Monthly Archive for April, 2011

An eTwinning visit to Mtarfa

On Thursday 28th April, Ms. Amanda Debattista from the eTwinning National Support Services, visited St. Nicholas College, Mtarfa Primary School to present the winners of the third place in the eTwinning Carnival Competition.

Gabriel Gatt, Luke Aquilina, James Aquilina and Gilmore Muscat were presented an eTwinning USB hub each, whilst other participants from the school were given an eTwinning token for their participation.

eTwinning Project of the Month – Happy Minds Strong Bodies

by Ms. Patricia Bondin and Ms. Janet Mifsud, St. Thomas More College, M’Skala Primary

The theme for our eTwinning project for the current year is entitled Happy Minds Strong Bodies. To develop this project we teamed up with collaborators from Poland, Greece, Portugal, Lithuania, Turkey and Romania. This vast and open ended phrase led us to introduce our children to happy and appealing ideas together with a healthy living atmosphere. An as aid in expanding our ideas and making our children aware of a healthy lifestyle we created a humanoid robot which we named Tiko Tiko. This was constructed out of recycled boxes taking the opportunity to instil in our young ones from the very beginning the concept of the three Rs >>> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The project was initiated with a strong emphasis (and this is being kept all throughout the project) on the paramount importance of pure fresh and clean water in maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind vis strong body and happy mind.

Activities pertaining to the body such as healthy cooking together with practicing personal hygiene as well as daily exercise are being carried out. The importance of the intake of fresh air is continually being stressed. These activities help the children understand that these practices should be adopted on a daily basis.

In expanding on the mind theme, Microsoft programmes, the Easi-scope digital microscope, the Beebot, Tuffcam and other devices were used. These helped our young ones become more confident in the use of these technological novelties which can prepare them to a future life in a computer age. Moreover Video webconferencing sessions were undertaken where our young children shared with our foreign peers cultural activities such as singing in our native language as well as communicating in English. Digital still images, videos and animated photos are being continually uploaded and shared between collaborating partners on Twinspace.

The merging of these mental and bodily activities helps the children to integrate a more holistic habit in their daily lifestyle. The happy atmosphere in the classroom also contributes to generate Happy Minds Strong Bodies.

eTwinning eZine is out!

The eTwinning eZine for Term 2 (2010-2011) is now out.  You can find information about eTwinning, project ideas and some useful technical tips.  It is available for download from here.

eTwinning Contact Seminar, Malta: Some thoughts from a Slovenian Participant

By Bernarda Hvala

In March two teachers and three kindergarten teachers headed for Malta from Slovenia to attend a Contact Seminar. Bernarda, Darja, Ingrid, Maja and Urška learnt about each other while waiting at the airport and in Malta they were all charmed by the variety of different cultures, architecture and people.

Being lucky with time we had a chance to visit a part of Malta on our own. We took a bus to Saint Julian’s where Maja visited the kindergarten that she is working with in an eTwinning project. The kids and the teacher were thrilled by Maja’s visit. The rest of us walked back for a while admiring the coast, hotels and old houses…

Valleta fascinated us by its streets, Mdina with its littleness and a wonderful view of Malta. In addition, Abigail and Silvio kindly took us on a night-sightseeing tour and showed us the night life of Malta.

Carriages that are quite common on Malta are in Slovenia very rare nowadays. We really liked the song “Karozzin” and back home we played it to the kids in our groups as well.

The Maltese people are very friendly and helpful. We were treated by Maltese typical food, wine and beer.

Our meetings at the workshops were very educational, especially the lectures and the presentations by Mr. R. J. Camilleri in Dr. P. Bonanno. We attended different workshops on photography display: Smilebox, Mixbook and Glogster. Examples of good practice that were presented were very interesting and very useful for our work with children.

The best of all was the coming together of the participants of the six countries: Malta, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic and Slovenia. We shared our experiences, worked together in workshops and learnt about each other’s countries, towns, school systems… etc. We planned our projects together.

The days on Malta were very creative and very motivating for our future work in education. 

Thank you to Amanda and Jeanette and other Malta team for four wonderful days in Malta,  mails and all the information provided!

The eTwinning Carnival Competition winners receive their prizes

This week the National Support Services visited the schools of the winners of this year’s eTwinning Carnival Competition . The winners were presented with their prizes. The prizes for the winners of the first place was a web cam. The second prize was a 2Gb pendrive and the third prize was a USB hub. The teachers of the winning teams were also presented a 4Gb pendrive. All the schools welcomed the National Support Service warmly and a small celebration took place within the classrooms or during assemblies.  

