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Caterina Gasparini

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    Udine, ITALY

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  1. One of the objections that the Church made to the printing press was that it would destroy memory. Of course, the Church was primarily concerned with losing control of the communication process, but they clearly had a point. The printed book did reduce the need to hold all information in the head (as long as you could read – another thing the Church was against the peasants from doing). The internet has clearly affected the motivating for remembering information. In fact, if I come across any interesting information, I either put it on my website or post it on the forum. When I need this information later, I carry out a search of my website or the forum. Pre-1997 I would have tried to hold this information in my head. My memory was definitely better then but I clearly forgot more than I do today. Even if I usually need to go to the computer to get that information. Probably the technological devices we are using to store the great amount of information we normally receive are influencing the way we are using memory as well. I find it very interesting when John says that pre-1997 his memory was better than it is now but he used to forget more than he does today. We find it useful to have devices which may replace our memory in remembering data, but storing information implies classifying and organizing it so that we may feel "rid of it" and just keep what we need at the moment. Which means that we are constantly applying strategies to select what we actually need from what can be stored because irrelevant at present. This already takes a part of our time. Anyway, this can permit us to accomplish our immediate tasks more efficiently, by focusing our attention on what we need at that precise moment. But it might also involve the risk of losing something, like the ability to keep in view all the aspects of complex situations or keeping in mind the past to attempt a forecast of the future. Is it wrong to venture that, while feeling free from the unbearable burden of keeping all the information we get at every second of our lives, we might get out of training and risk to lose the sense of history or the historical perspective?
  2. Hello, I'am arriving at BRATISLAVA SK IVANKA airport from Munich on Friday 16:05 LH 3174 and leaving on Sunday at 13:10 LH 3173. I'm looking forward to meeting you all. Best wishes, Caterina
  3. Hi My name is Caterina Gasparini. I'm an Italian teacher of English and also the ENIS Project coordinator of my school (an industrial technical institute), which is one of the biggest secondary schools in Italy (about 2,000 pupils). I have been coordinating several European Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and LLP projects on the use of ICT in education and I run some sections of my school website (the Aeronautics Department, the ENIS section, etc). I'm interested in promoting new kinds of approach to teaching and learning with the use of ICT, so as to improve and increase the pupils' motivation.
  4. I cannot but agree with all the others - teachers, pupils and parents - who expressed their support to Richard Jones-Nerzic. I met him at IST in Toulouse where I was invited to join one of the E-Help project conferences. I found him to be an excellent, experienced and enthusiastic history teacher who was also coordinating a very complex and successful European project with great professional skills. IST school gave me a very good impression as the model school where every teacher would like to work and the perfect place for a teacher like Richard and a project like E-Help. I was very disappointed by the news of his dismissal.
  5. Also in my country, Italy, we seem to be losing the real knowledge of our language. Punctuation and vocabulary are no longer properly used. Young people know much less vocabulary than they used to know a few years ago, in part also because they are not fond of reading. Commas are added everywhere in written texts, in particular between the subject and the main verb. Not to mention the problem of the distinction between the conditional and the subjunctive forms of verbs, which is often ignored. The question is that grammar and spelling are no longer relevant in the syllabus. I also wonder how a language like German can be taught effectively without referring to some grammar rules. Of course, the situation is different in schools like our "licei", where students still learn Latin and ancient Greek, study grammar, and translate the texts of the ancient classical writers of the past .... but these schools represent a minority and are starting to face the reluctancy of students who think that these "dead" languages are absolutely useless.
  6. Thank you John for your post. Italian ENIS schools had a meeting last week and we reviewed the activities of the other national ENIS networks. Andrew's ENIS site is still one of the best ones. I do hope his great work may be continued.
  7. This seems to be the state of the country: many people still trust Berlusconi and believe him, many have benefited from his policy (neither the civil servants, of course, nor the young who get only temporary jobs till they are about 35-40 or even older). It is also interesting to hear many people say that, as he was able to make of fortune by himself, he can help the whole country to get rich !!!
  8. It is very sad news for me. I had the opportunity of meeting him in Italy, when he came to one of our national ENIS conferences. I met a really warm and kind person, willing to share his ideas and help his colleague teachers. It is a great loss.
  9. I agree with Pedro and Juan: Internet costs are something teachers hardly ever remember to take into account.
  10. I agree with Juan Carlos and Pedro: in the project I coordinated last year (a Comenius 1.2 with Norway) we started with the goal of publishing all the material in 3 languages, Norwegian, Italian and English. This proved to be a little complicated, so we tried to keep most of it in two languages at least, English (of course) and one of the two languages of the exchange. The result was satisfactory because it also gave the idea of something in progress and to be continued in the future (which is what is actually happening): there is always the posibility of translating more material, provided there is time and interest in doing so. As for the project on citizenship, this could also mean that more languages will be involved (which can be one of the aspects of the project itself) and the result will be open to more contributions. However, when writing a project application, some results in terms of products and processes must be foreseen and clearly set. This does not mean that the implementation of the project may not lead to unexpected or unforeseen results.
  11. The situation is quite critical. I agree that all members need to have the ability to communicate in English, while the material they produce could be just translated (or revised) by others. I took part in a project (a Minerva one) where there were only 3 partners, while many people were gradually involved to translate the material that was being produced into as many languages as possible. I think they got to 11 languages at the end. Of course, the amount of material to be translated was not so huge, but selection criteria can be established as to what / how much needs to be translated into English. The main point, in my opinion, is that we absolutely need people interested in the project. I find the idea of inviting visitors very good: I think it was the same for the E-HELP project.
  12. My principal says that my cost is 126,72 €. This is based on what I would be paid for a day (6 hours) of tutoring or coordination, not teaching, plus social costs.
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