Keywords:Life-long Learning, Youth and Media, Digital Literacy, Secondary School, Virtual Ethnography, Participatory Research.
The gap between the compulsory secondary school, students’ daily experiences and interests and social demands seems to have significantly increased. Nowadays disaffection and disengagement with school, low-attainment and early school leaving are found not only in disadvantaged students but also practically among all social groups across countries. The traditional conception of learning prevailing in most schools does not seem able to meet the educational needs both of young people and society. Living and learning in a digital and globalized world implies considerable challenges for schooling, and these are reviewed in this paper.
We build on the outcomes of an ethnographic case about young people learning inside and outside school using different media. First, we discuss the challenges posed by contemporary compulsory secondary education while also establishing the scope of our research. Then we explore the transitions of students between inside and outside school and the characteristics of a learning process in which switching constantly between online and offline environments is a given. Finally, we make suggestions, which can be taken into account by schools seeking to offer students more meaningful and authentic learning experiences.
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