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Articles

Digital Creative Education

19/03/2021

DIGITAL MOBILITY TO "EDUKATEKA" IN KLAIPEDA

 
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Despite travelling restrictions caused by the pandemic, we keep working on our project using online opportunities.  We are happy to acknowledge that digital mobilities can be both effective and exciting. According to the project plan, on the 22th of February we had a digital mobility to PI "Edukateka" in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Being run by our outstanding colleagues Gediminas and Saulius, PI "Edukateka" provides a surprisingly wide range of informal education activities for children, young people and teachers, including English learning programme, folk dance, IT, theatre, dance studios, and Young Leader’s studio. We would like to thank Saulius and Gediminas for leading the digital mobility and sharing information about their informal education centre. Please find our project partners’ feedback on the digital mobility to "Edukateka" below.

Covid-19 has disrupted the way we work, the way we live and the way we participate in international projects. Due to Covid-19 situation, physical mobility activities cannot be implemented as planned. Our second Nordplus project mobility took also place virtually in 22 of February in MS Teams. This time we were in Klaipeda and our guides were Gediminas and Saulius from PI “Edukateka”

Klaipeda is the third largest city Lithuania and the fifth largest City in Baltics. At the beginning of our digital mobility, we watched a video Klaipeda- a city that delivers. I knew that Klaipeda is the most important and biggest Lithuanian transport hub and famous fot its port.  Klaipeda State Seaport is the northernmost ice–free port on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Klaipeda region has become an increasingly popular tourist destination also by Estonians, it is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches and last summer also some of my friends visited Klaipeda and Palanga.

Now that we were learned more about our host’s home city, it was time to get to know more about PI “Edukateka”. It is an educational and scholarly institution, which functions in an informal child, youth and adult education programs. They started in 2015 by teaching English for kids and later also for adults. Now they also offer to take part in photography, dance studios and IT activities. Their dance groups have won in many international contests.

PI “Edukateka” also organizes seminars, lectures for education specialist and parents, lately they organized an international conference “Living School: A Space to Create, Grow, Be”.

The main objective of our project is that each partner institution has to share their expertise in the use of digital tools. Saulius and Gediminas introduced us several different platforms and programs.

One of the programs we learned about was Canva. I use the online design program Canva for making posters. It is great and simple designing tool but sad fact is that it is expensive to use its Premium version.

The new program for me was Pixton. It can be used as comic maker and storyboard creator. I plan to use Pixton in future to create visual materials that engage students’ participation.

Also new platform that I have not use before is Edmodo. Edmodo is a free social learning platform for teachers, parents, and students.  It is your all in one line of communication, grade book, and assessment tracker. It is very similar to our online application Stuudium where study materials, information about academic progress and simple messaging are accessible. It also connects students, parents and children in one online environment.

Thanks gentlemen for a memorable and educational trip to Klaipeda PI “Edukateka”.

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by Ave Amor, PE teacher and a reacreation and project manager in Illuka School, Estonia

by Adriana Martinkevica, teacher of CLIL Educational Centre, Latvia

It is a public institution that aims to improve teacher's competencies and bring their ideas to life. Moreover, dance studio performance, graphic studio, IT studio, Little Bits, and Micro Nits for creating inventions are widely used during the studying process by making it a unique and effective way of learning. Moreover, Edukateka presented project activities such as “Cultural Education Program project in Klaipeda Region - Crossroads of Cultures”, Nordplus junior project  “Dear to Share” where Edukateka has taken part and now implements different strategies during the teaching process. Representatives of Edukateka gave a brief view on e-learning programmes and tools such as Canva, Word Art, Pixton.
This mobility was helpful to me as I learned about new tools for online teaching. For example, I will use Pixton to teach English through team assignments and interpersonal communication, it will immerse students in the English environment and help to bring the "online barrier" down and imitate live communication as much as possible.

