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I animate, I communicate and I integrate with ‘@ni & m@te’ and ‘Make @ wiz’

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The aim of this ‘double project’ is to develop of a new e-Learning and e-Teaching strategy: ‘I animate, I communicate and I integrate’.

1. Sommario progetto
Sommario: 

The aim of this ‘double project’ is to develop of a new e-Learning and e-Teaching strategy: ‘I animate, I communicate and I integrate’.

Step 1: I animate and I communicate

Project title: @ni & m@te
http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/animations/aniandmate.htm

'@ni' and 'm@te' are a girl and a boy travelling around the world. They are twins. They want to visit your classroom, your school, your city or country…
These two virtual figures want to visit several cultures and countries.
By using animations, children from all over the world wants to present their environment, their culture and their way of life…
The background of the animations is a view, a scenery of the country or region where the children lives.
@ni and m@te are the virtual kids playing a role in these animations.

Children express themselves by means of the animation figures. They turn into ‘@ni & m@te’. They develop a virtual scene that represents their own living environment. It’s a new way of collaboration: ‘animate and communicate’.

Step 2: I integrate

Project title: Make @ wiz
http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/myworld/makeawiz.htm

Children dream about the future… In this project they build a better world, step by step, 'stone by stone'… By means of animations, starring our funny wizard 'Wizzy' who represents the ideas of the kids, they solve all kind of world problems.

Curriculum integration is the main goal:

By means of computer animations, pupils can reveal their critical reflections on problems and difficulties they encounter in their living environment and further… With the help of simple tools, children are able to use ICT to express their own ideas in a creative way. This project facilitates the realization of the final objectives of environmental studies in an innovative way.

Topics: protection of nature, climate change, environmental pollution (water, air, soil), recycling, energy saving, famine, water shortage, flood, children's rights, mobbing, racism, arms race, war, poverty, sense of public responsibility, immigration, terrorism, domestic violence, (road) safety, integration of people with handicaps, cruelty to animals, …

These projects and strategy are developed by the ICT-co-ordinator of the Free Primary Schools of Meulebeke in Belgium with the help of partners from Belgium, Israel, Canada, Japan, South-Africa, Mongolia, Slovakia, USA, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Italy, England and Hungary.

2. Paese (Città / Regione)
Stato: 
Belgium
Città: 
Meulebeke
3. Nome dell'organizzazione che presenta il progetto
Organizzazione: 
Free Primary Schools Meulebeke
4. Tipo di organizzazione
Scegli tipo: 
Scuola
5. Coordinatore del progetto
Nome e Cognome: 
Lieven Van Parys
E-Mail: 
lieven.van.parys@skynet.be
6. Website
Il sito web del progetto: 
http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/animations/aniandmate.htm AND http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/myworld/makeawiz.htm
7. Selezionate la categoria di appartenenza del vostro progetto
Youth Education Project. Select Project Users by age: 
Fino a 10 anni
Inserimento dei giovani nel mondo del lavoro: 
NOT Helping youth step in the job market
Creatività e Innovazione sociale: 
Creatività e Innovazione sociale
8. Da quando è funzionante il vostro progetto?
Da: 
01/01/2008
9. Obiettivi ed elementi di innovazione
Please explain the targets and the background of your project: 

Integration of ICT into the curriculum is for most teachers an important topic. So we developed this strategy and instrument that can be reproduced easily.

Come, e con quali mezzi cerca di raggiungere gli obiettivi prefissati: 

Using animations, we try to develop an original learning environment for young children: (step1) collaborate en communicate by means of animations (as a universal language) and (step 2) optimise the integration of ICT into the curriculum by solving together world problems with the help of our little wizard, the special ‘personality’ in our animations.

Quali opportunità/problemi affronta: 

While communicating with children from different countries and cultures, we experienced that all children are equal and that they have their own feelings and thoughts. Even young children can understand each other and make use of Internet when we use 'an innovative' and universal language (animations).

Please explain what is unique or special in your project: 

‘@ni & m@te’
Young kids created a whole set of sceneries, views from all over the world made in a original way by means of animations… That’s my culture, my world, my life… ‘I animate and I communicate’
Kids play an active role in this virtual environment because they identify themselves with our amusing characters @ni and m@te.
In each child there is a hidden artist inside: a painter, a moviemaker and an actor!

‘Make @ wiz’
Together we created a virtual discussion forum by means of self-made animations. “If you have a problem… we’ll try to solve it, hand in hand with of our funny wizard ‘Wizzy’! “ This is the way we made ‘the critical study of world problems’ child-friendly and accessible… and the way we educate young critical thinkers in an etwinning context and in an ICT-rich learning environment: ‘I animate and I integrate’.

10. Risultati
Describe the results of your project as per today: 

A double project with two websites:
http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/animations/aniandmate.htm
http://www.sintamandusmeulebeke.be/myworld/makeawiz.htm

On the project website of ‘@ni & m@te’ you discover a large collection animations made by young pupils showing their living environment, culture and activities. It's the collaborative work of our team members from all over the world. Photos of the activities illustrate how teachers and pupils enjoyed this simple project. (We have teams from Belgium, Israel, Canada, Japan, South-Africa, Mongolia, Slovakia, USA, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Italy, England and Hungary.)
Delegations of the Ministry of Education from Kenia and Romania came to Belgium to study our new eTeaching strategy. Our Japanese colleague worked together with the Belgian pupils in our local Belgian schools on the development of some animations. The aim was to initiate our pupils into some typical Japanese customs.

