All posts by josmiz

iLearn Parental Portal

ilearn

The ilearn Parental Portal is a tool whereby the school regularly posts information about school activities, educational policies and other material of interest to parents/carers. It could also serve as an opportunity for parents to participate in educational fora where educational queries can be answered. From here, parents can also access their children’s half yearly and annual assessment marks.

During April 2016, the College’s eLearning Support Teachers have organised twelve meetings in our schools in order to explain to parents and carers how to access this portal. Other issues like the introduction of tablets and eLearning have also been discussed.

Click here to watch a video clip on how to access iLearn (Maltese and English versions). The Parental Portal manuals distributed during the sessions are also available here in English and Maltese.

Digital Classroom: Using ICT in Education Course

erasmus+logoAs part of an ERASMUS+ project undertaken by the Gozo College, Joseph Mizzi and Maureen Sciberras participated in a  Learning Mobility in London. The main aim was to improve the use of information and communications technology as an effective means of teaching.

This is  an overview of the salient topics discussed during the course.

ICT in Education

As technology becomes more and more embedded in our culture, we must provide our learners with relevant and contemporary experiences that allow them to successfully engage with technology and prepare them for life after they graduate a school. The main advantage of using ICT in Education is, that teachers are able to create interactive classes and make the lessons more enjoyable, thus improving student attendance and concentration.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous eLearning

eLearning represents a wide range of methods for the electronic delivery of information in order to provide education or online training.  The rapid growth of the Internet in the 1990s served as a boot for the massive and diverse eLearning industry today. Now with further advances in computer processing speeds and mobile computing, a whole host of start-ups are helping tackle online education and training challenges through technology.  The eLearning environment can be divided into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous eLearning involves online, real-time learning. It is like a virtual classroom which allows students to ask, and teachers to answer questions instantly, through instant messaging. Rather than taking lessons alone, students associating themselves with synchronous eLearning software or online courses can easily interact with fellow students and their teachers during the course.

synchronous-vs-asynchronous-

On the other hand, asynchronous learning can be carried out even while the student is offline. Asynchronous eLearning involves coursework delivered via web, email and message boards that are then posted on online forums. In such cases, students ideally complete the course at their own pace, by using the internet merely as a support tool rather than volunteering exclusively for an eLearning software or online interactive classes. A good advantage of asynchronous learning is that students can learn from anywhere and anytime they want.

Google Apps

google-apps-custom-2This is a suite of applications that can be used for creating and sharing documents collaboratively, both amongst teachers, between teachers and students and amongst the students themselves. The Google Drive, one of the main features of this suite permits the teacher to give online tasks to students and the latter save their work to the Drive. Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets and Drawing can all be used for collaborative projects between students.

Multimedia tools: Audio and Video

Podcasting and screencasting are two multimedia tools that can be used with students. A podcast is a form of digital media that consists of an episodic series of audio, subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. To create a voice recording one simply needs a microphone and sound/voice recorder. Screencasting is a great tool to provide tutorials to students about a topic which will be covered in the class.  The idea of presenting content material through a video frees class time for more engaging activities. Screencast-o-matic is a screen recording tool which can be123apps-logo1 used on MAC or Windows computers without any installations.  The free version allows you to record up to 15 minutes, record both screen and webcam and publish to Youtube HD, MP4, AVI, FLV movie.  Google Chrome also has an add-on which can be installed to make screen capture recordings. Another app which can be used for audio and/or video editing  before publishing is 123apps.com.

Quizzes and Tests online

soc_logoedueto testmozThere are various online quizmaker tools such as Socrative, Edueto  and Testmoz. Socrative is a classroom tool used to create quizzes in order to measure and visualise student understanding in real time. This tool can be used for assessment or for revision of a particular topic.  Quizzes are autograded and reports can be downloaded for individual students or the whole class for each question. It is a free tool,  accessible on laptops, tablets and smartphones (iOS, Android & Windows), works on all browsers and can be installed as an app.  No student accounts are needed; the teacher only has to give the class code to the students for them to access the quiz.  The quiz can be self-paced where the students move on from one question to the next by themselves or teacher-paced where the teacher controls the pace of the questions.

Thinglink

ThingLinkforTeachersThis is a tool to make your images interactive by creating in them links to text, images, videos and sounds. Some effective ways to use ThingLink is to add information, motion, clarity and interest to an existing image such as exploring the human cell, make art talk, creating interactive maps and photo collage. Thinglink is available both as a web tool and as an app.

