Just another Edublogs.org weblog

Introduction


Welcome to my e-portfolio. This is my space for  compiling resources and reflecting on my teaching and learning.  I decided to use Edublogs as I liked its interface which is easy to use, guided and very visual.  I intend on taking this e-portfolio beyond simple storage purposes and embedding it as part of my professional development.
To browse through the various posts in this e-portfolio simply visit the categories as listed on the sidebar.

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Rationale:

This e-portfolio aims at creating an environment which

• Acts as a repository of multimedia artefacts/exemplars not only for personal record but also as a showcase for other teachers/potential future employers.

• Sustains my professional development through personal reflection, peer collaboration and evaluation.

• Supports and puts into practice the National eLearning Strategy.

• As an eLearning teacher provide opportunities for collaboration and supported learning for other primary teachers through exemplars and evidence of innovative technologies used with pupils in the classroom.

• Act as a role model for other primary teachers to use e-portfolios in their professional development.

Overview:

This  portfolio is my personal digital journey serving both as a learning and teaching tool, enhancing my professional development. This is an ongoing development which I will reflect upon through my own reviews as well as have reviews from my colleagues so as to improve the strategies and approaches I decide upon. I hope to cover as best I can the work I do in schools which is evidenced through multimedia and supported by literature reviews to reveal a more objective outlook . These are the main functions of the portfolio:

Personal Use:

  • To have an online CV which can be updated as necessary.
  • An informative record of my work/projects in schools, what I do, my goals, targets.
  • Reflections on accomplished projects/work.
  • Serve as my personal professional development environment.

For Educators:

• I would like my e-portfolio to be a teaching tool to support and train primary class teachers in their implementation of ICT and digital technology. This I will do through a blog created specifically for this purpose – elearningeduc.wordpress.com

• Be a role model in the use of innovative technology in the classroom by showing examples of use through multimedia and exemplars.

• Set the example so in future teachers may see its usefulness and compile their own teaching e-portfolios.

• Use my e-portfolio as an online collaboration tool with my colleagues who are eLearning teachers like myself and thus learn from each other.

The personalisation and flexibility this software allows for is a great incentive for educators whom I believe will be more willing and encouraged to set up a lifelong e-portfolio.

Why an e-portfolio?

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An e-portfolio is an anthology of multimedia evidence which has been carefully chosen and considered. This engagement process of collecting and selecting brings about learning and development through reflection. In itself the e-portfolio contributes to a sense of confidence in oneself as it allows the learners to demonstrate their capabilities and achievements, taking ownership of their own skills in planning, assessing and reflecting, making it a personalised creation. (Keengwe et al. 2009)

Dr.Helen Barrett (2002), a consultant in education and an expert on e-portfolios, states that:

“An online portfolio system needs to support a culture of EVIDENCE:

Evidence = Artifacts + Learner Reflections + Validation or Feedback

All this is not just theory as I have demonstrated the evidence with multimedia. I have written reflections on what was learned and also have feedback as validation from my friends and colleagues. This has proved to myself as well as to others that an e-portfolio can truly be a valued resource to any improvement in professional development. As collaboration can be part and parcel of the e-portfolio, peer reflection contributes to the development process in reviewing each others portfolios, enriching them. As Thomas and McNair (2005) state:

“The recording of and reflecting on professional development….leads to the notion of evidence of learning that is located, shared, developed and evaluated…”

I have also backed up my reflections with literature reviews and research. Collaborating with me, commenting and making use of my e-portfolio I have:

-my colleagues – eLearning teachers

-primary class teachers

-my peers at the University of Ulster

-other teachers

Collaboration is an essential part of my e-portfolio as it offers an environment for sharing innovative ideas and practices in a close knit community.

For more information on e-portfolios  in student learning visit:   Slideshare: Interactive ePortfolios

Acceptable Use Policy

I would like to add that in my multimedia evidence I portray many young school children. I have seen to it that all children who appear anywhere have permission from their parents through the signing of the AUP forms(Acceptable Use Policy). This is a policy in Malta published by the Department of Technology in Education, which ensures amongst other issues that students have permission to appear in any media such as photographs published on the Internet.

Acceptable Use Policy

AUP form

Reflection

While reflecting on how compiling my e-portfolio has helped me enhance my strategies and approaches, I found that the pattern McNair and Marshall demonstrate is what I have been experiencing and the processes I have been going through. It is truly a cycle which builds up through interaction and collaboration something I have evidenced and experienced through sharing and evaluating.
Reflective Practice

McNair, V. and Marshall, K., 2006. E-portfolios: Reflection,Collaboration and Sustainability in Early Teacher Education. Ireland.
Available from:http://www.eife-l.org/publications/eportfolio/proceedings2/ep06/ep2006_papers
[Accessed 11 January 2010]


I look forward and appreciate any comments or thoughts which can help in developing and enhancing my work in this field.