At the very beginning of the mobility, representatives of “Edukateka” introduced the peculiarities of Klaipeda, thus, I have learned that Klaipeda is one of the largest logistics hubs in the country, it is known for a flourishing chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Edukateka was established in 2015 and has been focusing on different types of education. “Edukateka” provides lectures, seminars, and socialprojects for adults.

by Anželika Grigaliūnė, teacher of Siauliai Sanatorium School, Lithuania

Three teaches from Šiauliai sanatorium school – Anželika Grigaliūnė, Iveta Mockutė and Andželika Jagminė had a great opportunity to take part in the second Nordplus project’s “Digital creative education” digital mobility that was led by “Edukateka” on the 22nd of February, 2021.  

The hosts Saulius Rudelis and Gediminas Jonauskas presented their city Klaipėda and the educational centre “Edukateka”

“Edukateka” is an educational institution, which functions in informal child, youth and adult education programs. Were presented programmes for children: English language studio, children's dance studio "Aušrinė", ICT studio and photography studio. Also programmes for adults: English language studio, adults' dance collective, youth’s dance collective and what qualification programmes can be provided. Much attention was given to present and demonstrate Robots. It's so nice that “Edukateka” gives an ability for children and adults to spend their leisure time in a meaningful way, help to improve various competencies. 

“Edukateka” is very strong at using and working with various ICT tools. They organize various seminars, courses for teachers helping to implement digital tools to make education more modern. 

“Edukateka” as the educational center is also very active in various international projects. They took a part in several Nordplus and many eTwinning projects. They also actively participate in national or regional projects as well. 

The digital mobility was very informative. We also were introduced by some new digital tools such as WordArt, Canva, Pixton EDU, Teamhood, Edmodo and learnt how to use them.  

Thanks Saulius and Gediminas for a great opportunity to visit their institution and learn some new useful things. 

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by Violeta Kalandarašvili, English teacher at Vilnius Municipality’s Grigiškės Šviesos gymnasium, Lithuania

 

I’ve prepared a list of useful links, which I am going to try out during my own classes or just for my online presentations: 1)www.canva.com; 2)wordart.com; 3)pixton.com; 4)LearningApps.org 5)issuu.com; 6)wordwall.net and 7)SPOT – for e-learning, where we can create virtual forums and separate classes, as well as see progress of different age group students.

The online presentation of “Edukateka” was well designed and in my opinion it was very motivating for us, teachers. A big THANK YOU for the lecturers and the organizers of this project in general.

I had a great opportunity to participate and learn about centre “Edukateka” located in beautiful Klaipėda, its educational programmes for children and adults, vocational training opportunities, STEAM education (especially “Fablab”) and meet the experts, Saulius Rudelis and Gediminas Jonauskas, learn about the possibility to launch e-learning programmes and digital platforms for creating online courses and other platforms.

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26/02/2021

 

REPORTING ON THE DIGITAL TOOLS IMPLEMENTED IN NORDPLUS PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

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On the 8th of February, according to the project plan, we had an online conference, where all partners presented their reports about a variety of digital tools they had implemented at schools. You will find a short review on new digital tools for learning used in every partnership organization further in this article.

PI "Edukateka" have chosen to implement digital teaching resource creation tool WordWall. Wordwall.net is a creative classroom activity maker, which allows to make various teaching resources in an easy way. All you must do is to choose a template, enter your content, and your teaching resource is ready to be printed off or to be played on the screen.

The platform allows to choose between 18 ready templates: Crossword, Random wheel, Quiz, Labelled Diagram, Match up, Group sort – these are only some of them. It is even possible to switch templates for your material or edit the template.

WordWall allows to make community and share your resources between teachers or students. The free version allows to create up to 5 resources.

At Siauliai Sanatorium School, since November 2020 to February 2021, teachers have implemented 5 digital tools, which help them in daily routines and make the educational process easier and more interesting. 11 Siauliai Sanatorium School teachers, 2 special pedagogues, a speech therapist and an administrator are active members of the project.