Photo Editing

Fotor and Pixlr are great tools to edit images by simply choosing from the vast fotorpixlr-logo-bafeb3fd2fc6e540d6222d0e41f12cd4templates offered.  Both tools can be used to turn your images into collages with some simple steps; Fotor offers more captivating templates.  These apps can also be downloaded on iOS or Android devices.

QuotesCover

This app turns any ordinary quotes texts into beautiful quotes pictures that can qcbe used on social media and also on the Virtual Learning Environment. Messages and sayings need to be eye catching for students to memorize them. Without any complex process, QuotesCover handles the  typography, shapes, color combination, composition etc. and you just choose the end result.

Interactive images

gifGifmaker.me is a free online tool which can be used to create animated gifs, slideshows, and video animations with music without the need to register. This tool can be used to reduce the file size of a gif, resize a gif, reverse a gif, merge/join two or more gifs into one gif, or split a gif into separate frames. Just take some photos, apply filters and effects with Instagram or any other similar software and then combine them into animations with Gifmaker.me. This tool works on Windows, Mac and Linux and the only requirement is a web browser with flash player installed.

Visit to Herbert Morrison Primary School

Herbert Morrison Primary is a state school in central London. We were shown around the school and could watch the students during the lessons and talk to the teachers. What impressed us is that contrary to local schools, students do not have any textbooks, worksheets are very limited, and all their work is done on copybooks. Moreover, homework is given only once per week. So, instead of spending a lot of class time correcting homework, the teachers can dedicate more time to give individual attention to their students.

Cultural visits

During this course, we had the opportunity to visit Kensington Palace,  the Tower of London, the Science Museum and the British Museum. It was very interesting to visit these sites, hear about the stories of the buildings and see the artefacts held in them. However the Beefeater touring us at the Tower of London was very impressive in the way he made his vivid presentation, something that lacks our local guides at our places of interest. Another important point is that a number of museums including the two mentioned are free and thus encourage people to visit them. We could notice a lot of groups of students from different schools doing fieldwork in the British Museum. They were actively involved in role play and groupwork activities. We think that these type of activities should be encouraged in our schools as they are the most effective way of learning.

WDA April 2015 International Music Video Competition

eco-schools-logo-20-yearsThe video from Sannat Primary School has won the local competition for the best video in the WDA April 2015 International Music Video Competition. Now, we are representing Malta to compete internationally. So we need your help! Kindly follow the link below and click on the 5th star (see that all 5 stars are yellow) to vote for Malta. Thanks.

http://eco-schools-projects.org/wda/winner-videos/national-winner-generation-next-music-video-competition-malta/

 

Technology Enabled Learning in Practice for Gozitan Students, Educators, and Parents

Three separate events on technology are to be held for Gozitan Students, Educators, and Parents, namely:
EMBED Gozo 2014: technology enabled learning in practice for students
Technology Enabled Learning in practice will be held between Tuesday 6th May and Thursday 8th May 2014 at the Girls’ Secondary School, Victoria, Gozo.  This is an opportunity for teachers and students to participate in hands-on activities which focus on how technology can enhance learning.  The workshops for schools will be held between 09:30 and 13:00.  Primary and Secondary schools are encouraged to visit the EMBED event and book their participation by filling the online form available on http://embed.skola.edu.mt .  Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Primary School Heads are invited to send one Year 3 or Year 5 class to participate in this event. Secondary School Heads are invited to send the maximum of 45 students who are currently in Form 1 or 2.
 Empowering Gozitan Educators: eTwinning talk
Gozitan Educators are encouraged to participate in the eTwinning talk which will be held on Wednesday 7th May 2014 @ 3.00 pm
Empowering Parents: two free tech talks 
As part of this initiative, the Department of eLearning is also organising two FREE tech talks for Gozitan parents, grandparents and other child carers at the Girls’ Secondary School, Victoria, Gozo.

·         Tablets in Schools Wednesday 7th  May 2014 @ 10.00 am
·         Internet Safety Thursday 8th May 2014 @ 10.00 am

See attached flyer for further details. Schools are urged to print and forward this flyer to parents and any interested educators.
 
For further information and clarifications, kindly contact Mr Keith Aquilina on 25982142 or by email embed@ilearn.edu.mt

Welcome! – A message from the College Principal

Parents want the very best education for their children!  We  are your children’s immediate mentors for quite a substantial time during each school day and we do go out of our way to do all that we can to meet your expectations at all 11 Primary and 2 Secondary Schools incorporating the Gozo College.

We are very enthusiastic to join the rest of the world in providing co-education following Primary School level of education. As from scholastic year 2014-15 we will be introducing the Middle School and eventually the Senior School.  We will gradually bring segregation of boys and girls to an end!

Continue reading Welcome! – A message from the College Principal