A flight simulator in the classroom? Why not! Nowa Era’s “Project with the class” program and its winners are proving that imagination has no limits and education can be a great adventure.
How to transform school obligation into an educational adventure
The origins seemed to be boring, and even discouraging. The Polish Ministry of Education introduced a new obligation in the Lower Secondary School - every student must participate in a mandatory educational project and the teachers have to lead and organize all the work. To help teachers deal with this problem, Nowa Era created the program "Project with the class". We also decided to look at the issue from another perspective. Why not transform the obligation into a kind of an adventure - both fun and educational? Sounds tricky, doesn’t it? But the results show that it is possible. But let's start from the beginning ...
Icing on the cake
We wanted "Project with the class" to be a fully comprehensive, practical and easily accessible program. At the same time it was to be an innovative and attractive experience, so we thought about some "icing on the cake" - a nationwide contest for the most interesting educational projects. The unique idea of this contest has made the whole venture successful.
To make educational wishes come true
The general idea of the contest was easy - we asked teachers and their students to come up with an educational project on any subject (we wanted them to concentrate on appealing to them or important for the local community). We expected interesting ideas, not completed implementations. Why? We realized that the best prize in this contest would be to make these wishes come true. So we created a special Fund of Grants, which would fund the financial awards. Thanks to this, the winners could implement their educational project, and thus realize their educational dreams.
All entries were published on the "Project with the class" website, and the winners were selected through online voting. The idea was clear – the more people the competitors manage to convince and encourage to vote for their project, the bigger chance they have to win the Grant from Nowa Era.
Tens of thousands competitors and 276,000 votes
The idea of a competition turned out to be extremely attractive and compelling to all the participants. To obtain more votes, contestants were organizing “promotional campaigns” for their projects. Their commitment and determination were incredible. They were promoting their projects (and at the same time the “Project with the class” program) by distributing leaflets, organizing events, via local media, such as newspapers, radio and TV. Internet usage was also significant (social media, forums, e-mails, links etc.). The results of the program exceeded our wildest expectations. During voting time (it lasted throughout April) our website experienced a real siege - the average daily number of hits exceeded 18,000, and the entries were given a total number of more than 276,000 votes. Thanks to the contest, 11 of the most interesting initiatives will be implemented – among the winners are projects to build the first “professional” flight simulator in the classroom, start a school music band or publish an historical book written by the students.
Gamification, social media, viral marketing – “Project with the class” highlights
When you have a very limited budget, you have to be very flexible and use your imagination to attract attention and gain publicity. This is the challenge to turn towards more innovative techniques and to seek less common and obvious solutions. In the “Project with the class” program, Internet, gamification, word-of-mouth marketing and social media have become our “best friends”. For teachers and students it was a great educational adventure and a great opportunity to learn, have fun, cooperate and unite with the local community. For Nowa Era it was a great possibility to put across an effective image campaign at low cost, but it has also been a very interesting lesson. But this is a topic for another article…
For more information about the program “Project with the class”, please contact Agnieszka von Mallek, Marketing Communication Manager at Nowa Era.
About Nowa Era
Nowa Era is the leading educational publisher in Poland offering publications and multimedia solutions for all levels of education – from kindergarten to upper-secondary school. Nowa Era is also the market leader in the segment of educational cartography. Vulcan, a subsidiary of Nowa Era, is market leader in the segment of educational management software and educational software. Nowa Era is part of the Division Sanoma Learning & Literature.