BCS – competition


I have participated in the BCS e-Learning Specialist Group students competition for the best e-Learning proposal in 2011 and was honoured as one of the winners.

(BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT champions the global IT profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession for the benefit of all – http://www.bcs.org/)

Updated 2012 eportfolio


I have included in this PDF file a quick summary of events, training, work done in schools and my studies during the recent years.

Click here to view in SlideShare

EMBED – across the years


This is a resume of EMBED events between 2009 and 2012.  EMBED – across the years

EMBED 2012


EMBED 2012 – Prezi Workshop

 

During the EMBED workshops participants were very keen to get to know Prezi. We found that students quickly got familiar with the interface as it is very user friendly.  The zooming effects provided excitement for all audiences – infact educators could visualise the potential of such a tool in the classroom.  During the workshop we registered to a Prezi edu license (free). This offers students the opportunity to work collaboratively on the same presentation adding their own input and encouraging teamwork. Educators were enthusiastic about this idea of working together.  One particular teacher came up with the idea of using it for brainstorming in creative writing, together with the whole class.

The general theme was Maltese History thus the Prezi workshop focused on old Maltese cities as content for their work.

The students were first given a general introduction to Prezi as a presentation tool they can use easily as it is -

-a free online tool

-no need for any installation or a fixed pc

-can be accessed from anywhere

-presentations are saved online with no need for diskspace

We informed teachers of the possibility of saving the prezi offline using the download portable prezi function. Teachers were also shown how they could access other prezis for more ideas through the Explore  and the Learn tab in Prezi.

Reflection and discussion

 

Today’s innovative web-based tools (cloud computing) present more engaging ways of teaching.  Research has shown that linear instruction does not tally with how students think and thus is not as effective.  Prezi thus enables educators to encourage knowledge construction via visual and auditory channels identifying patterns comparisons, relationships, and differences between information just like a concept map. The presenter moves from topic to subtopic moving between concepts but still retaining the fundamental idea visually. The ability to zoom into objects as required, stop on a picture, move instinctively sparks discussion adding comments to the presentation there and then. Prezi has the potential to assist educators in effective multimedia instruction.

 

 

 

 

 

Use of Technology in the classroom – 2010-2011


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Most teachers this year have shown a tremendous leap with a gradual transformationin in their understanding of how ICT and eLearning engage pupils actively and enhance their learning.  Most teachers are begining to integrate ICT and technology successfully into the curriculum.Projects and activities featured here evidence how this is being done in the classroom. Click to view some examples.

 

 

Luqa Primary School

 

  • An online virtual environment(school blog)– a whole school project – Click here: Luqa Primary Project report
  • Year 2 – Use of PowerPoint Presentation and online publishing – Click to view Loghba fl-ghid il-kbir
  • Year 3 – Use of Bee Bots
  • Year 5 – Advanced features of PowerPoint Presentation and Use of Interactive Whiteboard
  • Year 6 – Creating a class booklet using Microsoft Publisher

 

Qormi St. Sebastian Primary School

 

  • Using technology in kindergarten classes
  • Year 2 – Customising PowerPoint Presentations for pupils
  • Year 3 – Creating class booklets using Microsoft Publisher

Zebbug Primary School

 

  • Year 1 – Use of Bee Bots
  • Year 2 – Use of  PhotoStory to document activities
  • Year 3 – Using PowerPoint Presentations for storywriting and creativity
  • Year3  – E-Twinning -  teachers have successfully managed to contact teachers from other countries in europe and exchange resources, information, collaborate and learn in a new environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Bee Bots in the classroom


Using a Programmable Toy – The Bee-Bot

The programmable toy Bee-Bot was awarded as the most impressive hardware for kindergarten and primary school children on the world educational technology market BETT 2006. It uses Logo-related principle of controlling floor robot. It enables the child to program a journey on the square grid.

The design of a toy is adapted to a child user – the toy has a shape of a yellow bee with black stripes. (This design is not fixed. It can be slightly modified by the use of special plastic shells, on which child can stick paper antennae, woollen wings etc.) The toy has a small connector for a toy carriage or other moving device in its back part. We can control the toy by a few colourful buttons. By pushing them the child enters

a sequence of simple instructions for motion or rotation of a toy.

Four orange buttons serve for a backward/forward motion and rotation to the left/right. The central button is a green GO button. It launches interpretation of the whole sequence of pushing buttons.

There are two more buttons, two blue buttons for erasing memory (CLEAR) and short break in executing commands (PAUSE) in the toy controlling part. User interface in fact copies interface of successful Pixie robot and adds child-friendly design to it.

