Future of M-Learning in Greece
by Evangelidou Foteini
Mobile learning! A totally new field to me, which I had the chance to meet and learn about through my master’s course MDDE623 Introduction to Mobile Learning and my instructor, Agnieszka Palalas.
Mobile learning evolves rapidly, as mobile devices become very famous and are easily acquired by most of the people. More and more learners use their mobile devices to access to resources, search for information, communicate with their classmates and instructors, and use mobile applications for several educational reasons.
What I would like to focus and reflect on is the future of mobile learning and my personal ideas and predictions about it. I would like to locate my views on Greek future situations related to mobile learning and whether this new learning method would be adapted to Greek educational system. I divide my reflections into two categories: 1. What do I want for the future of m-learning in Greece? , and 2. What do I predict about the adoption of m-learning by the formal Greek educational system in the future?
My m-learning WISH in Greece conditions:
· The Greek Ministry of Education would allow the integration of mobile devices in Greek schools.
· The Greek curriculum would be enriched with m-learning activities.
· Greek teachers would get informed about the affordances of m-learning and how they can implement it in their teaching processes.
· Greek students would understand the power of mobile devices as educational tools and stop facing them only as entertaining tools.
· Greek education would “open the gates” for blended learning, leveraging the mobile devices.
· More educational mobile applications in Greek language would be developed.
· Greek teachers would develop a positive attitude towards the integration of mobile devices in learning.
My m-learning predictions based on current Greek conditions:
· Financial problems would delay the restructuring of educational system, but, as other technologies have already been adopted in Greek education, m-learning would finally rise in Greek schools.
· Greek teachers would be initially tentative or even unwilling, because the majority of teachers in Greece prefer more traditional methods, especially in primary education. However, as computers have introduced to them and persuade them, mobile devices would finally prove their affordances and be faced in a more positive way.
· Many conferences and seminars, related to m-learning, would inform education stakeholders about the perspectives and educational practices of m-learning.
· Universities would introduce the field of m-learning in new teachers.
· Distraction and safety issues would hamper the integration of m-learning, but finally solutions regarding to these perceptions would lay the ground for the adoption of m-learning.
· Greek students would be excited with using their mobile devices for their learning.
· Mobile learning would finally gain ground and hold its position in Greek education!
image from: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/promising-future-mobile-learning-alida-van-schalkwyk
Self – Development!
by Evangelidou Foteini, August 2015
Who wants to become better? Is there anyone who wants to learn new things or to acquire new skills? Technology offers us the opportunity to develop ourselves and come close to new knowledge.
I am a person who is really interested in self-development not only in my career but also in my personal life. I do not believe that curiosity is necessarily something bad or harmful. On the other hand, I think that curiosity can lead someone to new constructive paths and to personal evolution.
In pursuance of my self – development I found an excellent post in the following website : https://medium.com/life-learning/the-37-best-websites-to-learn-something-new-895e2cb0cad4 . It refers to “The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New” .
You should definitely visit it and find what website could be really useful for you. In my opinion, all of them are the best in their field!
I hope that you would visit these 37 websites and lead yourselves to new creative worlds!!!
My story as a writer…
by Evangelidou Foteini
In my opinion, a writer is not only someone who writes books, articles or poems, in order to publish them. Anyone could be a writer as long as he has a piece of paper and a pencil.
If I wanted to look back and search for my writing moments, I could surely say that I had many of them. I was only 1 year old when I made my first drawing – scribble on a simple piece of paper. Yes, I was a writer then!!!
I was about 4 years old when I wrote my nickname “NOYNH” and after that, I wrote my first words in primary school (6 years old).
Special writing moments for me were them, when I wrote letters and send them to my friends from camp (12 years old). Moreover, my school years were full of writing, such as essays and assignments. But, my first formal assignment, which was really important for me, was my graduation thesis in university. It was hard but very productive!
Furthermore, I made a personal blog, where I write my personal reflections and my experience based on educational themes.
Finally, I was a writer when I wrote a poem – a small one – (18 years old) for my mother, who passed away. I could not forget that moment, as I found a way to express my feelings about the WOMAN who gifted me my life.
