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Teachers' Blog Teachers' Blog

Linked with the webinars organised for the project teachers, this blog will display teachers thoughts, plans, ideas and experience with tablets in classroom. After each webinar, the teachers will write a reflective post on the given topic. Along the course of the project, this blog will provide an interesting insight into day to day teaching with tablets.  

Blog topics

 

Teachers' blog Teachers' blog
Escola Sec de Santa Maria - Portugal: blog 6

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

The biggest challenge for me was trying for the students to be focused on the subject we were studying, because with tablets, they have acces to a lot of information.

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

 Teaching Science with tablets has many benefits. Students can use various applications suitable for modelling and watch some experiments that can't be done in classrooms. They can also search for different examples of Science in curent life.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

 Classes became more interactive, and students took an active role in the learning process. 

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

 I shared  my experiences with some school Science teachers . I introduced them to some applications they can use in their classes. I invited them to the open courses held on the Internet and hope them to become involved.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

1. Science applications are useful resources in any subject.

2. Connect Science subjects with daily life.

 

Blog 5. Belgium, institut saint-joseph de Ciney

1. The main aims of my CCL scenario are...

My students will use a personal learning style and work on their own.

They will work in small groups to resolve small tasks and excercices. Work in pairs is a good thing to improve their learning.

 2. In the second Learning Scenario, I plan to...  

Unfortunaly, I can't repeat and use the experience of flipped classroom of the last year.

This year, we will collaborate with a school from Flanders on the economic theme.

We'll begin by the presentation of the students and we will follow with the presentation of the little entreprise.

Having done the project before, it will be interesting to compare the outcomes now when the focus is different. 

 3. I would really like my students to produce... 

Exchange experience about small entreprises and make a comparaison on the gestion method.

 4. This year I am going to try the following ideas (and apps) that are new to me/ my students... 

 tellagami, keynote, numbers

 

5. Any comments/ questions about the Learning Story: 

we will work on ipad, and we will follow the "les jeunes entreprises" models

Blog Post 6 - Belgium - ISJ Ciney

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

To work with the different scenarios and convert this to the students- and create good material that students can use. I'm using everyday the scenarios like content creation and this year also collaboration. The students like it and work less with paper. They like a teacher that works like a coach and rythm the courses. But the biggest challenge is to obtain a favorable answer of my colleague of foreign language to help my students to translate the work before send it to the other school.

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

 Participating and sharing materials with other students. 

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

The new methods to guide my students and give them more autonomy and more time for remediation

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

It's very exciting to experiment with new method with the tablets. The students like this new method. They like to learn by themselves. They are tired of the magistrate courses. 

It's exciting too, to go in other school to talk about our new method, it's very pleasant to see our website is visited by many persons.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Try, and try agin. Change and Redefine methods and materials to motivate children.
Blog post 6 Czech Republic Havlickuv Brod

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

 The biggest challenge for me was preparing educational classes, looking up useful applications and providing a class content – in the personalization part. No less important for me was my students´using tablets as an ordinary part of a teaching process, not just a lesson diversification.

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

 I can consider the biggest benefit of starting using tablets for teaching some selected chaps in Maths regularly. I came to know various applications suitable for teaching. In the second year of the project run we have reasonably utilized the tablets in teaching technical subjects. We have linked up teaching IT and cooking. The students have appreciated the project a lot.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

 I have succeeded in making a teaching process more attractive, showing students various possibilities of tablets use in a lesson, their introducing to various applications.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

 I regularly inform my colleagues teaching Maths about my work. Meanwhile I was working on the project, I was cooperating with the teachers of the technical subjects and handing over my experience to them. I also introduced them to the open courses held on the Internet and hope them to become involved. I help with looking up applications for various subjects and their involving to a teaching process.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

1. For Maths teachers – using the program of Geogebra for teaching functions and geometry.

2. Usage of tablets out of school.

 

