Kick-off meeting on the BI-NEW project

BI NEW LogoOn 8 and 9 October in the office of Mental Arithmetic Europe in Sofia, the first BI-NEW project meeting was held. In 2016 the European Commission has adopted a New Skills Agenda for Europe which aims to ensure that people develop a broad set of hard and soft skills from early on in life, necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

While hard skills are clearly defined and measured, soft skills will be essential to boost employability, competitiveness and growth across the EU. That is why the modern educational programs and school curricula should focus on developing critical thinking and analytical reasoning as a part of the XXI century literacy skills. It is worth pointing that the new curricula put challenges to both students and teachers. The teachers are not well empowered with new knowledge and skills how to respond to the new requirements and the students face difficulties in achieving them. That is why it is of crucial importance to seek new ways of teaching and innovative methods for making education attractive, accessible, understandable and inclusive. This will reduce the rate of ESL and will better prepare the students for the labour market.

The main aim of the project is to elaborate innovative methodology and open educational resources (OERs) for mental arithmetic using Abacus (a board for calculating used since V cent B.C.). With them trainers will facilitate students’ personal and academic achievements due to the development of concentration, photographic and muscular memory, creative and analytical thinking.

From the project partners: Know and Can Association – Bulgaria, Danmar Computers LLC, Poland; AKMIAE AKMI Educational Organisation, Greece; Bolu Milli Egitim Mudurlugu, Turkey; Mental Arithmetic Europe – Bulgaria, Bulgaria; Formacion Para El desarrollo eInsercion, Sociedad Limitada, Spain; Consorzio Materahub Industrie Cultural e Creative, Italy is expected to:
1. Create Methodology for Mental Arithmetic - which will include the methodological support and guidelines for trainers of using Abacus as a tool for mental arithmetic, to facilitate intellectual development of students which will result in students’ encouragement and motivation. MMA will include useful approaches, techniques and good-practices used by trainers when working with their students. The MMA will be developed for three age groups – 6-7 years old; 8-16 years old and 16+ years old having in mind the age peculiarity of each group.
2. Create Repository with exercises, tools and evaluation materials for mental arithmetic - that will contain several key elements – set of methods, box with materials, set of instructions.
3. Create Abacus Portal with Generator of Exercises - core function will be to create (generate) practically unlimited variety of exercises in real-time. Will perform a multi-layer storage of results so that the users will be able to get advantage of the exercises and not only practice to fulfill their free time.


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