Among the implemented tools there are Kahoot!, Quizlet, Google forms and MS Teams forms, Quizizz and Classroomscreen – online tool that allows to visualize your lesson instructions.

Kahoot! Is a well-known quiz and survey creation tool, which allows to make students’ learning process more engaging and interactive. Google and MS Teams forms are a modern way to create surveys and polls, for example if you need to collect feedback from parents.

Quizizz platform allows to choose a ready-made quiz on different topics, or create your own. Using Quizziz, students play a live game together or use the Homework Mode to work independently at their own pace. Students can use any device and complete the quiz. Quick feedback opportunities are very important for any teacher. Quizlet is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study, and game modes. More than 40 million flashcards are available on website as well as 6 study and game modes.

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Vilnius municipality Grigiškės "Šviesos" Gymnasium had broad experience working with Google Classroom platform to provide distance learning. To make learning process online more interesting, teachers also used bookcreator.commentimeter.com and 

freevoicerecorder.com platforms.

Mentimeter – allows to create interactive presentations, word clouds to get the real-time information input from students. Bookcreator is a simple tool for making digital books for learning. Freevoicerecorder is voice recording software, which can help you to record sound through a computer microphone to generate MP3 audio files.

lluka School in Estonia have chosen to implement Microsoft Teams as a reliable distance learning tool. Based on their previous experience with Zoom, they found MS Teams more secure, and they also positively evaluated integration of MS Teams with Office 365, Dropbox, Google Drive, which allows planning online meetings and discussions in different ways. In October, the first tutorials on how to use Teams for Illuka School personnel and children were organized, and it helped teachers ensure distance learning, which started in winter. Illuka School teachers regularly followed their students and colleagues’ progress in the use of Teams, organized surveys for students and teachers about using Teams, and gathered feedback about the platform and its efficiency in distance learning.

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The curriculum of Norlights Montessori School in Norway includes programming in Mathematics, Science, and Arts and Crafts. One of the implemented digital tool was tiny micro:bit computers for 5-7-year-olds, which were provided by the Savings Bank Foundation DNB programme in Norway.  The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that helps children understand how software and hardware work together. It has a LED-light display, buttons, sensors, and many input/output features that, when programmed. All tolls let children explore technology and interact with the world. Here you can find more about micro:bit project in Norway.

Norlights Montessori School teachers also use Skolen platform from Cappelen Damm to ensure teaching and learning remotely. The platform seems to include all the necessary tools. There you can find teaching aids that help you with Norwegian, mathematics, English, science, and social studies. The online library with over than 250 books is available at Skolen. Here you will find books in different genres for all ages. Some packages of kids’ books are translated into a number of different languages. Teachers can plan their lessons and send the content directly to students; the platform also allows to track students’ academic progress. The platform is easy to use for teachers, as it includes step-by-step instructions.

One more interesting platform from Norway – Salaby. Salaby is a digital learning universe for kindergarten and primary school. At Salaby.no you will find a wealth of resources in all subjects at all levels of primary school. It is also a multilingual resource to support children with Norwegian as a second language.

The content includes games, activities, films, and assignments. All content in Salaby supports Norwegian curriculum goals and includes tasks to cover all standards and benchmarks.

CLIL Educational Centre reported on the implementation of two digital tools –Quizizz and Britannica School Digital Learning. All teachers in Latvia were forced to go online since December 2020, some bigger schools had to start teaching remotely even earlier. A decision to implement Quizizz was a result of collaboration within this Nordplus project, the resource was introduced to CLIL Education Centre by one of partner schools during previous meeting.

Quizizz focuses on learners’ engagement and motivation. This resource allows to find or create free gamified quizzes and interactive lessons to engage any learner. CLIL Educational Centre teachers created and used ready-made quizzes at online lessons, as well as used the platform for ensuring students’ independent work. Using this tool makes it easy to instantly report on the students’ progress to parents. As a teacher, you can measure, control, and overview the performance of your class. Quizizz overview tab displays the data about students’ comprehension level in a grid format, that makes it easier to identify each student’s learning gaps.

