Gazeta Wyborca's School 2.0 programme started with sending 25 reporters back to school in 2010 to see how things had changed since they left 20 years prior, especially how teachers and students were coping with the new technological landscape. The alarming stories they wrote prompted the paper to do much more.
Now, according to Grzegorz Piechota, who headed the effort, a total 300 schools (1200 teachers, more than 24 000 students) have become registered into a "School 2.0" programme aimed at helping them become totally up to date in the use of technology: from the basics to cutting edge innovation. What that that means is that they " have to run projects (some mandatory, some optional and their own), get access to online and some print resources, interact with experts and each other online, blog etc."
Furthermore, according to Piechota:
- 100 of these 300 schools qualified for the advanced Lab 2.0 programme: they have to run more mandatory and optional projects in more classes but get also more help: individual advice from experts (online, by phone, in-person workshops), free access to premium teaching resources, applications etc., visits from experts and journalists at schools etc.
- we have identified five different groups/communities of stakeholders who are interested in new technologies in education but often don't cooperate with each other or even don't know each other (why? for example generational differences - old academics vs young internet entrepreneurs). Then we invited all them for workshops: 1st one gathered 25 people, 2nd one became a conference of 150 people and got a support from Minister of Education; 3rd one is going to be a big national event and a grand finale for the campaign. (What we do is really to find a venue, invite people, put our moderators, make a schedule for presentations, debates etc., we pay for simple lunch/drinks and pay back basic costs of travel for teachers, experts that apply for it. We don't pay any fees etc.)
- we are seeing a big effect on all these stakeholders: they are much more active -- they start to organize their own events, conferences, launch websites etc. This is a big bonus of doing such a campaign by a media house. We have a power of inspiring people.
- we are also seeing a big effect on politics -- before this year's elections all parties put educartion 2.0 as their priority and two big parties propose programmes like ”laptop for every teacher”
- we finish work on the book: an inspirational guide for teachers how to include free and simple online tools into education -- from blogging and Wikipedia to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc. It will be sold in bookstores and a short resume of 50 pages will be sent to 10 thousand teachers in Poland.
- we are still ahead of a big PR event: an exam of the future -- we are going to organize trial exams in 100 schools all over Poland where students will be able to use as much internet as they wish during the exam. It's our job to show how to ask questions don't check important abilities rather than simple data.in the newspaper we simply have had two week-long series and now have a monthly section with updated on the campaign.
You can find more about the origins of the project HERE.