Do you have an ongoing project? Tell everyone!
One of the factors that distinguishes a quality project is, besides showing the final product, that the whole process is well documented leaving record or evidence of all the phases of the project implementation. As part of the documentation process, there should be record of the involvement of the different players, and especially of the students. (Rubric for a quality project: 6. Results, impact and documentation) It is only natural that a teacher embarking on a new project should focus on a series of aspects that need to be specified in his or her planning such as the objectives to be attained, the subjects or curricular areas that are going to be involved in the project, the way to integrate the project in the curriculum, the way communication with the rest of the partners is going to be, the final results of the project, etc. There is one aspect that is seen as less important or planned in a rather superficial manner; nevertheless, if it is done well, it will enrich the project and the experience of everybody involved in it and of all those seeing the project. This aspect is the dissemination of the project which entails explaining what was done, showing the work process, the tools that were used, the created contents, and other significant elements.
What is the purpose of publishing what we do?
It is simply because we want the educational community and the public in general to know what we do and to help build a collaborative red of teachers who exchange experiences and knowledge about good practices in education.
As the article mentioned above Rubric said, “It is advisable to be generous and share our experience with our immediate environment: our educational community, our town, with other teachers and communities using various resources or areas within our reach to disseminate the project, such as the school corridors, the school website, local press, social networks, etc.” It is therefore advisable/desirable to have a dissemination strategy when we begin a new project. ¿Who is the dissemination plan aimed at? In a school context, the dissemination plan has to be aimed at the different levels of the education community; we have to inform the other colleagues of the teaching staff on a regular basis, as well as the students who are not involved in the project, and the families. In the case of the families, there are various appropriate occasions to let them know about the project development such as the meetings of parents’ organizations, the meetings of the class tutors with the families, and open days. Outside the school context, the dissemination has to be aimed at a different public: other teachers, local authorities, education authorities, and other stakeholders.
Depending on the target public, it is important to determine which are the most significant contents we want to transmit, which is the best communication strategy in that case, and what are the most appropriate tools to carry it out with. The dissemination plan shouldn’t be put aside for the last stage of the project or even for after the project’s completion. It should be a continuous process and the public, besides being the receiver of the information, has to be able to give feedback and help improve the project and support the project to achieve the established objectives. Students should play an important role in the dissemination plan, both in its design and in its implementation. The partner teachers together with the students can design a brief form containing the strategy for the project dissemination which can be updated if necessary. A simple table like the one below can be a starting point:
What dissemination methods do we have within reach?
eTwinning projects are carried out through the TwinSpace collaborative platform and they have their own associated URL address. By giving this URL address we can share the public content of the project.
Examples of good practices
Next in this article we are going to present a sample of projects and the dissemination tools and resources used to make them known. These examples are applicable to all education stages; they only need to be adapted to the particular features of the stage.
Project: Fairy yoga
This is a project for Pre-primary Education which puts forward the possibility of including yoga as a curricular activity in the following school years. Their experience was published in the educational magazine Eduquem (in Catalan) and it was featured on the local radio station, Radio Sant Boi. Also, they make the most of social media and their scope by publishing information on Facebook.
Project: Tomo la palabra
Tomo la palabra (I take the floor) is a Primary Education project whose main objective was to improve the students’ linguistic competence, including both oral and written expression as well as comprehension. Besides making their work known within their school, the project was published in the Education Department of the Navarra local administration newsletter, in Diario de Navarra, a regional newspaper, and on the Navarra Board of Education website. All these sites have a large number of visits and visitors and this multiplies the dissemination impact.
Project: MAVEN-MAth Via ENglish
The MAVEN – Math Via English project, which promotes learning Math and English in a more entertaining manner for first cycle secondary compulsory education students, remains in a more limited environment. Its most significant result is a story book. With regards to the project content, the project coordinator, Lorenzo Castilla Mora explains, “All these contents can be used in the future by the people involved in the project as well as the rest of the educational community.” It is therefore important to give the educational community the chance to know them and reuse them. Libro de historias en ISSUU. Furthermore, in order to achieve student motivation, each month, the student who had been more involved in the project activities was featured in the Hall of Fame. Others have searched for a widely known space to show their projects’ results.
Project: European Maze
The European Maze project features students from Spain and Slovakia who work in a collaborative manner in order to design and develop an app which runs in the Android environment. They developed an educational game that can currently be downloaded from the Play Store. Anyone who wants to, can play European Maze. TwinSpace: https://twinspace.etwinning.net/19592/home Happy holidays folder.
