As the third activity of the project, Re-wiring Civics to 4.0 will allow both students and educators to explore existing civic-tech tools to connect with political institutions in the digital age.

ECAS and KIC will develop a set of activities that innovates education for active citizenship in the digital age, as a way to support the engagement of students with a diverse background in the civic and political life of their communities.

Civics 4.0 Central Questions:

Digital transformation comes with great opportunities for a number of societal processes and this also relates to citizen participation. However, these transformative developments raise some questions, namely:

  • What tools, apart from ‘e-voting’, can we put in place to encourage youth participation and to enhance democratic vitality?
  • Should young people, who were born in the digital age, be encouraged to use online platforms and tools for the purposes of active and responsible citizenship?

Civics 4.0 approach:

NEXUS will focus on liquid democracy, participatory budgeting, e-government platforms, and the use of crowdsourcing in law-making, linking those practices with students. The project innovates the approach to education for democratic citizenship by engaging students in a cycle of research, action, and reflection about problems they care about. This will be carried out in three steps:

  1. Creating an inventory of digital tools for civic education, specifically focusing on resources that are useful for students from a diverse background.
  2. Building the capacity of educators to use and exploit digital democracy tools together with their students through teacher training in civic education for the digital age.
  3. Putting into practice students’ social and political skills through meaningful civic engagement activities organised by partner higher education institutions.

As an outcome of these activities, educators will be enabled to put students at the heart of civic education by providing them with the opportunity to connect with decision-makers and influence policy-making through digital tools.

Three steps to Re-Write Civics to 4.0

  • INVENTORY OF DIGITAL TOOLS

The Inventory of digital tools for civic education will map resources that are useful for diverse student populations. Our research team will define a framework for navigating the field of digital tools for civic engagement. The framework will help to sort such tools by type (e.g. app/platform/game), scope (e.g. local/national/global level) and aim (e.g. decision making, accountability, relationship-building, awareness raising). Further investigations assess how such tools are used by different actors and the lesson learnt from those applications. The respective results will be presented in the inventory and put to use for educators and students interested in civic engagement.

  • TEACHER TRAINING

“Teacher Training on Civic education for the digital age” (Malta 2021) will familiarise educators with digital democracy tools and equip them with resources and means to engage their students as active citizens in decision making and policy making.

To sustain the approach beyond the Teacher Training, we will create ‘The handbook for educators’. The Handbook will provide educators with instructions on how to utilise the resources from the inventory and exploit digital democracy tools together with their students.

  • PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES WITH STUDENTS

NEXUS approach puts students at the heart of civics learning by providing them with the opportunity to experience civic and political action with digital tools. NEXUS aims at innovating the approach to education for democratic citizenship by engaging students in a cycle of research, action, and reflection about problems they care about.