Learning orthodoxy through the internet: from virtual communication to a real handshaking with cyprus
In the Finnish public schools the Internet and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in general have been utilized for the purposes of Orthodox Religious Education (R.E) since 1998. Promoting the use of this new media for teaching and learning has happened through the OrtoWeb with its various projects. Nowadays the OrtoWeb can be considered as a national portal for Greek Orthodox Religious Education in Finland in the ICT based environment. The focus is to deliver teaching materials in a digital format, to offer a new method and pedagogical approach for teaching and to promote networking in Orthodox Religious Education among the teachers both nationally and later internationally. Locally the networking among the Orthodox religious teachers has started and orientated on teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge. Renewing teaching methods and learning by applying the possibilities of information technology and the Internet is emphasised. During the year 2001 new project dimension in R.E was taken dealing with Senior High School education over the Internet. The question is about inter orthodox contacts and learning about different Orthodox Churches via the net. This was supposed to be put into practice by producing information into a closed learning environment concerning the Orthodox Churches in Finland, Cyprus and Greece. This paper describes the working plan, the phases and, to some extend, the surprising result of this project.