EU Everyplace Wins European Award
The awarding body, The Society for Pedagogy and Information (= Gesellschaft für Pädagogik und Information ) “was set up in 1964 with the objective, to publicize the latest evolution in the field of systematic and scientifically justified teaching and learning procedures and to support their introduction to school and training.”
The Comenius-EduMedia-Awards www.comenius-award.de are open to, among others, “project groups and authors of educational media from all countries, who design, create, publish or disseminate educational media”.
The Everyplace consortium is such a group and we have designed and created an educational platform.
We have applied because the SPI, a competent body consisting of scientists and practitioners, gives expert opinion on media-didactics and educational technology and we are very keen to learn what needs to be improved in our product and what is good. Our project met the eligibility criteria and the prestigious award undoubtedly helps disseminate the results of projects.
The award has two categories: Comenius-EduMedia Seal of Approval and Comenius-EduMedia Medal. Who has won which award will be announced at the presentation ceremony on 19th June 2014. At this time, we believe, also the justification for the award for a particular project will be announced.
Final Conference in Kielce, Poland
The final conference tool place at the Centrum Geoedukacji on the 10th March 2014
Evaluating Successes and Planning for Sustainability
In conjunction with the final conference, the project partners held their final meeting, including a workshop on evaluation and sustainability planning. Using the Ketso tool, a collaborative working kit developed through research at the University of Manchester, in the UK, the project partners clearly identified their successes, how they can build on these successes, the challenges they face and the possible solutions to these problems.
The value of Everyplace lies in its cross-sectoral stakeholder involvement. Presentations and stands at the ITB International Tourism Fair and the Expolingua conference on Culture and Languages.
This year the Expolingua event gathered 147 exhibitors from 24 countries and over 12 000 visitors.
The VHS Passau – Everyplace stand was situated in a good position – corner stand on the first floor. We had a running presentation of the project on the screen and brochures in 6 languages.
The questions asked and points raised by the visitors at our stand were different from those we had from our piloting and presentation at Eurocall conference, which was very informative and showed us a different perspective of looking at our product.
Key questions asked of the platform include:
Representatives of 2 institutions expressed their interest in joining the platform if we work on extension of the platform to new languages.
This year, the annual EUROCALL conference venue was in the beautiful historic city of Évora, a UNESCO World Humanity heritage site, at Évora University , the second oldest in Portugal, founded in 1559. The conference gathered over 300 participants from all over Europe, the USA and Japan.
In September 2013, EUROCALL - European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning celebrated its 20th anniversary. The programme included individual papers, Special Interest Groups (SIG) symposia, workshops, poster sessions and for the first time - presentations show-casing EU-funded projects.
“Everyplace” project was one of the six EU funded projects presented at the conference. In the final summing up speech, the President of Eurocall said that the EU project presentations were interesting and informative, that it was a good idea to invite such presentations to the annual conference and that this item on the agenda will be continued in the future. We were happy to think that we contributed in 1/6th to that conclusion.
Our presentation was on 12th September, in the Main Lecture Hall, which was a fortunate location as it had the most efficient air-conditioning and outside it was 32 degrees C. Our presentation showed the platform in all its variety: film, animations, lessons, Moodle, intercultural Flash animations. The questions asked from the audience concerned the cost of access for learners, level of language lessons, uniformity of level for all languages presented, and whether other languages will be featured on the platform in the future.
It was difficult to choose from the multitude of interesting presentations happening simultaneously. The Everyplace team drafted an "itinerary" for each member of who goes to see which presentation and thus were able to participate in most events we thought would be of interest for our work.
Sustainability of Project Outputs - A Presentation on EU Everyplace
The Everyplace Project is based on the innovative concept of product Placement - or rather place Placement - in educational material. Here is our project coordinator, Paul Talbot, speaking about the need for innovative approaches to sustainability. You can read the paper, written together with Urszula Szczepańczyk here: http://conference.pixel-online.net/ICT4LL2012/common/download/Abstract_pdf/032-ELS02-ABS-Talbot-ICT2012.pdf
European Everyplaces, Language Learning, and Czech Immersion in Nove Hrady
The project „Everyplace“, funded under the KA2 programme and coordinated by die Berater®, recently ran a pilot of its online language learning programme, coupled with an intensive language immersion course in the Czech town of Nove Hrady.
What’s the significance of the town? Language courses on “Everyplace” learning platform actually involve the contextual learning of languages within various European provincial towns. Users on the learning platform learn the local language and get a feel for local culture and traditions. Much like the concept of commercial product placing in film and television, learners come to use the language learning resources, and in doing so get to learn about these small towns, through 3D panoramic imaging and interactive stories in the local language. As towns and municipalities pay for their ‘product placement’, that is, the inclusion of their town as a language learning site on the “Everyplace” platform, developers can invest resources in producing and maintaining the attractive and user-friendly language learning materials.
The language learning materials draw the user into the platform, the inclusion of interesting towns and places enhances user experience, and developers are able to keep the platform cost-free for learners, whilst provincial towns and municipalities gain exposure and benefit from increases in local tourism. This is a win-win situation.
Materials are currently available in German, Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian and Czech for the learning of any of these languages (e.g. learning Czech, with instructions and explanations in Lithuanian). English has also been added as a language of instruction, opening the learning of these other less-widely-used-and-taught languages to a global audience.
Coupled with structured immersion courses for language schools and universities to offer in the towns themselves, the project “Everyplace” can begin to promote the free materials to language schools and colleges throughout Europe and beyond.
The purpose of the piloting was to ensure the quality of the learning materials, and to address any changes that the platform may need in the finalisation stage. Our next step is it to fully exploit the potential of the platform, broadening its usership amongst language learners, and encouraging take up by new towns – and new languages – across the European community.
This is one results of the Immersion Course in Nove Hrady - the participants learnt not only to communicate in basic day-to-day situations, but tried their hand at traditional Czech folk songs!
Try out the completed EU-Everyplace Materials at www.eu-everyplace.eu!
Meetings and Partner Activities
Throughout the project, the parters have met through a series of multilateral and bi-lateral meetings, starting with the Kick Off Meeting in Vienna in March 2012, then meeting to work on the development of materials in Passau in October 2012, before meeting in Kaunas in April 2013 to finalise the first draft of the materials and prepare for the piloing. Partners combined an additional meeting in August 2013 with the piloting of the immersion course in Nove Hrady, where actions were established to finalise the platform based on the piloting experiences. In March 2014 the partners met for one last time in Kielce, to attend the final conference and prepare for the end-of-project status - looking at what is needed in order to maintain an impact from the project outputs after the funding period comes to an end.