“CONNECT” is an Erasmus+KA2 project [GRANT AGREEMENT: 2020- 1-EL01-KA226- SCH-094578], launched in March 2021, which aims to promote digital education in Mathematics, Physics and Foreign Languages in lower secondary education as well as to enhance the professional skills of teachers in digital technology.
The "CONNECT" Project will implement a 28-month work plan (1.3.2021-28.06.2023) with actions, educational material, training activities and school piloting addressing teachers as the direct target group and students as indirect beneficiaries.
The CONNECT approach is based on three principles: (a) distance education adapted to secondary education, (b) blended learning approach and (c) the flipped classroom model. In this hybrid model, the change of roles of teachers and students is at the core.
In order the objectives to be fulfilled, the following outputs will be developed:
This is the last newsletter of CONNECT project which was successfully completed on 28th June 2023. All intellectual outputs of CONNECT project have been produced and are available in project’s web-site. Moreover, the piloting of CONNECT approach was performed in schools of the participating countries (Greece, Cyprus and Italy) and the results and overall feedback received were very promising. Additionally, the last transnational project meeting was held in Palermo, Italy and all partners had a fruitful collaboration regarding the preparation and submission of the final report following the guidelines of the Hellenic National Agency as also the roadmap with all necessary actions towards the sustainability of all project outputs and their exploitation by the school community and relevant stakeholders.
The Final Teacher’s guide (FTG) is a powerful tool for educators to implement the CONNECT approach. It summarizes the cardinal methods included in the CONNECT approach, indicating ways to implement them. Lessons learned from piloting along with practical guidelines stand out in the Teacher’s Guide.
Teachers are urged to read the Final Teacher’s Guide, reflecting on their teaching while studying the material uploaded to the project’s website. This will help them to better realize the added value of this intellectual outcome, and this will also whet their appetite for implementing the CONNECT approach at their Schools.
The Final Teacher’s Guide has been developed under the auspices of the University of Cyprus with the contribution of all partners as the IO4 Intellectual Outcome of the CONNECT project.
Piloting in Greece (RDPSEA)
The piloting in Greece reverberated well at students and teachers. Teachers implemented the CONNECT scenarios in an intriguing way. Innovative techniques and digital media were used to give life to the Flipped Classroom Approach. Posters, blogs, and mind maps were used for this end. Students’ collaboration and active participation was also achieved. 19 pilots that were conducted in six schools proved that the CONNECT approach implementation is feasible. During piloting, students and teachers learned to overcome difficulties and thrive.
Piloting in Cyprus (UCY)
Between February to April 2023, a group of 10 teachers from schools participating in the CONNECT project implemented the learning scenarios in their classrooms, involving approximately 72 students in total.
Piloting in Italy (CNR)
From January 2023 until March 2023, 10 teachers from the schools involved in the CONNECT project tested the CONNECT learning scenarios within their classrooms on a total of about 200 students.
In this Intellectual Output we developed the exploitation plan that defines the strategy and actions needed to maximize the use and impact of a project's results. The main objective of an exploitation plan is to ensure that the results are accessible, usable, and beneficial to the target audience, including potential users in the target context, organizations, and affected communities.
The document is proposed as a tool to promote and exploit the CONNECT results developed to enhance the potential of teachers and help them to incorporate digital online technology and develop digital pedagogical competencies for online education.
The activities necessary to ensure the dissemination and use, in a wide range of educational settings, of the teaching model, teaching resources, and all outputs produced throughout the life of the project will be identified in the Exploitation Plan.
First, the target audience is defined ( ex. teachers of a specific subject area or students of a specific age group, etc.). Next, the specific needs of the target audience and the opportunities for using the educational model in specific educational settings are identified.
The specific objectives that this plan aims to address are:
Definition of the target audiences of the educational model: the exploitation plan will indicate who the target audiences of the project results are, such as students, teachers, or trainers.
