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we.learn.it was a facilitated grassroots initiative from school networks in 6 European countries funded by the EC 7th Research Framework Programme. we.learn.it linked schools to a network of facilitators including higher education institutions, thematic organizations, experts, learning content and technology providers with the objective of enabling schools to co-develop and embark into inquiry-based projects jointly with leading players in European science, creativity and innovation, so-called Learning Expeditions (LEs). The objective of LEs was to promote discovery and inquiry-based learning opportunities for young learners. LEs would be characterised by 3 pedagogical principles: a) learning by doing (i.e. goal-oriented, collaborative projects in in real life environments); b) being driven by creativity and curiosity (i.e. emotional and learner centric; cross-disciplinary; treating real world problems); and c) making an innovative use of ICT for educational purposes. Through the design and implementation of these LEs, we.learn.it aimed to foster innovation in learning organizational models and pedagogical concepts, with a special focus on creativity and exploration. Elements of the organisational and pedagogical models proposed by we.learn.it included unexpected learning environments, new use of physical spaces, new forms of interactions and collaborations (e.g. across academic disciplines; between schools and industry, museums, universities and other organisations) as well as the immersion of students into real world problems and projects. LEs were designed as complementary to school curricula, not restricted to a specific set of subjects, and addressing wider issues and societal challenges. we.learn.it applied crowdsourcing principles to let schools develop own ideas for LEs while building collaboration with other schools and facilitators. The project provided seed funding as well as conceptual and organisational support for the building of these LEs. Central to the we.learn.it approach was also the promotion of Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL). The project aimed to enable schools to explore new ways of organising and collaborating for learning with the help of ICT through the creation of new environments and contexts for using ICT for education and with the objective of enhancing creativity, exploration and science in European school education.
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