Jump to content


Spartacus

Virtual School to Close


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#31 Caterina Gasparini

Caterina Gasparini

    Experienced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Udine, ITALY

Posted 12 February 2005 - 09:57 PM

A number of people have mentioned Comenius as a source of funding. The ICT4LT project, which I have mentioned several times in this Forum, succeeded in obtaining funding (Phase 1) under Lingua A (European Cooperation Programmes for Language Teacher Training (1999-2000). Following restructuring of the EC funding programmes, we were advised to apply for an extension of the funding (Phase 2) under Comenius 2.1, Training of School Education Staff (2001). The main outcome of the project, a (free) collection of Web resources, can be viewed at http://www.ict4lt.org
(...)
Essentially, I think the message that I am conveying is that this successful project was subject-driven and content-driven, not technology-driven.

In fact, if it had been technology-driven, it should have been proposed as a Minerva project. I think I read you have also worked for the European Commission as an evaluator of project proposals, so you must have quite a lot of experience in the field. I think the project management of the Lingua and Comenius Projects you mentioned was very good.

I have just a little experience for I submitted an Observation and Innovation Proposal (which was not approved) in May 2002 and started preparing a Minerva which was never finished. Then I wrote a Comenius 1.2, which was approved, and I have just submitted a Leonardo.
I think the starting point for every project is a careful identification and definition of the needs the project is addressing: do you agree?

#32 Graham Davies

Graham Davies

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 925 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berkshire
  • Interests:I began my career as a teacher of German and French in secondary education in 1965, moving into higher education in 1971, where I taught German (and also English as a Foreign Language to students training to become professional translators) until 1993. I have been involved in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) since 1976. In 1982 I wrote one of the first introductory books on computers in language learning and teaching, which was followed by numerous other printed and software publications. In 1989 I was conferred with the title of Professor of CALL by the Academic Board of Ealing College of Higher Education (later integrated into Thames Valley University). I retired from full-time teaching in 1993 but I continued to work as a Visiting Professor for Thames Valley University until 2001. I was the Founder President of EUROCALL, holding the post from 1993 to 2000. I am a partner in Camsoft, a CALL software development and consultancy business, which was founded in 1982. I have lectured and run ICT training courses for language teachers in 22 different countries and I sit on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees. I have been actively involved in WorldCALL since 1998 and I currently head a working party that is in the process of setting up WorldCALL as an official organisation that aims to assist countries that are currently underserved in the area of ICT and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. I am fluent in German, I speak tolerable French, and I can survive in Italian, Russian and Hungarian. I enjoy golf, skiing, walking my dog (a retired racing greyhound) and travelling. I used to scuba-dive regularly - my last dive was on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 - but now I just swim at my local fitness centre.

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:23 PM

Caterina writes:

I think the starting point for every project is a careful identification and definition of the needs the project is addressing: do you agree?


Yes, I have worked as a project evaluator for the EC

The starting point is a detailed needs analysis, most of which should already have been carried out before the proposal is submitted. The needs analysis should continue as part of the project for fine-tuning purposes. Any project proposal that does not include a needs analysis will be rejected. Similarly, evaluation by independent assessors should feature in the proposal: formative evaluation (i.e. ongoing throughout the project, keeping it on track) and summative evaluation (at the end of the project, evaluating its successes and failures).

As you can see from the figures quoted in my last email, we spent most of the budget on PEOPLE, i.e. paying them to do the work. This seems to have met with the EC's approval. Watch out, however, when paying consultants. Consultants should only be called in to fill gaps that cannot be filled by the members of the project team and they can only be paid a fee up to a limit set by the EC. The EC is also aware of a common fiddle: e.g. when a member of staff of an educational institution also works as a free-lancer and channels consultancy fees into their business. I run a business, but when working on the ICT4LT project I kept my business activities completely separate from my academic work on the project. I was on the payroll of the university responsible for managing the ICT4LT project and paid a salary at standard rates to cover work done on the project. Moral: be honest!