Definition of objectives: the exploitation plan will specify the objectives that you want to achieve with the instructional model.
Definition of evaluation methods: the exploitation plan will indicate some methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching model and proposed scenarios, such as tests, questionnaires, etc.
Definition of resources needed: the exploitation plan will list the resources needed to implement the teaching model, e.g. teaching materials, technological tools, space, etc.
Definition of communication strategies: the exploitation plan will indicate some communication activities and strategies to inform the recipients of the educational model, their families, school staff or other stakeholders.
June, 21st-22nd 2023, Palermo, Italy
The final meeting of the CONNECT project was held in Palermo, Italy, at the headquarters of the Institute for Educational Technology of the National Research Council. The meeting was attended by Georgios Kosyvas (RDPSEA), Ioannis Georgakopoulos (RDPSEA), Dario La Guardia (CNR), Gabriella Di Piazza (CNR), Salvatore Perna(CNR), Valentina Dal Grande(CNR), Simona Ottaviano (CNR), Costantinos Telkos (UCY), and Thomas Zarouchas (CTI), Kostas Giannopoulos (CTI) and Thomas Fotiadis (UCY). During the meeting, the latest project deliverables were presented, specifically the teachers' guide (IO4) and the exploitation plan (IO5). The project booklet containing suggestions and recommendations for the exploitation of the CONNECT project results was distributed to the participants. During the two-day meeting, issues concerning the production of the final project documentation and future project sustainability were addressed.
April, 27th 2023, Nicosia, Cyprus
The University of Cyprus organized a prestigious national multiplier event to showcase and celebrate the significant progress achieved thus far in the CONNECT project. The aim was to foster the involvement from the different communities (schools, universities, educational organizations) as the project approaches its final phase. The event focused on highlighting the intellectual outputs developed as part of the project, namely the Pedagogical Framework, Educational Scenarios, Online courses (MOOC), and Teachers Guide. These outputs represented the culmination of extensive research and collaboration among educators, researchers, and industry experts. The current event was an opportunity for participants to gain valuable insights into the innovative approaches and methodologies introduced through the CONNECT project, and how they can be effectively implemented in the education sector. Through the engaging presentations, and practical demonstrations, attendees familiarized with the pedagogical framework, explored the diverse educational scenarios, accessed the online courses, and received guidance from the comprehensive teachers' guide. The event aimed to inspire and empower educators, administrators, and other stakeholders to actively participate in the final phase of the project, ensuring its sustainable impact on the education system.
May, 19th 2023, Palermo, Italy
The Italian multiplier event, held on Friday 19/05/2023 at 11:00-16:00 at Aula Magna of the Istituto Comprensivo Statale "D.Scinà - G.Costa". During the event, CNR researchers Dario La Guardia, Manuel Gentile, Salvatore Perna and Giuseppe Città presented the CONNECT project and the Intellectual Outputs and Deliverables produced. The MOOC platform was presented and teachers were invited to register for the various courses. Finally, the teachers participating in the project and the LTTA events organised in Athens made a speech showing their views on the project.
The RDPSEA is working together with partners to culminate the project. The CONNECT partners will strive hard to ensure that the CONNECT approach will reverberate during the next years, and that all European educators and policymakers will be inspired to upgrade education. All partners will continue disseminating the project’s results through fruitful educational meetings, further newsletters, or other advertising methods (if necessary) and will continue reflecting the CONNECT approach, setting the paradigm for ameliorating their educational practices. The CONNECT legacy will be available on the project’s website, and the CONNECT milestones will be perennially highlighted through the potent website. All partners are certain that the CONNECT approach will be the center of the educators’ discussion in the following years. All partners are willing to help any honest educator to be upskilled, adopting the CONNECT approach. All partners are certain that all educators and policymakers will embrace the CONNECT approach. Indeed, the way has been paved for an educational reshuffle. The CONNECT partners will be pioneers in such a process.
The 3rd Newsletter is available in pdf here.