The child can enter up to 40 instructions in one programmed sequence. User cannot modify the length of single step or size of angle rotation. These parameters are constant (which is comprehensible in relation to the target group of users), the toy moves in 15 cm in one step. Pushing rotation buttons means right angle rotation

without changing toy’s position. The toy provides a simple feedback to the user. After completing the whole

sequence of instructions its eyes will blink and the toy will hoot. Pushing the buttons in the mode of creating programmed sequence has also been accompanied by a silent peep sound.

Sounds can be disabled by a discreet switch in the bottom of the toy.

The way of controlling the toy is simple. Children get used to the green GO button very fast. This button is the only green button in the whole interface; moreover it is located in the central part of the toy. The slight problem appears by two blue CLEAR and PAUSE buttons. They have same colour and are placed symmetrically. The titles of the buttons can therefore be supplemented by a picture sticker for young children that cannot read, in order to distinguish between them easier.

EMBED 2011


The National EMBED Awards for educators – Best use of Digital Technology in Education – 2011, organised by the Directorates for Education was presented to educators/administrators/schools for promoting or using Digital Technology for innovation in Education. EMBED proposes to award State and non State School educators who have enhanced students’ learning by effectively integrating digital technology in the curriculum thereby enhancing learning among their students.
This is an event where whole school participation is encouraged. Technology should be used daily through cross curricular activities. During EMBED teachers are provided with the opportunity toshare their good practices.
All participants  received a certificate of participation and all projects  shared online.

EMBED Workshops

Amongst the various workshops being held demonstrating the use of innovative software and hardware in the classroom, I was involved  in demonstrating the use of Stop Motion Animation with primary school pupils.  The children visiting the stand had a chance to get hands on experience of creating an animated video clip of characters they chose to create in plasticine.  Click here to view

Research Study


Research I believe is the best way to bring about development and create a critcal eye with room for improvement.

This is a very informative video clip giving a detailed insight in data analysis and methodologies. To view click this link on YouTube.

My Research Project:

Investigating the impact of teachers’ educational beliefs, attitudes and pedagogy on the use of educational technology, innovation and e-learning in Maltese primary schools.

Abstract:

This paper addresses the impact teachers’ educational beliefs and attitudes have on the integration of technologies in Maltese primary schools. With the infrastructure setup in place it is still evident that teachers resist integration. Various research instruments, mostly ethnographic in nature, were implemented to identify these inhibiting factors as well as bring to light what motivates the use of and integration of technology enhanced learning. By stepping inside the classroom and into teachers’ shoes, through observations, interviews and reflective journals, the study reveals that the lack of involvement from school administrators, lack of support from e-Learning teachers and curricular demands are the major detriments teachers face in embracing new pedagogies. On the contrary in schools, with school administrators who show technological engagement, take into account teacher beliefs and values, and have appropriate support to foster e-learning, contribute to the enhancement of an environment appropriate for 21st century learners. A framework of strategies has been developed by the author to guide policy makers and administrators into creating an environment which nurtures teachers’ constructivist values, leading to a gradual change most needed in education today.

Anyone who would like to view my research can send me an email on rocamtnor@g[email protected] and I will gladly share it.

 

School Development Programme


As an eLearning Teacher I was involved in SDP’s (School Development Programmes) were the staff develop  whole school ICT policies.  These are discussed, evaluated and decisions taken on their implementation.  I supported the staff in enlightening, demonstrating and informing them of possible uses of ICT in the curriculum as well as demonstrating innovative technologies and their use in the classroom.  Here is a short presentation of what I presented in one of the schools:

Qormi SDP 2010

EMBED – Best Use Of ICT Awards


The EMBED – Best Use of ICT Practice Awards  is an exhibition of good eLearning practices by Maltese schools.  It has become an annual event and has become the spark in initiating innovative practice in both primary and secondary schools.  This event is not only a static exhibition but incorporates workshops for the children visiting the exhibition with hands on activities making this an interactive, challenging, learning experience for both students and teachers alike.

A detailed account demonstrates the work of  students and teachers  for this event with the full support of the eLearning teachers.  As I belong to St. Ignatius College  I have thrown more light on work done in my college. Click here:

EMBED2009

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St. Ignatius College Stand

Stand 2010

Below are the reports of the 2009 and 2010 EMBED events taken from the SKOLA portal for a more detailed account.

EMBED – Best use of ICT Awards 2009

The first edition of  Embed 2009 exhibition & workshops was launched on the 27th May at the Excelsior Hotel. This was an initiative of the Curriculum Management and eLearning Department, part of the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education. The European theme was Innovation and Creativity for 2009 and thus this initiative helped in promoting this theme throughout all the schools, whilst embedding ICT tools in our teaching and learning experiences.  “eLearning is changing education and the pace of change is accelerating with each new tool,” Emmanuel Zammit, Education Officer for eLearning at CMeLD, says, “Digital tools are continuously developing to give teachers and students the potential to adapt and change the way teaching and learning occur.”

