Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based learning platforms are very important in the current school curricula in both Asia and Europe. Today, the ICT platform not only changes the roles and functions of the teachers but has also introduced a new “tool” to improve the teaching and the learning environment in a classroom. 

ASEF sees the importance of ICT in education for schools in Asia and Europe. The Asia-Europe Classroom Network (AEC-NET) programme forges contacts among secondary and high school, teachers and students in Asia and Europe through ICT.

The AEC-NET creates a framework for a “cyber classroom”, bridging the digital divide between some countries in Asia and Europe. The AEC-NET not only promotes the intellectual and intercultural exchanges among  schools, it also encourages the advancement of education through the use of ICT through collaborating on online projects. AEC projects also offer online intercultural learning opportunities for the schools in Asia and Europe.

Since its inception in 1998, the AEC-NET programme has recognised innovative, effective and sustainable online projects for Asian and European students to learn from each other through the annual Asia-Europe Classroom (AEC) Award. These interactive and intercultural online projects are carried out by secondary and high school educators across Asia and Europe.

For this year’s award, six finalists have been selected from the last AEC-NET Conference in Denmark. The three winning projects will receive a cash prize of EUR 2,000 each to further develop their project. The Award can also be used as seed funding for new online collaborations. 

The following are the finalists for this year’s AEC Award:

 

Project name: Chain Stories 2009

Name of coordinator and school: Ms Helene Tind, Herfoelge School (Denmark)

Chain Stories allows participating students from different schools in several countries to write chain stories in four different genres: Thriller, fairy tale, science fiction and robinsonade (this fantasy genre is an upcoming story). This year the stories are interactive because each chapter ends with a choice, e.g. if the person should "do something" or "not". Then other students from other schools continue the story in different directions and create new "dilemmas" at the end of their chapters. The students decide for themselves how long the story should be. An illustration is also created along with the new chapter. The final product is an interactive "book" where each reader can decide how the story goes.

   

Project name: Eco Tourists' Passports

Name of coordinator and school: Ms Yuen Chai Lin, Pioneer Secondary School (Singapore)

Eco Tourists' Passports allow students to explore ecotourism virtually in various countries They embark on a journey exploring the pristine natural resources and usually protected areas, and in the process, get to know the local cultural heritage. Students find ways to travel responsibly, such as supporting local trades and living in eco-lodges. Assuming the perspective of ecologically and socially conscious eco-tourists, these are integrated into a five-day itinerary later transformed into a video presentation to enable others to virtually experience being there.

 

 

 

Project name: East Speaks West, West Speaks East

Name of coordinator and school: Mrs Edith Flores Wolff, Theaterfabrik (Germany)

Language is used as a vehicle to facilitate intercultural exchange through understanding of one's own language and that of the other. As foreign language learning in most schools is often limited to French, Spanish, German and Italian, many European and Asian languages are often underrepresented choices in many school curricula. East Speaks West, West Speaks East is a two-continents-one-classroom project that aims to introduce Asian and European languages to European students and teachers.

 
   

Project name: Five Times Five

Name of coordinator and school: Mr Niclas Törnbladh, John Bauer Upper Secondary School in Ystad (Sweden)

Five Times Five is all about reducing gaps of knowledge and building bridges between students from all over Europe and Asia. Students from participating schools discover interesting things about other countries through presentations in five different subject areas and by letting them describe their top five charts within these areas. This allows students to understand the traditions and ceremonies of other countries. It also gives the students an insight on how younger generations reflect on old traditions.

   

Project name: Liveable Cities for ‘Generation Next’

Name of coordinator and school: Mr Kelvin Yew, Millennia Institute, Singapore

Coupled with climate change, pollution woes and global warming issues, it is a challenging task for most governments today to keep their cities vibrant and ‘liveable’.  How can the youth of ‘Generation Next’ be equipped to understand and deal with these challenges? Can these young minds suggest new ideas and share with their counterparts across different parts of the world? What will be a ‘liveable city’ for young people in the future? Liveable Cities for ‘Generation Next’ engages students from Asia and Europe to examine the dynamics of sustainability development and environmental concerns in their countries. Senior high school students can learn, interact and collaborate ideas online to map out their "blueprint" for future liveable cities. 
 

   

Project name: WHAZZUP? 2009-2010

Name of coordinators and school: Ms Sinikka Laakio-Whybrow and Ms Merja Laine, Kaarina Senior High School (Finland)

WHAZZUP? is an online educational network, bringing Asian and European students and teachers together to share their cultures, world views and learning of many different subjects. The focus is on learning to learn, giving each member a voice to express themselves creatively, and, most of all, to introduce members to a more professional-style network, and guide them to create responsible online presences. It includes sharing photos, videos, blog posts and multimedia presentations, and taking part in discussions and chats.

   

 

 

For more information about AEC-NET and AEC Award, please visit aec.asef.org