Out Project Summary
The project was created and completed thanks to an effective collaboration between the partners. The teachers collaborated since the beginning, designing and planning activities, monitoring the work and maintaining frequent contacts through a dedicated group on Facebook Messenger, the "Teacher bulletin" and video conferences.
Warm up stage
After breaking the ice (page 1), the students brainstormed together about expectations based on the title of the project (page 2) and, as a majority of students had never taken part in an online project before, they reflected together on the keys to happy online collaboration (page 3).
After this short introduction, the students “made a splash” (page 4) and answered the first probing question of the project: how do/would you describe yourself on social media? They created some fake social media accounts (twister / fakebook), published them on a collaborative wall and voted for their favourite ones. We realised thanks to the poll on page 4 that a majority (60%) of our students read the news on social media, so to increase our students’ knowledge on this topic the next activities on page 6 focused on the following question: how was news presented in the past and how is it presented today? First the students were encouraged to visit an online news portal from the list page 6 then visit a database of historic print newspapers, so as to become familiar with traditional journalism. The students chose some events there and presented them briefly to their partners on a Twinboard. Then they discussed their findings and selection in a discussion forum, and also reflected on the differences and similarities between print newspapers and online news portals. Next (page 6.1), the students read some articles and watched a video to get some input about journalism (print and online) then discussed the pros and cons of each in a tricider poll. After that, the students had a closer look at the recent changes in journalism (21st century journalism) thanks to various documents (videos, cartoons, articles) and reflected together on the positive and negative aspects of 21st century journalism in a mentimeter poll and a discussion forum (page 6.2). The following question we asked was: How do journalists work? How do they pursue the truth? (page 6.3) The students answered these questions by watching some videos about famous European journalists, doing the ‘while-watching-quiz’ to check their understanding and afterwards reflecting together about the questions they would like to ask a journalist or media expert if they were to interview him/her (padlet page 6.3). They reacted to other students' suggestions, voted for the best questions, then used these questions to interview a journalist or media expert in their countries and posted the interviews. The activity page 6.4 was designed so as to answer the questions raised by the start of the war in Ukraine in February: first the students shared their emotions, then studied together how fake news spread in this context using the fact-checking website Ukrainefacts.org.
Working for the final product
This led us to the last part of the project (page 7), with the probing question: is the news always real? How do we check if it is fake? Again the students were given some input about “the evolution of fake news” to make them familiar with the topic, then got organised in international teams (page 7.1). Their first task was to play some fact-checking games and discuss their results in a team forum, then their goal was to collaboratively create a "FACT or FAKE" guide for their peers all over Europe with guidelines and information on how to avoid misinformation. The teams decided on a plan (page 7.3) then designed together the final products of their choice (video interview, slideshow, quiz, article, interactive image, comic strip…), which they uploaded on page 8.