Britannica School Digital Learning provides complex approach in blended and remote learning support, guidance, and resources.  Britannica digital platform allows you to download learning materials on any topic as well as a remote resiliency checklist, which can help to keep digital tools in your organization thrive in the context of change and uncertainty.

There are various learning solutions on the platform, in their daily educational work CLIL Educational Centre teachers use some of them: Britannica School,  Britannica LaunchPacks, the organized data base of images Britannica ImageQuest’, and the early learning tool for kindergarten Britannica FundamentalsBritannica School adjusts content to students’ learning level – elementary, middle, and high. Use the search tool to find the content about your topic, choose it, and set one of 3 levels. The content includes articles, magazines, videos, and lots of other materials in English.

Britannica LaunchPacks are intended to provide teachers and students access to rich, high-quality, and diverse content sets that are easily found and used. The content in each Pack relates to a specific topic in social studies and science subjects that is vital to learning. Each Pack offers resources that allow teachers a great flexibility in their use. Through annotation tools, multilevel articles, diverse content types, students engage with the selected text, develop critical-thinking and reading skills.

We are pleased to understand, that all the Digital Creative Education project participants succeed in implementing digital tools in their educational institutions. There are various approaches to working in the remote or blended mode in different countries, but a variety of free digital tools for learning allows to create a customized approach for each educational organization. The interactions with digital tools are quite simple, which allows to operate with multiple tools within one lesson. Our project helps to connect teachers from different countries, motivates them to be confident and choose appropriate tools to gain good learning results during distance, blended and hybrid learning. We understand that teaching remotely is not easy, and it requires a lot of teachers’ competence. We thank all project participants for sharing their experiences!

10/02/2021

INTERNATIONAL ONLINE CONFERENCE "LIVING SCHOOL: A SPACE TO CREATE, GROW, BE"

 

On the 9th of February, our Partner public institution „Edukateka“ and Klaipėda Gedminai progymnasium

have organised  International online Conference "Living School: A Space to Create, Grow, Be", where took part two speakers from Coordinating institution CLIL educational centre.

Four hour conference consisted of 10-15 minute reports of speakers from Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and other countries. The aim of the conference was to share best practices about the development of an educational institution as a living organization, creating opportunities for each student to achieve better results according to their abilities.

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The participants of the conference were teachers, principals, deputies and other educational specialists from European countries.The main objective of the conference was to share experience between countries and teachers on how to organize the educational process in a conventional, remote or mixed way. During the conference speakers shared their personal experience, examples, practically applied methods.  The presentations covered topics about  ICT innovations, advanced and non-traditional teaching methods and techniques,  activities to promote the expression of students’ creativity, innovative teaching tools and their application to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The record of the conference is available on "Edukateka" YouTube cahnnel:

Edukateka Conference 09.02.2021.

Two speakers from CLIL educational centre took part in the conference: Veronika Skripačova with topic  "Digital Tools to Foster Students’ Productive Skills and Independence in Language Acquisition" and Adriana Martinkēviča with her topic "Implementation of team assignments in the learning process and tracking their effectiveness using electronic resources". We thanк Veronika and Adriana for their presentations and we are grateful to the conference organizers for managing the event.

3/11/2020

 

OUR FIRST DIGITAL MOBILITY

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To meet the challenges posed by Covid-19, the Nordplus administration approved a number of temporary changes to the Nordplus rules, , for example postponing travels or replacing physical meetings with virtual ones.

We have meet the challenge and organised our first digital mobility and visited our project partner Siauliai Sanatorium School via Zoom conference.

The main aims of our digital mobility was to learn more about structure, curriculum, pedagogical process, methods used and of course Sanatorium School expertise in the use of digital tools.

 

Sanatorium School is a boarding secondary school for students with movement impairments (spinal disorders) for students from different parts of Lithuania.

Students acquire general education in the environment which is adapted to their needs. They need to spend time on physical activities throughout the day; learn, lying on the special beds, regularly participate in the activities in the swimming pool and outside. 