I could remember more times that I wrote other letters (to Santa Claus, for example), reflections on my notebook or just essays for school. I strongly believe that my life will be full of writing. It doesn’t matter if I write correctly in Greek or in English with some errors. Writing – in any language – gives me precious opportunities to face my thoughts and feelings and generally to make me a better and wiser person.
Past winter I had the chance to attend a seminar about “Scratch”. (https://scratch.mit.edu/) I had never heard about it and I didn’t know how it works and how it could help teachers and children with their education. As far as myself is concerned, I believe that Scratch can be a strong educational tool if teachers know how to use it and create interesting stories.
Specifically, with Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers.
Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge. https://scratch.mit.edu/
During the seminar, I had the chance to create some little stories in very simple way. https://scratch.mit.edu/users/evangelf/ My stories are not very complex, but I think that I will make better stories in the future. Eventually, I am sure that I will use Scratch in my classroom and encourage my students to explore “Scratch World” and make their stories come true!!!
It’s been a long time, since I wrote in my blog. I missed it!!! 🙂
The past winter was really complex. On one hand it was very creative, as I was working in school with little adorable children. On the other hand, I was too busy and had no time for myself and my hobbies. Of course, I had always a little time for self-development and so attended many educational seminars, which were very helpful and interesting. I became “better” at my career, but I am never satisfied and never stop searching opportunities to learn new things and develop myself. I hope that this summer will offer me time and enjoying learning moments!!!
I am looking forward to a creative and “rich” summer!!!
TURN AND TALK
by Evangelidou Foteini, September 2014
Coursera course “Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching: 3 Key Ideas & High Leverage Techniques” gave the opportunity to learn about the TURN AND TALK learning strategy. I had never heard about it before and i found it very interesting and helpful for my teaching and learning procedures. I started searching more about TURN AND TALK and i found very interesting material, which explains more and better this strategy.
The successful steps for TURN AND TALK are:
- Plan rigorous thinking tasks for your Turn – And – Talks.
- Define the student relationship in TURN AND TALK.
- TURN AND TALK accountability.
- TURN AND TALK structure.
All these components of TURN AND TALK are described in the following texts and videos.
By Evangelidou Foteini, September 2014
Consistency in teaching means that the students of a classroom know exactly what to expect from their teacher day-to-day. Every teacher has to find his own special ways in order to be consistent and make his directions and expectations clear to his students. This assignment refers to the teacher consistency and it is based on my personal experience with my students. It is organized in four steps and each step is going to be described as good and clear as possible. I write each of my experience and opinions separately from the others, so that they are totally understandable by my readers.
Identify and describe a classroom routine that you want to improve.
I am a young teacher (23 years old) in primary education in Greece. I teach in 5th Grade and I am responsible for the most of the lessons and subjects (Greek language, mathematics, history, environmental studies, geography and physics). Every day, I face many routines which take place in classroom, such as working in groups, independent work, asking questions, entering and exiting the classroom, late arrival, collection and distribution of papers and homework etc. All of these classroom routines are very important both for the students and teachers and they play a meaningful role in learning and teaching processes. However, besides these routines, I believe the classroom routine, which I want to improve with my students, is the whole classroom discussion.
As far as this classroom routine is concerned, I have noticed that my students often behave in an inappropriate way. They speak too loud, they do not let their classmates express their ideas, they laugh at other students’ opinions, they find time to talk about irrelevant to the lesson themes and they are not concentrated to my questions. So, it is obvious that there is the need for improvement and changes. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the whole classroom discussion is a classroom routine which can lead to significant learning results when it takes place in healthy conditions. The dialogue among the students, the free expression of students’ ideas and the correct or false answers to teacher’s and classmates’ questions are helpful tools for kids’ mental growth and learning development. Moreover, whole classroom discussion allow students to understand and apply what they learned from the lesson provide to or accept feedback from their peers. The teacher also, makes a better view of his classroom and understands better the difficulties of his students, in order to decide how to face and extinguish them. All of them are the reasons that I want to improve this routine in my classroom.
Describe your vision for what you want that routine to look like.