Finally, dissemination of the project's outcomes is important, and it is important to identify a publisher or some other agent to help do this. In fact, it is advisable to identify them before the project starts, calling them in as an adviser while the project is in progress. Most EC-funded projects fail to disseminate their outcomes effectively. Educational institututions are not very good at doing this. It is better to appoint professionals. See my chapter on Commercialisation of project outcomes at:
http://www.ict4lt.or...e_Directory.pdf

#33 Hubert Schoot

Hubert Schoot

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Location:Zwolle & Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Interests:I am a biologist and have an university degree in education. I have been teaching Psychology in Education, Classroom management, Biology, Sciences and ICT and (new) History of Science!<br>I was (and still am) developer of teaching (learning) materials so I give courses in a teacher training college in the practical use of ict in the classroom as a tool, and my interest is finding ways to do that. <br>I am an inservice trainer in higher secondary schools and biology conference coordinator. <br>I am head of the Biology Department of the virtual School.<br><br>In the weekends my biggest interest is my garden. I am a real fan of Alan T.! <br>

Posted 13 February 2005 - 06:09 PM

The problem with these Comenius and other projects is the continuity,
It is a maximum of three years with a little bit money.
I heard that it was not easy to be in a project.
You have to get the money from the European platform in your country. (partly?)
That means that in a mixed department there is a possibility that workers from one country get the grant and others not.
They are meant to be used for different purposes and not for a platform for teachers.

In the Netherlands most of the money goes to language teaching.
I once made the comment that learning languages is good for going on holiday.
So internationalisation is a sort of holiday preparation?
I teach biology that is content. I like international projects about science. Language is a tool. So no discussions on lessons learned of learnt .... Communicate.
I suggested two projects: international lessonplam development and exchange of experieneces (for my biologystudentes at the school of education)
Exchange of results on surveys or examinations.
I saw a small one on a bectasite on investigations on yourself : measurements, what haircolour what eyecolor and so on.

Besides I want to start with a project of using pda's and GPS for making information modules on a neighbourhood.
In the place were I live there lived once a lot of romans (they had a oven for ceramics in my backyard)
Some people from the university had a program to link information to GPS points.
So if you walked around you cuold see the borders of the old buildings and streets (and they were complete different from the modern ones.)
The same you can do for biological information. a virtual field trip!
With these information you fill a web source and walk virtually through a part of Europe!

See you

#34 Graham Davies

Graham Davies

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 925 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berkshire
  • Interests:I began my career as a teacher of German and French in secondary education in 1965, moving into higher education in 1971, where I taught German (and also English as a Foreign Language to students training to become professional translators) until 1993. I have been involved in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) since 1976. In 1982 I wrote one of the first introductory books on computers in language learning and teaching, which was followed by numerous other printed and software publications. In 1989 I was conferred with the title of Professor of CALL by the Academic Board of Ealing College of Higher Education (later integrated into Thames Valley University). I retired from full-time teaching in 1993 but I continued to work as a Visiting Professor for Thames Valley University until 2001. I was the Founder President of EUROCALL, holding the post from 1993 to 2000. I am a partner in Camsoft, a CALL software development and consultancy business, which was founded in 1982. I have lectured and run ICT training courses for language teachers in 22 different countries and I sit on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees. I have been actively involved in WorldCALL since 1998 and I currently head a working party that is in the process of setting up WorldCALL as an official organisation that aims to assist countries that are currently underserved in the area of ICT and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. I am fluent in German, I speak tolerable French, and I can survive in Italian, Russian and Hungarian. I enjoy golf, skiing, walking my dog (a retired racing greyhound) and travelling. I used to scuba-dive regularly - my last dive was on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 - but now I just swim at my local fitness centre.

