NEWSLETTER 3 - October 2019
Dear INTELed colleagues and friends,
It is with great joy that we welcome you to the third and final edition of the INTELed newsletter!
The project has now successfully concluded its second and last project-year, with the finalization of all the activities in the four partner countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain). During the last school year, 115 teachers around Europe took part at the INTELed training events. Seventy-two of the trained teachers had subsequently the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the INTELed pedagogical framework and the gained skills through school pilots taking place in authentic school environments, while also testing the available multi-sensory games and embodied learning technologies with a total of 877 children with or without disabilities, of 5-16 years old.
Some multiplier events have been carried out in each country where the interested stakeholders (e.g. in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, researchers, policymakers) had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the INTELed teacher professional development programme as well as of the role of embodied learning technologies in meeting the needs ALL children, with and without disabilities, in inclusive education contexts.
You can also visit the INTELed online Community of Practice where you can find educational presentations, digital learning applications, educational materials and lesson plans on how to integrate embodied learning technologies in authentic educational settings. You can also join the community forum to find examples of school pilots and implementations by our INTELed teachers in Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Italy, as well as additional lesson plans and resources on emerging educational technologies that can support the innovative pedagogical framework of embodied learning.
The INTELed project aimed at providing teachers with knowledge and skills about the use of interactive and embodied learning technologies to address the needs of ALL learners in of inclusive and special education contexts.
The project involved school pilots in the 4 participating countries of the partnership (Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain).
Best cases of good practice were captured in each partner-country. A YouTube channel has been created, linked to the project’s website, to allow and all interested stakeholders to enjoy videos of these “best practices”.
OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPLIER EVENTS IN CYPRUS
In Cyprus, three multiplier events took place with great success, as follows:
- Multiplier event 1: “Introduction to the pedagogical framework of embodied learning via the use of innovative and interactive technologies” (March 28th, 2019)
- Multiplier event 2: “Promoting inclusive education via embodied learning technologies: The INTELed Teacher Professional Development programme” (May 25th, 2019)
- Multiplier event 3: “Contemporary teaching approaches and their pedagogical value in the 21st century education” (June 8th, 2019)
As part of these multiplier events, all interested stakeholders (e.g. in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, researchers, policymakers) had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role of embodied learning technologies in promoting academic outcomes and equal opportunities for ALL students (with and without disabilities), under the umbrella of inclusive education.
During the first part of the multiplier events, the participating teachers were introduced to the pedagogical framework of embodied learning as well as to current embodied and motion-based technologies. During the second part of the events, the participants were introduced to the INTELed project, its goals and its philosophy and obtained more information about the INTELed professional development programme and the school pilots carried out during 2018-2019. The participating stakeholders were also informed about the INTELed CoP and invited to join it.
For more information:
OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPLIER EVENT IN GREECE
In Greece, the INTELed multiplier event was successfully organized by the University of Piraeus Research Center and took the format of a conference. The conference was entitled “Powerful Learning: When Pedagogy meets Technology”.
The main purposes of the conference were:
- to present the added value of well-designed technology-enhanced learning initiatives including the INTELed embodied game-based learning which are aligned to the 21st century challenges and have impact on the lives of children with disabilities or underprivileged ones;
- to discuss lessons learned from the efficient and effective application of the INTELed Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program, which had as a main goal to train Special Education Needs (SEN) teachers to effectively apply embodied digital game-based learning sessions to elementary school children with special educational needs.
All the conference presentations had shown via theory and practice how modern pedagogical considerations and modern technologies can contribute to meeting teaching and learning needs and to empowering children.
Thus, the conference program included two parts:
The first part opened with a keynote speech by Professor Angela Salmon who presented real classrooms experiences from sessions which had been designed and enacted using the pedagogical framework of Thinking Routines, which has been developed within the Project Zero at Harvard College of Education in the USA. Prof Salmon made references to educational cases which involved students with disabilities and highlighted how sessions that are designed following the Thinking Routines framework and active learning pedagogy can help children a lot.
After her keynote speech, two plenary presentations had been made.
- Dr. George Konaris discussed the challenges and initial results of the Spark Project initiative funded by the Hellenic Hope, which is a UK-registered non-profit organization, that aims to promote digital literacy in disadvantaged children in Greece.
- Professor Symeon Retalis presented an overview of the INTELed project, the main achievements and the experiences gained from applying the INTELed TPD program, as well as from the systematic application of the Kinems embodied learning platform for helping children with learning disabilities improve their skills.
The second part contained presentations by in-service teachers who participated to the project. They discussed the key findings and shared experiences with the audience.
For more information:
OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPLIER EVENT IN SPAIN
The Spanish Multiplier Event took place on October 8th, 2019, with the title “Educational inclusion supported by multisensory devices. Challenges and results of the INTELed project”.
The event took place at the Hedy Lamarr Hall at the School of Computer Engineering, University of Valladolid, Spain, and lasted for three hours, between 17:00-20:00. The event had been widely disseminated in press, social networks as well as via direct invitation through email messages to the list of contacts that had been already built by the UVa team at the beginning of the project. The teachers, who have participated in the INTELed training programme, had also disseminated the event in their networks. Sixty persons registered to the event, out of which 46 attended this closing session. Most of the participants were teachers related to special education and other interested stakeholders related to teacher training and educational inclusion institutions.
The event was opened by Benjamín Sahelices, Director of the School of Computer Engineering, and by D. Agustín Sigüenza, General Director of Vocational Training and Educational Equity, as the maximum authority in charge of the issues related to special education in our Regional Government.