Project: Better e-safe than sorry
The main objective of the Better e-safe than sorry project is to implement good practices related to the use of ICTs and safe use of Internet in school. The project was featured in an article on the National Support Service website as a sample of good practices on digital citizenship.
The readers of the article may know that the IES San José school from Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz was awarded the eSafety Label. They designed an infographic which features in a clear and viewer friendly way some of the project results. https://twinspace.etwinning.net/4386/pages/page/131122 One way of making your project known among the public easily and directly is by handing out posters or cards with information on it. Moreover, the project was also featured in an article in a Dutch educational magazine.
Project: Everyday situations
The walls of the school corridor are always a good display space and a place to acknowledge other people’s work and to get inspiration from. In the case of the Everyday situations Secondary Education project, the school corridor walls were used to show different materials and reveal the development of this collaborative project which focused on creating videos on everyday life situations filmed in real settings in various languages.
Project: Los colores de la vida
This is a Primary education project that poses a simple question: what are life’s most simple values that have been almost forgotten? This project is a walk through life’s rainbow in order to discover its most genuine meaning. As in the previous case, the project was showed to the public using the school corridors.
Also, it was made known through the educational platform of the Madrid Education Board, http://www.educa2.madrid.org/web/javier.arias/proyecto-2015-16, and using social media.
Project: A través del espejo
In the case of this project, the partners chose different ways to disseminate it. The main goal for this project was to investigate how primary and secondary emotions work (fear, sadness, hate, surprise, repulsion, rage, etc; and shame, love, anxiety, etc.) and they affect young people and how different cultures reflect them (in customs and artistic expressions). The project was presented to the teachers who were involved in a training activity fostered by the Education and language policy department from the Basque country. It was also featured on the Basque country eTwinning ambassadors’ blog, and, after being awarded the National Quality Label, they also published an article on the project in the El Correo newspaper. Furthermore, it was also featured in the blog of the Berritzegune Teacher centre from Getxo. http://clilingetxo.blogspot.com.es/
As we mentioned before, the project results were also displayed on the school corridors; a glass showcase with various contents created by the students was put on the corridors of IES Antonio Trueba BHI school from Barakaldo. José Antonio Sánchez, the project partner from Melilla presented the most significant aspects of the project to the Melilla Regional education director and his team. The other project partner was from Tunisia; in her case, it was the students that presented the project to the school inspector in charge of the Spanish language as well as to the school principal.
Project: Troy today
This project has had a different kind of impact. The starting points for this project were Greek tragedy and the Trojan War; it developed on to analyze the consequences of wars in general and it compared the past to the current situation of the Mediterranean Sea shores (the Syrian refugees). One of the results of their labor was the successful theatrical representation of the play The Trojan Women by Euripides on various theatre stages of the Region of Murcia.
With the theatrical representation of the play in the town of Lorca, the students raised over 400 € which were donated to the international organization ACNUR from Spain. As a thank you for their donation, they received a collaboration certificate.
Project: Starting from Scratch
Students involved in this project reflected on the reasons behind the migratory flows, became aware of the difficulties migrants are faced with, and discussed the best ways to receive them so that they feel accepted in the receiving countries. In this particular case, students use the eMaze tool to design a presentation in order to summarize the main ideas of the project. This type of dissemination and capturing their work in such a striking visual layout helps to catch the public’s eye and makes them want to see the project.
Origami is a Pre-primary Education project and it focuses on emotions and on how to work on them together with children from other countries. In their TwinSpace we can see they used multiple communication media to disseminate their work: an eTwinning group, an educational blog, the school’s institutional website, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest), the education website of a renowned Foundation, etc.
We would like to put emphasis on the students from Ceuta; it is touching to see them talk about their projects with such excitement with the mayor President. (See minute 7’12’’ to 9’45’’)
Project: Tips de Movilidad España-Portugal
The Spain-Portugal mobility tips project activities were published while they were carried out in different means of communication, in the press, and radio. The project revolves around analyzing the existing mobility in the Spanish and Portuguese students’ environment; they study various routes and the available resources in every city. The goal is to learn scales in a fun and motivating context using innovative ICT tools and a collaborative methodology. Here are the links to the news articles published in the social media:
Project: building citizenship through media education
For this project, one of the dissemination media among the partners was Twitter, as you can see in the following image.
Do you have a dissemination plan? It’s time to design one! We want to get to know your work.
Image sources: public TwinSpaces and blogs of the featured projects. Header free use image and communication icons designed by Freepik