Teachers from the schools involved in the MenSI project spent an interesting afternoon at a meeting organized by our mentor school - Štítina Primary School. The main aim of the meeting was to present concrete examples of teaching methods, with focus on digital competence. Presented examples are often used in our classrooms.
In order to make it not just an ordinary training, all teachers were given the opportunity to participate in the activities as pupils. They were given the same tasks as the pupils. In addition to that they could have compared their outputs with what was produced in the actual teaching.
Since our school has been using iPads for a long time, our session was just about how to work effectively with the tablets. And what did we try out? We started with simple apps to create mind maps using the Popplet tool. The goal was to create a map related to the digestive system, such as this:
Activity was creating a word cloud using a Word Collage with the names of states and their capitals. Task as such is perfect at the beginning of the lesson to activate pupils. This was followed by an interesting discussion on how to further work with such an output. Pupils can label cities or states with different colours, link related towns, countries etc.
Practice is crucial at school, thus a set of tools such as Socrative, Quizlet, Kahoot, Learningapps, Liveworksheet or Flipitty followed. Since our mentee schools include both; smaller village schools (with small-scale classes) and large urban schools, there were a lot of interesting discussions about how to use all of these tools effectively. We added some practical experiences with focus on tablets. A question which arised was whether to use tablets or children’s personal phones. From our own practice we can conclude that older pupils rather work on their own phones, than on tablets.
The last part of our session was aimed at showing more challenging projects where the creativity of the pupils themselves is greatly encouraged. One such project was the production of animated films about good road behaviour.
And what was the main goal of the meeting? Mainly the exchange of experiences and the transfer of verified examples into the classroom. Each of the teachers invited to our school had a chance to choose what interests them the most. Based upon their choice we are going to work with them individually. The first activity is a meeting with teachers directly at one of the mentee schools, where we will try out the selected tools with several teachers instantly in their familiar environment and using their own technology.
And what is our reflection from the meeting?
practice, practice and practice - teachers greatly value the transmission of concrete examples and experiences;
every school is different and it is important to discuss how they see the practices mentioned from their school's perspective;
don't be afraid to make mistakes, it's the only way to get further.
EUN Partnership / Future Classroom Lab Rue de Trèves 61 B-1040 Brussels, Belgium firstname.lastname@example.org