During 19th January and 14th March 2021, all the countries involved in the ERASMUS+ partnership “Digital Garden for European Schools – DigiEU” organised the National Pilot Testing of the two Intellectual Outputs developed in the project.
“Marin Preda” Theoretical High School from Romania hosted three online training sessions in which representatives of teachers on one hand, students aged 10-19 on the other hand took part. During these sessions, the Romanian project implementation team presented to the participants the contents of the two intellectual outputs. For example, regarding the first one – TEAL Garden Classroom, the participants in the training sessions were presented the five chapters of IO1, the organisers insisting on aspects such as: the European educational context, the concepts of TEAL methodology, the various types of urban vegetable gardens and the study cases which were offered by each partner country. As far as the second intellectual output is concerned – Garden App, the participants were presented the user guide, with an emphasis on the educational component of the digital game.
This National Pilot Testing also included the putting into practice of the theoretical knowledge acquired in the online training sessions. On one hand, inspired by the examples from IO1, the older students from “Marin Preda” High School created, in school or at home, different vegetables gardens, going through stages such as: preparing the land / recipient / space, getting the seeds and sowing them.
For IO2, our younger students downloaded the game on their devices (smart phones or tablets) and while testing it, they gained valuable information regarding the process of cultivating fruits and vegetables. At the same time, through this digital app, the players learnt about the nutritional value of the plants they chose to grow in their European garden, becoming aware of the importance of consuming vegetables and fruits in order to have a healthy life style.
An important component of this stage consisted in the completion of questionnaires by all participants in the training sessions / practical activities. In these questionnaires, our teachers and students offered feedback regarding the positive aspects of IO1 and IO2, as well as possible improvements of the digital app.