Monthly Archive for March, 2011

A Polish participant at the Early Years eTwinning Contact Seminar in Malta

by Dagmara Szczecińska from Poland

I had a WONDERFUL time in Malta. I’m glad I got to know my eTwinning partner from Malta – Abigail Pearson and other participants of contact seminar.

We had the opportunity to exchange experiences, learn more about individual and school preferences. Presentations by Mr. R. J. Camilleri and Dr. P. Bonanno confirmed to me that I’m making a good step in the direction of eTwinning. Teamwork helped to integrate into the community and feel welcome.

The most inspiring, however, were the workshops, which showed a specific practical way to work with children. I came to Malta with proprietary desktop, several presentations and project plans, but I did not know how to put it in the Twinspace. With the Early Years seminar TwinSpace I learnt how to do it practically. The examples of good practice showed how beneficial for the city, kindergarten, director, teacher and, finally, children are eTwinning projects. They showed how much this can be an adventure and fun. After returning from Mdina (nice quiet pause from learning). Ms. M. Schembri showed us how to work with Smilebox. We didn’t have time for detailed work but after returning home, I decided to work with this program and I did an album , which is in my opinion an excellent summary of this trip.

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However the best experience was the visit to a Maltese school. I could see with my own eyes how their rooms are equipped , decorated and how each person from a staff relates together. We saw how many children are in each group, how they play, how they work (effects). The Maltese (teachers) and children welcomed us very warmly. At the end we exchanged again e-mails, contacts on skype and facebook.

With great enthusiasm, motivation and joy I returned back home and now I confidently encourage all teachers, head teachers, parents and children to become interested in eTwinning.

IN MY OPINION ETWINNING GENERATES POSITIVE ENERGY AND GIVES YOU THE FORSE to take on the XXI century challenges!

The Early Years eTwinning Contact Seminar in Malta

by Janet Mifsud, St. Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary

This seminar differed from other seminars as it presented us the opportunity to interact with educators from foreign countries some of whom are currently participating in eTwinning projects, while others were here to learn about eTwinning.

It was a pleasure to meet up with prospective partners who will be collaborating with us on our next project. Ideas were exchanged while there was ample time for some good practice sharing.

On Monday 21-03-11, two of the Polish participants paid a visit to our school, St Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary. They were both overwhelmed by our colourful classrooms although according to their standards are quite small.

They congratulated us on our fantastic classroom ideas and even took photos thereof so as to apply them when they returned to their country.

Monika, Dagmara, Patricia and I found time for storytelling to our young ones in our classrooms. The children were so overjoyed by their visit in our classrooms that they were also eager to sing some traditional and action songs for our foreign counterparts in our national language.

All in all it was an unforgettable experience which I am sure we all shall always cherish.

Patricia and I would like to congratulate Ms Jeannette Cardona and Ms Amanda Debattista for the excellent organisation of this seminar and hope that we will have the opportunity for similar experiences in the near future.

A hearty thankyou goes to both organisers!!

The eTwinning Early Years Contact Seminar

by Ms. Dorianne Agius, San Gorg Preca College, Paola Primary A

The eTwinning Contact Seminar held in Malta was very interesting! Meeting up other educators is an unforgettable exprience. One learns from each other and seminars as the one being held in Malta are ideal in order to meet up prospective partners with whom one could register a project . Twinspace was thoroughly explained and help was provided when required. Hope that these Contact Seminars will be held again in the near future as it is always a pleasure being part of this collaborative experience!

The Early Years Contact Seminar in Malta

On the 18th March a delegation of 31 teachers from Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia joined 11 Maltese teachers for a 2 day seminar in Malta.

The seminar kicked off with an ice-breaking activity at the Excelsior Hotel, Floriana. The participants were divided into 8 subgroups and had some time to get to know each other and then we all presented our group to the others.

At 6pm we had the official opening cermony presided by Mr. Raymond J. Camilleri who gave an interesting speech about The Early Years in Education. The Assistant Directors for the Curriculum Management and eLearning Department, Education Officers directly linked with Early Years and most of the staff of the eLearning Centre were present for the cermony.

During the cermony Dr. Philip Bonano, from the University of Malta, was invited to deliver his talk: “eTwinning Initiatives – Authentic Learning Contexts for Promoting 21st Century Skills“. A reception followed.

On Saturday 19th March, we had a full agenda of workshops. We started at 9am at the eLearning Centre labs. Before entering the first workshop, all the teachers were advised to make use of a flipchart to share their project ideas with the rest and to sign their name next to ones which they would be interested to work upon. The first workshop was about the eTwinning Desktop and TwinSpace. The delegation was split into three and the workshops were led by Ms. Jeannette Cardona, Ms. Amanda Debattista and Ms. Miriam Schembri.

