ProsocialLearn workshops and meetings in Vilnius, Lithuania were held on 14-17 June 2016, with lecturer Stefano Cobello, representing ProsocialLearn consortium member Polo europeo della Conoscenza (Europole, IT), presenting workshops for educators titled “ProsocialLearn values in games for students” and “What does it mean to be disabled in European schools”.
The ProsocialLearn project aims to create attractive educational games for children (7-10 years) to learn social and emotional well-being skills. By working together, teachers and game developers are creating a wide range of learning tools and opportunities for future citizens.
In the Lithuanian workshops, participants agreed that prosocial skills are really significant at the beginning student level and that games could help to teach them. Stefano Cobello also explained how to use and register on the project’s official website (www.prosociallearn.eu) and how to become a member of the project’s European teachers platform (the Prosociality Community) and use the games. The teachers also received handouts about the project activities.
• developed an understanding of the concept of prosociality and the attitudes and behaviours it encompasses
• developed an understanding of the game-based approach to learning
• become familiar with digital games that promote prosocial objectives
• applied prosocial learning objectives to the design of game-based learning activities
• developed an initial approach for engaging school communities with the ProsocialLearn project
ProsocialLearn workshops and events, 14-17 June:
An introductory workshop for teachers, teacher trainers and school administrators on 14 June in the Panevezys District Education Centre, which provides pedagogical assistance to the region’s schools, employing 500 pedagogues as well as special pedagogues to help students in learning, addressed those interested in becoming Prosociality Community members in their school communities in the context of the ProsocialLearn project.
30 primary school teachers and special teachers participated in the workshops, which were received as both very interesting and informative. Stefano Cobello shared the project’s ideas and the possibilities of using games during lessons, also demonstrating The Chase, an educational game for up to 4 students that supports peer education, learning by doing, cooperative learning and how to reach a goal in a non-competitive way.
On the evening of 15 June, an informal meeting with Naujamiestis community Culture Centre also took place. Trainer Stefano Cobello met with local community members and gave a concert.
The following day, Stefano Cobello met Panevezys district municipality staff. ProsocialLearn was presented to the Panevezys district department of education, culture and sport head Algirdas Kestutis Rimkus, who noted that the project is very significant to the region as 35% of the district’s students have special needs.
Stefano Cobello also met the region’s vice-mayor Antanas Pocius and administration manager Eugenijus Lunskis. Both politicians agreed that the Panevezys District Education centre could become “prosociality ambassadors” of the ProsocialLearn Community in Lithuania.
After the meeting with the politicians, Stefano Cobello conducted the workshops “ProsocialLearn values in games for students” and “What does it mean to be disabled in European schools” at the Ukmerge Education Centre in Vilnius county on 16 June, with 20 teachers taking part.
Participants were interested to hear and later discuss the project and prosocial learning opportunities in Lithuanian schools. Stefano Cobello presented a range of ideas on how to work differently with students in order to teach them basic prosocial skills such as friendship, collaboration and other human feelings or so-called social and emotional well-being skills through interactive digital games.
Closing discussions with Panevezys District Education Centre manager Jurgita Vaitiekuniene focused on further opportunities for cooperation and activities in Lithuania. Jurgita Vaitiekuniene, who organised Stefano Cobello’s visit, is expecting to cooperate closely with ProsocialLearn to implement future project activities in the country.