Fostering students' motivation through
collaborative digital frameworks
The aim of this project is building a solid European network of schools that prioritize students’ personal development over test-based results. In order to that, we have identified a clear axis, around which the whole education process spins: motivation. If we manage to motivate our students we will be able to solve many of the problems of modern education: we will lower school absenteeism and early dropout, we will obtain a higher level of participation in the classroom and we will able to build a new teaching model, by putting the trainees back at the very centre of the education process. In order to achieve that we are to deal with two major factors: curriculum (what to study) and methodology (how to study). Both can be largely improved by effective communication with students and by using the appropriate tools.
In our experimental programme we are going to ask our students what is that awakens their interest and start a conversation upon that. Following the project-based learning approach, we aim to start each class with a question and end it with many. In a world in which most of the answers are provided by a web-based search engine, it is the question that stands as the critical factor in real learning. In a world that constantly seeks for the right solution for any problem, it’s the variety of possible effective ideas that plays a significant role.
Along with a curriculum based on teacher-student collaboration, we have to focus our effort also on the most adequate methodology to face such a challenge. All our primary and secondary students are now Millennials, digital natives: their language, communication and social skills rely heavily on
digital media. Implementing ICTs in the classrooms means speaking their language, represents an irreplaceable tool to foster their 21st century abilities: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
Funding this project means taking a relevant qualitative leap in teaching: it means redefining the teacher-student relationship, reinterpreting the trainees’ needs, reformulating the learning process guidelines by placing the students where they belong: at the very centre of their education.
The planned six Learning Teaching Training Activities and international workshops throughout a twoyear collaboration are expected to carry on the following activities:
1. Erasmus Plus Club: a reference point for the students who are willing to join the project and take part in the mobilities. Its work will be scheduled on a weekly basis.
2. Project Blog: set up by each school community, will be the ”digital diary” of the scheduled activities, including the pictures taken during the Erasmus Plus Club sessions
3. Open TwinSpace on eTwinning: the main communication channel among all students and teachers.
4. Project website: one of the main outputs. It will contain all relevant achievements and results obtained by the participants.
5. Digital works and PDF print-outs of LTTs: digital magazines, presentations, posters, websites,
6. Interviews and online questionnairies: to get to know the different cultures, habits and way of living in the countries involved in the project.
7. Interviews and movies about partners' culture: one of the many steps in which students’ voice will have a main role when it comes to select the subject and design the activities.
8. E – DIARY: students memories about meetings abroad, to be shown on the project website and on TwinsSpace.
9. Evaluation questionnaires and reports: coordinators' works, but also the students will ask each other their opinion on the project and how it may be improved.
10. European Day: set up annually and coordinated at each partner school School, under the supervision of the local coordinator.
In all, the greatest motivational factor is the opportunity to meet the colleagues from abroad face to face, learn from different cultures, practice English as an essential communication tool, compare ideas coming from different social and cultural backgrounds and realize what it means to be a EU
citizen. For most of the students involved that will also mean travelling abroad or by plane for the first time in their lives.
The appropriate use of technology will foster cooperation, communication, critical thinking and creativity, thanks to the Web 2.0 tools mentioned in the previous form field and that include social networks, virtual environment, web design, blog design and graphic design. Furthermore, we will
stimulate different types of intelligence during our sessions: interpersonal, visual, verbal, musical, logical, kinesthetic and emotional, following the guidelines proposed by the most modern pedagogical theories.
We firmly intend to extend our multilateral partnership beyond the duration of this project and set up the basis for a long-term and solid collaboration among the six education centres involved.