Posted 14 February 2005 - 11:18 AM

Hubert writes:

The problem with these Comenius and other projects is the continuity,
It is a maximum of three years with a little bit money.
I heard that it was not easy to be in a project.
You have to get the money from the European platform in your country.



Continuity is certainly a problem. After the funding period comes to an end you are on your own, i.e. you have to sustain the project out of your own funds or commercialise it so that it pays for itself. Neither option is easy. Writing a proposal for EC funding is time-consuming. Reporting on what you are doing / have done with the money is also time-consuming.

Referring back to the ICT4LT project that I have already mentioned:
We got funding from the EC for just two years: 50% came from the EC and 50% came from the partners in the project, namely four universities and CILT (Centre for Information on Language Teaching), a non-governmental organisation (NGO). This is the norm for projects funded under Socrates. Now the project sustains itself. It requires my personal intervention only for around 3-4 hours per week. I was also a member of a Leonardo project, in which 60% of the funding came from the EC, with the remaining 40% coming from partner universities and commercial partners. No money in either case came from national organisations, but we did have to make the funding applications via our national representatives of the EU funding bodies (operated by The British Council, in the UK) and report back to them.

Yes, “learning languages is good for going on holiday”, as Hubert says, but language professionals (e.g. translators and interpreters) have to be trained to a very high level, and this takes time and money. Although English is becoming de facto the lingua franca of the European Union, we cannot ignore the other languages, as many people feel comfortable working only in their mother tongue, and this is why a lot of money is spent on translating and interpreting and on language education. A good deal of work on advanced language education is being done by the European Language Council, which is a consortium of universities that acts as a kind of lobby group, advising the European Commission on language education policy in higher education: http://www.fu-berlin.de/elc/

Speakers of what the EC calls LWULT languages (Least Widely Used and Least Taught languages) have to put a lot of effort into learning a language that gives them access to a wider range of speakers. It is estimated that around 350-400 hours of language learning are required to get a learner up to Threshold Level, Common European Framework Level B1, which is the level at which you begin to communicate with some degree of confidence. The first choice of a foreign language is normally English, followed by French, German and Spanish (not necessarily in that order). For speakers of LWULT languages it is taken for granted that the school system will provide several years of training in a more widely accessible language – and this costs a lot of time and money. In the UK and Ireland things are different. The UK and Ireland fall at the bottom the EU league as far as language learning is concerned. As everyone appears to be learning English we simply don’t invest in language teaching. The UK government has recently decided, for example, that foreign languages need only be taught in schools in England for the first three years of secondary education, i.e. to children aged 11-14. This is hardly enough time to bring them up to a level where they can use the languages on holiday. So the next generation will remain tongue-tied.

#35 Dalibor Svoboda

Dalibor Svoboda

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Location:Fredrika Bremergymnasiet, Stockholm

Posted 26 April 2005 - 07:22 AM

The closing meeting of Virtual school which was planned to be held in Brussels between 20th and 21st of May is postponed until autumn this year.

A new proposed time of the meeting is at 16th and 17th of September. Second alternative for the meeting is at 7th and 8th of October.

#36 Dalibor Svoboda

Dalibor Svoboda

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Location:Fredrika Bremergymnasiet, Stockholm

Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:03 AM

I find this mail when I today opened my mail box at my school. Those who would like to be a part of Virtual school last meeting can add this weekend to ones diary.



To the VS heads of department

As you already know the Virtual School Board decided to close the Virtual School at its last meeting in January 2005. Hosted by the European Schoolnet Office and the participating ministries, the Virtual School Closing Conference will take place on September 16-17 2005. The original dates were postponed due to the very limited timeframe and problems in finding an appropriate venue. You will soon receive a formal invitation with full details on venue, registration, etc.

Jan De Craemer
Chair of the VS Board


#37 Dalibor Svoboda

Dalibor Svoboda

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Location:Fredrika Bremergymnasiet, Stockholm

Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:07 AM

The last meeting of Virtual School will be held in Stockholm.

