In this section you will find information and resources for teachers using EU4Schools. This integrated learning system is built around three core elements.
Making real life submissions to the EU and making digital projects to share with peer groups. The key element here is the real life element of the final projects encouraging advocacy, citizenship and communication skills, and the use of Digital Media encouraging digital literacy.
Starting points are provided via the topics. Various topics are explored using a wide variety of materials links, videos images and information all specially selected and prepared for EU4Schools
Core material about the European Union is provided in specially written texts which encourage interaction with the EU websites while familiarising learners with the complex system that is the EU. Texts are written to take the reader from basic information through to more detailed and difficult materials – how ‘deep’ to go is learner directed.
EU4Schools is designed to be used by teachers and students working together, facilitating collaboration among the students and producing real life outputs.
Challenge Based Learning
CBL is a new way of teaching and learning, not just about facts but about using them as well. A defined concept is emerging, although the name does keep changing, initially it was ‘Quest’ then ‘Search’ and now Challenge Based Learning, but the basic concepts are similar.
The theory is rooted in a recognition that learners’ needs are changing and indeed in the not to distant future the skill sets required to make ones way in life, both for personal fulfilment and employability, will be more directed towards creativity and innovation than the historically traditional role of education of imparting facts alone.
Early elearning materials tended to be based on business and corporate training models, with a lot of emphasis on completed finite tasks with inbuilt testing. In general even more educationally orientated materials tended to replace paper with a screen, arguably simply adding eye ache to the equation.
Richard Close of the Global Learning Framework describes search learning as ‘defining problems, discovering and making adjustments, adopting these; and to collaborate and share’. The White Paper by Apple describes it thus ‘The challenge based learning process begins with a big idea and cascades to the following: an essential question, a challenge, guiding questions, activities, and resources, a solution, implementation, evaluation, reflection, assessment and publishing’.
The basic concept of CBL is to allow greater creativity and self-direction in learning, and to allow a variety of possible ‘answers’ or solutions. It takes advantage of digital media to allow for creative outputs and well as facilitating peer-to-peer sharing of results. This both brings it into the real world and has the practical advantage of creating some extra motivation, as participants want to show their best work to each other.
Within the pages and resource pages of EU4Schools are a wide selection of images that are copyright free for educational use.
Many of these are from the Europa Audio Visual service website and there are also links to this site.
Some of the images have been made or taken specifically for EU4Schools for you to use in student projects.
You might start with those images on the EU4Schools site and then follow the links to look for more materials to use in the EU image banks. Together with student materials (drawings, diagrams and photos of their own) this provides a rich depository of raw material for the creation of digital storytelling projects using simple video and animation techniques.
This is a list of digital teaching resources with background information on how these can be used with EU4Schools in the classroom to support CBL and production of peer shared projects. These are websites external to EU4Schools so the usual disclaimers apply.
Most of these are resources made available free for school use.
A Class Pack to get you started: Make a Digital Flipping Book to Present your Ideas
See here for an introductory class pack – a writing project published as an online flipping book to share -or it could become an animation.
Suggested Theme: – ELV Waste – End of Life Vehicles disposal
First – state the problem – there might be a brainstorming session here.
Prompt questions might include –
what happens to old cars?
Has anyone seen a car dump?
What might be the problems with old cars?
What materials do you think are in these?
Who’s job is it to solve the problem?
What rules and laws exist?
Form the class into groups, teams or pairs.
Now each group can do some research about these questions – have a look at the Pollution Topic on EU4Schools for some information and research resources.
The groups should keep some records of what they find – notes and images for use in their final presentation.
Ask the groups to have a look at some of the solutions being suggested – recycling, Zero Waste design and so on – use the topics in EU4Schools to start with, they can always look into it in more detail by following the links provided (web-quest).
Again, they should keep records of what they find, and any good ideas they come across.
Now they have all the raw data they need to make their own – informed – suggestion on how to deal with the waste from old cars.
Ask the groups to suggest what solutions they think are good ones.
They should now have a selection of images, photos found on EU4Schools that they can use, also their own and perhaps drawings and diagrams they have made themselves. All of these and text can be combined to make a presentation about the problem and the solution they suggest.
The material needs to be prioritised and ordered to make a clear argument
There ideas can be published in a variety of ways. One possibility is to use an online tool to convert their work into a Digital Flip book. Most are free for educational use.