process through stories, photos, narration and new technologies (combined with rich material from the DEPAL Guide). The workshop will finish on the 3rd of April and a digital story will be created by the learning team. A general sense of contentment, optimism and mutual appreciation are the strong bondings of this community which looks forward to the next sessions. Stay tuned!

Need your DEPAL in Greek, Italian or Spanish? DEPAL Guide now in FOUR LANGUAGES!!!

After months of hard work by DEPAL’s adult educators and their translators, the DEPAL guide is now available in all four of the project languages – Greek, Italian, Spanish & English. We are really pleased as this will make the work of the project accessible to many more of our adult education peers across Europe.

If you are interested in participatory education and digital storytelling in an adult education context you need to check out the guide! Download it here: https://depalproject.eu/guide/

The guide contains lots of the theoretical and academic background behind the project, along with information about the project partners, and some ideas for activity. The more practical project Toolkit will be published towards the end of 2021. Follow us on facebook to get regular project updates @depalproject

The DEPAL Guide is online!

It’s here! The DEPAL Guide for adult educators is now available to download for free from our website here.The guide is a result of a year-long collaboration between our international partners, to lay out the basis of all of our educational work with adults across the five countries of the project.
This year has been a strange one, with the real life meetings we had planned with the team not possible we have kept in touch via Zoom with many meetings and our first international training week. Last week’s first international training, which was based on some of the theories found within the Guide, brought together 14 individuals across Europe to learn, share and develop as educators. We had a great time, and laid the foundations for all of our participants to go on and share their learning with other adult educators in their regions.
Despite the difficulties posed by 2020 across the globe, we are amazed with the closeness the partners have been able to develop online, and the quality of all the work taking place.
We hope you will follow the progress of the project as we move into our second year!

Diary of an online LTTA

Day 1
Participants from 5 different countries (Ireland, Italy, Greece, UK, Spain) met online today for the 1st day of the workshop on the methodology of participatory learning applied to the community based approach and praxis.
Active participation allowed the group to create its shape, identity, and to question its own way of participation.
Taking part, being part, experience each part as a whole, then back.
A long day spent across group-work sessions that started a path through photo-language sessions, to deepen the representation of self and within the group. The process lead all to explore the difference between “listening to” and “listening through”, to recognize and to positioning oneself within its own style as facilitator.
The path for today ended in a body-talk activity during which each participant meditated and listened to its own body, and through its own body. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, the proprioceptions of participants placed their emotion in all body-portions, ending in the very image of the group at the end of its 1st day of workshop.

A huge thanks to Jacqui and to all participants for their energy.
A huge hug to Frank, hope some of this energy reached up to you, as you were there with us.

Day 2
Participants gathered online to continue the experience on participatory learning in community interventions.
Today Jacqui lead the group in a path through differences, and the possibility to raise awareness on how we stand and live when diversity is the real other we face.
So the group moved from a focus on the ingredients of being preoccupied and of being occupied.
The focus on the language we speak and listen was fascinating. Because there are more interesting languages than the national ones, and we focus on the variety of shapes and awareness of the language of power and action, of emotions and feelings, of meaning and understanding.
The moving from subgroups confrontations in breakout rooms and in plenary sessions allow to see the “story diamond”, which introduce a collective reflections on the stories we can share on how we use stories.
Another great interesting day, looking forward for the next to come.

Day 3
Images, words, language, emotions… in a circle of reciprocity between participants and their ability to elicit stories.
It is always interesting to see where the words might take participants, and it is interesting just as much to see where participants might lead their curiosity, creativity, availability in sharing and building together.
Words are images, and images are words. The path from pictures that participants selected in the previous 2 days became the starting point for a journey of storytelling, which will tomorrow evolved further in the creation of digital storytelling videos.
The group chose 28 pictures, which became words. These words got together, forming 12 stories. These stories evoked emotions, which lead to new images, new visions, new words, and, evolved in 3 stories out of the 12 originals. Always moving from the emotional to the methodological level, the group all-together ended the day in creating a final story, giving its speech as a voice for the group itself and to all its participants, all contributing offering steps and vision and soul to this wonderful collective journey, already looking forward for the forthcoming editing process and foreseen the up-to-come final digital storytelling video of this marvelous learning com-unity.