The next session was Sharing of Good Practice. Teachers with eTwinning project from Malta and a representation per country showed their work to the rest of the groups. The Malta National Support Service would like to thank the following Maltese teachers who accepted to share their good work:

  • Ms. Miriam Schembri, St. Thomas More College, Fgura Primary A
  • Ms. Maria Antoinette Magro, St. Gorg Preca College, Hamrun GP Primary
  • Ms. Michelle Cauchi, St. Clare College, Gzira Primary
  • Ms. Patricia Bondin, Ms. Janet Mifsud, Ms. Bryndis Ellul and Ms. Romina Bianco, St. Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary
  • Ms. Catherine Bezzina, St. Ignatius College, Siggiewi Primary  

After lunch, we organized a treasure hunt in Mdina. All the teachers formed 8 groups and they had to shoot a number of photos and videos of things according to their treasure hunt card. All the teachers, both foreign and Maltese enjoyed this experience.

 

On getting back to the eLearning centre, the photos and videos taken were used in the three parallel workshops which took place. The teachers had signed up previously to the workshop they would like to follow. The workshops were:

  • Mixbook – led by Ms. Christine Cachia Enriquez
  • Glogster – led by Mr. Raymond Bonnici
  • Smilebox – led by Ms. Miriam Schembri
     

In the evening all the participants had a good dinner at the Bella Vista Hotel in Qawra where we had more time to socialize and get to know each other.

On Sunday 20th March we had the last workshop – Planning a good project. But since unfortunately the Czech group had to leave us after only an hour we did the presentation of certificates of participation before we started the workshop. Then the teachers were divided into two main groups according to the project ideas they had previously said they’d be interested in. After a brief introduction about the steps to take to plan a good collaborative project, all the teachers had time to sit with their prospective partners and plan their project. Most of the groups also managed to register their project on the spot.

 

The eTwinning Carnival 2011 Competition winners

We are pleased to announce the winners fo the eTwinning Carnival competition 2011. We would like to congratulate ourselves with all the participants. We will be contacting all to deliver the gifts.

Secondary Category

1st

Jeffrey Okpara from St. Theresa College, Sta Venera Boys Secondary with Ms. Alexia Baldacchino

2nd

Julia Psaila from St. Dorothy Senior School, Zebbug with Ms. Josianne Sacco

3rd

Chelsea Ciantar from St. Dorothy Senior School, Zebbug with Ms. Josianne Sacco

Primary Category

1st

Kaya Bartolo, Martina Micallef, Zack Bartolo and Kian Leonardi from St. Clare College, San Gwann Primary A with Ms. Susanne Fagerbakke

&

Kay Darmanin Farrell from St. Gorg Preca College, Paola Primary A with Ms. N. Desira

2nd

Maia Paris, Matthew Harington, Jake Grech and Lana Harrington from St. Margaret College, Xghajra Primary with Ms. M. Agius

&

Kaylin, Sven, Ezmily and Chanelle from St. Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary with Ms. Rosette, Ms. Isabelle and Ms. Anna

3rd

Gabriel Gatt, Luke Aquilina, James Aquilina and Gilmore Muscat from St. Nicholas College, Mtafa Primary with Mr. Kenneth Micallef

&

Kirstin Abela Caruana and Aleyna Tavukcu from St. Catherine’s High School, Pembroke with Ms. Lorraine Zammit

All the entries can be viewed here.

eTwinning National Conference & Awards 2011

This year’s eTwinning National Conference will take place during May, in collaboration with EMBED 2011. There will be an exhibition of all the eTwinning projects and other ICT related projects created by teachers and students from all over Malta and Gozo. During the exhibition week there will also be pupils’ workshops where they will use various software and innovative technologies. The conference will culminate in an award giving ceremony for the best projects. eTwinning will also be awarding the best eTwinning projects for the scholastic year 2010-2011 in Primary and in Secondary schools.

Teachers participating in eTwinning projects during this scholastic year are being invited to apply for the National Quality Label. Once this label is granted, the project will automatically participate in the eTwinning National Awards.

How to apply for the Quality Label:

1) Organize your project TwinSpace: make sure that all the project resources are uploaded and/or well documented on your project TwinSpace. (Preference will be given to projects using the eTwinning tools provided on the TwinSpace. If you use any other website or blog, you can at least link to them on your TwinSpace.)

2) Apply for the Quality Label: go to the Projects tab and click on the Apply for Quality Label link. Fill in all the details and submit.

Evaluation Criteria:

1) Pedagogical Innovation and Creativity – how your project displays an innovative approach toteaching and learning

2) Curricular Integration – how the project integrates into the curriculum

3) Collaboration between partner schools – how the project was planned between the partner teachers; what the role of each partner in the project was; and the collaboration between pupils in the project

4) Creative use of ICT – what tools and devices were used to make the project creative

5) Sustainability and Transferability – how the project could be expanded upon; how it could be used as a template for others

6) Results and Benefits – what the outcomes of the project were; and the benefits to the participants and their schools

 

Teachers who wish their project/s to be part of the eTwinning National Awards must apply for the Quality Label by not later than 15th April. All applications will be evaluated within a fortnight from closing date. All those projects awarded the Quality Label by end of April 2011 will be eligible for the National Awards.

