A bridge among cultures
Matera and its region.
Matera (57.000
inhab.) is a town and
a province in the
region of Basilicata
(600.000 inhabitants.)
in the south of Italy.
Matera’s province,
including the chief
town, has got 200.000
The major part of its
villages has got no
more than 10.000
This town has many peculiar, unique
The "Sassi" are houses dug into the
tuff rock that characterizes Puglia and
Basilicata. Many of these "houses" are
really only caverns.
People still live in the Sassi. Until the
late 1980s this was considered a poor
people's habit, since these houses are
mostly unlivable. But the current local
administration, becoming more
tourism-oriented, has succeded in
making the "Sassi" a nice site, and tuff
houses are becoming more livable and
Note: many people in the past
believed that people only live in the
Sassi; perhaps it is better to point out
that the main part of Matera's people
now live in the modern town. There is
a great similarity with the prehistoric
sites of Jerusalem, which are of the
same prehistoric age.
It has been selected from the Unesco
as a World’s cultural heritage.
Newspaper’s birth
We had the first idea of an
online newspaper in 2000.
The first edition was limited
to the Matera’s province.
A local newspaper (La
Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno),
published on its website
various online newspaper’s
local edition.
How it works
The school partners
participate with articles
written by the students,
complete with images or
drawings made by them.
The pupils or the schools
send their articles via email, or on a floppy disk.
The “Liceo Duni’s” editorial
staff, that can enter the
site’s Administration,
receives the articles and
issues them online, after
providing, if necessary, the
English translation.
Newspaper’s composition
The newspaper has got an
homepage containing 8 articles,
with a picture, title and abstract for
every article.
Clicking on the picture or on the
title, a page opens with the full text
of the article.
Obviously, clicking on the flag,
everyone can choose his preferred
European newspaper’s birth
Once we saw the
success the local
newspaper had, we
thought to extend
it at an European
The response was
soon enthusiastic.
Language problem
Obviously, the first
problem we had to
face, was the
between us.
So we thought about
publishing articles,
when possible, in a
bilingual version:
mother and English
language .
The project
The project consists in an international
on-line newspaper, in network, made by
young people from different countries, in
different languages.
It originates from the collaboration between
which offers a free space in the web, and
LICEO CLASSICO "DUNI" - Matera (Italy),
and wants to meet the school growing demands of
coming out of a traditional isolation to share ideas and
projects with other schools and collaborate with the
other professional figures of the local area.
Project’s aims
By this project we want to promote a
use of technologies primarily
educational, in order to carry out
something really felt and made by
The project is completely based on the
use of technologies. The Internet is the
means employed to enable young
people, even those living in very far
countries, to keep in touch, exchanging
and comparing their ideas.
In this way the new technologies
become a medium for critical
consideration and their responsible use
can offer opportunities of cultural
enrichment and, why not, amusement.
A great number of students are
enthusiastically taking part in
cultural exchange programmes
with foreign countries, because
this experience gives them the
chance to improve their
knowledge of foreign languages
and to enlarge their cultural
We can notice that the youth are
deeply interested in Europe, but,
in order to become true
European citizens, they should
be informed about the most
important issues of the Union
and, above all, they should have
the possibility to exchange ideas
and know each other in "a room
of their own".
Among other school needs, we have noticed an
impelling necessity to test new methods allowing
the application of the new technologies to
teaching, not contrasting the traditional teaching
methods, but as an integrated system in the
This is the background of Matera's on-line
newspaper. It is a room for young people who
can express freely their ideas. Students can test
their ability in different forms of writing: articles,
interviews, reports, using different languages.
Many articles have been published and are visible
clicking on “Tutte le notizie”, in the "Archivio"
An important aspect of this project is the
possibility to debate among people of the same
age, offered, thanks to the Internet, also to
young people living in the most remote places or
in underdeveloped countries.
Project’s goals
The project goals are:
To promote a positive use of the new ways of communication, as
means of meeting, comparison, participation
To acquire the ability of criticism and of independent thought necessary to participate
actively in the information society
To teach young people to work in collaboration and to promote the culture of the new
To train students to express and propose their ideas through non traditional ways of
To put school in touch and collaboration with the external world and other school
To stimulate students to participate actively in the life of the European society,
respecting "diversity" and encouraging a democratic confrontation
To deepen the knowledge of the European cultural inheritance, comparing traditions
and appreciating the cultural differences which are at the basis of our common history
and civilization
To improve the knowledge of languages through the publication of works written by
students in English and other European languages.