First Prize winner in Secondary Schools - Jeffrey Okpara from St. Theresa College, Sta. Venera Boys Secondary. Also in this photo are Ms. Alexia Baldacchino and Luke Farrugia, another participant from the school.

Second and Third Prize Winners in Secondary Schools - Julia Psaila and Chelsea Ciantar from St. Dorothy Senior School, Zebbug. Also in this photo are Ms. Josianne Sacco together with other participants from this school.

First Prize Winners in Primary schools - Kaya Bartolo, Martina Micallef, Zack Bartolo and Kian Leonardi from St. Clare College, San Gwann Primary A together with their teacher Ms. Susanne Fagerbakke.

First Prize Winner in Primary schools - Kay Darmanin Farrell from San Gorg Preca College, Paola Primary A receiving prize from the eTwinning NSS.

Second Prize Winners in Primary schools - Maia Paris, Matthew Harrington, Jake Grech and Lana Harrington from St. Margaret College, Xghajra Primary together with their Eko School Committee teacher, Ms. M. Agius

Second Prize Winners for Primary schools - Kaylin, Sven, Ezmily and Chanelle from St. Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary together with their teachers Ms. Rosette, Ms. Isabelle and Ms. Anna.

Third Prize Winners for Primary schools - Kirsten Abela Caruana and Aleyna Tavukcu from St. Catherine's High School, Pembroke

Most of the other schools that participated in this competion were also visited by the National Support Service and a small token was given to each participant and their teacher.

The Bee-Bot experience in an eTwinning project

by Ms. Janet Mifsud and Ms. Patricia Bondin, St. Thomas More College, Marsaskala Primary

As part of our eTwinning project HAPPY MINDS STRONG BODIES the children in Ms Janet and Ms Patricia’s Kinder Classes 2.4 and 2.5 have Tiko Tiko – Our Mascot Robot. Tiko Tiko always emphasizes the importance of drinking good clear water.

Today Tiko Tiko and our young pupils had a surprise visit by a Bee-Bot whom they decided to name Zinn-Zinn. Zinn-Zinn came to our class to show us what her favourite foods. But we had to help her find the way around by pushing the buttons on her back mainly for commands such as forward, backward, turning to the left, turning to the right and also counting the squares on which to move along. The children were ecstatic to be able to handle the bee-bot so well thus giving them the opportunity to use technological resources available to them at our school St Thomas More M’Skala Primary.

Zinn zinn was very happy that the children chose nutritious foods for her to eat to make her happy – thus grow strong!!!

eTwinning Annual Conference and Awards 2011

This year’s eTwinning Annual Conference and Awards is taking place in Budapest, Hungary from the 30th March to the 2nd April 2011. For the first time in eTwinning history, the annual Conference and the eTwinning Camp are taking place together this year. A record number of participants and countries have participated with over 500 teachers and 100 pupils from 31 countries.

On the first day, conference participants have been welcomed by a number of representatives at European and national level, including a video greeting from Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth who addressed the pupils to say, “the theme of this year’s conference is pupil empowerment – and it is the first time that you are able to attend the eTwinning Conference. This reminds us that, even though eTwinning is developing as a very effective network for the professional development of teachers, it was actually created for you! I believe you are very lucky to have such wonderful teachers who do not hesitate to take on additional work and new projects in order to make learning more interesting for you.”

The keynote speaker for the conference, Tim Rylands, is a gifted and inspirational teacher well known in the UK for his innovative use of ICT. His speech on “Raising levels of creativity in all pupils” was very engaging for teachers as he discussed how to use digital environments to inspire and engage learners rather than immersing them in digital complexities.

Another highlight of the first day has been the prize-giving ceremony for the winners of the eTwinning Prizes 2011 competition. From over 300 project submissions, the winners of the three age categories and five special categories have been awarded in a special prize-giving ceremony. On the second day, participants are breaking up in smaller groups in workshops that range from how to use certain kinds of tools and software, to career counseling and ICT, empowering pupils and projects ideas. A Maltese teacher, Ms. Alice Micallef, teacher of German at St. Gorg Preca College, Hamrun Junior Lyceum will be also delivering a workshop entitled Learning a second language through eTwinning together with a Belgian teacher of French, Ms. Ria De Wilde.

If you want to stay updated and find articles, photos, links to the videos and commentary from participants have a look at the conference website.