From 2001 to 2004 IIT coordinated a project focused on the use of the new information and communication technologies (ICT) in intercultural education. The project aimed to develop, experiment and adapt a new teaching methodology for intercultural education based on the use of ICT; to create, evaluate and disseminate pedagogical tools and materials for initial and in-service teacher training on intercultural education, based on the use of ICT; to develop and test initial and in-service teacher training modules based on the methodology elaborated in the project.
The first steps of the project were consecrated to analysing the current practices regarding the use of ICT in intercultural education and to collecting relevant case studies. This research served as basis for the elaboration of an appropriate methodology and, furthermore, of pedagogical tools for intercultural education based on the use of ICT. The methodology was based on the theoretical principles of the interactive constructivism and proposed the realization of educational activities that integrated the intercultural perspective and use the new technologies of information and communication.
Two online pedagogical tools were created in order to facilitate a process in which two, three or four classes from different schools followed a 14 steps methodology structured around a common topic (such as: my city, my region, history, etc.). The students explored and exchanged information about what they found and learned from this exchange.
The intercultural dimension was present at two levels of the NEWTECH methodology and tools. Firstly, the topics approached reflected the cultural diversity of the community or of the region where the school is situated. Secondly, the partnerships stimulated reflection on differences and similarities in perceiving a topic within different contexts.
In August 2004 the final public event of the project was organised in Timisoara: an international conference on the use of ICT in intercultural education. Besides the representatives of the partner institutions, specialists from various Romanian and European institutions attended the conference and contributed to the evaluation of the NEWTECH products.
Intercultural Institute of Timisoara, Romania (coordinator)
University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Ecole Normale Catholique du Brabant Wallon, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium
University of West Timisoara, Romania
“Politehnica” University of Timisoara, Romania
Two schools from each of the three partner countries