To promote the integration in the European social and cultural context of students who
are in disadvantaged conditions and of schools situated in remote geographical areas
and economically depressed.
Activities management
The activities have been carried out with laboratory methods.
The students have taken part in journalism workshops, under
the guidance of journalists of the web editorial staff of
LA GAZZETTA DEL MEZZOGIORNO, acquiring among other
things the bases of web writing.
A group of students, directed by computing teachers, learned
to use programmes for processing images and inserting them
in the web pages.
Contacts with the other schools involved in the project have
been very close and, thanks to e-mails, there has been a
useful and frequent exchange of opinions and materials.
In the last school year some topics of great interest for
students have been discussed with classes of foreign schools
in chat meetings during morning classes with the help of the
English teachers.
The students, individually or in groups, have made articles,
interviews, surveys, with the help of English and Italian
Impact on our territory
Many schools of towns
situated in the inner
areas of our region,
Basilicata, one of the
poorest and isolated in
Italy, have joined the
project, seizing the
opportunity to enter a
network of
communication and to
collaborate, exchanging
information and ideas
with schools from all
over the world.
Overcoming cultural diversity
Matera's on-line newspaper is
completely made by the students of
the schools involved in the project,
under the guidance of their teachers.
They are young people from five to
nineteen who use this place to
confront and exchange ideas.
It is a sort of "virtual square" where
the youth from all over the world can
meet and debate, overcoming cultural
diversity. From the collaboration of
students belonging to different
schools there comes out a real
newspaper, a real editorial staff who
can choose subjects, images, titles of
articles. They express their opinions,
carrying out articles dealing with
culture, traditions, habits,
environment, music, sport, politics.
Schools and Matera’s newspaper
Schools have understood and greatly appreciated the
value of the project and have inserted it in their
educational activities.
So, the on-line newspaper has become an integral
part of the core curriculum in many schools.
The project has created a wide network involving a
great number of schools, both from Europe and from
other continents.
Teachers and families alike have noticed a remarkable
improvement in the students' writing and communication
abilities and so they are urging us to go on with this
most qualified local newspaper, and the numerous
requests arriving from schools all over the world make
us hope for the best in the future development of the
project. At the moment we are enlarging more and more
the network through contacts with schools situated in
France, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Canada,
Chile, Egypt, Sierra Leone and many other countries.
MOL = Matera On Line Newspaper
First correspondents
First correspondents
from abroad were:
 Rumania
 Poland
 Hungary
Today’s correspondents are:
Istituto Tecnico Commerciale "Loperfido" – Matera (Italia)
Istituto Tecnico Commerciale "Olivetti" – Matera (Italia)
Istituto di Istruzione Superiore "Isabella Morra" - Matera (Italia)
ITIS "Pentasuglia" - Matera (Italia)
Scuola Elementare IV Circolo - Matera (Italia)
Scuola Elementare e Media - Istituto Comprensivo - Accettura (MT) (Italia)
Istituto Professionale Alberghiero "A. Turi" – Matera -(Italia)
Scuola Media “Ilvento” – Grassano (MT) - (Italia)
Scuola Media –Ferrandina (MT) - (Italia)
Scuola Media “Nicola Festa” – Matera – Italia
Istituto Comprensivo - Salandra (MT) - (Italia)
Scuola Elementare – Ferrandina (MT) – (Italia)
Vocational Academy Bilingual Primary and Secondary School of Economics - Győr – Hungary
Zsigmondy Vilmos Secondary School - Hungary
Gymnasium N4 Smorgon – Bielorussia
Technical College “Maria Baiulescu” - Brasov – Romania
Economic College ”Emanuil Gojdu” - Hunedoara (Romania)
High School "Izmir Balcova" - Ephesus (Turkey)
Escola Secundária da Sobreda – Portogallo
Grup Scolar Avram Iancu- Sibiu- Romania
Kindergarten of Kaparelli – Thiva – Grecia
Colegiul National "Stefan cel Mare" - Suceava (Romania)
Gimnazjum Numer 47 - Warszawa (Poland)
Private Bati Primary and High Schools Semsi Pasa Uskudar - Istanbul (Turkey)
Riihenmäki Comprehensive School – Mäntsälä – Finland
34 Nicholas Copernicus Elementary School - Katowice (Poland)
Kaunas Santara Gymnazium - Lituania
St. Paul's Missionary College - Rabat – Malta
Center for Education-Zelenogorsk (Russia)
Lyceum N. - Moudania (Greece)
Old articles are not eliminated, but kept
in an Archive, where they can always be
They are visible clicking on “Tutte le
notizie”, in the "Archivio" window.
