Topic outline

  • Summary

    The AgroWeb educational project aims at the exploitation of ICT for the development of an environment that promotes interdisciplinary approaches and makes full use of the capacity of non-formal learning. AgroWeb is an example of the application of ICT in agriculture, taking the school gardens initiative one step further, by sensitising young people to the agricultural and commercial sector. Students from European countries collect information about the agricultural products of their regions, which they present and sell through the Internet. Students also endeavour the sale of products through an electronic shop that has the form of an interactive web page. The reality of modern economy practices is thus transferred into the classroom. 

  • Aims

    This case aims to exploit Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the development of an environment that promotes interdisciplinary approaches. It presents an integrated framework for activities that have the potential to provide real-world results through an interdisciplinary model easily applicable in the current educational practice and adopts an interactive and collaborative form of connecting environmental education to the world of work.

  • Main activities

    *      Selection of products for promotion and information collection

    *      Contact with the producer to negotiate

    *      [alternative/additional route] Development of a school garden

    *      Design of the trademarks and web pages for the products’ presentation

    *      Development of a business & media coverage plan for each product

    *      Products trade

    *      Monitoring of the products’ performance through graphical representations and modification of the business plan

    *      Discussion with virtual classmates via the project’s tools

    *      Communication of the results through the project’s tools.

  • Involved actors

    Teachers, local producers, parents. 

  • Connection with the curriculum

    Environmental Education, Geography, Biology, History, Project-related modules, Foreign languages.

  • Where to find the application or case

    [1] www.agroweb.ea.gr

    for the map of participating schools / products

    [2]www.agroweb.eshop.ea.gr

    for the shop 

  • Content

    For this multidisciplinary initiative, students are asked to collect information on traditional agricultural products that played a significant role in the history and in the socioeconomic development of their region. Following the selection of the most representative products, students negotiate with the local producers for the acquisition of a limited amount of products in exchange of promoting them online. Also, students may decide to form a school garden, cultivate their own products and choose them for the Agro Web shop.  In the art class, they design attractive trademarks of the chosen products to commercialize them in the most efficient way. In parallel with the products presentation and promotion the students collect information and illustrate the characteristics of their regions like customs, traditions, geographical and climatological particularities; this could carried out for the history or the geography class. Students develop a business plan for each product including all the appropriate stages: market research, price determination, distribution and promotion policies with emphasis to the use of new media and future perspectives. Students also have the possibility to comment on the project and influence the continuous development of the e-shop platform. They may also determine common procedures with their virtual classmates in other European regions in order to attract the consumer who wants a sample basket of various European goods. At the same time students study, analyse, and finally compare the performance of the products with the targeted performance according to the original business plan. Students also sell the products through an electronic shop in the form of an interactive web page. The products’ performance in the virtual market is monitored on a weekly basis using the additional features of the e-shop platform. Virtual classmates have the opportunity to easily compare the different promotion strategies followed in different countries, evaluate them and through discussions (in the bulletin board or through low cost videoconferencing through the Internet) identify the factors that affect the sales of products. They can then respond immediately and modify their strategies accordingly and finally study the impact of their decisions. This comparison forms the stimuli for a dialogue with virtual classmates through various communication channels the e-shop platform offers.  It should be mentioned here that the Agro Web tools are two; the first is the Agro Web map: an interactive map showing the participating schools, each with a personalized description of the school and some history-related information of the area, and the offered products along with information on their cultivation, their particularities and also some geology-related facts of their regions of origin. The second tool is the e-shop, which is directly linked to the map, offering access to the products. Finally, the students’ parents are informed of the projects’ activities and results through the social media and e-bulletins.

  • Relation to a green topic and curriculum

    The Agro Web initiative allows for a closer examination of an area’s specific agricultural products. The participating students can examine the products cultivated in their region, and also comprehend why these, and no other, products thrive in this specific area. The students can also try to cultivate their own products in their school garden. Thus, the students gain a better understanding of biology and biodiversity.

  • Being interdisciplinary: Drawing upon many academic disciplines and teaching methods

    The Agro Web initiative is interdisciplinary by nature, as it connects learning processes of various disciplines as geography, mathematics, new technologies, economics, biology, environmental education, art, history, and business-related in-school initiatives, in the common framework of one project, and it also brings together non-technical activities, as the planning and implementation of a marketing and distribution policy, safeguarding sustainability of agricultural products making use of ICT tools, thus creating bridges between tradition and new technologies in modern life.. It also prompts students to set their questions, carry out their own research, draw conclusions, get engaged in hands-on initiatives, and have the overall responsibility for their actions.

  • Relevance to the daily life of students

    *      Comprehension of biodiversity

    *      Better understanding of their area’s specific geological characteristics 

    *      Connection of school to the world of work through business-related initiatives

    *      Bonding with the work of previous generations; adding a scientific

  • Based on accurate and factual professional expertise

    Through the communication and collaboration with local entrepreneurs (farmers) the students see in action the professional aspects of agriculture. Also, the formation of a business plan, the development of the e-shop and the constant comparison with the other schools’ progress allows for a better understanding of the business world, calling for a more professional confrontation of the initiative.