ICWG Showcasing Innovative Practice: Expert Profiles
Alicia Bankhofer (Austria)
Alicia Bankhofer is in her third year of being a teacher after a career in the private sector. She teaches at a lower and upper secondary school in Vienna that has around 1,200 students and 150 teachers including a large proportion of students from migrant families with very divergent needs. She teaches English and is using 25 iPads to provide personalised learning to a class of 14-year old students and makes use of Google Classroom, Padlet, ClassDoJo and a flipped learning approach. The tablets are shared devices and it is not possible to fully personalise them for each student. To help foster ownership, each iPad has been given the personality (Marie Curie, Einstein, Mozart etc.) and students create assignments linked to this person. Alicia does not make use of any worksheets as she believes they stifle creativity and make students passive learners. She prefers to set differentiated tasks and interactive assignments where students work individually or in pairs (for example, to find a job that matches a letter of the alphabet). Alicia sees increased levels of motivation in her students and her next step is to get her students doing personal blogs.
Niall O'Connor (Ireland)
Niall O'Connor teaches Maths and Science in Le Chéíle secondary school in Dublin, a new school which is now in its second year. The school has a 1:1 computing policy and parents are responsible for purchasing an iPad and apps for their child as well as repairs and insurance. Niall uses a flipped learning approach to differentiate and to personalise learning and is regularly creating instructional videos using the app Explain Everything. The focus is on the learner being at the heart of learning and taking responsibility for it. Videos are personalised to each class, depending on the feedback he gets from his students and are posted to his own YouTube Channels. Niall suggests that he can usually make and publish a short video during one of his free lessons (40 minutes) which he thinks is roughly the same time that he would spend creating worksheets. His goal is always to have the video published no later than 6.00 pm; otherwise the students do not have to watch it that evening. An important part of this approach is also the fact that parents can watch the videos at home with their child and better understand Niall's teaching approach and how they can provide additional support. Also, very important is the system that Niall has devised for tracking student progress (using Apple's Numbers) which allows him to provide additional interventions or extensions. This allows each student to track his/her own progress and helps them realise that they have strengths as well as weaknesses, even if they come to class with the perception that Maths if a difficult subject or that the "cannot do" Maths. Niall is continuously looking at ways to maximise the length of 1:1 interactions he can have with his students.
PDST videos on the school and Niall's class:
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE2BqwWFyFB40IxUZYW5GXQ (1st year YouTube channel)
Philippe Favre (Switzerland)
Philippe Favre teaches in a school in a remote part of Switzerland. His presentation included an innovative project where students aged 11-12 used plans obtained from an archaeologist to create a 3-dimensional reconstruction (using Google SketchUp) of a local ruined chateau. In terms of personalising learning, he suggested that a key element is not only teachers having access to assessment tools that allow them to track the progress and difficulties faced by each student, but also that students themselves can use these tools to see where they have difficulties and decide where they need to put in extra effort. He explained how he has been successfully using the Evalog objectives-based, evaluation/assessment tool for a number of years with his students and also showed some classroom organization models in order to establish some moments during the week where students get individual support and exercises adapted to their needs.
His experience highlights the importance of the student having a role in personalising his/her own learning and that students are more motivated and become active self-learners when they have access to the sort of assessment chart that Evalog provides.
Philippe has seen a significant improvement in student achievement. After adopting a personalised learning approach, the number of students who have had to repeat a year has reduced strongly .
Luis Fernandes (Portugal)
Luis Fernandes has been a school Principal since 1997. He was involved in the EUN Creative Classrooms Lab tablet policy experimentation and was also part of a EUN school leaders' working group in 2015. The Freixo School Cluster, combining an old and new school in a rural area in Portugal has around 700 students age 6-14 (70% from low income families) and 65 teachers. It has a close working relationship with Microsoft (Microsoft Showcase school 2015-2016, Pathfinder School 2013, Partners in Learning School 2012). Around €60,000 in funding or equipment has been contributed by a number of industry partners.
