Exploring Digital Transformation on a Study Visit in Armenia
10 May 2023
From 19th to the 22nd of April 2023, a group of 25 youth workers, known as the “Digital Transformers,” embarked on a study visit in Armenia to explore the potential of emerging technologies in their work. The visit was organised by SALTO Eastern Europe & Caucasus Resource Centre in collaboration with Resource Centres SALTO Inclusion & Diversity and SALTO Participation & Information, marking the culmination of a long-term training course that began in October 2022. During the visit, participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of digital youth work, discover innovative learning centers, and foster new project collaborations.
Discovering Technological Learning Hubs:
The study visit started with visits to two prominent institutions in Armenia. The group had the opportunity to explore the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, a vibrant hub where 15,000 young individuals engage in free practice and learning of digital skills on a weekly basis. Participants witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of the center’s non-formal learning methods and how it nurtures the tech professionals of tomorrow.
Next, the group visited the Picsart Academy, renowned for its pipeline model that equips youth with the necessary skills to enter the tech industry through unconventional learning approaches. The academy’s innovative approach provides a blueprint for other organisations seeking to bridge the gap between non-formal education and professional opportunities.
Unleashing the Potential of Virtual and Augmented Reality:
A highlight of the study visit was the exploration of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. Collaborating with American Councils for International Education Armenia and ARLOOPA, the participants gained valuable insights into the potential use cases of VR and AR in youth work. They discovered how these immersive technologies can enhance engagement, learning, and creative expression among young people.
Empowering Recognition and Collaboration:
During the study visit, the group had the opportunity to meet the winners of the #saltoawards 2021, including the partner organisation of Reimagine Recognition from KASA Swiss Humanitarian Foundation and the coordinators of DigiYouth from Armenian Progressive Youth. These encounters facilitated knowledge sharing and inspired collaboration, leading to the establishment of six new Erasmus+ project collaborations. The participants eagerly anticipated witnessing the application of these collaborations in future SALTO Awards.
The study visit in Armenia served as an immersive and inspiring experience for the Digital Transformers, a group of dedicated youth workers. It allowed them to witness the power of emerging technologies in transforming the lives of young individuals. The visit not only fostered collaboration and knowledge exchange but also brought the commitment of the participants to embrace digital transformation in their work. With the support of SALTO network and National Agencies of Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps Programmes, the future of digital youth work looks promising, empowering young people and ensuring their active participation in an increasingly digital world.