For more information or queries kindly contact the eTwinning National Support Service on etwinning@schoolnet.gov.mt or on 2598 2150.

My eTwinning Projects: St. Ignatius College, Girls’ JL, Blata il-Bajda

Ms. Josephine Ebejer Grech, a Biology and Science teacher from St. Ignatius College, Girls’ JL, has been embarking in eTwinning projects since the action began in Malta nearly six years ago.  This year, she has been working on 3 very interesting projects with her students.  On Tuesday, 2snd of March 2011, an eTwinning exhibition and celebration was held at the school, where all the participating students could share their work with the rest of the school.  Hereunder, Ms. Ebejer Grech describes her projects and her experience of eTwinning:

eTwinning Celebrations at St. Ignatius College, Blata l-Bajda Girls’ Secondary

My eTwinning Projects 2010-2011

The first project is titled “International Year of Forests”. In this project, my students and I are exploring different forests in Portugal, Spain , Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania. Every school decided to study a forest or woodland in their county. We are studying Buskett. The reason is that our Form 3 Biology students have to study the topic “Classification”, and during this scholastic year we do a fieldwork in Buskett to observe different species, ecosystems and do other ecological studies there. Therefore, while covering the topic “Classification” in class, I always refer to different ecosystems, flora and fauna that we find in Buskett. Then, we visit this place to do other ecological work. The students are asked to feel free to prepare a presentation that they choose to share it with our eTwinning partners in the other countries. The students prepared different things such as charts, posters, brochures, word documents, photos, pictures, drawings, power point presentations and what ever they wanted. All the work is being photographed and uploaded on the eTwinning twinspace that all the countries share. Later on this year we will be able to see the work that the other students in the other countries did, and compare and contrast. You can see our project on the blog http://www. http://2011forests.blogspot.com or on the twinspace http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p35860

The second project is titled “Caustic”. This is being done in collaboration with a school in Italy and another school in Romania. In this eTwinning project, the students from all countries, get to know each other by writing on the twinspace. They introduce themselves and their schools. Then they share different scientific experiments that they perform at school. They do this by writing down the experimental report, filming and uploading the video clip of the experiment. After this they can see each others’ work and post feedback to one another on the twinspace. At the end of the project (about May) there will be an online competition and all the students will vote for their favourite experiment and say why they chose it. We will have a final winner! ! Our public twinspace is http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p35676

The third project is “Living in Harmony With Nature”. This is done in collaboration with a school from Romania and a school from Poland. During the first topic of Science (in Form 2), the students study acids and alkalis. At the end of the topic they discussed acid rain. Acid rain is caused by pollutants in the air. The students did some research about “How Can We Reduce Pollution?” They were asked to do a 2 slide power point presentation. Then we uploaded these presentations on the twinspace of eTwinning. The second task was a thinking exercise about about electricity consumption and they prepared posters with ideas how to reduce electricity consumption. Then, the students were asked to approximately calculate electricity, water and gas consumption per month, and ananlyse methods how they can consume less. The forth task was done during the science lessons. The students came up with ideas to plan actions to reduce electricity, water and gas consumption and how to reduce waste products at school and at home. The aim was to encourage students to implement these actions at their homes. The last task was to make containers to select waste at school. After this project, the students were encouraged to check  whether they are now consuming less electricity, water and gas. The students prepared posters and booklets with the information they found. You can see this work on http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p39342

Benefits of eTwinning projects:

1. In 2011, it’s only fair to use the technology in class. Our students spend most of their time on the internet chatting, facebook etc. . . So why not using chatting, sharing info, video clips, photos during the lessons as well? Inspite of long distances, different countries, different cultures, different scholastic systems, different syllabuses, we still have the tools to meet and work together!

2. Keeping in mind that they must present their work to other foreign students, our students:

  • Make sure they understood the lesson well to be able to describe it

  • Be more motivated

  • Show more enthusiasm

  • So the lessons become more “fun” and something that they look forward to.

  1. The students love using the video camera to film. They love to be the presenters of the show and being filmed. They adore watching themselves on the interactive white board when we watch the edited and uploaded video clips together in class during the next lesson.
  2. Through eTwinning, we can learn what other countries do, and we tell them what we do, on the internet. We can share our work. We can see our students becoming friends with other students in another country, share their work, share their knowledge, etc.

On the 22nd March, the teacher and students organised an eTwinning celebration during break time. They exhibited most of their work and organised a party.

Josephine Ebejer Grech

St. Ignatius College GJL, Blata l-Bajda, Malta