Estonia Cycle 1 – PD 2

Estonia PD Session 2

Teachers: T1 – Teacher of Art – 20 years – 16 Feb 2011, T2 – Teacher of English- 10 years – 18 Feb 2011

Both are using ICT for preparing lessons and giving tasks to students (mostly essays).

S1 Outdoor study projects

T1: Students like very much to study outside – in the Tallinn old town – drawing on streets. And history (in the museums) and biology (in the parks) teachers are practicing this.

T1: Co-work between teachers is possible only when they are friends (based on personal relations not professional).

T2: I don’t know anybody who are not willing to co-operate. More important is how to integrate different subjects.

T1: this is totally realistic. this is happening already now. E.G. team work for students – search signs of spring. It is realistic when weather is fine. Students are visiting museums, concerts … after that there will be discussion. Making photos and videos is not so common.

T1: At the moment only teachers are publishing students works online. Not students.

T1: If the environment is good then why not to let students to upload their works – it seams like she is willing to have environment that belongs to the school. She don’t see how students can use open and distributed environments.

T1: It’s not likely that students present their work also to parents (e.g. it’s recommended that study works are in closed environment).

T1: Usually teachers don’t co-operate. They usually even don’t share interesting ideas about learning activities and brilliant outcomes.

T2: How to use this in English. I know that teachers of biology and geography are doing this already. But I guess biology can be integrated with English. This story is realistic.

T2: No ideas how to change the scenario. It could be nice to have subject independent template.

T1+T2: since now they have not used taking photos as learning activity but this is good idea.

S5 Practicing research skills

T1: I cant imagine how teachers and library workers can work together?

T2: This is positive that co-operation is established among teachers and other school workers.

T1: I cant see what will be the role of librarian in the study project.

T1: How familiar is the librarian with the digital references? In reality educational technologist has overview about that (but educational technologist is for supporting teachers, not students).

T1: Library keeper is a worker with low skills. His major task is to take in and lend out books. She has no time for anything else. And salary is very low – she has no motivation for extra work.

T2: In the library the workload is to big. At least 2 workers are needed then. At the moment when there is only 1 worker, it’s not realistic.

T1: It’s easier to me when I show to students the digital resources. Why should I ned librarian?

T1: If the teacher does not force students to use references they will not do that.

T1: So teachers must have overview about the textual material and make recommendations to students? But there is so many resources!

T2: This is very demanding story concerning the teacher – teacher must have overview of good resources. Before giving the task to student she must have overview of references. Teacher must have good basic overview.

T2: Who will set up the topic for the research? If teacher then the pre-owerview is needed. If student then … teacher must to lot of extra work.

T1: It’s nice when teacher and students set the evaluation criteria together – so teacher will change evaluation criteria based on students input. – She cant see that students will set up the criteria by their self.

T2: I don’t see how students can form evaluation criteria. This must be the task to teacher.

T1: students are commenting and evaluating other students work – at the moment they are able to grade but they will never comment – comments are affected by that who is who’s friend.

T2: This is realistic for older students – secondary school. Younger students are not able to comment others works. I don’t believe that those comments can be good or meaningful. Comments are affected on friendship.

T1: can’t imagine how grades provided by the students can affect the final grade. How to organize this? And who will create the evaluation form? How the final result will be calculated? Will this be a part of learning environment, or …

T1: Because in Estonia we have new curriculum and there is lot of activities about thinking and doing. In this sense this kind of research activities will be more popular.

T2: Teacher must constantly supervise this work.

T2: This scenario will be realistic because study search as learning activity will be more and more popular among teachers – because of new curriculum. And to learn how to work with references and how to refer is very important.

S6 Recognizing informal learning

T1: Student can present she’s hobbies but only during one lesson.

T1: I cant imagine how the hobby corner should look like.

T1: For hobby exhibition – the deadline is very important.

T1: I think this is god idea – it gives chance to the student who is not strong in major subjects.

T1: The corner of hobbies can be also virtual – schools have electronic information walls – pictures and photos can be presented there.

T1: Students are mostly shy. They don’t share their passion with teachers and students.

T1: To art teacher it is already common practice that some of the practical works can be graded based on students activities outside of the school.

T2: This is very interesting. It’s usually visible if student have a hobby and if they present it during the lesson – free topic for the presentation – some students like it very much and the presentations are very interesting.

T2: Can’t see the reason or example where to give grade because somebody is very good in doing something … e.g when is traveled or studied in England or US – it will not give reason to put marks only because of that. They have anyway stronger background and thats why it’s easier to them to get better results.

T2: Maybe it depends on subject but students who are active in English (outside of the school) are also active in the school. Even if the student have lived longer period in England then there is always something to learn – how to express yourself by writing, literature, …

T2: From other hand it is positive that student can do something based on hobbies but how to relate this with grading? It is very interesting. Possible to implement during one subject – E.G. presenting the history or analyzing the music of favorite band.

T2: Usually students who have strong hobbies they are mostly also active in the related subject.


None of the scenarios require development of new environment. Functionalities mentioned in the stories: making video from photos, wiki and e-portfolio. But they mentioned that they would like to have (closed) environment that belong to school and those functionalities are available inside of that bigger environment. T2: it’s easier to find your learning materials if the range of users is limited by the school range. T2: Most of the students works must be in closed environment because of low quality and violation of copy rights.

Environment must be comfortable. To T1 comfortable is html web page. T1 feel need for desktop graphical design environment (gimp).

Both of the teachers actually did not have previous experience with virtual learning environments. T2: had LeMill? training but have not using this in work.

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