SEED (Provisional summary of TECFA's contribution

Seeding Cultural Change in the School System through the Generation of Communities Engaged in Integrated Educational and Technological Innovation

Technology in the service of education !


1. Computer Technology Institute, Greece

2. University of Duisburg




6. Learning Development, University of Hull

7. The Educational Technology Lab, Univ. of Athens

The project and the role of TECFA in it

2001, Summary of the file  2.11.00_FINAL_Annexe1.doc (by Vivian Synteta)

Project summary

The main objectives of SEED are:

1. to develop technologies that support authoring and scripting, collaboration, reification and reflection of learning activities, integrated learning activity, kinesthetic and concrete representations

2. to design innovative activities supporting a social mode of learning in a collaborative setting, an augmented awareness of learning processes and meaning construction and autonomy and responsibility for learning

3. to develop methods for generating integrated communities of education researchers, teachers students and developers designing and implementing context-sensitive school-based and at the same time innovative activity

4. to develop methods for using the above experience, tools and infrastructure to proliferate innovative activity in the school system. An important part of the method will be to develop a Center for Collaboration and Exchange enabling the propagation of activities and the generation of educational communities.

Milestones and expected results

The milestones are:

1. Activity description accompanied by the respective software - version for implementing in the schools.

2. The software components and platforms - first workable version.

3. The Center for Collaboration and Exchange - first workable version.

4. Implementation of the innovative activities in the small-scale schools.

The role of TECFA in the project

TECFA is a principal contractor in this project (No 3) and participates from the beginning to the end of the project.

The general workplan:

a) generating the integrated communities of innovative tools and educational practice, by developing innovative activities (WP1), the corresponding software (WP2), supporting the schools to implement (WP4) and evaluate the activities (WP5)

With respect to aspect (a) of the work, each of the respective teams in UDUI, TECFA, and UoA and CTI will carry out the corresponding work in their own setting. The work will involve activity in all corresponding workpackages with differences in the emphases and the specifics according to the expertise and specialisation of each team. Each team will work with a small number of schools and teachers (specified in the corresponding workpackage description) in order to generate close and intense collaboration. In this way we will have three parallel cases of community generation to serve as a basis for the synthesis of the corresponding method. Particular emphasis will be given to the creation of communicating groups and the cultural and systemic specifics and the abstraction from these. Starlab will also take part in all of the above activities as part of an observational evaluation method sensitive to human activity processes.

b) developing, and putting to use the Center for Collaboration and Exchange which supports communication among all members of the integrated community, dissemination of the activities to large – scale and provides the animation and human support for the actual use of the Center for Collaboration and Exchange  (WP3)

WP3 will involve the development of the Center for Collaboration and Exchange mainly by partners UoH and Pliroforiki 0/1, institutions with significant experience in relevant services. They will receive technical support from CTI and conceptual/representational/use support from TECFA and Starlab.

Finally, WP5 will involve all partners and especially Starlab in carrying out observations of the specific settings, co-ordinating the reflection and reification of methods, problems and specifics between the key persons in the partners involved.

Tecfa will be Lead Contractor for:


Center for Collaboration and Exchange Development and Operation




68 person months


Start of Month 2


End of Month 36




D3, D8, D11

Explanationfor deliverables of this phase:


Deliverable name


Lead Participant

Estimated Person Months

Del Type




Technical Specification of the Center for Collaboration and Exchange






End of Month 6


Prototype of the Center for Collaboration and Exchange






End of Month 13


Release version  of the Center for Collaboration and Exchange






End of Month 20

And work for the following wps:


Workpackage title


Activity Design and Authoring of the Respective Software

Tecfa= 18 person months


Development of Educational Software Components & Tools

TECFA = 14 person months

TECFA will develop the following:

The collaborative studio

The goal of this line is to develop a tool for truly inteactive educational activities over the Internet, e.g. students will participate in online activities, activate certain cognitive processes, get immediate feedback and exchange their experiences with others. The studio is a collaborative pedagogical workflow tool. Typically an educational activity is split into several phases, students can act in differents roles (argue, deposit, vote, etc.), activities can be organized in several social layers (pairs, groups, classes, school networks). The architecture is built upon several layers, e.g. a voting machine, an argumentation tool, reflective display tools, repository and exchange tools etc.

