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eTwinning: The Safest Platform for Students to Continue Active Learning in Times of School Closure

Due to the unforeseen circumstances caused by the spread of COVID-19, schools throughout Europe have been forced to shut down. But what about all the eTwinning projects, lessons and activities that were carried out regularly by teachers and students?

A suspension of all educational activities is not an option in this difficult time. Now more than ever students need motivation in the spirit of collaboration and inspiration for the future.

That is why Ms. Charmaine Attard together with her partners from Italy, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Turkey decided to keep the project “S.T.E.A.M-tastic” open and allow this negative scenario to turn into a more positive one.

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Figure 1: Maltese educator Ms. Charmaine Attard explaining how to work from home during lockdown.

In this project schools collaborate to find monthly themes to explore S.T.E.A.M education, while planning and completing collaborative activities in relation to the chosen themes.

Because of the school closure the tasks of our project have attracted a lot of interest. The pupils are doing their collaborative activities at home supported by their parents and/or guardians and therefore the project is still going strong.

Inclusion is key and very important in our project: we make sure that every child is not left behind. For this reason, we decided to adjust the original plan of our project and move forward with new ideas. Roles have been reversed and students are now the educators, being not only the centre of their own learning but also pioneers in teaching the community about the necessity of collaboration and staying positive through such times.

The eTwinning platform shows that schools like Scuola dell’infanzia San Michele IC Giovanni XXIII in Terni Italy (Ms. Barbara Trivelli) and San Ġorg Preca Ħamrun S.S Primary school in Malta (Ms. Charmaine Attard) have an online environment to safely share their work while motivating communication and collaboration between educators who are experiencing lockdowns.

All other partners in this project have been very supportive to make our project relevant in such a global situation. Turkish, Greek, and Portuguese educators are also sharing their work on TwinSpace.

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Figure 2: Clocks made at home by students.

A good example is the photo above depicting clocks from different partners, showcasing a S.T.E.A.M related activity provided by Nurten Özel from Beyşehir Cumhuriyet Anaokulu in Turkey and executed with effective collaboration. These activities were done at home as they would have been produced at school. We adapted the activities in order to ensure adequate inclusion.

With heartfelt gratitude, this continuation of the project would not have been possible unless parents and/or guardians were on board. With the help of the TwinSpace and the hard-working team we can surely conclude that the inclusive opportunities provided in this project are beyond what any of us would have ever anticipated in the beginning. As educators we are proud to be part of such a safe online community.

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Figure 3: some activities of Italian and Maltese students done at home while on lockdown due to the COVID-19.

This project is showcasing a dynamic collaboration between all participants. Like the five stars on the eTwinning logo, we have 5 main actors working together into making this COVID-19 experience an example of what eTwinning collaboration is.

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