Case Study: Digital Interactive Spaces: Digitally transforming education and participation

Year of production: 2024

In a world where digital transformation is affecting every sector, this publication marks a second step for SALTO Participation & Information Resource Centre (SALTO PI) in exploring the possible uses of digital interactive approaches for participation. Following the initial edition dedicated to offer educators a useful guide in formal and non formal education contexts, this is a further exploration of utilising video games and other digital interactive spaces for fostering participation.

When we write digital interactive spaces, we mean first of all spaces that can be shared by participants who are there together and can possibly move around and explore: their agency is not limited to reading and commenting text and pictures; it is interactive, as they can relate to each other. Moreover, they can relate to the environment they are immersed in, use it, even transform it or be transformed by it, as they proceed in their experiences. The digital element is important, but it comes last, because it doesn’t matter alone: this is why we are not talking about social media, or other digital tools, even if they could be positively used for fostering participation.

In fact, we offer here a collection of several different approaches to explore the subject of participation in democratic life within digital interactive spaces. Ranging from video games to online communities, universities to youth clubs, participatory budgeting to e-sport practices, this collection spans the spectrum. It begins by delving into the fundamental use of video games across various educational contexts and then gradually expanding to explore a broader array of educational digital interactions applied to participation. This includes utilising virtual reality (VR) appliances, engaging students in participatory processes using video games, fostering online communities to develop activities that are later implemented in person, developing new specific video games to serve distinct educational purposes and beyond.


Photo of Michele Di Paola
Michele Di Paola

Is a trainer, facilitator and youth worker from Italy. He started working on digitalyouth work and media literacy in the early 2000s. He has designed courses about theimpact of digitalization in formal and non-formal education, has written articles and createddigital content (websites, videos, podcasts) to add a digital dimension to education and youth work,working for national and international organizations (Council of Europe, SALTO).He blogs about these topics in Italian and English, on his website

Photo of Jan Lai
Jan Lai

Is a Non-Formal Education trainer and facilitator with a specialization in e-learningand a strong interest in digital media literacy and critical thinking. He has 20+ years of experience working for NGOs, National Agencies for Youth and SALTO Resource Centres in the field of non-formal education and international youth mobility. He delivers courses on the impact that digital tools and online environments have on youth work and young people’s civic engagement . He has worked for the Council of Europe, United Nations (UNDP) in the Arab States, and many national and international organisations for education and training.

Photo of Carmine Rodi Falanga
Carmine Rodi Falanga

Has been involved in international education and training since 2002. He is active asa trainer and consultant in the field of education, specialized in intercultural learning,communication, experiential learning and game-based learning. He is also an eventhost , a trained psychotherapist , and a stand-up comedian, As an author, he wrote forSALTO-YOUTH, Eurodesk Italy, Prodeform Armenia, the University of Viterbo. Bornin Italy in 1977, he lives in Prague with his family and a cat .

Participation Pool | Resources on Youth Participation & Media Literacy
SALTO Participation & Information

SALTO Participation and Information Resource Centre (SALTO PI) develops strategic and innovative action to encourage participation in democratic life.