“Esplais” are interactive educational spaces which offer leisure activities to children and early teenagers. These activities are programmed and supervised pedagogically by experts, and they revolve around different topics of interest.
Most “esplais” gather once a week all school year long, mostly on Saturday afternoons. In the summertime or during the summer holidays, they organize and offer extra leisure activities which take place at summer-camps, farm-houses or on hiking trips.
The concept of “esplai”, developed by EL MONOVOLUM PROJECT within its project “ESPL@I VIRTU@L”, pays special attention to merge both the traditional role of “esplai” and the use of the new technologies which are so appealing and necessary to our sons and daughters. Furthermore, this approach can always be described as extremely participatory and stimulating. We intend to build “bridges” to overcome the “digital gap” which has arisen in our society due to the “prêt à porter” technologies.
On the one hand, we aim all participants to have big fun and, on the other, to enable them to use the new tools and possibilities provided by the society in the most efficient and critical way. To sum up, we intend to offer them a fun-based and entertaining learning.
Our working tools are great-experienced and highly-skilled professionals within the technological world. These people are not only familiar with the leisure environment but also with the most proficient pedagogical skills.
We will carry out all our activities at physical meeting points located inside technology centres or telecentres, where it is possible to develop human technological creativity (coworks, maker-areas, etc…) through the private or public initiative. All these spaces are located inside state-of-art buildings with indoor and outdoor areas; they are adapted for people with mobility limitations; and, finally, they are appropriate for holding any type of children-orientated activities since they are suitably customized.
We also consider the virtual environment that provides us with the Internet Universe as a pedagogical space. This virtual environment is the scenario which makes possible not only the children’s and teenagers’ participation but also the parents’ involvement in any kind of joint activities which encourage the generational exchange of experiences.
We long for a proactive learning process which enables anybody to overcome all those impediments and fears (some of them totally unfounded) which the “non-digital” generations may have regarding the latest communication networks. In addition, we also want to take advantage of the wide range of possibilities provided by the rapid development of the new technologies as well as its access to our homes.
Last but not least, we should keep in mind that households are and will always be the most essential pedagogical and educational space. That is the reason why we want to bet high on our commitment of universality that, hopefully, will enable all the benefits provided by the new technologies within the educational field to be shared by the entire world. The participation in our espl@i from home should not be taken as a reason for lowering the educational commitment, but as an excellent way of promoting the cooperation among different social, cultural and/or geographical sites. We aim to focus on our common responsibility as parents, educators and experts in education for the coming generations regardless of the technological environment they may find.