Source: Science and Arts Foundation Newsletter No.57
Teams of Iranian students and teachers have been working on international projects for number of years. Among these are iEARN projects, Think quest and Mondialogo. As these projects are in English and our language is Farsi, many teachers and students find it difficult to participate in these projects. This led a group of teachers to get together to find a way to overcome this language barrier and to enable teachers and students to participate more actively in these international projects. To this end, NIP was formed. NIP which stands for National and International Projects, helps teachers and students to participate in international projects and provide them with teaching tools to assist them in their tasks.
NIP was founded in the summer of 2006 by a team of teachers, who believed that the Internet could significantly impact learning. NIP is an educational tele-collaborative project sponsored by Schoolnet and an experienced team of graduate students and teachers work on this project.
The NIP team translates the international projects into Farsi, enabling teams from schools to participate in the Farsi version of the international projects. On NIP website, you can also find national projects to participate in.
The NIP projects are planned for one academic year. At the start of the school-year, teams register for projects in NIP and they have until the end of the academic year to finish their work on the projects and present their work at the annual SchoolNet Conference.
The idea of defining projects for one academic year is to encourage students, as well as teachers to participate in these projects, knowing that together they can start and finish them, well before the start of the year-end exams and the summer vacation that follows them.
Each project has an Activity Book designed by graduate student members of NIP, which guides the teams through the various steps in these projects. The Activity Book will also help the teams to develop their report writing skills, as they have to update the Book with their progress throughout the project.
The Activity Book provides students with a more structured framework for learning while working on these projects. They will be able to note all their findings, including any information that they have gathered from books and websites, in the Book and thus build on their knowledge base.
In addition, a wide range of activities are put in these books and help students to develop ideas for their projects. It also contains games that are recommended for elementary students and guidance for high school students to design similar games.
Up to now there have been two presentations to introduce NIP and motivate schools to participate in this programme. In the first presentation, the school headmasters were addressed and in the second, the audience was the NIP coordinators from different schools.
These presentations provided the participants with an opportunity to understand the overall objectives of NIP, learn how to register their teams for the projects, get information about the process and criteria of evaluation and learn about the fun in getting involved with NIP, thanks to the exciting activities designed by a team of very enthusiastic youngsters.
For the current academic year, there are 55 teams registered and working on various NIP projects. To see a list these projects, please visit here
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