E-Learning with a Kick

Sports play a crucial social role in the integration of young people into society, and now they are increasingly being used as an incentive to increase motivation for learning and training. At OEB, five fascinating e-learning projects that revolve around the world of sports will be presented. The first provides the opportunity to learn about what Arsenal football club is doing to promote language learning amongst children with their ‘Double Club’ initiative. Continuing the football theme, the second project involves football stadiums, which serve as authentic working worlds to grab pupils’ attention and provide them with orientation for their own career choices. The third is ‘Playing for Success’, a UK project that successfully attracts young people by offering the opportunity to learn in sports venues rather than in the classroom. Next is the PC learning game ‘Champions for South Africa’, in which pupils experience the ’Rainbow Nation’ during the upcoming World Cup from the perspective of street kids. And finally, participants will be able to discover how video annotations improve the training of table tennis coaches and referees.


Learning Languages Through the Common Language of Football


Hors-jeu ! Elfmeter! ¡Tiro libre! These are just some of the phrases you might hear coming from the children who are part of the Arsenal ‘Double Club’ scheme. The initiative, which runs for six to twelve weeks in various schools in London, aims to generate interest in languages through football ahead of the introduction of compulsory modern foreign-language learning in British primary schools in 2010.

© istockphoto@Gelpi


The pupils, who undertake the scheme in their own time after school, spend the first 45 minutes learning football-related vocabulary in French, German or Spanish with first-team players and the aid of interactive DVDs. The activity ends with a 45-minute training session with an Arsenal coach or player.


Upon completion of the course, pupils are invited to play at the club’s Emirates Stadium in a schools’ football competition – with a difference. The refereeing will not be in English, and the players will be expected to use a foreign language as they shout instructions at each other during the game. Leading by example with a multinational squad and its multilingual manager, Arsène Wenger, the club is itself an example of the importance of the ability to communicate in different languages and the relevance of understanding various cultures.


The award-winning scheme has been presented to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy and has been praised by the European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban. Julie Stoker, the Arsenal Double Club languages consultant, is supporting other teams in order to create a national programme. More information can be found on the club website: http://www.arsenal.com/doubleclub

Sport Stadiums – For an Easier Transition from School to Work


What role can a football stadium play in providing effective career information and vocational orientation to graduates? “A significant part”, says Michael Härtel from BIBB (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany): “A football stadium is a ‘melting pot’ of the most diverse occupational groups and represents an authentic working world to students who want to know about various occupations and the situations they will face while they are doing their apprenticeships.” A wide range of skill groups – groundsmen, security staff, carpenters, window fitters, sound and lighting technicians, IT experts, property managers, and many other occupations – take part in organising, maintaining and managing modern sports facilities, which hold a variety of major events – from football matches to pop concerts.


Capitalising on the popularity of sports venues and events, the BIBB Project seeks to grab the attention of pupils and stimulate their interest in vocational training while they are still at school. It not only provides information and orientation for them but also offers training possibilities in the form of practical case-study-based learning tasks such as repairing a lift in the run-up to an event or inspecting the water supply. Both the background information on the jobs and the tasks themselves are created in collaboration with the stadium’s service staff, as well as by contractor firms offering their specific services to the arena.


Along with the pupils, companies and schools involved also benefit from the project. Firms can promote themselves as an attractive business environment to potential trainees and teachers, who often have little real-world information on occupations, by offering them practical background knowledge. The result of this project will be made available to pupils and teachers over the Internet.

Playing for Success – Learning at Sport Centres


Learning in a sports venue? That’s the idea behind the project Playing for Success (PfS), which employs innovative teaching methods and the concept of learning outside the classroom to increase the motivation to learn amongst underachieving young people aged 10-14 years. Its success has led to a situation where the demand to be involved is greater than can be provided for by the centres, and a solution is needed: over 58,000 pupils a year take the opportunity to learn in inspirational sporting venues in England.


Thus, PfS is looking at the advantages e-learning can offer to increase capacity, ensure quality, measure impact and extend opportunity. The advantages for pupils are twofold, as Jo Robson will outline in her presentation Playing for Success: Education Centres at Sports Venues: E-Learning Extending Opportunity? Pupils could have the time they spend engaged with PfS extended through e-learning opportunities, and those unable to attend may at least be able to experience PfS, albeit remotely. As a national and international project, this workshop will also explore how communication, quality and sustainability can be addressed through e-learning. For more information, please click www.playingforsuccessonline.org.uk and watch a video on the project.

Champions for South Africa – Join the Game


The crime scene is in front of a football stadium in South Africa: Your ticket for the game, your money, ID, and mobile phone are about to be stolen! What will you or can you do? Are you going to let them run off with your belongings and stand there helplessly?


This is just one of the daunting scenarios pupils in Bonn could face while playing the adventurous PC game Champions for South Africa. The game is part of an educational project created for German pupils (and their teachers) by ‘Don Bosco Jugend Dritte Welt e.V’ and for other European school classes by six partner organisations in the run-up to the World Cup 2010. Champions for South Africa puts the pupils in the role of exchange students travelling to the World Cup host country in order to experience first hand the football event. However, even the best-laid plans can go astray, and soon the gamers experience reality from the perspective of South African street kids. This doesn’t just entail fighting off enemies, but also experiencing the warm hospitality of the local people.


In a playful way, the pupils have the opportunity to change their environment and also their characters by engaging in social activities and development work. Moreover, they are asked to make their own decisions: “What do you want to do?” is the recurring question. Animations, photo reportages and videos provide a great gaming experience. In addition to the free PC game, teachers receive material for lessons that juxtaposes problems in South Africa with similar issues in Europe, such as poverty or the right to education. Benedict Steilmann from Don Bosco Jugend Dritte Welt e.V., Germany, will present Join the Game! – The Concept of Global Learning in a Virtual South Africa and introduce the project in greater detail. For more information, please see www.join-the-game.org

Coaching 2.0: Video Annotations in Table Tennis and Football


In summer 2008, the table tennis association of Germany’s federal state of Lower Saxony launched a fifteen-day blended learning course for table tennis coaches – a successful concept that is now about to pilot in the field of football.


Divided into three parts, these courses consist of an attendance/practical exercises phase, as well as a virtual pre- and post-phase. Participants are taught topics relating to sports such as motion analysis, kinematics, theory, technique and stamina. However, before that, they receive an introduction to Web 2.0 and the topic of “media and learning”, from which they gain the media skills required for the e-learning aspects of the course. These are online activities such as writing weblog entries, creating c-maps, and leaving written, audio, or visual comments on videos. According to Frank Vohle from the Institute of Media und Educational Technology of the University of Augsburg, video commentaries or annotations are the most important e-learning tool in the training of coaches – not only in the field of table tennis, but also in football. In his presentation Video Annotation 2.0: Fostering Reflective Learning in Sports Coach Education, Vohle will emphasise the advantages of the use of this interactive and collaborative technology.


The session E-Learning with a Kick will take place on Friday, December 4 from 11:45 – 13:15 and be chaired by Dr Harold Elletson and ex-professional footballer Keith Mercer, who played for Watford FC und Blackpool FC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.