How WeSchool works, the Italian platform for flipped school

The Italian flipped classroom platform allows you to create courses of all kinds, enriching them with multimedia content and assessment tests

Differently from what you might believe, there is not only one type of e-learning. On the contrary, the didactic methodologies related to distance learning are multiple, each linked to different sociological and pedagogical approaches. One of these is the flipped classroom, or classroom in reverse.

This is the teaching approach adopted by WeSchool, Italian platform of flipped classroom that allows teachers and students to study and learn at a distance through video lectures, written and oral explanations and much more. An innovative platform that has profoundly renewed the way of doing online lessons in our country and that, over the years, has seen the support (economic and technological) of some of the major Italian companies. Now it is also part of the remote teaching tools recommended by the MIUR for the Coronavirus emergency.

What is it and how does it work the flipped classroom

This teaching approach involves an "exchange of roles" between the work that takes place in the classroom and that done at home. In "ordinary" teaching, the lesson takes place in class while at home you deepen the issues with homework and study. In the flipped classroom, however, the lesson is studied at home, while the topics are deepened in class, with discussions between teachers and students, in-depth exercises and other activities usually considered "extracurricular" that can provide a different approach and point of view on the issues addressed.

What is WeSchool and how it works

WeSchool is the Italian flipped learning platform used every month by millions of users and students. Totally free, it provides users with innovative learning tools that allow teachers to provide their students with all the material they need to do school at home. You will be able to upload images, text documents (and text forms)

Unlike other e-learning platforms such as Google Classroom and Office 365 for Education, WeSchool does not require the use of a school email address. Both teachers and students will be able to use their personal address: a platform open to collaboration and use by anyone, regardless of their role.

In short, anyone who wants can open their own distance learning course and provide teaching resources on their subject of expertise. These contributions can then be collected in the WeSchool Library and consulted openly by everyone, without limitations of any kind (in many cases you don't even need to be registered).

WeSchool for teachers: functions and tools

The teacher who wants to use WeSchool for video lessons and e-learning will have all kinds of advanced teaching tools available. As mentioned, you'll be able to insert all sorts of resources: from text blocks to links to other sites (and maps, thanks to the integration with Google Maps), YouTube and Vimeo videos, text documents and worksheets, and much more.

To start using them, you'll need to create a teacher account, following the registration wizard. Once this is done, you'll have access to your personal dashboard, from which you'll create courses for your students by simply clicking on the "+" button in the upper right corner. Here you choose New group and enter the requested information. At the end, you will be asked to create a unique link that we can send directly to the students to access the course directly. In alternativa, possiamo dargli solamente il codice corso che abbiamo creato (si tratta della parte finale della URL), che possono utilizzare in fase di registrazione.

A questo punto si potrà iniziare ad arricchire la propria classe virtuale, creando i contenuti che gli studenti potranno utilizzare durante il corso. La bacheca interna del “gruppo" sarà divisa in quattro sezioni: Wall, Board, Test e Voti. Ecco a cosa servono.fa

  • Wall. Una sorta di mini-social interno al corso, nel quale il docente e gli utenti possono inserire commenti e avvisi di ogni genere. Ovviamente, chiunque può commentare ogni singolo post inserito nel Wall, in modo che sia possibile lo sviluppo di una discussione su precise tematiche
  • Board. Si tratta del “cuore pulsante" del gruppo. All’interno del Board gli alunni troveranno tutti gli strumenti e tutti i contenuti che il docente ha pensato per loro. Si potranno aggiungere video, documenti “collaborativi", lezioni da OilProject (scorrete più in basso per capire di cosa si tratta), file PDF, file di ogni tipo, collegamenti a cartelle su Google Drive o Dropbox, mappe e collegamenti diretti ad altri siti web. I contenuti potranno essere raccolti in maniera tematica all’interno di varie Board, in modo che gli studenti siano facilitati nel trovare il materiale di studio di loro interesse
  • Test. Come dice il nome, gli insegnanti possono creare test per verificare il livello di apprendimento dei loro studenti. All’interno di un singolo test si possono aggiungere domande a risposta aperta, domande a risposta chiusa, cruciverba, “videotest" e molto altro ancora
  • Registro. Come ogni classe che si rispetti, anche quelle virtuali di WeSchool hanno il loro registro. Here the teacher will be able to check the students who have completed the various boards, who took the test and with what profit, give grades and check the general progress of the class

WeSchool also allows you to hold online lessons with live video streaming. To start a live video lesson, just click on the "Activate virtual classroom" button on the right side of the interface and wait for the students to connect. As soon as the live video starts, in fact, all those enrolled in the course will receive a notification and will be able to join by clicking directly on the link. To avoid, however, that someone might miss the online lesson it is always better to set a New deadline (another function always available in the teacher dashboard), so as to inform everyone when it will be held.

To add students or other teachers to your group just click on the "+" icon that appears in the box below "New deadline". In the window that loads you can choose to send invitations via email (click on the "Teacher" button to invite teachers; on "Student" to invite students and enter the email addresses) or copy the class code or invitation link and provide it to students and teachers.

WeSchool for students: functions and tools

As it happens also on other e-learning platforms, also on WeSchool the tools and functions that students can use are those that teachers insert in the course. Those who enroll in a class will have text documents available in case the teacher uploads them within their course. They will be able to access video lectures if the teacher activates the virtual classroom. He will be able to download files and documents (maybe uploaded on Dropbox or Google Drive) if the teacher makes them available.

To access the virtual classroom created by the teacher, the student must first create a personal profile by entering, in the registration window, the class code that the teacher has provided him. Obviously, if he/she is already registered, he/she will just have to login and enter the code, so that he/she can find the "card" to access the course directly within his/her personal dashboard.

WeSchool and OilProject: collaborative teaching open to everyone

As mentioned, WeSchool does not only offer the platform for schools, teachers and students. In the Library section (Library in English) you can find courses, single lessons, video lessons and exercises made by scholars from all over Italy. In the library of WeSchool (formerly known as OliProject) there are courses on the most varied disciplines: from marketing to computer science, from philosophy to languages, science and literature.

Thanks to the internal search engine, you can search for the course or lesson you prefer and follow it in the way you consider most appropriate. If you have enough time, you can decide to follow a course of 20 lessons in a single day; otherwise, you can choose how and when to follow them, using the intermediate exercises (if any) to check the level of learning.