According to the Erasmus+ Programme guide: „Technologies are changing the way in which society operates, and there is a need to ensure the best use is made of them“. and „… there is a need to provide youth organisations and youth workers with training and cooperation opportunities, to develop their professionalism and the European dimension of youth work“. /p. 9/ Based on that perception and on our ambition to provide high-quality education that helps young people in the process of their social integration in Europe, we, a team of teachers at “Sava Dobroplodny” Secondary School in the city of Shumen, Bulgaria, have designed the current project under the title “Teaching in a new and better way”
The project is under Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 1, „Learning Mobility of Individuals“ and has been financed by the Human Resource Development Centre, Erasmus+ National Agency for Republic of Bulgaria.
The main objectives of the project are improving digital competencies, social competencies and cultural awareness of the „Sava Dobroplodny“ Secondary School staff as well as competencies of communication in a foreign language, through the participation in courses to incorporate information technologies into teaching in the Universities in Ireland, England and Spain. The universities training programme priorities are to provide teachers with practical guidance to the use of ICT tools and how to integrate them into teaching processes; to help teachers to design and implement interactive, motivating activities; to help participants to develop their communication skills in English; to organize cultural awareness activities. The project also aims:
- to improve digital and social competencies of students, as well as their cultural awareness and communication in English in the process of completing project activities aiming to incorporate the acquired knowledge through the mobility training programs into the school’s learning environment;
- to make familiar the rest of the school’s staff, teachers from other schools and university students with the mobility training programs content in order to enrich their knowledge in the field of incorporating IT into teaching process
The team of the participants consists of 12 teaching different subjects teachers. They have some experience in using ICT into the teaching process as a means to increase students’ motivation. The participants have different level of English /А2, В1, В2, С1/ but are willing to improve it. During the last five years they have taken part into different European projects that the school was working on. All of the participants are ambitious and keen to improve their teaching qualifications and to share the acquired skills and knowledge with the rest of the staff.
The main project activities include:
- Preparation for the mobility training – organizing course in English, developing project site, planning mobility training.
- Mobility trainings – attending courses at University of Jaen in Spain, Trinity College in Ireland and University of Leeds in the UK, obtaining Europass Mobility Certificates
- Activities for sharing and popularizing the acquired skills and obtained knowledge through the mobility training programs –organising seminars and workshops for teachers and university students, developing e-lessons, organising class activities using ICT, students and teachers together will develop ICT resources to be used in the teaching process and running an eTwinning project that will give opportunities for exchanging ICT resources between students in a platform supporting multicultural communication
- Expected impact on the participants in mobility trainings – improving their digital competencies, social competencies and cultural awareness as well as communication in English; expanding their knowledge and skills in developing interactive, motivating classroom activities with the help of ICT
- Expected impact on the rest of the teaching staff, on the teachers from other schools in Shumen, on the students from The University of Shumen – enriching their teaching skills and knowledge as well as improving their digital competencies through the organized workshops and seminars for sharing the learned during the mobility trainings
- Impact on the school’s students –teams of students will take part in the process of creating e-resources in English /students portfolios, multimedia presentations, videos/. Consequently they will increase their digital competences and their communication in English. In the process of creating ICT Portfolio their social competences will be influenced positively. Taking part in the planned eTwinning project, using ICT to develop better cultural understanding, students are going to develop their cultural awareness.
As a long-term outcomes, it is expected the acquired skills and knowledge during the mobility trainings to be permanently integrated into the teaching activities organized by school’s staff and as a result to benefit current and future students in the process of developing key competencies for their social and professional integration in Europe through the systematic improvement of students’ digital competences, systematic development of their communicative skills in English and through making them familiar with the cultural diversity in Global Europe.