A precious news database is so
constituted, containing a small
correspondent’s personal encyclopaedia.
Everyone can take
part in the newspaper
with any topic.
After a time many
schools showed the
need to work on a
specific topic.
From time to time we
indicated some topics,
we constituted a
survey with (e.g.
culture, society,
human rights, sports,
Participants’ age groups
The project is
addressed to
young people
from 5 to 19.
Up to now the
estimated number of
participants is of not
less than 1000.
The editorial staff
Editorial staff is
composed by:
Teacher in charge:
Maria Teresa Asprella
8 teachers:
(Information technology,
English language, Italian
language, Technology)
 20 students
The project, if former
conditions are verified, is
totally transferable at any
context, linguistic or
cultural reality.
Our project inspired:
Riihenmäki Comprehensive School
Mäntsälä– Finland: ”A Golden School
Videouno - Matera
Sustainability and
Our school has provided a
small amount of money to
finance the project for the
We’ve got some
contributions from local
At the present time our
yearly budget is of about
10.000 €
NETDAYS EUROPE 2001 - fourth place ex
aequo European Citizenship on the Net
In 2002 the NEWSPAPER was chosen among
the 12 best contributions of schools, among
those accepted for the exhibition at TED, the
most important Italian meeting about
teaching technologies, whose scientific
organization is arranged by CNR (NATIONAL
COUNCIL OF RESEARCH) in collaboration
2003 - third place in the school category
Finalist in the Stockholm Challenge Award
Winner of the Centoprogetti (One hundred
projects) for the innovative use of
technologies in the Public Administration –
Selected among the finalists in The Global
Junior Challenge in Rome.
Noticed problems
There have been some problems in
the contacts with those countries
whose access to the Internet is still
very expensive.
For example,
in some coun
tries of the
former Soviet
Union, schools
have some difficulties in finding the
funds for connecting to the Internet,
and therefore sometimes they have
been compelled to drop the
Impact of the project
The impact of the project into the targeted community has
been very strong, in fact it has been able to break the
traditional isolation in which schools used to work.
The students of the various schools involved in the project got
the impression of belonging to a large community and even
parents and families have come closer to the world of the
Internet and information.
This new way of communicating has been greatly appreciated
mainly by the most remote towns, for example those situated
in the inner areas of our region, because it enabled young
people to get in touch with same age people from other parts
of the world.
The visibility offered to the project by LA GAZZETTA DEL
MEZZOGIORNO has aroused a growing interest also outside
the school community. The local media, press and TV; have
often talked of the project in a positive way.
The experience has been evaluated by the following methods:
questionnaires filled in by students at the end of each year, in
order to check the difficulties met by them and to receive their
analysis of the "logbook", to check the attendance of students at
the afternoon classes
number of articles produced by students
participation of schools of the network
request to join the project on the part of other schools
number of accesses to the site
acknowledgements and qualified judgements
obtained in national and international contexts.
To know themselves to understand
each other
The newspaper was first
directed to:
 1) Our Province, then to,
 2) Europe, and now to the
 3) World
Technologies can be an efficient means to overcome geographical limits and to put
people in touch.
They can offer everybody the possibility to speak and communicate.
It is possible, at a relatively low cost, to promote exchange and knowledge among
different cultures, religions, traditions.
New schools are welcome!
Technological level of
correspondent countries
Computers and Internet host x 1000 inhab.
Computer x 1000 ab.
Internet host
Digital divide
As you can see, not all
countries are alike and have
the same technological
Our newspaper has got a
simple , but effective
structure, and has as well a
good diffusion in countries
with scanty means.
One of the newspaper’s major
objectives is just getting over
the digital divide.
Possible developments
Exchanges with
schools all over the
Thank you!
Maria Teresa Asprella: [email protected]
Eustachio Guanti: [email protected]
Liceo Ginnasio “E. Duni”: [email protected]
Present address
The present address is: