Digital Tools: Good Practices in Schools 2020 – 2021

Good Practices of Digital Tools at MRC Secondary School Mosta Zokrija

October 2020

Following the immediate closure of schools  in March, SGPC Middle School  realised how important it was to keep students abreast with online means of communication. The school also needed to find out the best way to collect and evaluate students’ works in this scenario. Out of these challenges, we realised that it would be a wonderful opportunity to strive for paperless means of communication. The school engaged a group of teachers who supported students online. Teachers would support students with login difficulties, uploading work and other issues. Teachers also asked students to bring in their own devices to school to help them accordingly.

November 2020

Year 9 SEAC students at St. Margerita College Verdala Secondary School are making use of the Hospitality kitchens once again thanks to the use of technology. 

October 2020 – Using Padlet in Computer Studies 

Padlet is enabling a Computer Studies teacher to introduce more interactivity in her recorded lessons and allowing all students (including those who are learning from home on account of vulnerability issues) to join in the conversation. Such a discussion is sometimes an end in itself and sometimes a warm-up to another activity (E.g. a student assignment). The Padlet structure allows the teacher to give ongoing feedback to students’ points and so help them improve their responses, as opposed to giving a final end-of-assignment assessment.

In this Padlet the use of technology in education is being discussed. 

Generic DL learning outcomes reached:

  • I can use technologies and media to work in teams and collaborate in learning.
  • I can collaborate with others and co-construct and co-create resources, knowledge and learning. 
  • I can function well in digitally mediated Communities of Practice
  • I can use various tools and approaches to reflect on learning.

November 2020

Using tablets for assessment for learning during an Italian Lesson at St. Ignatius College Middle School.

December 2020

Media Literacy at STMC Zejtun Secondary School.

Generic DL learning outcomes reached:

  • I can work creatively across a range of digital media and multiple systems to present information effectively to a given audience. 
  • I can edit and improve content that I had already created or that others have created, respecting and acknowledging the rights of the original author. 
  • I can express myself through digital media and technologies.

St Ignatius College Middle School – eTwinning School 

St. Ignatius College Middle School has been chosen as an eTwinning school for participating in various eTwinning projects. eTwinning is an online platform where students and educators can communicate, collaborate, develop projects and share ideas with other partner countries. When participating in an eTwinning project, students have the opportunity to speak to foreign students and visit other countries through Erasmus projects. eTwinning is a motivational tool in the learning process since the students become active in the project. This leads to autonomous learning, increase in self-confidence, persistence, desire to get to know their partners and making an extra effort in what they are doing. Thanks to eTwinning students become more comfortable in speaking a foreign language, they are eager to see their partners’ posts and they are more competitive in the project. For educators it is an innovative way of teaching and offers freedom to work at their own pace. 

Since eTwinning is part of our School Development Plan, every week together with the Head of School, Ms. Montebello, some of the teachers plan and discuss how to promote and implement eTwinning at the school. In fact every year on the 9th of May the school celebrates eTwinning day by organising a programme for all the students. Students are informed about eTwinning activities through dedicated eTwinning noticeboards.

During one of the projects, the students exchanged Christmas cards with their partner countries by post. The Christmas cards where different from the traditional cards because they incorporated Augmented Reality. The students were really excited because through the digital devices they could see the designs that their partners did for them. 

Through the use of VR sets students also had the opportunity to see their partners’ city and learn more about the culture of other countries. eTwinning is not only a motivational tool but also a fun way to learn!

Integration of Digital Learning Outcomes 

During the year 2018 an effort has been carried out by the Digital Literacy Team for Middle and Secondary Schools to integrate Digital literacy learning outcomes across subjects.  Informed from the very infancy of this project that this was going to be very hard to implement, following discussions with Mr. Geatano Bugeja (at that time Director DLAP), who has supported us a lot,  we agreed to have 5 Learning outcomes integrated in Mathematics, English Language, Maltese Language and Foreign Languages. 

These have been worked out with Education Officers and even communicated to teachers.  In 2019 our team uploaded these learning outcomes on the Directorate for Digital Literacy website. No agreement was reached about integration of our learning outcomes with subject learning outcomes. To date, the implementation of this exercise by classroom teachers and even the use of technology is purely on a voluntary basis.   

We are now embarking on a plan to revamp this curriculum mapping exercise by including several exemplars which reflect the good use of technology by educators. 

Financial Literacy at St. Margaret College Middle School 

The Cospicua Middle School (which forms part of St Margaret College) recently ran a Financial Literacy course to help students become more financially literate. 

This five-session initiative by APS Bank and supported by Malta Government Investments was delivered to a class of Year 8 students by Ms. Rose Anne Zammit. The sessions covered the following topics: 

  • Where money comes from 
  • How we use our money 
  • How to budget effectively 
  • Banks and debit / credit cards 
  • Financial-independence 

To support this initiative the Directorate for Digital Literacy and Transversal Skills lent tablets to the school. The students used these tablets to communicate live, through Teams, with their tutor. The students could also work on a number of interactive tasks, games and quizzes by means of the Nearpod app.  

Learning happened beautifully, in a hands-on manner, where students were engaged and focussed. Learners who were at home on quarantine were also able to log in and this ensured that no one was left out. The feedback received at the end of the course was very positive and expression on the students’ faces says it all! 

Geography Activity Involving Technology

At St. Theresa College Middle School, students are participating in the GLOBE program. With the help of their Geography teacher Ms. Zahra, students are collecting cloud observations on a weekly basis and recording their findings using tablets. This is Ms. Zahra’s experience:

“Students are making use of tablets to enter their measurements and submit these recordings through the GLOBE observer application. Currently, they are also participating in the Surface Temperature Field Campaign, collecting surface temperatures using an Infra Red Thermometer. Students are using tablets to facilitate data inputting.” 

