About the Project

Technology impact on our todays life along with the concept of the “shrinking” world is creating a constant need to develop and improve new tools including these used in the fields of research and education.  Together with technological development there is a growing influence of the social media as a tool used for diversified goals. From the conventional point of view they are often seen as the key driver of communications and marketing. Furthermore, growing number of schools and teachers are utilizing social media in the classroom to further engage students in the learning process. Social media is a tool that teachers can use to make their classroom more engaging and relevant. Results of the survey carried among the students showed the non-negligible demand for the up-to-date, hi-tech educational tools based on social media. Over 90% of the respondents indicated the lack modern approach to pedology classification teaching and scarcity of digital tools usable in the teaching process. On the other hand, technical languages used in environmental scientific disciplines, such as soil science, necessitate to be unified and correlated on both, European and global scale to be useful for academic purposes. The WRB (World Reference Base for Soil Resources) is the soil classification system designed as easy means of communication among scientists to identify, characterize and name major types of soils and has also been accepted by the European Commission as the official system within the European Union.
The idea of the SYStem project is to create edutainment social media dedicated to soil description and classification using the WRB. It will be based on mobile application for uploading soil profile photos with description of soil horizons, materials and properties along with its coordinates and students (users) proposal for the soil classification. The application would be working both on and offline. Application users will have the possibility to interact with each other and share their knowledge helping less experienced colleagues through comments on other students and researchers uploads within the international SYStem application community. The project will be based not only on the creating the advanced international social media tool for soil science classification and education issues which is the main goal. It also includes the preparation of exercises manual on how to use SYStem application and social media in edutainment-focused teaching. In addition the soil Omnibus dedicated to support the teaching of newest edition of WRB system (2015) on a university level suitable in various environmental science courses (e.g. environmental protection, geography, agriculture and forestry) will be prepared. Afterwards the evaluation of prepared edutainment module will be carried out during students workshops focused on using the application. Studying the usefulness of the WRB classification for the soil cover of partner countries and its evaluation of the WRB with regards to varied European environmental conditions will help develop the classification system itself. Together with the creation of unified, WRB based soil data from application users across the world these are the most important added values of this project.
The consortium brings together specialists from 11 Institutions from 8 countries (Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Spain) having research and educational experience in soil science issues of different regions of Europe. Individual members of the consortium also participated in a number of works related to the adaptation of the WRB in regional research (national scale), as well as international (testing WRB for improvement of next editions) and its use in the context of learning and teaching at the higher education level. Such experience is essential to reach the project objectives. Moreover, in the context of spatial dimension, the heterogeneity of the countries that research members originate from is fully covering the European landscapes and soilscapes variability.
All of the project outcomes which are the edutainment social media tool, user’s manual, soil classification Omnibus and the soil data base will be freely accessible throughout EU and whole world. All students and teachers will have open access to register , use it and ask for experts feedback. The soil data uploaded will be also available for other users as an active collection of various soils with multimedia and geolocation features. The obtained products will comprise an innovative and powerful for the university level teaching tool. It is expected also as the fully supportive implement for the active environmental researchers and practitioners. as the  supporting not only the academic teachers. All of the above mentioned results will last many years after the founding period of SYStem project.

Project submitted as Strategic Partnerships for higher education (KA203) of Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.