The ERASMUS+ on virtual youth work kicked off with a seminar in Dublin on Friday and Saturday 4th and 5th March. This was the first meeting of the project team bringing together youth workers from Ireland, the UK and Greece. The opening workshop was facilitated by Dr Hillary Tierney of NUI Maynooth exploring the principles and values inherent in youth work.
Paul Keating presented the overall vision for the project and discussed the intellectual outcomes to be achieved in the coming two and a half years. This session reinforced the fact that the overall goal of the project is to use Games and Virtual Environments to engage young people with critical issues in their local communities, youth unemployment, Refugees, Diversity and Social Inclusion. James Daly of atomsplitgames.com, a start-up company based in the Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre at LIT Thurles campus, brought the group through the basics of games design while Nicola Herbertson of Hao2.eu shared her extensive experience in using multiuser virtual environments as an educational and development space.
The second day of the seminar focused on managing transnational projects and was led by Donal Kelly of YouthWork Ireland Tipperary (TRYS). The team reviewed various communication and project management tools as well as discussing the challenges in delivering such an ambitious project across three countries and within a virtual environment. The team parted with renewed enthusiasm and a long list of jobs to do. Each team committed to playing and critiquing a number of collaborative and developmental games with young people in their organisations.
LIT will host the next project meeting in a Virtual 3D interactive training environment in April.