Teacher conclusions and recommendations - From Portugal

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

The most challenging aspect of this Project was the fact that we started working on it with 1st graders. Students who couldn’t read at all. Everything in this Project was challenging because of the students with whom we were working. They had never worked with tablets or other devices in the classroom and everytime they had to face any problem (Technical or other) everything was really complicated. Any message on the screen was a huge problem and with 25 students in the classroom sometimes it was hard to deal with these issues. One challenging aspect of this Project was the fact that I started working full-time in groups and on a Project-Based Learning approach since the 1st grade. This was amazing because pupils were forced to discuss, to negotiate, to decide about their learning process and to collaborate most of the time. When we are talking about students so young conflicts can be a real obstacle and some of them can loose the interest for the work. On the other hand, groups working with more authonomy is not easy since these pupils depend on you to do many things. However, the results were amazing and after 2 years, I feel that these was the best way of doing things and students developed several skills only possible working on this approach.

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

It’s interesting that the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL Project is not directly related with tablets or technology. The biggest benefit was the fact that we were able to change the way we implement the Project-based learning approach in our classroom (and school). Before the CCL we use to challenge students to work in groups, to explore resources in the classroom and to create diferente resources related to the topics we were working. We also used to promote the use of technology (and tablets) in the classroom. But with CCL we had the chance to connect “all the dots” and work in a more organised way, following a Learning Story and travelling through diferente Learning Activities from the Dream stage to the Show stage. Of course we must say that the Tablets were crucial in the implementation of both scenarios we explored, but the biggest benefit was for sure the way students and teachers implemented the scenarios, following a Learning Story to create something as a final product.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

We were able to challenge 6 and 7 years old students to discuss, to take decisions about their learning process, to explore diferente resources and Technologies, to collaborate in the creation of final products and at the same time they were learning the usual subjects and topics of the curriculum. When we look back for these 2 years of CCL we realise these pupils gained so many skills working this way. They have the knowledge because they explored the subjects in a more significant way, but they have skills only possible to develop using the approach we had. I’m proud of having 2nd graders confortably presenting a work in front of an audience, I’m proud of having a class of 25 students who can solve most of their own problems (even the technical ones), I’m proud of being able to let my students work with authonomy knowing that, in the end of each project they will have a good final product to present to the rest class. During the past 2 years we won several national and International awards (1 Science Prize, a Story Telling Award, the Kodu Kup Europe Prize) and that’s something that honours the work we’ve being doing but none of these satisfy me more than the fact that my students seem happy and when they enter in the classroom and are always motivated to work, to create, to explore new ideas and to LEARN!

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

Fortunately, in the past years I had the priviledge to work in different Projects with other teachers (with the Portuguese Ministry of Education, with European Schoolnet, on Comenius and Erasmus+ programs, with Microsoft and participating in some training events and conferences. Currently we are a Microsoft Showcase School and we have the opportunity to exchange ideas with schools and teachers from different countries in the world. At national level, we have a partnership with Promethean and based on everything we did and learned on CCL we created a new lab in our school – the Learning Lab. The Lab is organized by Learning Activities (Dream, Explore, Create, Show and we also have a space with Xbox, PS3 and some Instruments called Play). The idea is to keep improving the way we teach and the way students learn, continuing to work on the same basis we did during the past months. With all these projects we have people (teachers, principals, policy makers and other stakeholders ) in our school all the time and we believe we can disseminate some ideas we have about we are doing.  

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

  •  Be prepared to face technical issues;
  • Technology doesn’t solve all your problems and many times it’s the origin of them;
  •  Students can teach you so many things…don’t feel bad about it;
  • Pupils should take decisions about their learning process;
  • Be prepared to lose control of the learning process;
  • Challenge your students to collaborate, to be creative, to be original, to think out of the box and to create good resources;
  • Sometimes it may seem that you are working surrounded by chaos!! If you and your students know the rules and pupils are working, discussing, sharing communication and respecting the rules, probably  don’t bother with the noise…it’s the sound of the Learning Process.

 

Blog Post 6 - Belgium Ypres

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

To work with the different scenarios and convert this to the students- and create good material that students can use. I'm using everyday the scenarios like content creation and this year also collaboration. The students like this and don't work with paper. They want a teacher that works like a coach. But the biggest challenges are the different steps like: selecting and ask. Many of my children are having problems with selecting the right materials. The other problem is: ask,... ask what do you like of my created materials? What is good, what is bad.

