ERASMUS + strategic partnerships for adult education

VIRAL for Local Communities was born from the idea of ​​four women, four professionals engaged in very different sectors (Carla Sabatini, computer scientist, expert in Erasmus+ project and one the founding members of the company NKey srl of Santa Croce sull’Arno, Pisa; Beata Partika, sociologist and coordinator in CEBS organization, an important center for adult education in Wroclaw, Poland; Prof. Daria Carmina Coppola of the University for Foreigners of Perugia and Antonella Strozzalupi responsible for the Cultural Services of the Municipality of Santa Croce sull’Arno) who, meeting together during the course of a previous European+ project, found themselves sharing an idea: inserting virtual reality in adult education and in particular in the paths of inclusion of new migrants in small communities.

VIRAL for Local Communities intends to provide anyone working in the adult education sector (training and language schools, public bodies and public administrations, first reception centers, cultural associations and libraries) with a useful tool to help integration and mutual knowledge thanks to the use of VR technology. The project included an initial research phase, developed by Prof. Kamila Kaminska Sztark of the University of Wroclaw in Poland and by Prof. Daria Carmina Coppola of the University for Foreigners of Perugia who highlighted how virtual reality can be applied to the most advanced non-formal teaching techniques, becoming a useful tool to mitigate the teacher-learner relationship, to overcome situations of stress and embarrassment and to insert the playful element in the learning path of adults. During the research and experimentation phase, it was also highlighted how virtual reality can represent a particularly effective tool in the integration process, also used „on the contrary”, that is, by making „educational” videos dedicated to locals, videos structured in order to create empathy, forcing the viewer to experience a situation of difficulty or embarrassment „in the shoes of the other. All the research material can be free-downloaded entering the Toolbox area in the USE It section.

The final product will be what has been called “Cross Cultural Toolbox”: a digital platform, absolutely free and accessible to all: entering the TOOLBOX you will be albe to download all you need to introduce Vr in your cultural projects: the educational material and the pilot learning units, the VR videos produced by the partners, and the instruction manual to make your own VR videos .

Here are the partners who take part in the project, each making its own contribution of knowledge and skills:

NKey srl – Santa Croce sull’Arno-Italy, project leader, is an IT company, which for years has been involved in adult training and longtime expert in designing the Erasmus+ program.

CEBS, education and social research center in Wroclaw-Poland, participates with its skills in the field of social development and recent research on the possible different applications of virtual reality, bringing an academic approach and thus guaranteeing an analysis of the advantages and limitations theorists of these tools thanks also to the work and support of Dr. Kamila Kamińska Sztark of the University of Wrocław.

UNISTRAPG-University for Foreigners of Perugia-Italy, in the person of Prof. Daria Carmina Coppola, is the scientific partner of the project which provides linguistic and didactic skills in teaching foreign languages ​​as well as her network of international contacts in the scientific community .

The NGO APSES, Ramnicu Valcea-Romania, brings its contribution thanks to many years of experience in the social inclusion of ethnic minorities through non-formal educational techniques.

The association HIGGS, Athens-Greece, which with its commitment and experience in supporting non-governmental associations with educational and training programs will mainly deal with the dissemination phase of the project and as well as the intellectual output.

Project last 30 months  Oct. 2018 – Apr.2021