Travel Broadens the Mind (Podróże kształcą)
Highly Commended 2012
Travel Broadens the Mind (Podróże kształcą) is a eTwinning project with the aim of exploring Europe and teaching pupils how to use Web 2.0 tools, made by Miejski Zespół Szkól nr. 2 (Poland).
This eTwinning project was set up between schools in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania. The main idea behind “Travel Broadens the Mind” was to find the most interesting and beautiful places across Europe and present them to the other pupils and teachers on a multilingual eTwinning website. In order to do this the students made use of different free Web 2.0 tools.
Through the project students discovered Europe and learned about unknown places that are worth a one-day visit or a holiday trip, a special focus was put on “child-friendly places”. The pupils went to visit these places themselves and made their own pictures or they got information from partners. After gathering the material the pupils learned how to present the places they had discovered on a blog, making use of free Web 2.0 tools.
Not only did the eTwinning website become a blog where travel tips were shared, but it also became a place where teachers could exchange the best Web 2.0 ICT tools with each other. A list of 130 different useful free ICT applications was developed out of the project, which is a good resource for anyone looking for good free educational web tools. In this project not only were the ICT skills of students developed, but their language skills were also improved along the way, because as well as creating a blog in their native language, pupils also had to present their work on an English blog and a Facebook page.
What the judges said
The judges gave the following feedback on this entry:
“A brilliant example of user-generated content and use of Web 2.0 tools.”
“This entry presents a result of a project focused on fostering interculturality and ICT literacy among young learners. The pedagogy behind it is well-thought and the result shows a webpage with a great variety of individual and collaborative learners´ work that reflects what the pupils have learned.”
“I think the pedagogical value of this project is very strong as the children have fun making documentations about their travels, and at the same time they learn a lot about the different places and countries, and share it with their friends.”
About the creation of Travel Broadens the Mind (Podróże kształcą)
Teresa Prokowska, on the background of Travel Broadens the Mind : “During the project, the pupils improved their skills searching, selecting and editing the various items of information they found, but above all they became passionate about photography and the use of ICT. They have widened their horizon regarding their knowledge of European countries, they learned about their culture, monuments and natural environment. They also refined their English skills and developed their interest in literature.
As a starting point we gathered material to create a multilingual travel-diary through Europe. We discovered and presented 50 of the most beautiful places of our continent, we also organised virtual trips in Poland and Europe. The pupils discovered that there are great opportunities at the beach, around the lake area or in the mountains. We gathered and presented 22 places, which we discovered ourselves. An overview can be found in the photoalbum “Where to go on holidays?” Together with the partners we got to know 28 places in Europe that are especially child-friendly: attraction parks, aquaparks, lunaparks and a dinopark. We went to play there ourselves, or our partners checked it out for us. Afterward we shared our experiences on the blogs, and made folders in three different languages.
Our project is an example of the universal use of computer and ICT tools for a variety of interactive activities for the pupils as well as a co-operation and exchange of experience between teachers in the effective use of Web 2.0 tools in education. One of the project’s objectives was to gather free internet tools and applications, which could help us in our learning, playing and working. We succeeded to find, present and use almost 130 different programs. As we also care a lot about e-safety when our pupils are online using these virtual tools, we took the opportunity to teach them how to make safe use of the Internet.
Overall we hope that with this project we will inspire other people to organise interesting trips to one of the many beautiful places Europe has to offer.”
About Teresa Prokowska & Ivana Čepová
Teresa Prokowska lives in Bolesławiec, in south-western Poland. She is a teacher and a librarian in primary school in The Union of Primary and Lower Secondary School in Bolesławiec. For many years the library has been the school's media, education and cultural centre. She is the originator and the coordinator of many projects and education programmes using ICT implementing innovative ways of teaching.
Teresa’s passion lies in the promotion of modern informatic technologies in education. She creates and manages websites and blogs allowing students and teachers to publish and exchange materials and ideas in terms of introducing ICT in schools and she has been running different eTwinning projects for the last five years. She was awarded with the title of Innovative Teacher and is the laureate of many contests which promote innovative developing of information competences in schools.
Ivana Čepová works for the Primary school Dargovských hrdinov 19 in Humenné in Slovak Republik. She teaches first grade students of primary school. For the last five years she has worked on eTwinning projects and she achieved high placements in national eTwinning competitions with these initiatives. Ivana loves discovering the new ICT developments and she immediately tries to implement them in her classroom. Her students are involved in various art contests and competitions using information technology. She also works on the implementation of environmental projects in school with very good results.