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

 Participating and sharing materials with other teachers. 

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

The new methods to coach my students and working with 21 century skills.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

I want to follow these steps and scenario's the next years and redefine my own materials like my textbooks to motivate my students. It's nice that I can use 21st century skills in my classroom to prepare my children for the next steps in their lives. I have learned these scenarios and i was following different courses from European Schoolnet Academy where iI learned the 21st century skills. In every workshop that i'm bring i'm talk about these skills and the scenario. It was nice and useful to work with this scenarios. Next year whe try another scenarios and look what is working by Belgium- motivated students.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Try, try, try. Redefine your materials and you've got motivated children.

 

Blog post 6 ITI Giordani Striano Naples (Daniela Cuccurullo)

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

Enhancing students’ autonomy and making students responsible for their active role in the project, were big challenges to me.

I also dared to adopt an innovative method in my teaching daily routine (e.g. the Content and Language Integrated Learning method, just introduced by the Italian Ministry of Education) so to ‘bend’ the scenario on my teaching context.

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

The biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project concerns my professional and personal development, thanks to what I learnt from others, being part of an extraordinary European teaching community and adopting collaborative approaches. This widened my teaching horizons with a positive side-effect on my students’ learning styles and processes.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

I have enhanced my students’ responsibility  in completing any given tasks with the flipped class method.

I am really proud of my students’ pride and self-esteem, having a leading role in the CCL project and being responsible to learn independently.

I am satisfied for having made the most of the learning place, thanks to the creation of a different ‘scenario’ (a CLPE - Classroom Personal Learning Environment).

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

I have already involved my school colleagues in the project and my students are ‘tutoring’ their schoolmates during the learning activities.

I have also presented the project at an International conference.

I have just planned a free training course for those interested in the CCL project.

I hope I’ll keep on enhancing learning through the use of handheld devices.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

 

From time time stop and reflect about the scenario, the lessons , the students and the teaching/learning process; try modifications and see what works and what does not. 

Try not to be inundated with the wave of the apps; handle them through a careful and appropriate selection.

Try to choose the most appropriate apps  for the different thinking skills and select them following the steps of the scenario. (Avoid the use of the app for the app’s sake!)

Enhance peer classroom observation using mobile technologies and share your reflections with colleagues.

Blog 6 - Sint-Augustinusinstituut Bree

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

What is the added value of the use of tablets? When do you use laptops/desktops or tablets?

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

Sharing ideas is always inspiring! We should share more ideas and we could learn so much more from each other. I like the idea of sharing in Facebookgroups.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

We've realised some impressive projects with our teachers and students. When they enjoyed the use of a different method in the classroom and they told their collegues to do it the "new" way.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

In our school we will keep doing efforts to show good examples to each other to inspire.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Never too old to learn and to use different methods. Watch and learn from your collegues!

 

Blog 6 - Craig Bull (UK)

  

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

·         One of the most challenging elements for me was the planning of the iTech plan and ensuring that this was detailed enough to be able to start the project.  Once we started the project, this plan ended up being extremely useful however not knowing what direction the project was going to go and what apps etc. we would use was difficult to plan for initially.

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

·         One huge benefit to me, my staff and our students was the development of new teaching and learning strategies.  I feel that our students learning and progress has improved as a result of more confident and innovative teaching strategies.  This second scenario has certainly supported this through the development of independent learning skills.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

·         I am most proud of the achievements I have mentioned above.  This for me is our core business as teachers and should underpin all of our work.  I am also proud of the final products that our students have produced from the OSKA movies of ‘This is just to say’ or the table tennis bats.  The products created may not have been possible or certainly made to the standard they were, without the devices and our work during these projects.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

·          I feel that this is now a key element of the legacy of the project.  Staff development is key to building capacity and sustainability in staff use of the devices but also the newly developed teaching strategies.  My plan is to build a rolling programme of staff training and support with the students at the heart of it.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

·          1. Using technology can have ‘bumps in road to begin with’.  There will be lots of hurdles and hiccups along the way but the benefits are huge once you get to grips with it so stick with it.

