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Provincial Institute of Educational Research and experimentation
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Development of digital skills in schools and across the territory: opportunities of web 2.0.

"Didaduzero" is an action research, undertaken of University of Padua in collaboration with IPRASE - Provincial Institute of Educational Research of Trento (northern Italy). It attempts to investigate learning processes in informal and non-formal situations mediated by social software and Web 2.0 and examines their possible integration within the formal school curriculum. The key focus of the project lies in the belief that social software can be a "bridge" between school and the community of the area and help create an active learning environment, where students, teachers and communities are trying to solve real world problems together.

The project was launched in the second half of 2008 and will continue throughout the biennium (2009-2010). It consists of two main phases.

The first phase focussed on training of teachers who have joined, and testing of social software in teaching. The research team developed four thematic training modules:

1. Building collaborative knowledge in the territory and in the community,

2. Sharing of books and building communities of reading on-line,

3. Discover and share resources geo-located,

4. Create and share maps of the territory intercultural.

The teachers could participate in by choosing one or more of those they considered most appropriate to their needs, even in response to the community, social and cultural context in which their schools are included. For the achievement of the project, it was very important that teachers were able to master new skills techniques and methodology on the use of Web 2.0 software in order to allow, acknowledge, govern the processes of knowledge sharing and on-line also to stimulate the students. Therefore, from a theoretical and methodological introduction to these topics the training intervention was then developed in laboratory practice to stimulate the development of knowledge, skills and for expertise to be put to use immediately in everyday teaching practice and later also in social integration.

The second phase is still ongoing and will see the setting up of specific projects. The results of first phase were positive and encouraged and the research team decided to proceed with the previously adopted methodological approach. Six focus groups (one for each local community) were organized, according to a phenomenological approach, in order to allow data to emerge from the beginning of the proposed projects (i.e., a bottom-up approach). These group interviews also had a main goal to reveal in detail the perceptions and behaviours of participants from two different contexts (school and local community). This comparison could initiate meaningful, productive, and hopefully enduring dialogue, which is the real aim of the research. Indeed, we recall that the main objective of this action-research is to create, through the use of social software and Web 2.0 tools, the establishment of communities of practice for the creation and evaluation of local resources through synergy and integration between local schools/institution-associations/co-operatives.


IPRASE IPRASE TRENTINO Provincial Institute for Educational Research and Experimentation,
Education Building - first floor, via Gilli, 3 (località Centochiavi) 38100 Trento Tel. 0461 494360 Fax 0461 494399