We are all aware of the importance of technology in our life: we use it everyday, in our private and professional life. It has become a must for teachers and educational staff to know how to integrate new technologies into the classroom. This is the reason why our course “Integrating ICT and new technologies into teaching and education” was born: to gain an outlook on best practices and concrete ways to use ICT to empower and support education.
The second week of November we had the pleasure to welcome 9 participants from different schools and countries: Gymnasium Arnoldinum in Germany, Siauliai Saulius Sondeckis art gymnasium in Lithuania, Liceul Teoretic "N. Balcescu" Cluj-Napoca in Romania, IES Sierra Mágina in Spain, Inholland University of Applied Science in Denmark and 17th School Damyan Gruev in Bulgaria. They were all extremely motivated and enthusiast to start the week and delve deep into the wonderful world of ICT.
The first tool we discovered together with the group was Jamboard: a virtual whiteboard, perfect to lead lessons or collaborative projects with your students. The participants took some time to work a little bit individually and prepared a small presentation to share something about themselves in front of the others. This was the perfect start! After getting familiar with this tool, we carried on with another app to create engaging presentation: with Mentimeter you can present, create polls, quizzes, word clouds and much more. It was fun to have a look at all the contents created by the group!
The second day we analysed two wonderful applications, made for creating a lesson around a video: TedEd and EdPuzzle. The group tried to add questions, notes, links, voice over to a video, which can be later shared with the students as an assignment.
The teachers were also very interested in tools to create video presentations and we had the perfect app for that: PowToon. Powtoon's goal is to empower individuals, teachers, and students to achieve results by transforming communications into visual experiences that get their audience to care, connect, and act.
Another tool that we explored to create video presentations was Canva: not only can you create videos starting by awesome templates, but you can also craft stunning presentations, posters, infographics and much more.
On Thursday we also led a small introduction on web design, to allow the teachers to gain the basic information to start their own website. With Weebly this process is very easy and straightforward, as the participants realised.
The last day we finished up with few more applications. One of them was Thinglink: the easiest way to create exciting, interactive experiences and virtual tours by quickly creating and sharing interactive images, videos, 360 media, and 3D models with clickable tags.
Finally, we discovered some tools to assess the knowledge of the students in real time, thanks to open-ended or true/false quizzes. The group created some interesting quiz about their countries and we tested the knowledge of everyone :)
After some more practice, it was already time for the certificate ceremony, where we had the chance to congratulate each participant and take some picture all together.
Let’s finish this article with a nice review from one of our teachers: “The ICT and new technologies course will help me to make more attractive lessons fo my students. Here in Bologna I found teachers from all parts of Europe and this is great”.