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eMAIL@Staff development (ICT, Communication and Social skills)
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Observing our students we realized that more and more students are using new technologies and social networking thus wasting important time from their lessons. Most of them seem to find less and less interest in lessons and more and more interest in using ICT and social media. Most of the times, they use these new technologies in a wrong way putting themselves into danger. Teachers on the other hand seem to be unable to compete with their abilities. That's why we chose as our first project objective the development of our teachers' ability in using the modern technologies. Our teachers need to have an insight look surrounding the latest education technologies and innovations. They need to explore the best practices of using technologies in the classroom. They need to learn about Social Media and ways to turn them into educational tools to help students succeed. They need to learn how to use smart boards in their lessons making them more attractive to their students. They need to learn how to use ICT in order to maximize their students' results. School has focused more on academic achievement than the social competence and communication skills. Because of the many structural and cultural changes taking place in our small island the need for supporting the development of social and communication skills is increasing. Observing our students we came to the conclusion that they lack both communication and social skills. Teachers most of the times come to a dead end while using different methods they do not succeed helping them to deal with conflicts or to work successfully in a team. That's why we chose as our second project objective the development of our students' communication and social skills. Our teachers need to be educated how to understand their students and then to help them to learn to belong in a team, to appreciate their team members, to communicate and to avoid conflicts or to try to solve conflicts in an effective way. Having the above in mind our staff decided in a staff meeting to write a European Development Plan and to apply for Erasmus + Action 1. The two objectives were decided in order to meet our staff's needs. Then, the Erasmus + team was formed. The members of the team were responsible for writing the application form and for choosing the appropriate seminars, which were dealing with our staff's needs. We planned for 8 teachers or administrative teachers (head teacher, vice head teachers) to attend training courses. After their participation in the seminars, the dissemination and the implementation of the new knowledge we expect that our staff will be able , to a degree, to help their students to: .Increase their achievement by utilizing different freely available applications. .Use social networks, thus helping classroom management, enabling collaboration between students and teachers and maximizing their learning results. .Use social network in an effective and safe way. .Create a classroom website. .Learn to apply decision making and problem solving skills to reduce risk . .Choose the best action to achieve what is needed. .Develop soft skills and enhance understanding on conflict management, contempt and negativity. .Appreciate team members and to develop the skills they have in order to create a confident, relaxed and and constructive team. .Learn about group dynamics and social skills. .Create a better, positive school climate and a better, positive class climate. .Improve the motivation level in the learning process. Teachers taking part in the training courses will become multipliers of the new knowledge not only within the organization and the educational community of our province but also in the wider educational community via reports, which they will publish in local or regional network (websites, social media) and trainer’s network (website, social media). The final and most important recipients of the program will be the students as they will have opportunities to develop their ICT skills and to use social media in an effective way maximizing their educational results. Moreover, they will develop their social and communication skills thus being able to communicate with their peers avoiding any conflicts. Our European Development Plan will be evaluated not only during the implementation phase but also at the end of the two years. After the evaluations, decisions will be made on the future implementation of the new knowledge and on the modifications needed in order the implementation to be more effective and its impact to have longer benefits. Finally, our European Development Plan will be not only the start of future staff development but also a start for eTwinning projects and Strategic Partnerships projects.
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