Meeting days; Friday 16th and Saturday 17th of September as previously announced.

Invitations to all members will be send by EUN – office.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda, 17 September 2005 - 03:33 PM.


#38 Dalibor Svoboda

Dalibor Svoboda

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Location:Fredrika Bremergymnasiet, Stockholm

Posted 17 September 2005 - 03:35 PM

Today, on 17th of September at 1 o´clock p.m. Virtual school had been officially closed. The two days long closing conference “Beyond Virtual School” was held in the City Conference Centre, “Folkets Hus” (Peoples House) in the downtown of Stockholm.

The 62 participants from14 different European countries were first taken on the nostalgic trip during the Friday afternoon when four different departments summarized their past activities under the headline “Highlights from the departments”.

On Saturday morning relevant EUN projects and activities were presented. The most successful of these Xplora and eTwinning can be visited at http://www.eun.org/portal/index.htm.

The conference was visited by two members of History Department: Anders Macgregor-Thunell and Dalibor Svoboda. In their two short presentations they informed about E-HELP project and its debate forum.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda, 18 September 2005 - 07:03 AM.


#39 Anders MacGregor-Thunell

Anders MacGregor-Thunell

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 554 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted 18 September 2005 - 08:21 AM

The formal closing of Virtual School was an interesting experience. Personally I think it's good to have a formal closing - it sure is better than not giving any clear messages at all which makes the departments inactive and forgotten while they wait for some information about the future...

During this final meeting several departments showed what they had acomplished over the seven years of VS. We got to experience many PP presentations. When Dalibor presented the History Department he did this without PowerPoint. Instead he shortly told the audience about a few personal reflections of the years and then showed one result of the VS - a teacher who never did anything with the help of ICT (a true ICT illiterate) with other words "moi". I talked very briefly about my personal experience of VS - from the meeting in Holland 2001 up till today. At the end of this presentation I showed the picture from our last History Department meeting in Gothenburg - the American Civil War photo. After that I showed a second photo - from Marstrand last Saturday (10/9 2005). Dalibor then shortly presented the E-HELP project (dissemination).

At Saturday (yesterday) we got to hear about some of the new EUN run projects. Several national boards especially mentioned eTwinning. Xplora and Calibrate were also mentioned. It was quite obvious that less money was given to the continuation of different parts of the European School Network.

We therefore asked if we couldn't have 5 minutes for a very brief presentation of E-HELP so we could show other ways to go if you couldn't be inrolled in these big sponsored projects. Angela Andersson approved our very late request and we then once more got to inform a little bit about E-HELP (more dissemination). This information included a short story about the meeting in Brussels (2003) where we got to participate in a Comenius session, to the Madrid meeting and our actual application up till today with just a glimse on what we are doing.

This was also a little reminder on what actually was made possible by the existence of Virtual School. So without the History Department at Virtual School there would not have been any E-HELP project. That's why I would like to especially thank Dalibor for the opportunity to participate in Virtual School, the fact that he managed to get together such a healthy and passionate group of people who together actually got something accomplished. During this last meeting we were once again reminded that Virtual School was the most viewed school on the net and we already know from previous meetings that the History Department was one of the leading departments within the VS. So once again - Thank you Dalibor for the work you did put into this - and thank you all members for adopting a big hairy Swede. It's great to have a continuation in E-HELP! B)

Edited by Anders MacGregor-Thunell, 18 September 2005 - 08:26 AM.


#40 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Advanced Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 968 posts

Posted 06 October 2005 - 09:22 PM

Thank you Dalibor for the work you did put into this - and thank you all members for adopting a big hairy Swede. It's great to have a continuation in E-HELP! ;)


For lots of reasons I have only just noticed this thread. I'd like to add my thanks to Dalibor for inviting me to join the VS and the Swedish ministry of Education for funding my participation. The more I think about it and the time I spent at various VS meetings, the more I realise this was quite a remarkable organisation. Thanks.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users