·         2. Consider carefully how you are going to monitor the progress of your students whilst using devices.  How can you evidence the educational benefit, learning and progress of the devices in your lessons?

 

Teacher conclusions and recommendations

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

The hardest part of using tablets in the classroom is ensuring that they are used productively for learning and that studnets don't just see them as a social device or a gaming tool.

There were some challenges in terms of making sure wifi was always working. Some other challenges were around ensuring that students brought their device in fully charged every lesson. Whilst most students did this religiously there were of course one or two who forgot on occassion.

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

The iTec approach to planning was very useful. I loved the sections and they really worked in the context of using mobile technology as part of a project. The proforma itself had too many rows in for my personal liking, I think it could be more concise, however the process itself was very beneficial and useful.

Meeting like minded teachers in other countries (and the UK) and having the chance to share ideas was extremely useful. The chance to simply reflect on what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it as part of this project was very beneficial in our own context.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

I think the projects we ran were very succesful for our students. They were engaged and enjoyed them. They also learnt well. The devices were used in a way which complemented the learning and aims we had for each project.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

There are a number of ways. This is part of a whole school approach for us so all 2100 students in the school will be using mobile technology. Projects such as this allow us to really think carefully about how we want to make use of this technology. This is obviously then disseminated across the school.

We also present at various conferences in the UK and the work will be shared as part of this. We are a teaching school so the work is shared across our teaching school alliance. We also host our own annual international conference at the school. This is always full and we will be sharing the results of the project as part of this.

We are already part of many case studies where this work has been shared and will work with the elearning foundation to continue to share ideas, strategies and best practice across the UK. We are now a regional champion school for the elearning foundation and part of that role is sharing with other schools looking to use this technology.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Keep learning at the heart of everything

Remember that a tablet (or any mobile device) is a tool. Think - "What do I want to achieve" and then see if the tool can offer anything.

Think "web" rather than app. Apps come and go, sometimes they cost, sometimes they are retired, sometimes devices don't support them. My advice is to use web based tools and to develop web based tools. Use these alongside native apps like the camera, video camera, browser etc. and you have a future proof strategy.

Make sure you have a school wide policy on mobile devices if possible. If you can achieve 1:1 then things become second nature for staff and students. If there are just small 'pockets' of practice then it's a real challenge to get things going.

Be outward facing. Look around at what other schools, institutions, businesses, etc. are doing. Find out what is having an impact and base your provision and decisions on this.

If using tablets consider the students' perceptions of these devices. Many students see them as social devices or gaming devices. How will you make sure they are seen as a tool for learning?  How will you allow productivity from the device?  How can you maximise assessment and feedback opportunities?  Is anyone already doing this?

Finally, enjoy! Embrace the risk of doing something new and keep working at it until you get it right.

Blog entry 6 - AR Ans - Belgium Wallonia

 Copy the table below to your own post and complete.

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

The most challenging part was certainly to share what’s really happening in the classroom. All the aims we focussed with children, not only cognitive ones, can’t always show up properly on report. Secondly, we found quite difficult to fit timetables between different schools: school schedule is so particular that weeks are flying away…

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

Exchanging with teachers around Europe is just amazing. It’s reassuring sharing tricks and tools with people who lived the same quest in their classroom.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

I’m really proud to be able to go beyond the  “technologies for technologies” philosophy but to really include ICT for what they are: great and handy tools to improve knowledge.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

I obviously keep on working with ICT in my teaching practice. I’m really glad to work on a tutoring project through ICT with a College from Liege (Jonfosse). My CCL experience will be really helpful to build a positive environment to help both pupils and students learning.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Not giving up and always seeking and discovering new tools.

Buying good tools, even if, most of the time, they’re not the cheapest ones.

 

 

 

Negrelli School- Merano South Tirol Italy

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

I found some difficulties in creating new curricula based on the use of information technologies. It was sometimes hard to face the class with teaching tools and methods that I had never tried before.

