Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
The 4th Veroia High School is a school in the small town of Veroia in central Macedonia, Greece with a unique religious and cultural heritage, a live monument of Byzantine civilization.
Τhrough the eTwinning platform we came across the European SchoolNet Academy and the variety of programmes as well as the Future Classroom Lab, based in Brussels. The structure, design and content of their courses excited us. So, we wanted to carry out a plan which would enable us to combine innovative practices in teaching and methodology in order to engage the maximum level of interest and involvement of our students during lessons and make our teaching more pleasant, creative and effective. We called our plan EDUTAINMENT, combining the words EDUCATION and ENTERTAINMENT because we came to believe that the school can be effective in many areas if it manages to combine these two concepts in our everyday practices.
Three teachers with experience in European projects designed, completed and adopt first this ambitious plan. Our ICT , Music and our EFL teachers have been involved more than other teachers in our school in European projects during the past 8 years. We have taken part in a large number of seminars, conferences-as presenters too- workshops and activities aiming at seeking innovative practices and methodologies in education. We have travelled with our students in Europe to meet partner schools in eTwinning and we constantly design new activities.
Our plan’s main aims were to develop methods and practices that when implemented in a classroom they could turn the lesson in a learning experience. Our students can actively take part in the learning process , built abilities, skills and develop their personality. The use of technology allows us to carry out impressive teaching scenarios. We believe that our students need to be trained to collaborate, take part in the lesson, develop abilities and skills. Our lesson can become more pleasant, with elements of gamification even for older students.
The Future Classroom Lab catered for all our aims offering a 5-day course under the title “Collaboration and Augmented Reality in the Classroom”. It was divided in two thematic parts. During the first two days we were introduced in the concept of Collaboration and the implementation of student-centered teaching models where the teacher presents his/her lesson through a series of activities that all students can do. This way they can all gain new knowledge and revise old material, Through various activities, in which we were the students, we realized the benefit, importance and methodology in creating similar activities ourselves and also show our colleagues how to do it too. We also learned about Learning Networks where teachers and students can take part. The second part of the course, took another 3 days, was dedicated in the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality in a classroom. Technology allows educators to teach, train and guide students to collaborate, investigate, produce and share things .We were introduced to tools that allow us educators to create and run e-classes, Digital educational content, educational forums and communities (eTwinning, Edmondo, Schoology), apps, multimedia and devices, technical information and ways to make teaching easier and more accessible implementing BOYD(Bring Your Own Device) when there is no other way to have what you need, assessment tools (Socrative, Plickers, Kahoot), first-hand on-line sources for educational material (Pinterest, Google Search engines, Social Networks). But we mainly learned how to implement these tools in our teaching. Virtual and Augmented Reality allows whole classes to embark in virtual travels and expeditions beyond the physical boundaries of aclassroom and with devices like Google CardboardVR even our students can create through programmes like Aurasma, Quiver, Daqri, OnVert, Augmented.com and share through the educational communities, their work. This would benefit them professionally and also help the local society by promoting the local culture.
These courses helped us gain the knowledge to be able to use these tools with confidence , share them with colleagues and benefit from meeting teachers from other countries in person. The level of the training quality was very high, the Future Classroom Lab was fully equipped and they put together an amazing course in terms of themes and topics. Our instructors were experts, informed, friendly , monitored our progress all the time and gave us enough time to take in everything they presented us, function and possibilities of tools and methodology they suggested.
We have presented all these twice so far, in National and local events. In the long run, we intend to assist our school, colleagues, students and their parents, collaborate with other educational institutions and authorities .
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