By Yannis Kotsanis and Thomas Economou (Doukas School)
It all started 3 years ago by the conception of the idea by a small group of researchers. European partnership and proposal submission – evaluation of the iRead proposal, approval – beginning of the implementation, 2 years ago, with over 100 researchers aiming to reach 200+ schools and 5000+ thousand students across Europe if not world-wide in 4 languages (English, German, Spanish, Greek).
Two important milestones (21/7/2018 & 7/12/18) of the Greek Novice pilot preparation! From the initial delivery of the first 10 tablets out of the 212 for 21 Greek schools, to the principal of the Primary School of Vivlos Naxos to the delivery of the 10 tablets to the principal of the 1st Primary School of Pscychiko.
The Greek iRead team, is preparing the pilot aiming to reach and engage 800 primary school students and will try to achieve that by providing every school with 9-12 tablets according to its size. The fact that it takes about 30’ for every tablet ” object-to-think and play” to be prepared and be ready to be delivered to a school is just another reason among many that makes this process even more exciting for us (this needed more than the expected effort and we were lucky to have the voluntary assistance of a Doukas school 8th grader).
This time, not only did we deliver the tablets, but we also had the chance to introduce teachers to the iRead apps and most importantly to see them being used by students who also welcomed them to their school. An inspiring English teacher of the school (K. Koutra) contributed in a unique way for this to happen so did our new colleague from Doukas school. This was the first time that we had a test pilot session outside the controlled test pilot within Doukas School.
It is important, to make a reference to the warm welcome of iRead from the 18 students of the 4th grade. After the initial excitement of holding the tablets in their hands, and realizing that it will not be the last time, students got engaged in the English version of the Navigo game app that is under development. Even, at this stage of the application development (not the final version), students made enthusiastic comments such as:
- It was awesome!
- I liked it a lot!
- It will be the first thing to share with my dad after school!
- It was my lucky day today!
We also received positive comments from the teachers of the schools. The school principal informed us that “teachers noticed the students’ enthusiasm and also pointed out that rarely someone gets to visit the core of teaching, their class, to educate them. Please thank the iRead team on our behalf, well done!”.
How much more strength can someone get to in order to continue? The tablet distribution continues as iRead is getting ready for the pilots in schools. We warmly thank everyone involved for their important contribution and effective collaboration!