Through the interviews a closer look at how things went into the classroom can be gained.
Conclusions: DST and key competences acquisition
As regards cognitive benefits, a teacher says:
DST has a lot to say about the European eight Key Competences for Life-long learning.52 Although it cannot be claimed to cover them all, as may be expected, it certainly does a great job in addressing some of them. Namely:
“The work has been completed thanks to the cooperation and enthusiasm of all the students; the greatest satisfaction for them is that they now are in full command of the topic, in a critical perspective.” (junior high-school). As regards communication skills, another teacher reports:
“This kind of activities helps going beyond the ‘self-reference’ attitude, so typical at school, where a child writes basically addressing her own teacher; in the case of PoliCultura, instead, kids had to strive to communicate to an audience; they had to get set for approval or even criticism. In a word, they knew they were talking to somebody real.” (Primary school). In relation to “media literacy”, a high-school teacher declares:
“Even the rigidity of the format (i.e. counting words, counting images, etc.) was helpful in organizing the work. Students started with long texts, but they realised by themselves that they needed to tighten their wording. At the beginning I did not realise that the narrative format would force the students to re-organise their way of thinking and presenting the material, and that it was not just a transfer from a medium (paper) to another (computer). Somehow, the format helped us to complete our research; it could not have been done with traditional linear writing.”
• Communication in mother tongue: the ability to express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, facts and opinions in both oral and written form (listening, speaking, reading and writing). • Communication in foreign languages, which involves, in addition to the main skill dimensions of communication in the mother tongue, mediation and intercultural understanding. • Digital competence involves the confident and critical use of information society technology (IST) and thus basic skills in information and communication technology (ICT); • Learning to learn is related to learning, the ability to pursue and organise one’s own learning, either individually or in groups, in accordance with one’s own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities; • Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship is the ability to turn ideas into action. It involves creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. The individual is aware of the context of his/her work and is able to seize opportunities that arise. It is the foundation for acquiring more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity. This should include awareness of ethical values and promote good governance; • Cultural awareness and expression, which involves appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media (music, performing arts, literature and the visual arts). The motivation raised by the use of technology by young “digital natives” seems to be a key factor, as two quotes by