(this page is being updated as soon as new documents are made available)


Please note :
Additional mongraphs/sites and illustrations of the observations done in the project can be found in this site's page on observations and research results.

A Technical Introduction

The articles below are all downloadable. They are offered in three formats of which two are printable (PDF and PS):


Turtles, fairy tales and pen-friends: enhancing socialisation, self-reliance and creativity in an Italian primary school, by Rossella Magli

The following is the story of a journey undertaken in the first months of 1997 in a small primary school in the village of Panico, 20 kilometres south of Bologna, in Italy. It is a very modern story, with a beginning, and with an open end. The story stops when the traveller has to abandon her journey, so that she can tell others the story of her journey. Actually, the story is not even a story, but an impressionistic journal seeking to capture the ever-changing movements of a complex universe. Its subjectivity may even make it resemble to fiction more than to a scientific report. But that is a matter of conventions. The story is true. And like in most fictions telling a true story, there is a postface. A postface usually aims at reassuring the audience that the story ended the way it should: the good lived happily ever after and the evil was defeated. Or, in more social awareness raising stories, it may aim at reinforcing the general feeling induced by the narration, be it positive or negative. Neither is the case in this story. You will see why.

Click here for a postscript version.

Click here for a «.pdf» version

Never enough time: electronic literary exercises in an Italian lower secondary school, by Rossella Magli

Choosing the "Guido Reni" lower secondary school has been less adventurous for the researcher than choosing her primary school. In fact, it has been a rather "comfortable" solution. The school is well located in the centre of Bologna: no trains to take, just a bus from where I stay and a 10 minutes walk under the arcades of Via San Vitale, one of the ancient beams irradiating from the centre of the city to the ancient town "belt" of walls.
But there were two more reasons to push me to this choice. The first one: Giuliano Ortolani, whom I had identified after a few calls from Liège as one of the initiators of the Kidslink network, is a teacher there. To be more precise, he is the "technological operator" for the school. "Technological operators" are one of those transversal figures in the Italian school system revealing the serious demographic problem that the Country is experiencing. Formerly a teacher of "Technical applications", he dad to give up his post because of the reduction of the number of classrooms in school, due to the dramatic decrease of birth rate in Northern Italy, especially in Bologna . But since teachers and professors are public functionaries and cannot get fired, they are usually reconverted in other roles, in the school itself, or in the Public Administration. Giuliano Ortolani has then been sent from his former school, which has been entirely suppressed, to the "Guido Reni".

Available versions

Click here for postscript

Click here for «.rtf»

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The Upper Secondary School, Norway 1996-1998, by Inger Lise Stieng
An overview

Click here for a postscript version in English

Click here for a «.pdf» English version

Click here for a postscript version in Norvegian

Click here for a «.pdf» Norvegian version

The Primary school, Norway 1996-1998, by Inger Lise Stieng

This report on the primary school is based on material collected in January and April of 1997. The material consists of written documentation, video recordings, observations, conversations and interviews. The people and the environment mentioned in the material have been kept anonymous. The report is designed so that, together with the other reports written about individual schools, it can be used as a basis for the production of joint reports on the Mailbox projects.
The object of this report is to paint a picture of the school's ICT efforts by presenting a cross-section of events that occurred over a limited period of time within mainly one specific grade.
The main focus in the Mailbox project is always: How do pupils and teachers use ICT for school work ?
To get to the schools site,
get to the pages on the observation sites:

Download this text in rtf, pdf or ps

United Kingdom  

MAILBOX UK - the British scene, by J. Jenkins

This background note introduces the UK case studies. It was drafted in August 1997, on completion of the MAILBOX observation, and reports on the situation at the time of the research. It should however be read in conjunction with Government proposals relating to networking and schools available on the UK Government web pages at

Click here for a postscript version.

Click here for a «.pdf» version

Hillmead Infants School - Brixton's Beacon of Light, by J. Jenkins

Click here for a postscript version.

Click here for a «.pdf» version

The Netherhall School, Cambridge - through the technology ceiling, by J. Jenkins

This report was completed in August 1997. Since then, the school has continued to develop its ICT activitie, rebuilding has proceeded with associated changes, and at the end of October 1997 the school launched a new website. This provides a great deal of information about the school and all its activities. The site can be found at

Click here for a postscript version.

Click here for a «.pdf» version


Shawlands Academy - communications technology as the catalyst for transformation, by J. Jenkins

This report is of visits made in February and March 1997. The school was then at an early stage in its use of the Internet.

Click here for a postscript version.

Click here for a «.pdf» version

Richmond Park School - Chips with everything: a case of integration, by J. Jenkins

The report on this school differs somewhat from those on the other British schools. The environment within the school differs. There is a long history of using computers, off-line, to support curriculum delivery. The school is already organised and managed in a way suited to the integration of work with the computers: Richmond Park pupils are physically disabled and need special help to access the curriculum. Computers have proved to be liberating for many of these children. This report concentrates on the use of new communications technologies, how they blend with existing use of computers, and what they add to teaching and learning in the school.
Richmond's park web site is to be found here:

Click below to download :

a postscript file
a «.pdf» file
a «.rtf» file


SOCRATES' Mailbox Project, A Swiss contribution, by Olivier de Marcellus, Dagmar Hexel and Marc Bernoulli with the collaboration of Claudeline Magni and Pierre Dunand Filliol

What pedagogical options are being explored by the "pioneers" of ICT in classrooms? How does actual practice compare with announced intentions? Can children learn in really different ways using ICT? In ways that are occasions for significant "implicit" social learning (of autonomy, collaboration and mutual aid)? In what conditions can ICT make for more efficient learning, particularly of languages? Is learning the technology itself a problem ?

Click below to download :

a postscript file
a «.pdf» file
a «.rtf» file

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last update: 12.5.98; pdf