This webinar presents the experience of a project where the traditional lesson, starting from the textbook, was transformed into an engaging activity based on collaborative work through extensive use of ICT.
The topic analysed was “The Social and Ethical problems of ICT”. It was a first step towards one of the most relevant issues of today: digital literacy - one the 8 key skills in the 21st century educational scenario.
Students were given the opportunity to think about how they use technology in everyday life. Cookies, digital tracking, fake news, violation of copyright, disappearing and emerging professions, social networks and digital reputation, censorship on the Net and other topics, were presented and discussed in the classroom.
The project was aimed at developing the 6 C’s of education: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creation, connection and cultural context.
This skill set is fundamental for future scenarios where students may well do jobs that do not exist right now.
The innovative aspect of the project was essentially the active role of the students who were asked to create a multimedia project using the best techniques for being successful communicators. According to the revised Bloom’s taxonomy, “creating” is now at the top of the pyramid. Creativity, indeed, is now an important element of every type of future job. The second innovative element is to assess the students, not only according to the language or content presented, but also in relation to their graphic design and communicative performance which includes also body language and impact on the audience.
The role of the teacher shifts from being a lecturer to a motivator, facilitator, moderator, supervisor and tester depending on the stage of the project. Therefore, the project is also an example of a CLIL activity. The 10-step plan for the project are: motivate, team formation, explore, collaborate and create, communicate, formative assessment, debate, practice and check, testing and summative assessment, and share.
The project started and finished with the support of the textbook, which remains an essential tool for individual learning, but around which a wider project was built.
My students, aged 15, were enthusiastic about taking an active part in this new learning experience where creativity, critical thinking, communication skills played a vital role. They really enjoyed doing this project and I was glad to follow Rabelais’ words "A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit.”