Teachers' Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Athanasios Tsapelis, Teacher of English at Second Senior High School of Kos and Fulbright alumnus of the Study of the United States Institutes Program, has a passion for education and films. He combined both his interests in an exciting initiative called edu|shorts that serves other educators and schools/educational organizations:
edu|shorts is an initiative started by Athanasios Tsapelis and developed and designed as a platform for educational activities inspired by short films together with co-teacher Panos Kapiris.
edu|shorts grew from the passion for cinema and films. The founders believe that short films provide a unique way to deal with issues of identity and self-awareness because they tell a story in a few minutes with an easily discernible set of ideas and values.
edu|shorts aims to present short and concise educational activities which can be easily adapted to satisfy a diverse range of educational needs. edu|shorts is bilingual: all texts are written both in Greek and English to cater for the needs of a national and international audience. Browsing films is facilitated by synopses or themes. Educational activities are tagged according to suggested teaching strategies.
The educational activities of edu|shorts are used in school settings or as part of training programs for adults and can be facilitated by teachers, adult or lifelong trainers, psychotherapists, social workers or group facilitators.
A constructive collaboration between SUSI Alumni was set up when Eleni Lykou ( 2015-2016 Fulbright SUSI for Secondary Educators Programs) invited Athanasios Tsapelis, Teacher of English at Second Senior High School of Kos, to her school in Evia, Krieza Junior High School, within the framework of Erasmus+, the European Program, and the HEREDITAS (Here Discover International Treasure and Survive) project on cultural heritage. Athanasios gave an introduction to fellow teachers and students on the concepts of house, home, mother country in a photo presentation entitled "Home is".
In turn, Eleni Lykou spoke about the use of cultural approach as tool in the Intercultural Class, presenting work she had finished in collaboration with the University of Illinois in 2015-16 entitled "From Kos to Illinois". It concerns an educational scenario that presents a parallel approach to Greek and American history by touching on issues such as homeland, immigration, refugee, racism, cultural heritage, and human rights.
Athanasios Tsapelis is a Fulbright Alumnus of the 2013-2014 SUSI Program for Secondary Educators
Photo/Image: Athanasios Tsapelis / Eleni Lykou