My personal vision for the whole classroom discussion routine refers to specific students’ behavior in classroom during this routine. I would like my students to talk and discuss in calm tone, without screams and yells. If they are silent, they could speak and understand each other without troubles. Moreover, I would like my kids to allow their peers to express their ideas and opinions without the fear of teasing and ridicule. This means that students have to respect their classmates and not to make fun of them, if their answers are false.
Furthermore, it would be the ideal, if there would be an active participation of all students without exception. Even the shiest students have to engage in classroom discussion and express their ideas. Whole classroom discussion can make a classroom a big team, in which members have equivalent participation. This means that I would like my students to corporate and share their feelings during the discussions. I would also like them to recognize their difficulties and their problems, to discuss them with their peers and provide feedback in order to help them. Finally, I would like all of my students to be concentrated on the theme of the classroom discussion and listen to the questions carefully.
Explain how you will communicate this vision to your students through setting explicit expectations.
If I want to improve the Whole classroom discussion routine, it is important to communicate my vision to my students. The first thing I would do is to set clear expectations. This means that I have to find ways for convincing my students to follow my vision and succeed a perfect classroom discussion. There are several components and steps of my expectations that I would use to manage them. Firstly, I would use a magic phrase in order to attract the 100% of their attention. For example, every time that I would like to begin a classroom discussion, I would clap my hands and say the magic phrase “TIME FOR OUR CLASSROOM DIALOGUE”. At this point, I have to say that I would have explained to students before, that “Every time I clap my hands and say time for our classroom dialogue, we are going to have a whole classroom discussion”. Moreover, I would narrate the positive. By this, I mean that I would publicly describe students who follow my directions with the appropriate behavior, putting the focus on their actions and not on me. For example, I would say: “Mary talks about her experience during the activity”, “John is ready to talk about his homework” etc. Using, also, the positive language would probably make my expectations clearer to my students. The positive language helps students to understand what they have to do, by underlying their appropriate behavior and not by saying to them what they have not to do. For example, I would say “Remember to listen carefully to and respect your peers” and NOT “Don’t laugh at your peers”. Furthermore, I would surely break complicated directions into steps. During the classroom discussion, I would ask some questions to lead the discussion or to avoid misunderstanding.
However, besides my steps of expectations, it is very important to make my students understand the significance of Whole classroom discussion. I would like to convince them that they would be benefited a lot by discussions with their students. This is the reason that I would devote time to talk to them about this. For example, I would ask them to choose an interesting to them theme. We would discuss about this theme all together and after that discussion I would ask them about their discussion experience. After that, I would say to them that “the Whole classroom discussion is a routine which can definitely help you with your learning processes. You can become better and understand your mistakes when you talk with the whole classroom. Moreover, you have the chance to learn each other better, to exchange your ideas and find out your peers interests, which were unknown to you. You will be able to communicate and to learn how a beautiful dialogue can lead you to the next mental level. Do not forget that you are going to discuss with other people in your whole life and it would be helpful to you to have the appropriate behavior. If you want to be listened to, you have to listen to your peers. If you want to be respected, you have to respect different opinions. If you want to solve your problems, you have to discuss them with other people who could help you. We are a community, and if we want to make this community strong and friendly, we have to discuss all together”.
Plan and practice delivering proactive reminders and consequences to reinforce your expectations.
It is common to meet misbehaviors in a classroom but I strongly believe that many behavioral problems can be avoided when there is proactive classroom management and focus on prevention from bad conditions. As far as I am concerned, I would try to settle an environment in my classroom, is order to reinforce my expectations trough proactive reminders. First of all, I with my students would create the classroom rules. This means that students with my advice would decide about their freedoms and their duties. So, they would be responsible for their behavior and they would understand better when they behave in an inappropriate way. Moreover, I would create a daily report system. By this, I mean that each of the students would have a personal portfolio in which his daily effort and behavior would be written. So, the students would always know that their attitude would be written and be delivered to anyone who would want to know. Furthermore, I find environmental structuring, such as visual prompts and cues very helpful proactive tool. Finally, I strongly believe that the teacher’s behavior affect kids’ behavior. So, I think that a teacher should build positive relationship with their students, should teach them how to disagree respectfully should be critical and should definitely be consistent and avoid negotiating.