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The school sees big potential in using digital tools to track students’ individual progress and as a space for teachers’ collaboration. In the environment with special education children, the teachers spend most of the time with their students, providing help and support, so the digital systems they use need to be handy and easy to use.

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Digital mobility to Siauliai Sanatorium School was led by school teacher Anželika Grigaliūnė. Anželika did a great job and supported her presentation with relevant video and presentation materials about Lithuania, city of Siauliai and Sanatorium School. You can find full Aželika’s presentation here: Digital mobility to Siauliai Sanatorium School

by Gražina Vaitkunskė, English teacher, Nordplus coordinator at Vilnius Municipality’s Grigiškės Šviesos gymnasium, Lithuania

As American politician  Antonio Villaraigosa has once said ‘‘Literacy is crucial to creating job opportunities, supporting workers and their families and eradicating poverty in our region...Literacy must start in homes and classrooms by giving the children the best education possible to enable them to pursue their goals and become engaged citizens. ‘‘ But nowadays digital literacy is as much important as functional literacy itself. So, the pedagogues of Vilnius Municipality‘s Grigiškės “ Šviesos“ gymnasium leapt at the chance and became a part of an international team that is digital creative.

The first online sessions (October 14th, 28th, 2020) of Nordplus project „ Digital Creative Education“ were held for partner coordinators from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Norway in order to introduce themselves and digital tools that are used in their organisations.

Later, on the 9th of November,2020 the English teachers, Gražina Gaitkunskė, Dalia Tarosaitė, and PE teacher Evelina Jonaitytė from Grigiškės“ Šviesos“ gymnasium, Lithuania had a great opportunity to take part in the first Digital mobility that was hosted by Šiauliai Sanatorium School, Lithuania.

The host, an English teacher Anželika Grigaliūnienė, introduced all participants to the most beautiful country with its tremendous history, the beauty of nature, and multicultural society keeping old traditions and customs alive.

She also presented her city of the Sun, Šiauliai, the school, its students (grades 4-10, age 7-16), teachers  (23 teachers and 18 tutors in the afternoons) and medical staff (16), the mission of this organisation and education it provides. As it is a sanatorium school, children study and get treatment at the same time.  The school also provides accommodation, which is free of charge. The travel home is also funded by the school on weekends.

Our team was astonished by the amount of digital and traditional activities, events, and projects that are held in the sanatorium.

We got much food for thought and have already started implementing the best practices of this organisation into our environment. The interactive floor left the biggest impression on our PE teacher Evelina Jonaitytė. She considers asking our authorities for purchasing one of these interactive tools for our gymnasium.

 Moreover, on the 11th of November, we held a  professional development meeting where the digital glances from Šiauliai Sanatorium School were presented.

We also had a workshop on Digital tools where interactive programs such as mentimeter.com and bookcreator.com were taught to use.

It is never too late to learn, so that is just the beginning of digital workshops in our organisation.

To be continued...

by Adriana Martinkevica, teacher of CLIL Educational Centre, Latvia

Sanatorium School has demonstrated the presentation about Lithuania, its sightseeings, history, national cuisine, language, tourism, and business. Even though Lithuania shares a border with Latvia, I managed to learn a few new and interesting facts. Angelina showed the city where the school is located - Šiauliai. Siauliai Sanatorium School has important values - health, integrity and encouragement. The school is notable for the fact that it combines the principles of an active lifestyle and the learning process. The infrastructure of the school allows for full-fledged lessons for children with disabilities; moreover, the school employs a team of teachers and medical staff. The main principle is inclusiveness, children, regardless of living conditions, health and place of residence, have equal rights to receive a decent education. The school uses the latest advances in technology - iMo cubs, interactive floors, eMice and Apple classrooms. Students have an opportunity to choose different entertaining activities such as a library, relaxing room, apple classroom, kitchen and botanical garden. School provides non-formal education, students can choose some of them: drama, art, photography, floristics, pottery, swimming. Each year teachers and students organise traditional school events, for instance, the procession of Siauliai city birthday, Teacher’s day, Halloween, support actions and Christmas. The school is truly at the forefront of using the latest technology for learning at all levels. A great example of how technology can help engage students in the learning process.

