Case study for Transmedia: Towards the future classroom
OEE interviewed Josep Blasco and asked him to share more details about his work on the Communication and Education by Transmedia project.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – some details about the kind of work you do?
My name is Josep and I currently work as a secondary school teacher. I have worked as a teacher for 33 years, and I have taught in primary, secondary and adult education. I teach Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and ICT.
What do you love about your job?
What I love most about my work is teaching, but after 33 years maybe the meaning of ‘to teach’ has changed. So now what I enjoy the most is the communication between teacher and student and sharing knowledge.
Can you tell us about your project and the issues you wanted to address with it?
Schools, teachers, students and parents face ICT and social media issues daily.Not every school has the budget to invest in teaching how to use new social media and technology. Also, not all teachers have the training to use them.
Often students require guidance about how to use social media effectively and in a safe manner.
Therefore the most important goals of our project were:
- To provide guides, safer internet lessons, educational apps, Creative Commons resources, useful websites and other useful products where teachers and parents can find answers to their questions. We produced over 100 educational products, all under the Creative Commons Licence.
- To provide high level research (from PhD professors from 3 different Spanish universities) about the knowledge that teachers, students and parents have about ICT and how they use it.
- To organise an international congress where the best European specialists on transmedia and education could share conferences and workshops on these questions and the future classrooms.
- To publish all the products we created on our website.
In order to fulfil all of these objectives we organised a working team with 7 partners from:
- ‘Drosia K.A.’ Primary School of Larnaca (Cyprus)
- The University of Girona (Catalonia, Spain)
- Centro de Formação de Associação de Escolas Centro-Oeste in Caldas da Rainha (Portugal)
- Instituto Tecnico Industriale Statale 'Galileo Galilei' in Livorno (Italy)
- Pagkyprio Lykeio in Larnaca (Cyprus)
- Colegiul National 'B.P. Hasdeu' in Buzau (Romania)
- Institut D’ensenyament Secunday Palamos (Catalonia, Spain) as coordinator.
Should social media be taught in the classroom?
We strongly believe social media should be taught in the classroom. Social media is and will be a very important part in our students’ future. Where will they learn how to manage it better than in school?
How can we connect technology used at home with technology used in the classroom?
There is no difference between the two. Our students can learn how to use technology at school, home, everywhere. This is why we were working under the idea of transmedia. In the process of learning and teaching we are required to use all the platforms the students have around them.
Do you think a specific social network designed just for schools will help in overcoming ethics and privacy issues?
We must all respect privacy and ethics, not only when we are in school. What is ethical in real life is also ethical in the virtual world. Students don’t have a real space where they have to be respectful of everyone around them. Maybe a specific social network for schools could be a good place to practice.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during the project and how did you overcome them?
There were so many things that were new and challenging in our project:
- For the first time we worked with so many different types of organisations from different education levels.
- The main content of the project (transmedia) had never been tackled by a school project before.
- We had to coordinate seven teams of professionals from primary school to university level.
- We produced over 100 pedagogical products (translated into 7 languages), high level scientific research, and we organised an international congress on transmedia and education.
Can you tell us something about the stages of implementation of the project?
We began planning content, activities, and contacting partners to develop the project in the summer of 2012. In 2013 the partners had a preparatory meeting in Larnaca (Cyprus) to agree on the most important points for the application form.
In October 2013 we opened a project in eTwinning to discuss with our partners how to work under the new ideas and rules of Erasmus+. From December 2013 until March 2014 we used Skype and eTwinning to complete the application form.
During the project duration (September 2014 to August 2016) we used many tools: eTwinning, Gmail, Google Forms, Dropbox, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Prezi, Issuu, WIX, YouTube, and of course all the tools provided by Erasmus+.
What are the measurable results of the project?
There are many results which show the importance of the project and the hard work that went into it:
- Over 40 coordinator meetings
- Over 100 pedagogical products
- Our own published research
- A course about safer internet with 24 lessons, offered by Moodle under Creative Commons
- Our website where we uploaded all the above including other materials
- In 2 years (Feb 2015- Mar 2017) the website had over 20,700 visits from 119 countries. When the project ended visits to the site were from 72 countries.
How did you personally benefit from this project?
The most important benefit that any teacher can get from an Erasmus+ project is contact with other professionals from different countries.
In this project we had the chance to work with professionals from all levels – from primary education to university. The professional experiences that all of us shared were really special in a way that you can’t find them in theoretical courses.
Coordinating the project proved difficult at times; however it was a unique experience.
What is your best memory from the project?
I have many fond memories from the project, including:
- Sharing a project with professionals of different levels of education
- Meeting with partners in their countries, and experiencing different cultures and customs
- Receiving positive comments from students
- Discussing future projects with partners
For the last few months we have been presenting the results of the project in different countries at universities, seminars, training courses etc. The project has been reflected in the national media of all our partners.