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

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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!

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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

Using the TwinSpace in your project

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Whether you run a short or longer one eTwinning project – to make it effective – you’ll need to use the TwinSpace as a platform for collaboration with your partner. Still, there is a sizable group of teachers in eTwinning community who don’t know how to organize project work on TwinSpace.

Bill Griffin from CSS and over 60 teachers who attended the workshop during the second session  tried to find out best models of project implementation into TwinSpace.

WP_20141128_022Participants worked in small groups, each was assigned with the task: come up with an idea for the project and then perform it on the training TwinSpace. For advanced eTwinners it might have sounded very simple, but the snag was to include in the project activities different tasks provided by the trainer.

Once projects were ready, Bill together with audience, went step by step through the platform explaining each tool and how it can be used in project work.

WP_20141128_021Either you are a beginner or a teacher who runs any other project already, you should not be afraid to enter the TwinSpace. Especially now, when eTwinning offers completely new platform for collaboration with not only safe but also user friendly environment.

Plenary Session II – Keynote address Lord David Puttnam: Resilient Education

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Lord David Puttnam addressed the conference with an inspiring speech about Resilient Education.

Highlighting the importance of recognizing the need to change teaching practice and to change the perception the world has of school, Lord D. Puttnam mentioned that in education we avoid to argue the truth. This truth is that 96% of college principals believe their institutions are successfully preparing young people for the world of work but only 14% of recent college graduates agree. As he stated: “Students are embarking on a world that we can only imagine. In terms of challenge they will face. It is a very different world. Teachers have to help students to adjust to the new world. Their environment is insecure. It is our job to reassure that their world is not going down the drain.”

To accomplish this we need creativity and resilience. Creativity was described as a muscle that needs to be trained.

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Resilience is a core competence that is stripped off the curricula. We don’t teach it and I am sure many don’t know how to teach it. And it is absolutely vital.  Teachers need to offer talent, imagination, commitment and belief. Because without it, it is unreasonable to except our students to absorb. I want my students to understand the potential. I want them to understand how good they can be. You are not end to be good on the things that you do, unless you have a sense of direction.

The direction nowadays is the digital world. Why is digital so transforming? Because it allow us to create the sense of awe in the classroom. “We are going through a revolution. It’s a digital revolution! it’s a teaching revolution. It’s a sense of excitement that I certainly am unable to share.”

Stressing his message with several movie trailers Lord David Puttnam motivated teachers in the audience to foster a resilient education.

Is your classroom really inclusive?

Roger Blamire, European Schoolnet

Roger Blamire, European Schoolnet talks Inclusion, Differentiation and Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Workshops Slides: Inclusive Classrooms and eTwinning Projects

http://sennet.eun.org

The commission funded a three-year project called SENnet: Special Educational Needs Network. The work will shortly be coming to an end but a dedicated Facebook page will remain active: www.facebook.com/groups/SENnetwork/

The definition of SEN students is not well defined internationally and sharing of good practice and inclusion and understanding of students with SEN differ greatly throughout Europe, however, The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD: http://www.oecd.org/els/family/50325299.pdf do offer some guidance.

It’s important to think about how you can engage and cater for students when creating eTwinning projects and activities. It’s our responsibility to “open the door” and provide access and inclusion for our students. The use of video and photography can be used along with different roles and responsibilities for students within your group to support differentiated and inclusive learning.

The use of technology within schools differs greatly with some schools and colleges having their own ‘bring your own device’ policy, however, this in itself can highlight inequality, particularly for students within socially deprived or low-income families.

Roger talks about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to support with training and development of staff around awareness raising and confidents of teaching and supporting students with SEN and shares a selection of resources from EU countries for students with SEN.

Blog post written and contributed by Joe Baldwin, eTwinning Ambassador UK (@JosephBaldwin)