Virtual space environment for community building and exchange

They will develop an on-line workplace for education professionals, i.e. a Multi-user virtual environment for education (MUVE) Tapped-in ( Core technology exists (e.g. but needs several man/month of adaptation to their special needs. Every participant will be able to build and configure his personalized space.  This technology will play an important role for community building in profit of teachers and researchers.

Virtual Campus tools

Currently there exists a wide offer for virtual campus software (e.g. WebCT, Lotus Learning Space, TopClass). These environments while offering an increasing number of services are both restrictive and sometimes difficult to administer. They will develop a set of combinable components for building "light" and flexible virtual campuses which organize course management, course maps (curricula), lesson planning, student enrollment, grading tools, tracking tools etc. The virtual space environment can be added as a component. The virtual campus tools will be tested with certain learning activity modules developed at TECFA (e.g. collaborative studios, project management), CTI and UDUI. This development also has to be coordinated with the design of the center for collaboration and exchange (WP 3) and the general technical specifications of educational components and tools (WP 2).

Project management

Based on project-based learning that seems very promising nowadays, they will provide the grammar (XML schema) that will describe the specification, the management and the results of a project in the framework of a school course. A toolset for editing, monitoring and publishing will be developed.  A later version of this product may be merged with the collaborative studio. Such tools do not exist to our knowledge.


Center for Collaboration and Exchange Development and Operation

Tecfa = 3 person months


School Support and Implementation

Tecfa = 10 pesron months

TECFA will select teachers and classes from a cluster of 3 innovative private schools (teaching at primary and secondary level), the official Geneva school system (primary, secondary, post-secondary and university level) and Haute Savoie (France primary and secondary level). With all these partners TECFA already has established a working relationship at both teacher, school, administration and political level.  


Starting year 1, TECFA will start an interactive electronic news letter like (based on technology like with the idea that experiences gained from small scale partners will be shown to and discussed by a larger audience.

Starting year 2 they will organize diffusion/training workshops for small scale partners, innovative school networks  like EduNet (, local or national educational technology centers like CPTIC ( or CTIE (, distance learning initiatives like the Swiss Virtual Campus ( and other interested actors in the Swiss and neighboring french school system.


Evaluation of the Implementation

Tecfa = 10 pesron months


Project management

Tecfa = 6 pesron months

Tecfa will be very important for the objective:

1. To develop methods for generating integrated communities of education researchers, teachers students and developers designing and implementing context-sensitive school-based and at the same time innovative activity.

A key dynamic community of practice for infusing IST in education is the teachers, supported by educational researchers and developers. Such communities will generate integrated knowledge and know – how with respect to using technology for real innovation situated in the school. The project will generate this type of community in three different settings, in Germany, Greece and Switzerland. This will be carried out by respective groups with deep experience and academic presence in the field. Special emphasis will be given to continual presence of the end user community for most of the duration of the project (at least two years) by means of a systematic collaborative relationship with the research teams.

It is emphasised that special attention will be given to making the method for generating a workable engaged community explicit both within the groups and as a synthesis across settings. These methods will be written down in a way which will be usable by policy and decision makers. The synthesis of experiences between the three settings will illuminate issues of infusing IST across European cultures and systems.This will be done both by systematic on-going communication between the partners and through Starlab, the partner responsible for the research and evaluation co-ordination by means of on-site visits. On site visits will also take place between the partners responsible for the small scale community generation, i.e. UDUI, TECFA, CTI and UoA.

As a main supporting vehicle for this "authoring community", a web-based Center for Collaboration and Exchange will be setup, in the spirit of the Educational Object Economy ( and the Virtual Campus Environment ( This center will act as a shared repository of reusable computational and multimedia assets augmented with ideas, experiences, feedback and discussions on the uses of educational activities built with these. Mechanisms for collaboration and metadata handling will be developed following standards where applicable (eg IEEE/LTSC LOM or the Dublin Core). The initial seed for learning materials and technologies will be contributed from existing work of consortium members.