As a teacher trainee at Howest (Belgium) I consider it to be my main task to keep innovating myself. This is exactly what Digital Learning Across Boundaries has offered me. When my lecturer presented me with the possibility to be part of this wonderful project I didn’t hesitate. Math is my subject and I have always felt as if it could use a new approach, one that is completely out of the box. I hoped the A in STEAM (arts) could offer me exactly that.
Digital playdate: Bruges
In October, the partners from other countries came to visit Bruges to make arrangements for the upcoming year. During this week we interacted with a lot of different speakers and came up with the main themes of the projectdays. These were: ‘losing a sense’, ‘moving to space’ and ‘changing size’. The days were set and an plan of approach was created. I also got familiar with eTwinning, an international, digital platform to share ideas and projects and met some wonderful people during this week.
As I am still a student and part of the younger generation, digital development comes naturally to me. Though I must say that DLAB has really taught me new ways of using digital tools in my lessons.
During the project days (where pupils interact across boundaries) we have used a variety of digital tools such as greenscreen editing, virtual reality and apps to use in the classroom. With a Tweet beam and organized skype sessions between classes, it really felt like the future was here. The pupils were engaged and got familiar with brainstorming, designing, problem-solving thinking and much more. Furthermore, the learners had to use English to express their thoughts to classes from other countries.
The concept of STEM evolved to the next level: pupils got introduced to writers and artists and combined art with science and math. STEAM had arrived! Spaceships were being build, visual illusions were created and the pupils had a lot of fun while learning.
Exchange to Denmark
With the projectdays behind us, all students, teachers and lecturers came together in Denmark to create courses for other schools and teachers ready to use.
Our experiences and created tools were constructed into a MOOC. In this template (which can be found on www.dlaberasmus.eu ) there are detailed instructions on how to set up your own project day! I can only advise to look this up and try and set up a project day using STEAM. I feel this experience has made me a stronger teacher-of-the-future and formed new concepts in my head I didn’t know where possible before. A must for every student and teacher who wants to truly educate our future generation.
Jorn Van Parys, Student Bachelor of Secondary Education department Howest Bruges, Belgium.