Student interviewing Mr. R. Camilleri - Director Curriculum Management and eLearningStudent interviewing Mr. R. Camilleri – Director Curriculum Management and eLearning

Embed – Best Use of ICT Practice Awards 2009 is an exhibition of good eLearning practices by Maltese schools, both primary and secondary schools. The 10 colleges around the Maltese Islands have participated through various activities and over 500 projects are being exhibited. eTwinning is part of this exhibition too, featuring projects which have been awarded the national quality labels in the past scholastic year.

Pupils visiting the eTwinning Projects exhibition standPupils visiting the eTwinning Projects exhibition stand

The Primary eLearning Peripatetic teachers played an important role in this exhibition. They have been working from the beginning of the year with the school teachers willing to participate in the Embed exhibition to help pupils create various ICT resources and materials through the use of different software available to them on the classroom pcs or online freeware. Each year group focused on a particular application or software:

  • Year 1 pupils – Kid Pix Deluxe and/or Tux Paint – to create digital pictures through these painting programmes
  • Year 2 pupils – Microsoft Power Point – to create presentations
  • Year 3 pupils – Microsoft Photostory – to create short video clips
  • Year 4 pupils – Picasa – to manipulate and edit digital photos and create posters or collages
  • Year 5 pupils – WordPress – to create a collaborative blog
  • Year 6 pupils – Audacity – to create a radio programme
Pupils visiting St Nicholas College's standPupils visiting St Nicholas College’s stand
Pupils visiting Gozo College's standPupils visiting Gozo College’s stand

Secondary school participated on their own initiative and contributed their material for the exhibition.

Apart from the 10 stands which were set up by each college, some private companies offering educational ICT products and services are also present. These include stands for interactive white boards, interactive tables and educational games such as game consoles or robots.

Pupils visiting the Lego robots standPupils visiting the Lego robots stand
Pupils visiting the Design and Technology standPupils visiting the Design and Technology stand

The Design & Technology section also put up their own stand with various digital technology. All the stands are interactive. A number of pupils from all the schools around the Maltese Islands have been invited to visit the exhibition and take part in the various activities around.

The podcasting workshopThe podcasting workshop

In addition to the exhibition there are also some workshops where the pupils are having hands on experience with some software or hardware exhibited.

Mr. W. Attard presenting the Stopmotion Animation workshopMr. W. Attard presenting the Stopmotion Animation workshop
Pupils working in the Stop Motion Animation workshopPupils working in the Stop Motion Animation workshop
Pupils making plasticine figures for animationPupils making plasticine figures for animation

Amongst these workshops, there are the Claymation and Stopmotion Animation workshop and the Photostory workshop sponsored by eTwinning.

Ms. T. Gatt helping pupils creating their photostoryMs. T. Gatt helping pupils creating their photostory
Pupils working on PhotostoryPupils working on Photostory
This event will be held on three consecutive days with more than 750 pupils visiting the exhibition and participating in at least three formal workshops.

On Thursday evening the Awards cermony will also be held. This cermony will award the best use of ICT across the curriculum which have participated in Embed 2009 and best collaborative projects in eTwinning.

eTwinning had launched the application for the National Awards in the end of April and during this cermony the best three in the primary and in the secondary category will be awarded. National Quality Label Certificates will also be awarded to those eTwinners who have obtained this award.

A team of students from two secondary schools are interviewing and filming participants and organizers and reporting about the exhibition through edited videos on the Embed 2009 wiki.

The student press team filming an interviewThe student press team filming an interview

The main sponsors for this event are: eTwinning, Microsoft, Excelsior Hotel, IMS, Smart, Promethean, Exigy, Forestals, Intercomp and Smart Technologies.

Accessed from : http://etwinning.skola.edu.mt/2009/05/embed-best-use-of-ict-practice-awards-2009/

EMBED – Best use of ICT Awards 2010

Pupils started arriving at the the Grand Hotel Excelsior at 9am for their workshops and to visit the exhibition. Today we also had a great number of Maths students visiting since the Maths Department organized a presentation of the Maths awards to their students.

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After this presentation, the students with their teachers visited the Maths exhibition stand, all the college stands, the eTwinning stand and the Microsoft stand.

Other students were taking part in a variety of workshops as you can see here.

Beebot workshop

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Wii workshop

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Lego Minstorms NXT workshop

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Design & Technology workshop

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Smart Interactive Whiteboard workshop

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Lego WeDo workshop

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Promethean Interactive Whiteboard workshop

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At 3.30 teachers arrived to the teacher-training workshops organized by eTwinning. Three workshops took place this evening, Online Collaborative Projects for Language Teachers, The Use of Smart Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom for Beginners and The Use of Promethean Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom for Intermediate / Advanced Users.

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Accessed from:  http://etwinning.skola.edu.mt/2010/05/embed-2010-day-2/