During the next step of our eTwinning strategy, children from different cultures expressed their ideas in ‘Make @ wiz’ about serious world problems and transformed them into animations (-> teams from Belgium, Spain and Japan). Some teams from other continents (-> teams from Israel, South-Africa and Canada) tested and evaluated these animations. (universal ideas and solutions? / own alternative solutions?)
As introduction of these project, the children made a real ‘wizard’ with some simple materials.
We discussed our results on line by means of Skype.

The project co-ordinator was invited to give 2 workshops about these projects at the Professional Development Workshop for European teachers in Bratislava (24.04.2009).
These projects and teaching strategy received 2 eTwinning awards and the project co-ordinator was invited to the Palace in Brussels (Belgium) and got a ‘Queen Paola Prize for Education’ (the most prestigious award for education in Belgium) for this approach of integration of ICT into the national curriculum.

In che misura risponde ai bisogni degli utenti: 

Co-operating with friends from different places of the world and from a totally different culture is a dream that came true.

Quanti utenti interagiscono con il progetto mensilmente e in quale modo: 

We work with more than 20 teams all over the world (+ 1000 pupils). We
communicate with e-mail and skype. All our results are placed on our 2
special project websites.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto contribuisce a migliorare l'educazione e la formazione dei giovani: 

Our project became a real learning environment where children can develop skills in communication and teamwork. With a simple 'animation tool' and the child friendly drawing program 'Tux Paint' (backgrounds) they developed their creativity and imagination. They learn to develop scenarios and to evaluate each other. The whole project meets the requirements of appropriate areas of the school curriculum in all the involved countries.(world studies, key competences) It helps to bridge the digital divide by providing a 'ICT-rich' learning and teaching context.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto ha ottimizzato la partecipazione di professionisti, ragazzi, giovani o altri soggetti: 

The project invites and encourages teamwork between teachers and children who worked 'hand in hand' to develop a whole set of animations about their own way of life and solutions of problems that endanger their environment and future. In this virtual world pupils express their feelings in a save environment. It became an interactive and co-operative network (an open school) where children exchanged creative ideas.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto favorisce l'uso delle nuove tecnologie da parte di professionisti, ragazzi e giovani per lo sviluppo culturale e didattico: 

Even very young children can make use of ICT and can communicate on the Internet with each other by means of the universal language 'in a creative and meaningful way'. It enabled schools to easily incorporate ICT into a classroom programme. (E-mail, animations, 'Tux Paint', Skype, Mindmap tools to schematise the scenarios...) While communicating with children from other countries and cultures, they experienced that all children are equal but that they have their own feelings and thoughts.

Descrivete i criteri che usate per misurate i risultati raggiunti dal vostro progetto: 

We measured the projects success by the number of schools/countries involved (we created a worldwide team...) and the number of animations and scenarios we developed. Of course we consider objective data (see our results on the 2 special project websites: as well as personal data: appreciation, the willingness of co-operation, the motivation to use ICT, the fun we have together...) and the respect we feel for each other's culture and ideas.

11. Sostenibilità
Indicate la durata complessiva del progetto: 
Più di 6 anni
Come è finanziato il vostro progetto: 
Altro
Altro: 
The project co-ordinator pays all the costs. Now we collect empty ink cartridges for recycling. So we hope to earn some money that we can invest in this project.
Is your project economically self sufficient now: 
Si
Insert date: 
01/01/2009
12. Trasferibilità
Che cosa possono imparare altri soggetti dal vostro progetto: 

Even very young children can make use of ICT and can communicate on the Internet with each other by means of a universal language (symbols, art, objects, drawings, animations, ... ) in a creative and meaningful way.

Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti: 
Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti.
13. Informazioni aggiuntive
Background: 

During several years we worked together with teachers and pupils from different countries and cultures who joined our small school projects. Now we invited them all for the development of this special learning environment.

Ostacoli: 

For our project we only needed the creativity of our pupils and friends...
Only a 'minor' problem occurred...
Funding is the most frequent problem for our primary schools. We even have to make our ICT-equipment by ourselves with old parts that we receive from parents and friends... So the project co-ordinator pays a lot by himself (server, hosting, …).

Soluzioni: 

Now we collect empty ink cartridges for recycling. This is the way we use to earn some money that we can invest in this project. We use freeware and open source software, so we can diminish the costs…

Future plans and wish list: 

This simple and new eLearning and eTeaching strategy can help a lot of educators to develop an own ICT-project that integrates better new technologies into the curriculum.
The 'educational' materials (animations about world problems ) created by our international team are available for everyone. We hope that these scenarios will be used all over the world so that the kids can reflect about these difficulties and find their own (alternative) solutions so they can help to build up later their own living environment in a better way as ‘grown-ups’.

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