KA229-FSM (english)

Santiago Apóstol School successfully completed another, most relevant step in its internationalisation strategy: the accomplishment of its first KA229 project (mobility of students).
The project title was «Fostering students’ motivation through collaborative digital frameworks», the project code 2019-1-PL01-KA229-065706, the overall budget was 182.265,00 € and the budget for our school was 30.810,00 €.

The aim of this project was building a solid European network of schools that prioritize students’ personal development over test-based results. In order to do that, the partnership 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 were 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.

The partnership designed 6 LTTAs (Learning, Teaching and Training Activities) at each of the participating countries: the first one at our school in Valencia (Spain), the second one at Zespol Placowek Oswiatowych w Jaworzni (Poland), the third one at 3o Gymnasio Argostoliou (Greece), the fourth one at Lycée Professionnel AlbertThomas (France), the fifth one at Colégio Rainha Dona Leonor (Portugal) and the sixth one at Menderes Ortaokulu (Turkey).

During the first LTTA three teachers from each partner school – coordinators and leaders engaged in project idea implementation took part in it. They met soon after announcing the project approval. The Spanish partner provided them with necessary information and all guidelines for the implementation on how to use WEB 2.0 tools to conduct a successful, international digital project class. During the meeting all the tools were studied, so their proper implementation in the project plan was ensured. Coordinators and teachers prepared presentations of their schools and the best ways and concrete steps for executing project results were discussed. They agreed how to implement the topic and subtopics into applicable activities. After the meeting they set up the school project teams consciously. Discussion helped them to make sure steps on the two-year programme agree on specific ways of implementation, methods of dissemination, evaluation. The methods of measuring progress in achieving the targets set out in the plan were also chosen. The project dealt with common needs, so it made sense to meet face to face and develop strategies with critical thinking: analyse schools possibilities comparatively. Apart from the works mentioned above, the host school organised a seminar by a specialist about the topic and a report of assessment was announced. Teachers during workshops in the multimedia classroom also joined project Twinspace and got familiar with its tools. It helped to prepare ground for the upcoming work with students. Teachers learnt how to add students to Project Twinspace and try out all the tools available. The coordinator from the Polish school provided training for all participants. Besides the project studies, the guest teachers observed lessons and got familiar with the education system and school curriculum in Spain. They also visited Valencia’s and nearby UNESCO cultural heritage sites and ”City of the Art and Science”. Evaluation tools were prepared and applied by the host school. An exchange report was made on the basis of an evaluation form, which included participants, objectives, level of attainment. It also covered interpretation of feedback forms, materials used – handouts, presentations, photos of activities and products created.

The second mobility was focused on active learning and peer–to-peer cooperation.
The students of partner countries communicated in English and cooperated in pairs and groups, during workshops and later via internet, which lead to development of 21st century skills: communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking. Web 2.0 tools and 21st century skills were used in the classroom to enable success for our learners in the
future, winning greater capability as independent and curious individuals. Peer-to-peer cooperation means that pupils were taught by pupils with the teachers from the six European countries preparing the pupils for this task and supporting them in the implementation.
The teachers therefore faced new challenges: they had to develop new ways of working and learning and had to live up to these new expectations. The pupils learnt to act independently and responsibly. All these collaborative and language skills are highly important in today’s labour market.
During the meeting in Poland we first organized a welcoming ceremony at school, letting participants learn about each other. Next, students took part in workshops on using web 2.0 Internet tools in the classroom, where they could try their skills.
Teachers and students learnt how to use Prezi. Students created a presentation about their countries and region, paying special attention to economic situation and leading branches of business. They used pictures, videos and wrote about their homeland to present it to peers. The teachers who attended the meeting as accompanying persons actively participated in workshops together and got trained with the new tool. After returning to their home countries, they were to implement new tools and project tasks to lessons and school curriculum.

The following activities were organized:
– Opening Day. Presentation of project
– Presentation of the country and school
– Workshops on Prezi
– eTwinning workshops
– Presenting questionnaires
– Evaluation of meetings and measures
– Cultural program, trips
– Family time at home
After meeting in Poland, the partner schools started to work with all students to create a Prezi about their countries and regions. All works were presented on TwinSpace and on the schools’ websites.

Our school took part in the third mobility virtually: the subject was active learning and peer–to –peer cooperation. Students of six different countries communicated in English and cooperated in groups, which helped them to develop 21st century skills: communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking. During the meeting led by Greece, teachers and students participate in 5 days workshops on the use of web 2.0 tools in the classroom. They worked on digital quizzes and puzzles. Teachers who attended the meeting as accompanying persons to students, actively participated in workshops together, got trained and familiar with new tools. After workshops they started to implement new tools and project tasks to lessons and school curriculum.

The fourth mobility in France was developed around digital workshops: film creation and editing was a large collaborative problem solving exercise. The students worked as a large group with distinct tasks to create the finished product. Collaborative problem solving was an important area and included critical thinking and communication, two important skills that students required for their future. The students were required to construct knowledge and apply it in varied contexts. They had to plan and assess their own learning. Magisto was an intuitive tool that allowed students to use ICT in a purposeful and meaningful way.

The LTTA enabled participants to get to know other cultures and give up prejudices about particular nations. They improved communication skills in English. Staying with families started cross-cultural cooperation and permanent mutual respect. Students and parents participated in planning the meetings of partners, at the same time learning about the situation of their peers abroad.
International meetings gave our school and local societies a great chance to build up their knowledge on different cultures and tolerance. The greatest change was brought to students from families facing financial problems to whom the mobility abroad opened the door to the world.
For teachers, the new learnt teaching methods raised their competences and would be used for future projects and cross-curricular teaching.
‘The ‘Opening Day » organized at the host school allowed the participants to present the ideas of the two year school partnership with pupils of the partner schools to the parent’s organisation, the parents of the participating pupils, the local school authorities , politicians representing various political levels and the local press being invited.

The fifth mobility subject was building websites by using the free online tool WIX, which enables its users to create webpages, websites, blogs and even e-commerce through a friendly and easy-to-use interface.
The following activities were organized:
– Opening Day. Presentation of project
– Presentation of the school through showing the main profiles of the institution
– attending some lessons
– workshops on WIX pages creation
– Presenting interviews, questionnaires and films
– Evaluation of meetings and measures
– Cultural program, trips
– Sports activities together
– Family time at home

During the mobility of Turkey our school participated in a virtual way, so we followed the instructions of the host organization and started working on digital production with the online tool Canva.
To do this, we divided the group into two work teams.
The first one was responsible for designing a promotional poster: they started by gathering online material and creating our own. They discussed strategies, planned interviews, selected the images and fonts they would use in the poster. Finally, they created the poster, which was about the Erasmus experience during this school year.
The second group created a presentation of the most important cultural aspects of our city. In this case too, the students collected all sorts of online material, took their own pictures, shot their own videos and worked collaboratively in order to find a consensus on the presentation contents, style, layout and duration. Then they proceeded to create the presentation and faced all the digital challenges that such an output implies.
In the end, both groups shared their work and prepared the online meeting with the school in Turkey, which represented not only the chance to show our mobility results, but also to interact with students from different countries and get to know different cultures, ways of thinking and mentality.
The online meeting was carried out via Google Meet and the mobility results were uploaded on Twinspace.

The project represented a unique opportunity for our educational centre, which managed for the first time in its history to have its pupils, all of them at serious risk of social exclusion, travel abroad and learn about pedagogical tools, different cultures, traditions, habits and religions.

Link to the Erasmus+ Project Results