2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday April 21, 2022

Updated on Thursday April 21, 2022

portrait of Sofronia Maravelaki

Sofronia Maravelaki

Secondary Education Τeacher , Iraklia’s Junior High School

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Built with Bits – an educational challenge: the Greece winner

Europeana’s ‘Built with Bits’ programme invited students and educators to combine collaborative learning experiences and digital technologies with the values of accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of the New European Bauhaus movement. We speak to Sofronia Maravelaki, whose institution won the ‘Greece’ category, about the experience.

A space in Mozilla hubs showing walls and arched windows
Title:
The 'Children's Games' project in Mozilla hubs (in copyright)
Creator:
Sofronia Maravelaki
Date:
2021
Institution:
Iraklia’s Junior High School
Country:
Greece

Congratulations on your success in Built with Bits! Can you tell us about your institution?

Iraklia’s Junior High School is a public secondary school in a rural area in Serres, Central Macedonia, Greece. The school community comprises 150 students and 20 teachers. The school was built in the 1960s and started operating as a public school in 1976. Since then, a lot has changed but most importantly, the school’s technological infrastructure. This year the teachers' association, in cooperation with the local authorities, equipped the school with computers, projectors, interactive whiteboards and tablets to help teachers to integrate technology into everyday classroom practice. The Built with Bits program was the ideal opportunity to test the equipment and attempt teaching with technology in real time. 

Why did you apply to take part in Built with Bits?

I have been a member of the Europeana DSI-4 project for two years. My experience has been invaluable and the collaboration with colleagues and the rest of the Europeana teachers, facilitators, ambassadors and organisers has been excellent. The Built with Bits program was something new and innovative and I applied to take part and try it out with my students. I wanted to test my equipment, experience and students’ knowledge and competences in using new technologies in the classroom. I was sure that the program would be a success given my experience so far working with European Schoolnet and Europeana. 

Tell us about your winning entry!

‘Children’s Games’ is a learning scenario (LS) developed in the framework of the New European Bauhaus – Built with Bits project. The LS combines various teaching approaches such as Artful Thinking, Flipped Classroom and Differentiated Instruction. 

The LS was inspired by Children’s Games, a painting created by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1560. The painting depicts about 200 children playing more than 80 games, attesting to the inventiveness and creativity of the children in their self-structured play. Children learn not only through the disciplines and traditional schooling but also through play. Playing is an integral part of growing up and of becoming a responsible and respectful adult, a future citizen of the world. 

In the LS, students researched games that children played in the past and compared and contrasted them with games they play today, in the schoolyard, neighborhood and streets. They used various online and offline tools to implement the activities, they played the games at the schoolyard, took pictures and recorded videos which they uploaded to the virtual space they had created. Most importantly, they had fun during the process.  

A painting of children playing games
Title:
Kinderspiele
Creator:
Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. (Künstler)
Date:
1560
Institution:
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Country:
Austria
A painting of children playing games
Children playing rock, paper, scissors
Title:
Playing rock, paper, scissors (in copyright)
Creator:
Sofronia Maravelaki
Date:
2021
Institution:
Iraklia’s Junior High School
Country:
Greece
Children playing rock, paper, scissors

How did the program deepen your understanding of the New European Bauhaus?

Students are interested in the important role that education plays in improving their way of living. They want a school that includes an open space that will be shared with the local community, where parents, teachers and students will find inspiration, integration and respect. Inspired by the New European Bauhaus initiative the students created their own virtual ‘edutainment’ space, a kind of tableau vivant of the work of art they studied and researched. Students learned how to create virtual spaces with Mozilla Hubs, and how these virtual activities can be used in experiencing collaborative learning processes. They have created their own digital cultural material that is now accessible to students and teachers from Europe, and beyond, making a real contribution to this initiative for a beautiful and sustainable future.

What do you think is the value of using digital cultural heritage and immersive technologies in education?  

Using digital cultural heritage and immersive technologies in education gives students the opportunity to experience learning in an innovative way. It helps to develop their foreign language skills through the use of technology for digital outputs which have the potential to become part of the future cultural heritage for the next generations.

Title:
Researching Europeana resources and reading about creative commons (in copyright)
Creator:
Sofronia Maravelaki
Date:
2021
Institution:
Iraklia’s Junior High School
Country:
Greece

Given that 2022 is the European Year of Youth, have you considered other ways to engage students and young people with your winning project?

We will share our vision, meet young people and engage in activities with students from all over Europe. We are planning to attend an on-site conference that the local Town Hall of our city is hosting on the 15th of May 2022. There, the students are going to present the project, making it visible to the participating stakeholders and authorities. We will also discuss the possibility of adding new rooms to the existing project, engaging different groups of students, which will include the local natural attractions (lake Kerkini, river Strymonas, hot springs of Agkistro), the local architectural heritage (the houses that Venizelos built in the 1930s for the local population), local cultural monuments, dances, songs and stories. Our school is also running two Erasmus+ KA2 projects that will enable us to develop further and promote the program to a bigger audience in the future.  

We would love to hear from your students directly - what was the most valuable thing that they learned from the program?

In their opinion the most valuable thing was the collaboration and communication between them and the fun they had during the lessons. They also mentioned the use of digital resources, learning about digital cultural heritage, creative commons and reuse of digital material and how to create their own products and share them with people outside the classroom walls. It was an experience that they would like to repeat in the future. 

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