The first part of the event consisted in the dissemination of the intellectual outputs and results of the project, as these were presented by the project coordinator at UVa, Alejandra Martínez Monés. In the second part, five of the teachers who had participated in the INTELed training programme presented their experiences, sharing with the public their motivations to participate in the project, a description of their INTELed school pilots enacted in their classrooms, as well as an analysis of the affordances and limitations of technology-enhanced embodied learning, in order to make the project’s philosophy more widespread. The audience showed great interest in the presentations of the INTELed teachers. The last talk of the evening was delivered by Henar Rodríguez, an expert in educational inclusion, who presented her experience as Counsellor for the Spanish Ministry of Education in the previous year. The event concluded with a cocktail reception. During the cocktail reception, the participants had also the opportunity to try the INTELed embodied digital games.
The event was disseminated via the twitter by GSIC EMIC as well as by two of the multiplier event participants; the first one was charge of the teacher training institution in our region (CEFIE) and the second one, a member of the special team for special education in the region of Castilla y León (CREECYL). The Spanish multiplier event was broadcasted in the Regional News (Canal 8) and in a weekly special issue devoted to Education in the regional edition of the ABC newspaper (to appear on October 16th, 2019).
For more information:
OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPLIER EVENT IN ITALY
In Italy, the multiplier events aimed to introduce the theoretical and pedagogical framework of INTELed, as well as to spread the best practices collected in each school and related to the use of multisensory games in education. A presentation of the INTELed Teacher Professional Development Programme took place, followed by the test of the embodied learning games: Angle Game, Math Mage and Word Mage, by Kinect. Posing them questions, teachers openly discuss about:
- The importance of movement in teaching and learning: movement is very important especially for those pupils whose studies are based on static ways of learning.
- Best practices in the use of technology at school: many Italian schools don’t have so much technologies, and they still work using Erickon lessons plans. As for the use of technology, the technological board (LIM) is preferred as well as the touch screen and the use of tablets. Some of the technological and game-based platform currently used by Italian teachers are: Kahoot (for middle school); Socrative (for high school); Edmondo (for both teachers and students). In most cases, students lead these activities in a peer-to-peer approach where SEN students are assisted and help by their classmates. The Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR) has also launched a plan for integrating “Service Learning” into schools, in order to combine learning and services. As consequence, the participants are trained in engaging with real problems and how to solve those.
- How such activities (with or without the use of technology) promote inclusive education: Kinect games allow students to play in pairs, so to improve interaction between students and involve SEN students in a peer-to-peer approach, helped by their classmates.
At the end of the reflective activity, all the participants agreed on the importance of movement for learning and would like to test the embodied games in their classrooms from September 2019, as well as introduce robotics in their lesson plans (beebots and ozobots).
For more information:
THE 4th INTELED PROJECT MEETING IN VALLADOLID, SPAIN
The 4th transnational project meeting of the ERASMUS+ project INTELed – INnovative Training via Embodied Learning and multi-sensory techniques for inclusive education – took place with great success on Wednesday 26th at UVa (Valladolid, Spain).The meeting was attended by the project partners: Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), CESIE (Italy), University of Piraeus (Greece), and University of Valladolid (Spain). The meeting was coordinated by Dr. Andri Ioannou (Assistant Professor at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology, as the Scientific Coordinator of the Project). Other participants were Dr. Yiannis Georgiou (CUT, project manager), Symeon Retalis (UPRC), Laura La Scala (CESIE), Dr. Alejandra Martínez Monés (UVa), Dr. Yannis Dimitriadis (UVa), Dr. Sara Villagrá Sobrino (UVa), Dr. Eva Mª Fernández Faúndez (UVa) and Dr. María Jiménez Ruiz (UVa). During the last months, the participant teachers in each country have been carrying out the pilots to test the innovative INTELed method and technologies for embodied learning with more than 200 SEN students as well as their peers in mainstream classrooms, to make a total of 877 students involved. These pilots allowed the teachers to apply and test their knowledge and skills acquired during the training seminars and to collect empirical evidence about the value of the INTELed method applied to SEN students. The project partners have assessed the teachers' competence in applying the INTELed method, the children's learning outcomes, as well as the parents’ perceptions about the pilots. A set of good practices in applying the INTELed method have been documented using different media (text, video, photos) and they are now available at the INTELed YouTube channel!During the meeting, the partners had the opportunity to discuss in depth the results of the assessment. The best practices identified after the pilots were considered as a main asset of the project that should be consolidated and further exploited. After the pilots, the partners have carried out or planned multiplier events in the different countries, to disseminate the project results outside their institutions. The results of these events were presented and discussed in the meeting. This meeting was the last transnational project meeting of the INTELed project. As such, the meeting dedicated a slot for an overall review of the project and the achievement of the promised Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as well as to plan for the final report. There was also time to discuss and plan for the sustainability of the project and how to enrich and maintain the Community of Practice that has been created around the project. The partners committed to work in this direction until the end of the project and beyond.
The INTELed partners committed to guarantee the future sustainability of the project, increasing the visibility of the project initiatives and benefits targeted to internal and external audiences. For this reason, a well detailed Sustainability Plan has been agreed by all partners.
We are sure that the INTELed project will continue its activities and that the impact will stay well beyond the conclusion of the Project on October 2019! Many teachers and students have already benefited from the INTELed methodology in their schools and saw the positive impact in their professional development and their academic and socio-emotional development accordingly.
STAY TUNED ABOUT ALL THE NEWS OF THE INTELed PROJECT
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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