Health, masks, hygiene, protective measures, social distancing, virus, pandemic. If only we had a dime for every time our ears caught these words during the last 2 years. And while it might became tiresome for some people, these concepts were, and still are, a big deal. And it seems that they will be, for a long time. Grown-ups (with the necessary exceptions) seemed to understand the urgency of things and eventually managed to re-organize and re-adjust their everyday lives, according to the new conditions, no matter how painful that was. For younger ages however, it was a nightmare. Activities that until then were the most natural thing in the world, were suddenly undoable, or had to be digitized. Even worse, we are standing in front of a generation that is not aware of life and its ways before the pandemic. Protective measures and general health and hygiene culture were kind of enforced to young kids, since the innocence of the age does not allow for analysis of specific situations; such as a pandemic. As expected, this created issues with the appliance of health protective rules by younger ages, not out of disobedience, but more out of lack of guidance and plain understanding. Now combine the above, with the shock that the educational system underwent, and you get a general picture of how unprepared we were for such an alteration of things. And how could it be any different.
Untying the Knot
Enough is enough certain people cried out, and got down to business. What are the problems asking for solutions, they asked each other, and are there solutions after all? Let’s count: in order for kids to embrace the concepts of health culture, personal hygiene, and protective measures, they have to experience them through a natural, pleasant and, to the point that is feasible, non-enforcing way. And what better way to create such an experience if not through education. As mentioned above however, education procedures were severely hit by the pandemic, creating problems to basic pedagogy structures; let alone adding a new concept focusing on young students. Worry not the participants said, calming down each other, as when minds work together, beautiful things are created. And after a bit, hands were shaked, and the initial freeze gave its place to smiling faces and warm feelings. Because iLearn4Health was finally alive.
Carving the Roadmap
The signs have been loud and clear, and as you might have understood at this point, the iLearn4Health project is a combination of implementing health and hygiene concepts in primary education on one hand, and innovative digital tools and educational courses on the other. It aims to empower students aged 6-12 on their physical, mental, emotional, and social health, as well as train teachers on applying the digital tools created throughout the project. The DGBL method will be utilized, and educational games, regarding health education, will be developed. Teachers will be trained on the theoretical and practical aspects of DGBL, thus playing a crucial role on students’ health education, by taking advantage of a revolutionary method, which plans to reform the education system and its practices.
Our first online meeting!
And after the conception of iLearn4Health, the participants that were called to give to the project flesh and bones, digitally gathered round. Not something extremely official, but more of a basics meeting, in order to set the essentials. A few hours in, and after discussion on all relevant aspects, a framework was created. Aims, responsibilities, responsible ends, and timelines, so that what was on paper until then, would take digital and physical substance in our schools. iLearn4Health is here.
The Kick – off Meeting
Upon closure, and after we made sure everyone was happy with the results, we renewed our rendezvous, for a face to face meeting this time, in Patras, Greece, on the 30.06.2022, where things are about to seriously start rolling! Keep in track, and we promise to let you know of everything fresh about iLearn4Health!
- University of Patras – Greece
- p-consulting.gr -Greece
- COMCY – Cyprus
- Agia Napa Primary School – Antoni Tsokkou – Cyprus
- FSLI – Romania
- OIC Poland Foundation – Poland
- Centro San Viator – Spain
- Errotu – Spain
The Target Groups
The project is addressed to:
- Teachers and head teachers in primary schools
- Teachers responsible for health and safety in primary schools.
- Children 6-12 years old and their parents
- Primary schools’ teachers’ networks and organizations
- Experts/professionals in DGBL
- Experts/professionals in children education
- Experts/professionals in public health & health education
- Training institutions
- Post-graduate students from educational sciences’ departments.
- Parenting networks and organizations
- Organizations promoting health education
- Organizations for children’s education
- Public and private educational and health authorities and stakeholders
- Universities with Departments of Educational Sciences & Departments of Medicine.
The Project Results are:
- Electronic Diagnostic Tool to diagnose the effectiveness of the DGBL method on children’s learning: An Electronic Diagnostic Tool that will identify the factors regarding the effectiveness of DGBL on students. The tool will be accessible online via all digital devices. At the end of the process an automatically generated report will offer insight, regarding the effectiveness of DGBL to students.
- Digital Educational Games for health promotion and health education in primary schools: Health education and promotion themed games as part of the DGBL platform. 6 (six) games will be created, suitable for children aged 6-12, with animations and graphics where needed. Each game will be based on a different thematic, according to the age group targeted: “Healthy dietary habits”, “Be Active-Train yourself”, “Accidents and Protection”, “Stereotypes and stigma in community”, “Internet addiction”, “Sexual health promotion and interpersonal relationships-The gender difference”. The games developed, will be fully accessible, downloadable, and playable via all devices.
- Online Training Program in Health Promotion and Health Education through DGBL: The Training Program will focus on teachers/head teachers in primary schools Trainees will improve skills on health education and DGBL related subjects, such as what is public health, why is it important for children and how do we train them according to their age, and why and how to use DGBL during the learning process.
Stay tuned! More’s coming!