Hi Peter and thank you for your comment. There has been positive feedback and enthusiasm from the young people about Alwan online. Some feedback, from students and educators, is that it can be easier to find the time to be available for discussions, since there is no longer time required for travel/transport. Following the pandemic, the Alwan management may consider keeping online meetings, since it has made regular connection and communication easier.
In addition, the online community programme has created links with people from different generations and different parts of the country, which may not have happened in-person, when distance would have been a constraint.
However, in terms of social cohesion work and 'knowing the other' there is also a key role that in-person meetings can have, so it is important that - once safe - these in-person programme elements continue.
Looking ahead, Adyan is working on how to enhance its TeachCoexistence platform (which is the online learning space that was already in existence). The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that many learning aspects can take online with positive benefits, in terms of efficiency of meetings and availability of participants as mentioned above, and also environmental benefits. Furthermore, Adyan has been discussing how online learning can encourage participants who otherwise may not have been comfortable with speaking in public, to contribute - either with text, without video, or with video since some feedback suggests the online space can be less intimidating that in person. With Alwan online, we have also found it easier to monitor progress and engagement in activities on TeachCoexistence, since this can be automatically tracked.
It should be noted, however, that there are accessibility and inclusion aspects that need to be considered with online leaning, since not all participants have the resources for equal access to fast internet.
Hi @Darry Strickland and thank you for your comment. Agreed about the importance of digital literacy for young people. With Alwan, one way the students have been 'remixing' online messages is by creating short videos that address the hate speech that has been emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes anti-bullying messages, and countering xenophobic attitudes. As we continue to adapt to the new situation and emerging issues, Alwan Educators will be trained on media literacy education, using real-life examples.