Day 4
The intensive online seminar keeps evolving, and while the days goes by, a reciprocal, participative, enriching learning and share gets its shape.
It is a colorful shape, full of collective wisdom, emotions, words, images.
The group confronted with a previously underestimated task: the online transformation of a collective story into a collective storyboard.
Individually, the step between a story we wrote and a storyboard is quite simple and fast, because of the eliciting power of the words we choose in the narrative process has a direct call with the correspondent evoked pictures.
The creation of a collective storyboard enlightens the dynamics that flows within and underneath the group. To choose a single picture for a determined phrase means to have the group work together listening to and through the collective unconscious of the group itself.
This enrichment demands time to happen.
But … as Frank Naughton reminded us during the preparation, the “but” part is always important … so … But, what is time? Time is not on your watch, not in any absolute. Time is what you make of it.
So the group allowed itself to take all its time, to collective create a storyboard using the consensus approach to group deep dynamics and representations.
We finally have the first draft of the digital storytelling video.
Now it is “time” to give it voice …

Day 5
Eventually the end has come, as they say.
A heterogeneous group, six nations (Ireland, England, Wales, Italy, Spain and Greece), 14 participants, a week in which we literally lived together (albeit online) the methodological guide “Understanding participatory and digital learning: a guide for the educational intervention with adults ”, which will soon be published and downloadable for free.
A guide we have written and translated in a residential-online workshop.
Five days of group work, ten group-work sessions, an immersion in the creative process of digital storytelling that saw the sprouting of 12 individual stories.
Those 12 were first merged into 3 new stories built in breakout-rooms, and then generated a newly-constructed collective story.
Shared stories for a story that was shared.
Built together from the individual words and images that have become the words and images of the group, first as a collective and unconscious fascination, and then as a real narrative of a new reality, generated by the uniqueness of the participants which finally became a community, a unity-alike.
As a unit, the group created the storytelling, recorded the story giving voice to the voices of all the participants.
A journey of discovery with new eyes, new words, new gestures.
For a new real that has been revealed, ending in a digital storytelling video that tells the story, the fascination, the wonder, the beauty of such path.
A huge hug to Jacqui Gage and Angela Salvatore for co-facilitating with me, to Frank Naughton for been so intensively present even if unseenable, to all participants for the gifts they share.
Thanks you !

Paolo Brusa LABC

First Project Meeting in Liverpool

Educators and organisations from five European countries met in Liverpool in November 2019 to kick off their new Erasmus+ project, Digital Education & Participatory Adult Learning (DEPAL). The meeting was a chance for the participants (from Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and the UK) to meet face to face to plan the next 30 months in detail!

With warm up activities led by experienced facilitator Jason Ward of Liverpool World Centre, the group quickly settled into positive working relationships and by the end of the two day meeting had a detailed timeline and understanding of what is to come… Look out for our amazing resources over the coming months: a Guide and a Toolkit will be available for all adult educators. Both resources will look at how participatory education methods, and the process of digital storytelling, can be used with marginalised adult learners, to better facilitate the development of digital skills for the 21st century.

The next step for the project is to benefit from the great skills of Irish partner ‘Partners, Training for Transformation’ who will lead us in developing new creative facilitation techniques, whilst Italian partner Labcentro will complement this with two days of training in Digital Storytelling methodology.

We’re all excited to see where the project takes us!

 

* The values cards ‘Values: 58 ideas we live by’ (see right of image) are produced by https://publicinterest.org.uk/ – we love them here at Liverpool World Centre!