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Creativity in Teaching and Learning using ICT: The Digital Classroom
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In 2015 the coordinator of EU projects in our kindergarten through eTwinning platform started cooperation with Training Cervantes in Alcala de Henares in Spain. The cooperation resulted in project Erasmus + KA1: "Creativity in Teaching and Learning using ICT: The Digital Classroom". The project, financed by the EU, was implemented in October 2015 and lasted up to May 2016. As the name "Creativity in Teaching and Learning using ICT: The Digital Classroom" implies, our project focused on the use of ICT in teaching and educational work in kindergarten with simultaneous development of linguistic, cultural and social skills of children and teachers. From 2nd to 8th of April 2016 three teachers from Public Kindergarten No. 17 took part in the seven-day training course organized by the Cervantes Training entitled "Creativity in Teaching and Learning using ICT: The Digital Classroom" which was held in Alcala de Henares in Spain. The main aim of the course was gaining knowledge, competencies and skills required to use ICT in creative work. The total number of participants was 41 people: they were teachers from educational institutions from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Finland, Ireland and Poland. The cultural programme, covering the social-linguistic-cultural activities, aimed at getting to know each other as well as expanding participants’ knowledge concerning Spanish culture and traditions. Moreover, the programme gave participants the Chance for practical use of the foreign language. Activities during the foreign mobility included lectures and workshop on the use of ICT in education; providing teachers with practical ideas on how they can implement technology into their classes; familiarizing teachers with tools such as Web 2.0 and indicating active and constructive methods of developing children’s involvement in group work. Teachers attended classes at the training. The workshop was conducted with the use of following methods: working groups, workshop, discussions with other participants, the exchange of experiences. The lecturer conveyed her knowledge with great enthusiasm, she presented modern teaching methods with the use of multimedia and taught how to use these methods effectively. All participants of the training were asked to prepare slideshows about their schools and countries or ongoing projects. The effects were presented to the teaching staff and the trainees. What is more, discussions with the training staff and other participants were an opportunity to exchange experiences and good practices or to compare the Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Finnish, Italian and Polish educational systems. At the end of the training, there was a final discussion and evaluation. Theoretical and practical knowledge acquired by the employees of the kindergarten during the whole training was included in the development strategy scheme of the institution. The implementation of the project motivated teachers to learn a foreign language and use it in face-to-face communication. Children gained technical skills by active participation in creating video and audio files (recording songs, videos, speeches in various European languages). Videoconferences gave children the opportunity to appreciate technology as a way of communication. Practical skills acquired by the teachers during the training as well as the access to digital resources enable teachers to create their own teaching materials using ICT. Participation in the project contributed significantly to the improvement of work quality of the kindergarten and to further international cooperation. The meetings were also the chance to befriend participants from other countries. In addition, acquired knowledge and practical classes during the training showed the ways how to make the eTwinning project blog "Happily ever after" ( more attractive. Next school term, the pedagogical innovation "ICT in kindergarten - why not?" will be developed and implemented. It is the actual result of theoretical knowledge and practical skills acquired during the training. The range of additional classes in our kindergarten will be wider; IT classes for children will be offered. The kindergarten improved the European aspect of its own activities. The project gathered potential future partners for other eTwinning projects. It became the foundation for internationl cooperation development plan of the institution.

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