Collaborative Online Learning in “citizenship studies” utilising Web2 tools
Project website: www.politics-project.eu
Project duration: 10/2009 - 09/2011
This project has been funded with support from the European Commissiom through the Lifelong Learning Programme.
Through the use Web 2.0 technologies, the POLITICS project will enable school students, VET trainees and adult learners, specially immigrants undertaking 'citizenship' programmes, to develop a better understanding of how modern society functions and at the same time develop skills in problem solving, communication and language learning and writing skills.
POLITICS project is built around an e-book.
Learners will be invited to form (transnational) teams online and develop a digital story based on the scenario of a politically active young person who is convinced they can change the world for the better and organizes a election campaign. The original story provides the seed-corn material and catalyst for the development of the participants' digital stories. Participants will develop their election platform and discuss how to present their ideas to the electorate. Different teams work simultaneously and edit or rewrite same story. Politics is not just “filling in the blanks” in the story, its about modifying the story itself, changing examples and illustrations and developing new material. By the end of the Politics project learners will be the co-authors of the book. The examples and materials being used by the project are taken from everyday life. However the materials are presented in a humorous and creative was making the project more attractive to users.
While using modern technology users will contact real politics and government members and can communicate with them. People in charge of our countries have not enough time to visit schools, they surely have some minutes for online chat session etc.
The original “Straight into Politics” story was written 1998 and project was run in April and May of that year. As internet connections were slow and communication technologies less developed,the project was based on synchronous interactions and trialled in 2 teams. However, the project was very successful and even gained the participation of the then Prime Minister of Estonia, Mart Laar . However the further continuation and development of the project was blocked by the lack of sufficiently mature on line collaboration tools. Ten years later Web2 tools and fast internet connections have the promise to benefit not less then 4000 users by the end of the project.
- Creates POLITICS software environment with necessary Web2 tools and interactive whiteboards
- Translates “Straight into Politics” story, which offers a “frame” to activities.
- Builds a database of learning objects “granules”, which can be combined while building “worlds” (pictures, additional materials like samples of laws etc.).
- Creates POLITICS guide, which provides pedagogical explanations and tips and tricks how to organize work.
- Creates POLITICS events where learners of different ages and levels participate and creates POLITICS community and sustainability model.