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Thu, 09/09/2010

A Year of e-Care in Jesi

Four students with long-term health issues have been able to attend their school courses.
Any project is developed through many phases, including monitoring and evaluation. Also fundamental are frequent formal and informal meetings with the key project subjects. Cecilia Stajano, Head of Empowerment and the Development of Local Communities for the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, was at the Leonardo da Vinci scientific lyceum in Jesi (Ancona) to meet with Giuliana Mazzarini, tecnica computer lab assistant and coordinator of Project e-Care, the "phyrtual class " for students with long-term health issues.
The school contacted the Fondazione Mondo Digitale in October 2009 and project development began immediately with class meetings, meetings with families, the installation of a Centra Platform, etc. (See I’m at Home, but I’m at School).
The four students have different health problems, but they all have the same issues with regular school attendance due to their long treatment cycles, but they successfully completed their studies in June and can now look forward to the new school year with greater tranquillity.
“As the technician, I was fully involved at the beginning of the project. I had to always be available to help if problems arose, but then the project grew much richer. I realised that I could connect the platform to the interactive media board, which was especially useful for scientific subjects. All the students have been able to enjoy and make the most of this technology: at the end of the day, teachers could save the document file and e-mail it to students via the platform. The students forced to stay away from school could then study the lessons at home. The students’ families contacted me for all sorts of problems, but the students continued to use the system daily.
I would like to thank these students and their classmates who all helped to insert and save files, conduct research and e-mail it to their friends. In fact, students were often connected also during breaks and kept chatting. Everyone needs to be together and grow together: not only the students at home, but also all their friends in school.
Giuliana also worked on perfecting technological aspects and didactic contents. When students had tests, the system was used to send the test to the students at home in real time. At that point, the interactive media boards were shut off to keep the children in class to see what those at home were writing. The teacher, however, could supervise what the children at home were doing through their monitors, a feature that allowed them to directly evaluate the student’s progress
Moreover, the school also provided for teachers to visit the houses of students undergoing treatments. The platform allowed us to conduct one out of every ten lessons from their homes, ensuring an oral contact to continue, too. Naturally, the students’ families greatly appreciated this. The technology also attracted many students that ended up acting as assistants.
At the end of the meeting, Giuliana tells us “one student, in particular, confessed that he feels as if he had never left the classroom. When he came back to school and saw all the technology that had allowed him to keep up with his school work, he was happy to thank everyone.”
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