Future learning with iPads and Tablets
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
Nowadays, it is obvious that the learning environment in our country has started shifting away from the blackboard era. As stated by the students themselves, learning via the use of electronic devices is more appealing and it is thought to have a direct correlation to the improvement of their skills.
For the reasons mentioned above,our school board decided to apply for participation in the Erasmus+/KA1 course program titled “Future Learning with tablets and ipads”. Two teachers from the high school of Kissamos attended the seminar, which was held by the Atempo organization in Graz, Austria. Prior to the seminar, we had received the applications, which were presented in Graz, along with a questionnaire regarding our skills and our knowledge on the use of tablet devices.
During the seminar, a variety of safe, internet-based applications were presented, including ones that can be applied directly in class and on projects and others designed for students, who may need additional support. Some of the seminar’s key points revolved around the safe use of the internet, the structure of the Finnish educational system as well as the promotion of good teaching practices by instructors from Latvia and Lichtenstein, who exchanged opinions and discussed extensively with us on the topic. We also paid a visit to a school in Austria, where teaching with tablets had already been incorporated in the class and there was a discussion on the subject with the school’s headmaster and teaching staff.
24 teachers from different countries of the European Union took part in the seminar. The attending teachers from our school, are members of the school’s permanent staff and have English language certification. They have also acquired computer use qualification. They have participated in multiple online seminars and have been awarded with 2 national and European quality labels on eTwinning projects as well as having placed 2nd in the 8th National eTwinning competition, in the 16 to 19 age category.
Throughout the school year, our students visited the school’s computer lab, where they attended lessons via the use of educational software and applications. Our students who owned a tablet device could bring it to school to work on it while at the same time the computers of the lab were used by the rest of the students. Great interest was shown by everyone concerning the use of internet applications from home for the completion of various projects.
During the seminar in Graz, the main activities included the creation of presentations, eBooks, and videos as well as the introduction to and experimentation on applications specific to our own teaching subject. After our return from the seminar, we informed not only our colleagues but also the Parents Association of our activities in Graz and organized a workshop, where both the teachers and the students had the opportunity to try and experiment on various applications.
The results of the seminar and of the program in its entirety are addressed to both the teachers and the students. The teachers were informed of new and innovative applications, aiming as always to the improvement of their students’ learning skills. On their behalf, the students that used the lab’s computers or their own tablets, for class purposes, showed a greater deal of interest in the lesson. Even weaker students showcased a more active participation in the class.
The impact of this particular project on our school can be considered as substantial. The school’s participation in this European program, among many others, has helped raise its educational status to that of other significant European schools. Through numerous publications in the local press, on our school’s website and Facebook page as well as through the onsite event on the eTwinning platform, the people of our local society along with the students’ parents and our colleagues from other projects and different schools throughout Europe were made aware of our teachers’ constant effort to better the skills of their students through the improvement of their own teaching capabilities.
For both teachers, the participation in the program led to multiple benefits. They refined their skills both in English and in the use of electronic devices, especially tablets. Furthermore, they exchanged ideas and good teaching practices with their European colleagues and created friendships, which might even lead to future collaborations. At the same time, the acquisition of the attendance certificate as well as that of the europass will play a significant role at any future teacher evaluation.
In the long run,our school can be considered as greatly benefited from this procedure as it gradually starts to shift its educational procedures towards those that utilize the use of electronic devices inside the classroom, raising thusly its European status and consolidating its future collaborations with international organizations, all for the betterment of its students and their skills.
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