Choosing this Erasmus+ experience somehow came hand in hand with the ongoing pandemic situation. Since we have moved to online platforms to conduct our lessons, I have also been wondering how to contribute to creating them. Thankfully our Erasmus+ school coordinator made it happen. She sent me to Bologna, Italy to take the Innovative Teaching Methods course to expand my horizons.
Innovative Teaching Methods
The course was held in August 2021. Fifteen of us, from many different countries, explored not only these great teaching methods, but also the cultural side of Bologna and Florence. And all thanks to our educator Giulia and the whole Erasmus Learning Academy team.
A week-long course covered various teaching methods; from non-formal education, project based learning, to using ICT tools in classrooms and finally outdoor education.
Project based learning was the first method we explored. It is a teaching approach in which students themselves explore real world problems and try to raise the awareness by showcasing the problems to other students. This is done as a group project. It involves immersing yourself completely into the situation, all while developing communication skills in teams.
ICT Tools, Non-Formal Education, and Outdoor Education
Next were the ICT tools, which were my favorite part of this course. After working online for a year now, this phase of learning came as a logical continuation. To make online learning easier and effective our educators at ELA showed us some great tools: Socrative, Quizlet, Mentimeter and EdPuzzle. These tools are ideal for creating amazing content for our students.
Then we moved on with non-formal approach to education. This method generally focuses on how to make in-person lessons more engaging using various activities, such as treasure hunts, creating collages and playing games.
As for outdoor education, we combined non-formal education concepts with outdoor activities held around the center of Bologna. This way we learned a lot about the city and its rich medieval cultural heritage. The app we used here was ActionBound. If you want to know more about a city/town you're visiting, this app is THE tool to do so ☺
Impressions of the Innovative Teaching Methods Course
Along with these methods and perfect organization, it is necessary to mention all those people without whom this whole experience of unity and learning wouldn't be possible. All fifteen of us exchanged practices, ideas, past experiences and plans how to use all these new insights in our own lessons back home. We also realized that one of the most important things to take home from this course is: we can do everything if we work together.
The Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes
The project is funded by the European Union. Erasmus+ : Enriching lives, opening minds.