But, there are many times that misbehavior is inevitable and consequences have to take place in order to reinforce the expectations. But what kind of consequences are appropriate and can lead to good results? This question can meet a variety of answers. In my opinion, the first consequence for misbehavior is a personal discussion with the student who misbehave and a warning to him. If these consequences do not have results, it is necessary to search for another and sometimes strict. For example, I have used the CARDS or POINTS consequence. According to them, every day, students who misbehave collect cards or points. If they reach at a specific number of cards (3 for example) or points they have to follow another stricter consequence, such as loosing some privileges (computer time etc). Fortunately, most of the times, students try not to reach at the specific amount of cards or points.
This assignment describes my personal opinions and vision for teachers’ consistency. In my opinion, it is very important to make your expectation clear to your students in order to succeed your goals and improve whatever you think needs improvement and development. The classroom routine which needs improvement in my classroom is the Whole classroom discussion routine. I hope that I can manage to improve it and I will try really hard to succeed it.
Consistency and Directions
by Evangelidou Foteini, August 2014
According to Melissa Kelly ” Consistency in teaching means that your students know what to expect from you day-to-day. ” Specifically, a teacher should always have a specific behavior and not change it from day-to-day. Both expectations and directions have to be fully understandable by the students in order to have successful learning processes and less misbehavior tax.
At this point, I think that it is important to make clear what directions and expectations are and what the difference between them is.
Directions are what a teacher wants the students to do. For example, “Put your books into your backpack” or “Write the text on your paper” .
Expectations are how a teacher wants the students to do something. For example, “Do this silently” or “Remain in your seats”.
Students always need to know exactly what to do and teachers should figure out what kind of directions will work for them, even if it takes some time. The confusion of the students will have negative results for their learning procedures.
There are some components, which can lead to successful directions and expectations. The following image depicts these components.
ALWAYS remember to be consistent. You could visit the following links for more information about teacher consistency.
by Evangelidou Foteini, August 2014
Teacher Burnout is a phenomenon, which appears in high levels all over the world. Being a teacher myself, I am very interested in this situation and I always try to be informed about researches and studies which refer to teacher burnout.
Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work.
According to Melissa Kelly “”Teacher Burnout is a phenomenon which affects many teachers either within a single school year or over the course of a number of years. Teaching is a very demanding job. Unlike many professions, success in teaching is hard to measure and varies by individual, by course, and by school. Further, teachers are often expected to fulfill many roles. Add in the effects of high stakes testing, and teachers have many pressures on them. This often leads to teachers “burning out.” In the worst case, a teacher may leave the profession because of teacher burnout.””
Because of my need to learn more about teacher burnout, I searched and found some material, which (I think) is interesting and useful. In my opinion, teaching is a very difficult job with many demands and duties. So, teachers need to find ways in order to avoid burnout situations. The following links and videos offer a variety of information as far as teacher burnout is concerned. I hope you to find them useful and interesting…
HOW did you find them????????????? :) :) :)
“Stress has been described by the HSE as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them”. Although stress itself is not a disease, it is recognized that excessive or prolonged stress can be a cause of mental and physical illness.”
Researchers have shown that teachers belong to this category of people who have most of the times high levels of stress. But what are some of the causes of this phenomenon and how can it be avoided???
According to NUT (National Union of Teachers), research evidence has shown that the main sources of the current high levels of teacher stress include:
- excessive workload and working hours – often exacerbated by a surfeit of government ‘initiatives’
- poor pupil behavior, which itself is often compounded by issues such as large class sizes
- pressures of assessment targets and inspections
- management bullying
- lack of professional opportunities
As far as myself is concerned, I am an extremely stressful person, who is always worried about everything. However, I can surely say that this situation affects my life and my teaching and learning processes in a very meaningful and bad (most of the time) way. I always try to find information and tips for avoiding stress and I sometimes succeed this. On the other hand, I have to confess that high (NOT too high) stress saved me in some difficult situation, as I had better scheduling and performance.
The following material refers to TEACHER STRESS and explains many sides of this complex phenomenon. You can visit the following links and watch the videos. I find them very interesting and helpful, especially for teachers who are stressful.
I am looking forward to your thoughts and opinions about them…