The school administration has invested in tablets to enable activities involving technology.  Ms. Zahra is making some great use of mobile technology by integrating these tools in her teaching methods.  Through this lesson, students are reaching learning outcomes from both Geography and Digital Literacy while mastering important digital competences. Ms. Zahra also told us that her students loved this activity!

Uprooted Project by Gozo College Middle School

As part of ‘Uprooted’ – a Kreattiv project presently undertaken by Gozo College Middle school, students had the opportunity to listen to the uprooting stories of various people including some students attending the same school. Participants were made aware of the hardships encountered by people from all social strata in search of a better life.

Later on in the day they had the possibility to participate in workshops about script writing and video editing, in preparation for a documentary about the same theme which will be prepared by students under the guidance of author Ms Simone Spiteri and creative artist Mr Mario Abela.

Digital literacy support staff made this beneficial experience possible through support in MS Teams and other digital tools used that facilitated communication, collaboration and productivity. This enabled the activity to take place while ensuring observance of all measures related to the health protocol.

Well done to those involved in this activity that involved all whole school.

Safer Internet activities at St Nicholas College Dingli Secondary

Safer Internet activities at St Nicholas College Dingli Secondary, organised by Ms Melanie Cini. The Activity comes in two parts:

As part of the Safer Internet Day Activities held in school during PSCD Lessons, Ms Melanie Cini and her students of St. Nicholas College, Secondary School, Dingli, teamed up with their European Twinning partners of the eTwinning project Think, Act, Inspire! to work on various topics within the PSCD Curriculum. These past few weeks, students worked on various aspects of internet safety in class, online and on Twinspace. In mixed national teams, students created tips and slogans which were then transformed into posters available to be printed and shared in schools.

The posters which are a part of the eTwinning project can be viewed on the link here.

Posters were also shared on the school website here.

Italian lesson – March 2021

Science Safari 2021 – The 8th Virtual Edition

A record number of Year 8 students participated in Science Safari 2021. Over 350 students from 28 schools, competed in a science-based treasure hunt that was held online.

To make this activity possible, the Digital Literacy Secondary Team was consulted to help organise this activity virtually.

For more information click here to view the Newsbreak article.

Scholastic Year 2019- 2020

22nd October 2019  – Learning Through Play 

St. Ignatius College Middle School COPE sessions delivered by Mr. André Bugeja and Mr. Mark Briffa; Head of Department, Ms. Graziella Brincat.

Mr. André Bugeja delivering the session in the computer lab.

Various research nowadays shows that children can learn through their play. Learning through play enable children to reach various 21st century competences. Young people discuss the rules and roles of play and in imaginary situations children also seek to understand the rules and roles found the real world. Students enjoy playing and motivation will positively affect learning. Children will have time to design and create artefacts as in real life. Autonomous learning is also very important and can bridge the home-school link. Young people’s learning is always important, but educators can help students direct their learning towards educational outcomes and play in a meaningful way.

30th October 2019  – Use of Forms, Sway, Plickers, Quizziz, Actionbound and Quizlet

Professional Development sessions were delivered to different cohorts at Maria Regina Secondary Zokrija: Mathematics, Humanities and another group focusing on hand-held device mediated teaching and learning. A number of learning tools were covered including Forms, Sway, Plickers, Quizziz, Actionbound and Quizlet.

1st November 2019

Sway, Plickers, One Drive and Teams workshops at St Therese College Secondary, Mrieħel. These tools facilitate creativity, collaboration and assessment. Well done to all involved.

7th November  2019

Our team delivered a number of One Drive, Sway, Forms and Quizzes workshops at St Ignatius College, Senior School, Ħandaq Qormi. Well done to ALL teachers for their enthusiasm and willingness to embrace these tools to enhance their teaching and learning.

11th November 2019

One of many school development plan sessions involving digital literacy tools. This session was held at St. Theresa College Middle School. The session focused on the use of Padlet across different school subjects.

Augmented Reality 

During an Italian language lesson, as part of an eTwinning project, the students drew an Augmented Reality (AR) Christmas card in order to send it to their partners in Italy. The students really enjoyed it and were so eager to see it on AR. Well done to Ms. Graziella Brincat and to the students involved.

J2E training

J2E training delivered to a small group of teachers at Maria Regina Zokrija Mosta by Mr. Alistair Cameron.

Eco-Schools / LLC project Act of Blue with students attending Gozo College Middle School

In 2019 as part of the Eco-Schools / LLC project Act of Blue, students attending Gozo College Middle School investigated the impact of marine litter on ecosystems. They cast the net wide and collaborated with a European schools platform called eTwinning to communicate, collaborate, develop projects, it was a really exciting learning community for students from Gozo, Turkey, Italy and Spain.

Students were asked to measure various weather elements. They observed and reported cloud cover and recorded seawater conditions (sea temperature, pH and water clarity). Using a digital microscope they sampled sand for microplastics, carried out a litter survey and did a beach clean-up. The data collected instigated the students to start their own investigation as it concluded that plastic litter does have an effect on both seawater temperature and seawater pH level. To read more please click here.

7th – 8th January 2020 – Pilot Project training by Avantis  

13th January 2020 – Treasure Hunt at Mdina

St. Ignatius College Middle School organized a scavenger hunt at Mdina. This activity was done in conjunction with the English and History department at Ħandaq Middle School. The Digital Literacy Staff Mr. Mark Briffa, Mr. Joseph Micallef and Mr. Andrew Mallia assisted during this activity. Thanks also to Ms. Graziella Brincat, Head of Department. Well done to all students who participated in this activity.