With the “Who were the victims of the national socialists?” project well underway, both teachers and students from our five teams came up with the wonderful idea of having a virtual student exchange between their classrooms. The rationale behind this idea was not only for the students to exchange ideas and concepts of their respective projects, but it was also a way to foster a community between the different teams scattered across Europe. Although students could not meet in person, this online student exchange was a huge success! 

On 3 June 2022, students from Team Slovakia and Team Denmark gathered together on Zoom to meet and exchange ideas for the first time since the beginning of this project. Overseen by their teachers – Matej Belacek from Slovakia and Lars Amdissen Bossen and Mirela Redzic from Denmark – the students entered lively and enthusiastic discussions on their school’s place-based learning projects. Although initially concerned that language differences may play a role in inhibiting lengthy conversations, it became apparent early on that the students’ enthusiasm and keen interest in getting to know their counterparts overshadowed any shyness that comes along with speaking a second language like English. 

Within the hour that the students spent together on Zoom, they were able to have conversations in smaller breakout groups. Conversation topics ranged from project ideas and what they have learned so far, to what their school day was like in their own countries. It was inspiring to see so many students taking a keen interest in not only this project, but also getting to know their fellow classmates from abroad. Although the topics of conversation ranged in pertinence to the subject at hand, the idea of fostering an environment of multiperspectivity was in the back of all of our minds. This student exchange became a safe space for each individual to share their thoughts on the project, as well as their day to day lives. 

With the overwhelming success of this virtual student exchange kick-off, other teams have shown an interest in joining future organised events such as this one. We look forward to seeing more interactions between students over the course of this project! 

Stay tuned for more updates on “Who were the victims of the national socialists?”! 

The images below show some project updates from Team Denmark and their students on their place-based learning: