Panel discussion – eTwinning and Competences

WP_20141129_012The eTwinning conference ended with some food for thought on eTwinning and Competences brought by the experts present in our panel discussion (Brian Holmes, from EACEA (moderator), Patrick Griffin, from University of Melbourne, Riina Vuorikari, from IPTS and Donatella Nucci, from Italian NSS).

Brian Holmes introduced the topic saying “The teacher role in learning with ICT has changed from knowledge expert to mentor, facilitator and orchestrator.”

The panel was challenged to answer three questions:

  • How can teachers help children of today to be ready for the challenges of tomorrow?
  • How would we describe the competences needed to make effective use of technology?
  • What can we do practically to support teachers?

Patrick Griffin reflected mainly on the first question stating, “There is a consensus that we need the content of the curricula to be the context to develop competences.” There is a need to shift the curricula to allow building competences such as: Collaboration, communication, critical thinking, coding and creativity. Teachers need to challenge students by formulating hypothesis (what if? What about?…). This is at the basis of collaborative problem solving skills.

Captura de ecrã 2014-11-30, às 11.25.33Reflecting on this need to challenge the environment Riina Vuorikari presented what does it mean to be digital competent. As she said being Digital competent is not being competent on the use of ICT tools, it is the combination of the attitude, knowledge and skills.Digital competence involves the confident and critical use of ICT for employment, learning, self-development and participation in society (EC, 2006)”

Captura de ecrã 2014-11-30, às 11.25.54Riina V. introduced theEC digital competence Framework, exemplifying the competences included in that framework with an eTwinning project kit (A taste of Maths ATOM) reinforcing that eTwinning widely promotes Digital and other competences.

Donatella Nucci affirmed that “School as it is conceived now does not satisfy the need to society we have now”. The focus of elearning shifted to learning and, therefore we need to create a different type of school and teaching. Donatella sees eTwinning as new way of teaching. Talking about Italy in particular she mentioned that Initial teacher training is more focused on content than in methodology. Hence there is an effort at a government level to implement new directions in several regions.

Captura de ecrã 2014-11-30, às 11.10.17The teachers in the audience were reminded that the competences needed for a collaborative teaching are Social and interpersonal skills. To finalize the discussion Brian Holmes emphasized that Teachers Professional Development is changing to include a wider reality.

 

Etwinning : challenging for the future

IMG_20141129_114402Beyond the community!  We are a family ! Bring back home  this atmosphere of enthusiasm and collaboration.”

These were the words Santi Scimeca used to introduce the last plenary session   in which we as teachers were given a lot of great hints for reflection  on and about our job from the panelists moderated by Brian Holmes from the Executive Agency for Education , Audiovisual and Culture .

Our  intervention has a very significative role in preparing  students for future lives said Patrick Griffin from the University of Melbourne …..and since Education has changed from Dickens’s times where everything was based on Facts we are supposed to teach students  how to use the competences developing their collaborative communicative, creative, coding, problem solving skills.

In short he suggested us having  them solve problems collaboratively  asking questions like “what about……?, lets’ try, what if……?, it depends…

Riina Vuorikari from the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies made us  reflect on what it really means to be digitally competent and how   it is important to have  a confident and critical use of ICT  required for employment, learning, self development and participation in society.

She showed us  three levels of proficiency in digital competences and how  to move between levels showing at the same time as joining an etwinning project  have the students  develop the  digital competences all in one!.

Ewinning as acquisition of skills and the best place to implement competences  even before  policy makers  suggested in the Recommendations on key competences in 2006   was what Donatella Nucci from the Italian National Supprt Service  told us  . Etwinning can give support on training  to all teachers who are experts in subjects but not in methodology since “ the teacher’s role has changed from knowledge expert to mentor, facilitator and orchestrator of learning ( Brecko et al.,  2013)

So eTwinning is the place to be now and at the same time  the challenge for  future   because   “ teachers  are not going to be  solo but they have to participate in a collaborative environment so that problem solving skills can be developed” Griffin  said .

But the last point of reflection came from the past from Cicero whose sentence in latin was shared by a warm final great applause.

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eTwining as a never ending friendship!

Collaborative Activities – Key to Success

WIN_20141129_095151This workshop was an amazingly inspiring. The presenters , Paraskevi Belogia and Irene Pateraki, led all participants in a great way through all stages of doing a collaborative project, starting with planning a project and finishing with its evaluation. They created a nice cooperative atmosphere in all group. They showed plenty of great ideas how to work collaboratively to make a successful project.

The first collaborative activity of each project can be expressing opinions, collecting ideas and sharing them among all partners with the help:

http://padlet.com/eirpateraki/gfd3ref517zo

Another activity is creating transnational groups and this can be done through breaking the ice with the help of:

http://padlet.com/renia_95/95e9usdnzw6i

A very beautiful collaborative activity is creating common texts, stories in which all participants can make one part through:

https://titanpad.com/vtw25DfJ1m

Another idea is to create a common logo of the project with the help of :

http://demo.drawitlive.com/whiteboard/agdhenBkZW1vchMLEgpXaGl0ZUJvYXJkGKOo_X0M

Doing a project this way is very motivating. In the end it is possible to do a poll about the activities and do an evaluation with the help of:

http://answergarden.ch/view/125989

http://host1.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=547307c9e4b071bebe297d2c

The workshop was fabuluous. Thank you and we were happy to share the time with you.

 

Making ripping- SIXth SENSE of eTwinning

Workshop took place the third day of the Rome eTwinning Conference  and there were 38 participants from all kind of schools from Europe.

What´s the  impact of etwinning on teachers during 10 years ? How to work with  great amount of energy  accumulated in this project? How to create good dissemination plan?

Those were the very interesting questions on the Clair Marvan´s workshop and participants tried to find the answers. They worked  in 5 groups and had focused on diffrent target groups – parents, headmaster, policy maker, press repreentative and other schol .  It wasn´t so easy to think of objectives  and messages – short and concrete – how to disseminate results to these groups.  The biggest  value of the workshop was  serious feed back from presenter and from other participants as well.

Materials from the workshop you can find here: http://conference2014.etwinning.net/

Teacher Exchange Workshop 3

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At this session six teachers from several countries presented their projects and experience. Workshop started with an example presented by the teacher from Poland, Jadwiga Szendera who talked about her project TRAP – Take a Role and Play, which was enhancing pupils’ creativity, cooperation and foreign language skills. They created a variety of plays with classmates in partnership with schools from different countries. Ms Szenera showed some of student’s work samples which were not only fun to see but also proved commitment and motivation.

WP_20141128_15_16_54_ProSecond one was a presentation by Weronika Kuś, English teacher from Poland, who showed some examples of her work with students in the project What links us? – pull the rope and create Europe. EUrope in fact is EU and rope (EUrope=EU + rope) so they used this quotation as a metaphor of the project. They found music as a symbolic rope which connects people around Europe, and they used it as a main theme of the project. Students did research how their countries fit into a particular kind of music, also they created and performed different songs together and by each country alone. One can have a look to some of results of the project such as the book with created songs and an anthem of the project as well.   

WP_20141128_15_27_43_ProMałorzata Łaska, another teacher from Poland shared with the audience a story of her adventure with eTwinning. She started as a participant in an online course and then found a partner for her 3 month long first project. After that, she was invited to a longer project by another partner and that’s how her story begun. Since then she participated in the number of projects and gain a lot of experience. Małorzata shared with us some thoughts on who is a good partner: works hard, is full of ideas, has a lot of free time and, surprisingly, does not have to know ICT tools. In her opinion it is worth to bear in mind that pupils come and go but teachers stay.

WP_20141128_030Jim Bateman form UK talked about some ideas how one can enrich teaching by using cryptology. He presented a number of ways how to exercise cryptology in the classroom and how teachers can intertwine this into a project.

WP_20141128_032Tine Jespersen from Denmark showed us her example how an eTwinning project influenced the whole school and suddenly became a School Development project for participating schools. She explained 4 facts, why a project can be a huge success: 1. a very relevant and important subject, 2. headmaster wanting school project, 3. well done documentation, 4. partner meeting before start. Finally she revealed she has learned as much as her pupils while working on the project.  

WP_20141128_034The last teacher in this session was Cornelia Tschuggnall from Austria who shared with the audience her experience how she used synergies between eTwinning and Erasmus+ on the example of the project Triple AAA – All About Apples. Participants of the project were primary, secondary and vocational schools from 9 countries. They worked on different aspects of apples from the economy through agriculture, form biology to geography. Apart from the online work during the project, participants had an opportunity to visit not only one another but also some interesting places such as Apple Market in London.

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“How to teach coding” workshop

coding

eTwinning is literally able to change schools teaching methods! Lots of European teachers worked in the workshop “How to teach coding” following the passionate words of two youngsters , Karl and Kart, accompanied by their teacher Ingrid Maadver.

They led the eTwinner teachers through the world of coding helping them to understand how to teach it in their schools and to move the first steps in programming. They first showed the project they are working in at school, then they challenged the teachers present at the workshop with some tasks, first experimentations of coding.

This workshop is a clear example of how students, who are digital natives, find easy and motivating working with ICT. They let understand that logic can be developed that way rather than with traditional teaching, that students can really be part of the learning process and that are eager to learn if they DO.

Just to have an idea, you can have a look at the project presentation made by the two students

bit.ly/codingrome2014

or you can use the tools they presented. Here are some examples.

A tool to programme easily: http://doodle.com

A fantastic free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations: http://scratch.mit.edu/

An educational programming with open code logo language http://mswlogo.en.uptodown.com/

A tool to make your images interactive: http://www.thinglink.com

A site to make you easy to create your own free games online: http://www.sploder.com/ One of the best tools to collaborate and comunicate: http://it.padlet.com/

A site full of tools, projects, ideas: https://eclipse.org/

The coding workshop was a great example of how to develop all the key competences.Never seen before students so rich in entrepreneurship, creativity, learning to learn, logic and linguistic competences!

coding 2

Setting online safety standards for schools

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Today’s workshop “Setting online safety standards for schools” was really useful. The session began with Janice Richardson who told us about three main factors to be aware for teachers:

  1. Policy
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Practice

Janice gave the main idea of online safety standards for schools. Then she introduced Steven Opsomer who outlined the rules of using the internet, computers, copiers etc. at his school. Then he shared some experience of work, namely incident handling. The participants were given useful hints on how to solve problems concerning cyberbullying, irresponsible use of the internet.

The participants were given the task to draw up a set of guidelines for their school in the 3 areas: Policy, Practice, Infrastructure.

Then the participants worked in small groups and studied the typical situations in which the cyberbullies damaged other people’s reputation. The participants discussed possible ways out.

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Steven provided useful links:

 Thank you, Janice and Steven for this wonderful workshop!

How to Flip your Classroom!

In this workshop we explored the Flipped Classroom method of teaching.

If you feel that your students have different needs which you want to address or that they are bored during the lessons Flipped Classroom is for you! You can find the introduction about this method here: http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/project/fizz/ or you can search the net for the information prepared by Katie Gimbar.

The workshop leader Helen de Lange attracted the attention of the participants by showing practical examples of Flipping the Classroom.

Various advantages of implementing this method address both teachers and students:

  • the students get the materials before the class e.g. video lectures and they watch it at home;
  • it allows your students to learn in their own pace because they can pause, rewind, rewatch the material. This way the students take more responsibility for their own learning;
  • it saves teacher’s time during the lesson which instead can be used to do hands on activities, lab activities, helping the students, doing the quizzes or posters, working on a project, etc.
  • Flipped Classroom allows you to work on different levels, involve parents or collaborate with other teachers.

If you want to create your own memorable lessons you can do it with the following tools i.e.: sceencast software, Camtasia.com, screenr (tutorial for elearning), Jing.com, Sparkol.com, Explain Everything for iPad (advanced white board), Prezi, etc.

There are also other tools for sharing the content and getting inspirations e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Edmodo.com, Teachingchannel.com, YouTube.com, Khanacademy.org

The discussion in small groups let the participants of the workshop to come up with their own ideas how to introduce the Flipped Classroom in their work. There were many brilliant ideas!

Thank you Helen for this great workshop and fantastic inspiration!

Teacher Exchange Workshop – Session 1

An interesting workshop with six individual speakers exchanging good practice, ideas and teaching tools. Unfortunately the Internet was unreliable so we were unable to fully explore the teaching tools on offer. Follow the links and explore for yourselves.

Pick n mix to fit your student and teaching needs.

Tatjana Gulič, Slovene ambassador: http://www.flubaroo.com

Irena Rimc Voglar, Slovene ambassador: https://getkahoot.com

Dejan Kramžar, Slovene ambassador: game based learning with Zondle – empowering your students  https://www.zondle.com/publicPagesv2/

Maria del Carmen Fernández Vazquez, Spanish ambassador: Project Cinetura

Isabel Vila, Spanish ambassador: Project Europia

Marina Marino, Italian ambassador: Project I-Voix

Some great teaching tools and project experiences shared.

@alisonaca