Thursday, 18 October 2012

Global Junior Challenge 2012 - Projects to share the future

The Global Junior Challenge is the international competition that rewards the innovative use of technology for the education of 21st century and the social inclusion.
Promoted by the Municipality of Rome, the GJC is hosted every two years by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale under the High Patronage of the Italian Presidency and the sponsorship of the Italian Foreign Affairs Minister.

The 2012 GJC encouraged the reflection on educational technology and its impact on social equity.
Among the challenges of the 21st century education there's in fact the link between educational and social innovation. Can ICT help us building a better future for us and our students? That's the main question.

I had the opportunity to take part in the competition both as a member of the jury in the "up to 10" category and as a contestant with my classes in "up to 15".
It was interesting for me to see the projects from within. I think I learned a lot about Primary School - not only in Italy, but in the whole world - by examining the projects I had to evaluate. There was much to learn for me, and I felt it was a privilege to explore and understand so many different pathways.

And it was a pleasure and a pride for me to be among the finalists with my students, with three projects - Comenius-eTwinning "Bridges of Water", eTwinning "BE TWIN - twinning up the everyday lesson" and "BIANCO ROSSO E VERDE".

We could travel to Rome and meet other schools, students, teachers and experts from all around the world. And coming from Casole d'Elsa - 4000 inhabitants - even just walking through the capital was an adventure for my pupils. Our journey in the underground was a sort of "Indiana Jones" mission, with much laughing, ooohing and ... trembling! But the whole experience was great, from our arrival during the plenary session, to the preparation of our area, to the "social integration" workshop for the pupils (great animator of the workshop, the pupils loved her!), to the interviews with TV and the photoshots. We felt like movie stars!

And the day went on with a walk through Rome, and a very special stop at the "Museo del Risorgimento", just to remember where we come from, and why we are here today.

In short, a fantastic experience, always with our Twins in mind: Hungary, Turkey, Slovakia, Spain... you were there in our thoughts!

Just a final personal note: in such a difficult period, with this huge crisis and more and more families facing unemployment, can new technologies really be considered a tool for social equity and integration? or are we going to see the rise of a new clique, that of the I-can-spend-on-ICT, versus a majority of ICT beggars?