What are the qualities a journalist develops at work? Collaboration, language learning, intercultural dialogue, meaningful use of ICT, development of critical thinking. Students from various European countries became hatching journalists and created a collaborative e-magazine to showcase cultural similarities and differences among their countries. Let’s see what their scoop was!
“Interesteen” is a digital magazine in English created collaboratively by European students from France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. This project encouraged communication and intercultural dialogue and the use of ICT tools needed for research, writing and publishing articles. The aim of the project was to establish collaboration among students with their classmates and partners abroad. The workload was divided in four stages:
Getting started: Like in any proper editorial preparation, students’ (or rather the journalists’) tasks included:
- Getting familiar with the ICT tools needed for the project
- Getting organized for information collection and collaborative writing process
- Deciding on the sections of their e-journal with their classmates/partners from abroad.
- Practice, practice, practice: reading and working on similar types of articles written by professional journalists, studying the vocabulary related to the topic, etc.
With the help of their teachers, they distributed the tasks (information collection, drafting the articles, taking pictures, handling ICT tools, proof-reading, etc) and chose relevant topics for their articles and the appropriate journalistic approach for each one (interview, news, reportage, photo-reportage, advertisement, survey, essay, etc.). Of course, since this was a school project, the topics, the sections and the type of articles were linked to the English language curricula in the participating countries;
Collecting and sorting the information: Students found, selected and organised material on the chosen topic (via Internet and/or library), brainstormed their ideas and prepared drafts of the article. Then it was time to decide on the article layout and pictures to illustrate the ideas expressed in the text.
Learning with and from each other: Students read their peers’ articles and exchanged comments. The articles were then put together into an on-line magazine for which they also had to decide and agree on the design (logo, front page). Of course the articles were organised according to the sections they established at the beginning.
Publishing articles: Show time! When writing the final version of the article, pupils took into account the comments made by their peers regarding the quality of the language, content, layout and pictures and ensured they quoted their sources properly. Finally, the teachers -as administrators- made the articles public.
Throughout the process, teachers monitor the pupils’ work and help them cope with challenges of collaborative writing in a foreign language. Apart from having a foretaste of what working in a magazine is like, students had the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences in how each country perceived the topics they worked on. So what was the greatest achievement of the pupils in this project? At the Prize Ceremony, Carmen Mellado Alvarez, one of the project founders, said on stage: “I think that the main achievement is that it is a student-lead project. They decided about the topics, about everything, they collaborated, they communicated, they wrote articles in international teams.”
…and the jury said:
“Useful transferable project that could be used in other countries/teams/schools thanks to project evaluation and good documentation… There was great development of students’ skills, not just in language, creativity and writing, but also in research, ICT skills, communicating, and working. As well as being carefully thought out in terms of the scheduling and design of the project, it also remained flexible enough to allow for the different timing of the school year in the different partner countries. The final shared products are of good quality, outcome of a real collaborative work in mixed teams.”
Carmen Mellado Alvarez (IES Albert Einstein, Spain)
Rodolphe Mangou (Lycée Marie Curie, France)
Adelina Silva: Escola Secundaria de Paços de Ferreira (Paços de Ferreira, Portugal)
Claudine Coatanéa: Lycée Michelet (VANVES , France)
Euripides Hatjiparaskevas 3o Geniko Lykeio Mytilinis (Μυτιλήνη, Greece)
Isabella Zeli: Liceo Statale delle Scienze Umane “S. Anguissola” (Cremona (CR),Italy)
Suzan Pıçakcı Burak Bora Anadolu Lisesi (istanbul, Turkey)