During recent years a number of projects have been developed in Portugal in order to raise awareness of the need for an educational approach to the new media, namely the Internet. Minerva was one of the most important projects developed in the new technologies area between 1989 and 1994, and is well know among educators (parents and teachers). From the work done during these five years, a number of other projects have emerged, using the work, resources and knowledge derived from Minerva. Meanwhile, other projects such as ENIS (European Network of Innovative Schools), Educaunet, Seguranet and Internet at Schools, have been developed.
Supported by the Portuguese Ministry of Education, MINERVA began developing activities in 1989 with the aim of introducing the New Technologies of Information and Communication (TIC) in schools below higher level, connecting higher teaching institutes and schools of other levels.
The work carried out included teachers' and trainers' training, development of materials (including documentation and educational software), investigation, direct support for the teachers' work at schools and the creation of the logistic conditions for the establishment and use of these means, with the goal of renewing the educational system in an innovative way by creating Local Support Centres and Scholar Centres.
Most of the Minerva Centres have worked in the Educative Telematics area since 1989/90, in investigation, training and development of Telematic activities and projects in order to maintain the connection and organisation between schools. Other goals were to strengthen their mutual support capacity, to launch other educational projects and contribute to the construction and availability of resources shared by everyone.
This work was mainly developed by the Education Sciences centre of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (where the Telematic educative centre "BBS-MINERVA" is located), and by the EDUCOM Group (National Group of Educational Telematics). This educational network, connected worldwide by the Internet and composed of students, teachers, trainers, investigators, and other educational personnel. It had reached more than 140 schools at all teaching levels, around 40 Local Support Centres and 15 Centres of the Minerva Project, in a total of more than 2000 users spread across the Portuguese Mainland, the Azores, Madeira and Macau by the end of the project (1993/1994).
The uncertainty about MINERVA's future and the desire to carry on from the results already achieved, led the people involved to ensure the development and continuity of this work. EDUCOM (National Association of Educative Telematics) was created, in order to achieve this goal.
In April 2003 Portugal joined the European Minerva Project - the Ministerial Network for Valorisation activities in Digitisation. This network was composed of representatives from all the European Union countries to establish cooperation and exchange experience in politics and digitisation technology.
This Project promotes discussion and connection between activities concerning the digitisation of cultural and scientific content in order to create a common European platform that issues recommendations and action points concerning digitisation, access and digital preservation on a long term basis. At the moment, Minerva represents the main European Net in the area of cultural legacy digitisation. National representation in this Project is guaranteed by the Ministry of Culture of each country or other equivalent institutes. Portuguese participation is assured by the Ministry of Culture (MC), through the General Secretary of the MC and the National Library. At a national level, our participation allows an objective and efficient approach by all active participants regarding cultural resources digitisation.
ENIS (European Network of Innovative Schools) is a European Project that intends to assemble a large European electronic network for education. It has been developed by a group of representatives of 18 Ministries of Education from the different member states, who obtained funding from the Multimedia Call for Proposals of the European Commission. Since the beginning of the project the Portuguese representative has been the Nónio Século XXI school. ENIS includes around 30 schools from each of the 19 European countries involved (the 15 EU countries plus Switzerland, Norway, Slovenia and Iceland). These schools meet high quality standards regarding Educaional, Technical, Structural, Organizational, Strategic and Curricular aspects.
This project's goal is to support the implementation and expansion of the telematics network in European schools; to encourage the development of multimedia resources in teaching; to support the professional development of teachers aiming at the inclusion of the use of new technologies in the classroom; to assure the quality of the information services for schools, ensurng user-friendliness and supporting its integration in the process of teaching/learning.
By the end of the Project the network will include more than 500 European Schools. The project site is : http://www.eun.org
Educaunet is a European media education programme that aims to teach young people and educators about the Internet and the possible risks linked to its use. The project team is composed of seven European countries: Austria (Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture - Department of Media Pedagogy), Belgium (Media Animation asbl - Resource centre in media and multimedia education; Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve - Research Group in Mediation of Knowledge (UCL/GReMS); France (Centre for liaison between teaching and information media (CLEMI); National Centre of Pedagogical Documentation (CNDP) ); Denmark (Copenhagen Business School); Greece (University of Macedonia - School of Pedagogical Education); Portugal (University of Algarve - School of Education ); United Kingdom (University of London - Institute of Education ) and by the European Parents Association (EPA).
This project intends to implement a European awareness campaign and training sessions for teachers, parents and educators. Its objectives are to develop an independent and responsible attitude among children and adolescents when using the Internet, questioning the usefulness of filters and protective devices. Educaunet focuses on the need to analyze and interpret media. It also teaches children how to 'read' the media in critical and selective ways and to develop media literacy. A set of teaching materials has been produced by the countries involved in the Educaunet partnership. These materials are very important in the sense that the project values practical experience, one of its main features being to develop practical work with children and youngsters at schools through play, experience, and involving them in practical work, such as producing various media such as newspapers, videos, radio programmes, websites, etc...
Internet na Escola (Internet at school) is a Portuguese Project which started in 1998 and is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology. This project is developed nationally by teachers of the elementary level (1st to 4th grade). Its main work is to support the planning and elaboration of projects, the development of websites, the training of the involved teachers, the creation and maintenance of a website. The general goals of this project are to promote the acquisition of basic competences in information technologies among children and to promote the creation of communities related to the information technologies at schools.
Seguranet is a Project supported by the Safer Internet program, which was established by the European Commission. It is a European project led by Safer Internet and aspires to create a national network to draw the Internet users' attention to risks and challenges. In Portugal the coordinator is the Ministry of Education. The main goals are to create a wide information campaign in order to promote safer use of online technologies, protecting children and youngsters from the dangers associated with these technologies. This campaign intends to involve several partners from institutions (educational and cultural sectors) and society in general (parents, organisations, etc.).