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

Participating in this project motivated me to try new teaching strategies.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

By adopting the teaching philosophy of this project, I think I've helped my students to develop some learning independence, and that is also what I'm most proud of.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

I'll try to arouse the curiosity of my colleagues, to show them that it is not so hard to get the hang of technological teaching tools and to prove that they can make both teaching and learning more fun and effective.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

1. You should always have a plan B to resort to in case of technological malfunctions; this will prevent panic attacks.

2. Don't feel hurt in your teacher's dignity when your students turn out to be more familiar with hi tech devices than you are; Hardware is not your specific domain; as a teacher, you're supposed to possess teaching competencies. You're not expected to be able to solve any technical problem.

 

Teacher conclusions and recommendations - Robert Conings PTS Maasmechelen Belgium

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

We had some challenges: having tablets in this time of low budget for IT-infrastucture  (BYOD is not an option in our school), what kind of tablet to choose and how to motivate teachers to change their teaching methods.

2. What was the biggst benefit of participating in the CCL project?

 Microsoft/Dell/Intel donated our school 30 Windows8-tablets, the update of our wireless network and the motivation of teachers to work with tablets.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

 There are some classes that can use tablets in and out of school, and our youngest students are able to connect their tablets with the 3D-printer.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

 We started a parallel etwinning-project ETWININ3D and we will use social media to disseminate our work (FB, twitter) as well as our networks.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

 Your wireless network should be able to connect with all the tablets without any problem.
Look for information to prepare the specific use of tablets in your school.
 

Blog post 6 - Freixo School Cluster - Portugal

 

Questions

Give your response with an explanation and your reasons.

1. What did you find most challenging during the CCL project? 

The greatest difficulty was undoubtedly the change in educational practices. After 20 years teaching in a "traditional" classes prepare, produce and select digital resources that would enable students to acquire knowledge and develop skills independently or with less involvement from the teachers was undoubtedly the biggest challenge. Simultaneously, convince students to engage in new learning scenarios was sometimes complicated. Interestingly, despite complaining of classes are boring and the results achieved are not always the best and wish to change, some students, given the opportunity to change the style of learning and play a more central role in it, they refuse because it is more labor intensive.

 

2. What was the biggest benefit of participating in the CCL project?

No doubt that the greatest benefit was being able to meet part of the educational reality of some countries with regard to  the use of tablets in the classroom. Thus I realized that the difficulties we have at my school are the same as other teachers  feel in other countries of Europe. Also be able to develop educational scenarios that were unknown allowed to realize that  contrary to what many think the use of tablets and similar devices in education can be beneficial and facilitates the  development of important skills in students. Having participated in this project made ​​me more open-minded to the use of  tablets as an educational tool, negating the fear that these devices are mere students’ distractors and reduce the value of  teachers. After this project I do want to have tablets in my classroom.

3. What have you been able to achieve? What are you most proud of?

I think one of my achievements was being able to not be afraid to use the tablets in the classroom knowing that for students is a tempting device because it allows access to social networks , take pictures, shoot, communicate with the outside when they are in classroom space traditionally closed to the " distractions" from the outside. Being able to take students to learn more autonomously and to believe in their abilities to achieve knowledge with more respect for their learning rhythm. Also have increased communication and sharing among students and between them and the teachers, using email, SharePoint and social media resources.

I am proud to have been able to produce targeted educational resources for the independent student learning unlike the usual where resources were intended for the use of the teacher to teach students.

4. How will you take the work forward? How will you disseminate your work to others?

Now that this project is finishing is my goal to make a presentation to all school teachers about: "What was the CCL project in Freixo over these two years." The idea is that knowledge acquired by me and all teachers involved is shared with all, the intention is to motivate them to introduce changes in educational practices, allowing the use of tablets in their classrooms. The aim is to present the positive aspects achieved, but also the difficulties and how they were overcome.

 

Personally, I intend to implement the use of these devices whenever they are useful. Although the school does not have enough tablets for all students the truth is that most have smartphones that allow for example to develop some skills in independent learning environment and flipped classroom.

5. 2 Top Tips for other teachers 

Keep focused on only three or four applications that are truly useful for the work you intend to develop. Many applications do not imply better learning outcomes.

Do not think that the use of devices and apps involves all students equally and that all will achieve excellent results.

Probably will have to fight the pressure that most conservative colleagues and even parents will perform against the use of tablets, smartphones and other devices you use. Do not give up students are the best allies!

 

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