FabLab Freixo was recently set up with the company Weproductise to create a space in the school with digital production tools as a stimulus for creativity and innovation and to serve the local community. In this project, the school is also experimenting with a new stand-up working table. A Science FunLab has been created for younger students. The Freix BYOD implementation uses shared tablets that have a stylus and the school has started to allow some use of mobile phones in classes. Mandatory classes in robotics were started for 7th and 8th grade students three years ago and after a pilot in the 4th grade with coding classes, now all 3th and 4th grade students are included.
There are 40 SEN students in the school who are taught, not in a closed room, but in a space at the centre of the school that everyone can access and that other students regularly visit. It includes several touchscreen devices and the school has been working on providing personalised learning for SEN students using 3D content from Corinth Classroom.
Renzo Colliva (Italy)
Renzo Colliva teaches at IIS "Luca Pacioli", a secondary school in Crema, Italy. He is also a teacher trainer (following the constructivist approach) and along with his colleague Laura Linzitto, they coordinate with INDIRE (Italian national education agency). His colleague Laura Linzitto featured in the ICWG pedagogical video that was completed last year - Cloud learning in a flexible classroom.
Renzo's presentation explained how four classrooms in the school have been adapted using flexible furniture to support: conventional frontal teaching; team work; group discussion and research; coaching and peer tutoring; collective brainstorming; and mixed mode activities that include paired work and individual study. As well as providing floor plans for these different pedagogical approaches, Renzo's Prezi includes several videos showing pupils working in these different spaces each of which contains round tables and modular desks and four IWBs.
The furniture in the school was designed by the pupils themselves and made by a local company.
Walter Steinkogler (Austria)
Walter has many different hats on in the field of ICT. He teaches ICT in English language teaching at Salzburg University and holds workshops for in-service-teacher-training in various parts of Austria. Most recently he has been engaged to develop eLearning-strategies at the University of Education Upper Austria in Linz. His "home base" still is the upper secondary college for young adults at Abendgymnasium Salzburg, an evening school for students being 17+ where he teaches English and runs an external examination board. Here he introduced ODL with ICT and Internet in 1996 and initiated a modular course system in 2000. In 2002/03 he started the biggest portal site for ESL/EFL in Austria and has been coordinating eLearning projects for schools in the federal province of Salzburg. Since 2008 he has been conducting annual surveys on the development of eLearning in Austrian schools on behalf of the Ministry of Education. He presented papers at international eLearning conferences in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy and Hungary. He was the official Austrian delegate at OECD-Conferences and international British Council Seminars. He organised conferences and seminars on eLearning and mobile learning, managed Socrates-Minerva projects, Comenius projects and worked at a British University for two years.
His latest activities focused on interactive ebook-lessons for English learners with mobile devices:
and on tools for the language classroom where he contributes to a toolbox for education at https://www.schule.at/tools/werkzeuge-fuer-den-unterricht.html (in German).
Since 2013 he has organised workshops, presented and worked on the inverted classroom model.
Screencasts for oral feedback on student papers and MOODLE-books are his latest issues. Students can also deliver oral homework with simple tools at the technologically very low level of copy and paste.
In this school year I am coordinating 10 schools in the federal province of Salzburg in the mobile learning peer-project on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Education. Every school has 20 tablets available for classroom use and I visit the classes and we develop and discuss scenarios for mobile learning.
Ole Petter Riksaasen Dahl (Norway)
I currently work with 1:1 iPad and I am mostly focused around that tool. The pedagogy, not the tool, is in focus and I always look for new ways that technology can improve the students' learning. I also give APD courses outside my own school.
Svetlana Vladimirova (Estonia)
Svetlana Vladimirova is the director of Jarve Russian Gymnasium in Kohtla-Jarve, Estonia. She is a Maths and IT teacher by her education. Since 2005 she has been educating teachers of Estonia teaching them how to use computers in studying process. She takes part in different conferences and seminars on this subject.
Svetlana has a certificate of andragogist. She uses IT for improving working process. In her school she supports the development of IT, motivates teachers in using technologies for educating pupils.