Over the past few days, 18 teachers from Croatia, Poland, Sweeden, Denmark and the UK have been attending the Amores workshop at Staffordshire University.
Amores is an EU funded project which is working with teachers to explore how to use technology, and notably creating e- artefacts, can help children and young people develop a love of literature.
Over the past few days teachers have been sharing their e –artefacts and plotting video conferences, visits and classroom activities- all designed to encourage children and young people to engage in reading. Janet Hetherington from the Creative Communities Unit has been working with the teachers and hosting the event. It is a rare moment outside of the classroom for many teachers, so there have been lots of opportunities to talk, network and have fun. Teachers have compared educational systems, teaching practice – as well as sample the delights of Stoke– On- Trent (including the must have Staffordshire Oatcakes).
Researchers from Staffordshire University, Coventry University, Northumbria University and CARNET (Croatia) have been using participatory research techniques. They have worked alongside the teachers and the young participants to assess the impact Amores is making and the initial findings are very positive. Young people have enjoyed meeting each other in class on line and sharing e- artefacts about their books, teachers have said the project has encouraged them to use technology in the classroom- and that the approach was especially good to help engage less enthusiastic readers.
Following the workshop at Staffordshire University, teachers will return to their schools and embark upon creating more e –artefacts with their pupils and will continue to take part in visits, video conferences, online discussions and will meet again in Croatia in November 2015, to present the project findings.