Things you should know about my country

Project Location

Colle di Val d'Elsa (SI), Toscana


Organization Name: 
Arnolfo di Cambio
Organization Type: 
No need of funding. Teacher experiment in their curricular hours.


Privacy Law

Consenso al trattamento dei dati personali
Do you authorize the FMD to the treatment of your personal data?: 
I do authorize the FMD to the use of my personal data.

Project Type

Education up to 15 years

Project Description

Description Frase (max. 500 characters): 

21 Schools from 14 european countries worked together in this project to show each other what everyone should know about their country: enjoy!

Project Summary (max. 2000 characters): 

The students of all participant schools (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slowakia, Slowenia, Spain, Turkey) present those aspects that, in their opinion, all should know about their own country. They work on a common Website The students of all involved schools are free to choose the aspects of their countries they want the others to know, and the ICT tools to present them. For this reason, this is a cross-curricular project, with many subjects included (Geography, History, Music, Art, Economics, German, English....) as both the facts the students want to introduce and the way of presentation have to be chosen by the students themselves (Video, photos, art, potcast...). The project also wants to be a significant contribution to the idea of Inclusion/inclusive education: every student of every schooltype is welcome and every participant contributes in his own way.

How long has your project been running?

2014-09-29 22:00:00

Objectives and Innovative Aspects

In our peculiar situation (Italian school), the project is included in an experimental pathway of teaching Geography without the use of a textbook. This is the project I chose for my younger students, as it is quite simple and enjoyable at different levels, plus it exactly matches the national curricula requirements for this age. As for the project as a whole, we set these objectives with our partners: students should get competences in 1) researching about their own country in different subjects (famous/special landscapes, famous music, historical persons...) - 2) finding ways to present their results/ideas to other students in other countries in an understandable and attractive way, using German or English as foreign language and different ICT-tools - 3) using and working with different ICT-tools like video, potcasting, audio, photo editing, photostory, (...) and building and creating a Wiki - 4) communicating with others by twinspace-tools (chat, mail...) and for example skype, using their knowledges in foreign languages. - 5) giving feedback to the contributions of their partners, working further with results of their partners they found on the common Wiki.


Describe the results achieved by your project How do you measure (parameters) these. (max. 2000 characters): 
The project got excellent results in terms of students' engagement and motivation. All of them contributed to the common website, browsed the partners' materials, took the tests and quizzes prepared by the different teams, did further research to introduce their countries or get to know better those of the others. Students with special needs, migrants, natives, students coming from disadvantaged social situations, brilliant students... all of them found their way to give a significant contribution. Immigrants were particularly excited, as for once they had something more to say than the others, as they got a different perspective on their two countries (the one they came from, the one they live now). Different intelligences were cared for as the students could choose their media of expression (not only words but also visuals, music, etc). The project got excellent results also in terms of students' attainment in the national tests. In my involved class, all of the 27 students passed the standard Geography tests with good grades. The criteria of evaluation are chosen by the Geography Department and take into consideration the improving of the pupil's situation from the start to the end of the school year, the use of the specific language, the competence in orientation, the proper use of ICT, the understanding of the realation between a territory and its population/history. Another important result of our project is the website itself: it is a valuable collection of information prepared by kids for kids. It is website that all schools, everywhere in the world, could use for free as a database of teaching material for many subjects (geography, music, art, history...).
How many users interact with your project monthly and what are the preferred forms of interaction? (max. 500 characters): 

21 schools are involved in the project, and we can estimate an average of 1000 students being involved monthly with the project (either working on the website or exploring it). Plus, their families, their schools and their local communities are involved and regularly take part in the dissemination events. So a huge number of people contributes to the success of the project - either by being an actor (students, teachers) or part of the audience (families, municipalities...).


What is the full duration of your project (from beginning to end)?: 
From 1 to 3 years
What is the approximate total budget for your project (in Euro)?: 
Less than 10.000 Euro
What is the source of funding for your project?: 
Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado
Is your project economically self sufficient now?: 
Since when?: 
2014-09-29 22:00:00


Has your project been replicated/adapted elsewhere?: 
What lessons can others learn from your project? (max. 1500 characters): 

It's a simple project but with lots of opportunities for pupils and teachers. Basically, the students are let free to explore their countries and tell the others what they think it's worth knowing. A great way to overcome prejudices: you introduce yourself, you answer to your partners' questions, and viceversa - you know the others by their introductions and by asking them about themselves. Other schools could learn than you can innovate, presenting subjects for real, not only through books, at zero cost. Then, once they're engaged, students will turn to books (or most likely to the web) to know more. But they will already have some basis of critical thinking. Moreover, as stated before, other schools in the world can use for free the teaching material available in our website. It is particularly interesting as all af the materials are produced by kids in order to speak to other kids: for this reason, they are probably the best way to introduce a subiect in a way that's both appealing to the students and easy to understand for them. All of this, at zero cost!

Are you available to help others to start or work on similar projects?: 

Background Information

Barriers and Solutions (max. 1000 characters): 
No obstacles that cannot be overcome by common sense and mutual help. The coordinators of the projects were great and helped us in the use of ICT tools, or for working on the common website, or for communicating (not so easy when you've got 21 schools involved). One obstacle could be that some teachers (and also some students, to be honest) are still scared of ICT tools. But if you browse the pages and stop to Italy, you will be amazed at how the students improved in ICT in time: they actually started with an hand-written ebook, then got to ppt and eventually to videos and avatars. This kind of teaching is time-consuming and needs to be planned in detail, but once you are in, there's nothing that cannot be solved. Note: the entire homepage of our site was accidentally deleted a number of times! What happened? nothing, the coordinators laughed at it and just rebuilt it. Then they told us how to avoit deleting everything again. This kind of "disasters" may happen and they will. But you just have to choose wisely your team and you'll be fine.
Future plans and wish list (max. 750 characters): 
We will definitely go on with this kind of project-based teaching. We hope we'll be able to involve more classes in the future. We also hope we'll go on working with at least some of our partners.