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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.  

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Teacher conclusions and recommendations - From Portugal



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.