Implementation of “My town – then and now”(SOI-GR-281)

Author: Marianthi Tsepeli, Teacher of English in Primary Education, MA in European Studies and Culture

School/Organization: 12th Primary School of Serres

This story of implementation is based on the learning scenario ‘My  town-Then and now’ (EN-CUR-122), expanding it and inserting the element of AI. The inspiration behind the latter came from the ‘SFI Starter Pack: Green Screen Newscast’ found on the Intel Skills for Innovation website.

The original LS is centered around the idea of how our hometown has changed over the course of time, and the story of implementation utilizes that idea in order to prompt students to create a tourist guide of their town, make a presentation and compare and contrast it with AI-generated ones.

The implementation context

General Information
This SOI was implemented by 10 students of the 5th Grade of Primary School, aged 10-11 years of age, who had no previous experience, neither of the Europeana platform, nor of digital tools. Their CEFR level ranges from A1- to A1+. The implementation took place in the classroom, with students being assigned some activities as homework, however it could be implemented asynchronously with older students. Due to various complications, the SOI was completed over the course of one month, the original plan being to complete all activities in 4 teaching sessions.

The narrative

Before the implementation sessions students were given some instruction and orientation on the Europeana platform and the webtools they would be using. They were also asked to do some research online and bring brochures, leaflets and anything relevant to the town of Serres.

Step 1:  Unit 3 of the national school curriculum is entitled “Places” and as part of it, students are asked to make a travel brochure about a city in Greece, in this case Serres. Inspired by the LS “My town: Then and Now”, the teacher created a gallery in Europeana containing images of Serres. The students were asked to navigate the gallery, see if they recognize the places and discuss the changes. They then did an activity similar to the one in the LS, where they followed a link to Canva and, in pairs, made a collaborative poster entitled: “Serres: Then and Now” combining photographs from the gallery with modern photographs the teacher provided. Then, the students had a whole-class discussion and brainstorming on what should be included in a presentation of their hometown, they were divided into pairs and assigned the tasks. 

Research on the relevant topics and writing the presentation was assigned as homework.

Step 2: Students, in pairs, worked on their collaborative presentation on Google slides: they incorporated photographs from the Europeana gallery and photographs provided by their teacher. They recorded themselves and inserted the videos to the presentation.

Step 3: One group of students used the online tool Genny By LOVO and create another version of their presentation. They uploaded the text of their presentation, chose AI generated narrators and created the AI version. Another group of students used the AI text composer Copy.AI to create an AI-generated travel brochure. Step 4: Students compared and contrasted the AI version with their own by completing Google Forms Questionnaires and evaluated the learning process. (Questionnaire 1, Questionnaire 2)

Learning outcomes

A wholesome approach

  • This SOI stems from a subject that is near and dear to the students’ heart, their hometown. The students were motivated to ‘show off’, so to speak, their town and project their views. The aspect of temporal continuity, what remained the same and what changed through the course of time also stimulated the students’ interest, as they felt that they learnt things they did not know about their hometown, things not found in common search engines, information documented by pictures and photographs on the Europeana platform.
  • Another advantage was that students became aware of copyright laws. Up till then, they thought that all pictures online are common property.
  • The students were acquainted with various webtools for creating posters, presentations, recordings and were particularly impressed by the idea of collaborative work online.
  • The insertion of the element of AI gave a very contemporary air to the SOI and made for very interesting conversations on authority, authenticity, impersonality and agency.

Outcomes for the educator

Livening up the lesson

I incorporate Europeana resources in my lessons regularly, as both the Europeana platform and the Teaching with Europeana blog are an endless source of inspiration on a multitude of subjects. They are a bridge between the textbook and the real world, something of particular importance to language teachers who aim to impart the idea that language is not found only in the textbook, but it is an agent of culture.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?  My town – then and now (EN-CUR-122) created by Atanasija Bilić and Svjetlana Vuić

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? You might also like: 

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Underi ja Tuglase Kirjanduskeskus.

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