by Ave Amor, PE teacher and a reacreation and project manager in Illuka School, Estonia

 

On November 9, the digital mobility of our Nordplus project “Digital creative education” took place. Our hostess was Anzelika Grigaliune from Šiaulių sanatorinė mokykla. Anzelika had put together presentation about Lithuania and city Šiauliai in general and about her school Šiauliai sanatorium school in more precise.

Some of the information about Lithuania was already familiar. The history of Estonia and Lithuania is very similar and that is why most of the Estonians know about it. Also we know that Lithuanias love basketball and playing it great, we also keep our fingers crossed for the Žalgiris Kaunas basketball team. Some facts were new and interesting. I personally did not have a clue that the Europe’s geographical centre is located in Lithuania.

Travelling from Estonia through Lithuania to central and southern Europe, we cans see Šiauliai signs on the roadside. When I and my family drive past the signs Šiauliai, there is always a lot of fun when we try to say the name of a city. Pronouncing the name Šiualiai is a quite difficult voice exercise for Estonians.

We saw form the presentation of Anzelika that Šiauliai is an education and cultural centre in Lithuania. Šiauliai- the city of the sun has one of the oldest pedestrian boulevard of the Europe. I have heard stories about the Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai from my mother and this is definitely place, I would like to visit in the future.

 The most interesting and informative was the presentation about Siauliai sanatorium school. I was surprised how many modern teaching aids they are using. This is a school for students with special needs, all over Lithuania. While schools in Estonia are more disability-based, in their school students are with various health problems.

 Sanatorium school has great school facilities to create effective learning and healing environment- swimming pool, relax room, school garden, apple classroom, interactive floor and etc.

My colleague and I were impressed about the digital equipment. We both googled an interactive floor solution. It would be great if our school (Illuka School) has the same tool to students to be active in the breaks. Our school children spend a lot of time outdoors, but students could use it if the weather is bad or in addition to the gym breaks.

 As a physical education teacher, I admired how they provide inclusive opportunities, consideration for students' individualities. They have ideal resources and tools to do that.

Another interesting treatment was an oxygen cocktail. It seems to me that all participating project partners were excited to try it.

In Estonia we used to have botanical gardens in schools and students had to go gardening in the summer. Then the gardens were abandoned. Today, gardens and greenhouses are being rebuilt in schools.  School gardens can help children to learn but gardens are more than just another classroom: they’re hands-on, outdoor classrooms that teach children self-regulation.

Sanatorium school is very active in different project activities. They celebrate different events and holidays. Also, they have been participated in different European projects (Nordplus, Erasmus+).

The digital mobility in Šiualiai was thorough, informative and engaging.

by Saulius Rudelis - project coordinator, dance teacher and Gediminas Jonauskas - headmaster, IT teacher of   PI "Edukateka", Lithuania

On the 9 th of April, the first Nordplus (NordPlus Framework Programme) for Nordic and Baltic cooperation in education Nordplus Junior program „Digital Creative Education” project digital mobility was held in Šiauliai Sanatorium School. It involved project partners from Lithuania, Estonia, Norway and Latvia. In this digital mobility PI „Edukateka“ was represented by project coordinator Saulius Rudelis and director Gediminas Jonauskas.

During this mobility, guests got acquainted with the history and culture of Lithuania and Šiauliai. The guests were acquainted with Šiauliai Sanatorium School.

During this digital mobility partners took part in „lessons“, „creative workshops“, during which they deepened their knowledge about digital environments and digital tools.

During mobility our institution had the opportunity to get acquainted with best practices, discussing about the most effective teaching methods, educational environments and students’ leisure time forms in Šiauliai Sanatorium School.

Project activities in Šiauliai are over, but the project continues.