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Here is the Digital School Bus, for on the road, ecological and hi-tech lessons

Here is the Digital School Bus, for on the road, ecological and hi-tech lessons

If among your readings there are On the road by Jack Kerouac or Walden or life in the woods by Henry David Thoureau, you will have daydreamed about a life dedicated to ecology and the constant movement from one place to another.

If you add to this technology, an essential element today, does the dream become complicated?

Not at all: it comes true. That’s what the Digital School Bus project, a hi-tech and ecological mini bus that will reach schools in the internal areas of the Piacenza and Parma Apennines.

Let’s find out more about this project that, just to continue in the dream, came to an elementary school teacher after his meeting with the staff of the John Lennon Educational Bus.

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How the Digital School Bus project was born

The germinal idea of ​​the Digital School Bus came to the elementary teacher Italo Ravennamaster of Borgo Val di Taro, a town in the province of Parma.

The teacher, in 2013, met the staff of the John Lennon Educational Bus in Cork. It was a camper equipped to allow you to make music and videos. The camper was touring schools in Britain and the United States to involve students in the production of music videos.

From there the impulse to bring a different, counter-current, itinerant teaching method to Italy as well.

The Digital School Bus and the Apennines

Hence, transported to the inland towns of the Piacenza and Parma Apennines, the project takes on further meanings.

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The intentions are manifold, and they all come together in the Digital School Bus.

Meanwhile, there is a desire to bring young people from primary and lower secondary school closer to new teaching technologies and new technologies. Then, involving the most isolated countries of the territory, the project also intends to counter the phenomenon of depopulation of areas that could run the risk of becoming marginal. Beyond curb the risk of early school leaving.

Finally, the Appennino Smart strategy of Piacentino-Parmense (of which, as we will see, this project is part) aims to enhance and strengthen cooperation experiences to solve some critical issues in the territory.

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The ambition is to focus on a more modern school, also active beyond the canonical timetable, with particular attention to digital teaching.

Who is involved in the initiative

The Digital School Bus project is financed with 375 thousand euros of national resources provided by the Emilia-Romagna Region as part of the Appennino Smart and Internal Areas Emilia-Romagna project.

Maestro Italo Ravenna, an expert in media education, is the digital educator who, supported by a tutor, will travel aboard the van during the tour. Actively involved teachers will follow teacher training programs by a group of digital animators.

The inaugural stage of the project had as its protagonist, Saturday 13 November, the Primary school of Ponte dellOlio (Piacenza), the lead institution of the project. There are 21 school complexes in the Piacenza and Parma Apennines involved.

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The tour will touch institutions located in the municipalities of the Valtaro, Valceno, Val Nure and Val d’Arda valleys.

The equipment of the Digital School Bus

As we read on the official website of the initiative, the Digital School Bus is a Nissan NV-e200 a fully electric Van, capable of carrying up to 7 passengers in maximum comfort.

The van’s technological and IT equipment will allow students to fly a drone, use augmented reality viewers to live virtual three-dimensional experiences, learn about and program robots, action cameras, approach the digital universe of web radio and podcasts. But also to use a rover to simulate the reconnaissance of the surface of a planet, on the basis of Perseverance, employed on Mars.

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The words of Stefano Bonaccini

On Saturday 13 November, the institutions were present at the inaugural stage of the Digital School Bus tour.

Not only the mayors of the municipalities involved but also the President of the Region, Stefano Bonaccini. Who said: “If today a completely eco-sustainable vehicle begins to travel and bring an innovative and original digital training measure to the schools of the Apennines, it is thanks to the sensitivity of all the people involved in the initiative, to the competence and willingness to contribute to the training of the women and men of tomorrow.

The Digital School Bus perfectly represents the strategy that the Region has adopted for the development of the internal areas. Which aims, in addition to supporting employment and sustainable growth by shortening territorial distances, to contrast the digital divide, early school leaving and to guarantee equal rights to all citizens, even those who live in the mountains, in the suburbs or in sparsely populated areas, without leave no one behind “.