Thursday, 22 February 2018

Creating avatars

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What is an avatar

Generally speaking, an avatar is the embodiment of a person or idea. However, in the computer world, an avatar specifically refers to a character that represents an online user. 

Avatars are commonly used in multiplayer gaming, online communities, and Web forums.

In the educational world, you can create avatars to protect yourself online, to develop and reflect on your digital identity, or to reflect on your digital footprint.

Digital tools to create avatars







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Monday, 19 February 2018

Learning journals

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What is a learning journal

A learning journal does not have to be anything fancy. It can be just a few sheets of paper or a small note book that you can carry around with you or you can use an electronic one. 

It can help you look forwards by developing your ideas and plans for new learning experiences, and backwards by reflecting on your thoughts, feelings and actions about new activities you have tried. 

To Keep in Mind

The learning journal is not a simple summary of a project that you have designed or a showcase of the artifact you have created, but it must also include:

- critical cuestions and problems encountered,

- your reaction to specific ideas or questions that have come up while doing an activity or project,

- any discovery you have made in your project or activity, at an educational, social or personal level,

- your reflections about how the project or activity are connected with your own life.

Think before writing

It might be worthwile to think about these overall questions for a moment before writing an entry in a learning journal:

- What have I learned along the activity/project?

- What added value does this learning have for my professional development/personal life/educational background?

- What task/stage/mission has been the easiest/most difficult one while carrying out the activity/project?

- What task/stage/mission has been the most/least interesting?

- What have I found most surprising out of all my learning?

Digital tools to create a learning journal




https://www.blogger.com/







https://en.wordpress.com/



https://www.tumblr.com/











Help with digital tools


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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Open Online Learning Experiences: Designing Teacher Training for Digitally Connected Teachers

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In November 2017, I was given the opportunity to take part in a round table at the Eminent 2017 European Congress to share the initiative on open online learning experiences for continuous professional development that the Spanish Ministry of Education launched back in 2014, and whose evolution is regarded as a successful study case.

I would like to share the support slideshow I used for my delivery in Brussels then, as well as an extended summary of what this teacher training initiative consists of:


Through the National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training, the Spanish Ministry of Education regards open online teacher training as a way to train teachers on competencies and skills, to open up training so as to foster personalized learning, learning by doing, autonomous training, and training which seeks for shared knowledge and educational practice exchanges, which survive beyond the actual training periods.

Besides, we seek for providing online training that covers the various different learning styles that teachers may have, and that is why we offer three types of open online teacher training: MOOC, NOOC, and SPOOC.

Our massive open online courses are a training roadmap that focuses on content dissemination and include an activity plan that opens to collaboration. They are not based on topic delivery, but promote online learning communities, autonomous learning, and social connections, and where the role of the facilitators, mentors and the whole dynamization team is essential.

The Massive Open Online Courses that INTEF run have a connectivist approach, the interactions and connections at social networks play a key role and rather than tutors, we have facilitators and energyzers who guide and accompany participants all along the learning experiences.

The main goal that our catalogue of massive open online courses pursue is that participants learn by doing and produce digital artifacts which showcase their learning progress, that help them improve their digital competences and that they can set up learning diaries full of learning evidences which endorse the whole experience.

From only offering a pilot catalogue of 3 MOOC in 2014, we have evolved into offering a series of Nano Open Online Learning Experiences (NOOC), whose estimated effort is 180 minutes and that are oriented to achieving a single goal, to developing or improving a single digital competence, whose learning evidence is a single digital artifact.

Besides, we are now offering Self- Paced Online Open Courses to foster learning anywhere, anytime, at participants’ own rhythm, and that catalogue completes the whole circle of the Open Teacher Training that we are running at the Ministry of Education in Spain.

The concept underlying the whole offer is The Common Digital Competence Framework For Teachers, whose latest version was published in October 2017, so all our online training initiatives are based on that framework, divided into 5 Areas, 21 sub-competencies and six competence levels.


Participants who succesfully complete an open online course are endorsed with open digital badges.
The Open Badge Backpack that INTEF is continuously developing is fully compatible with our Open Online learning environments and it is a safe, open standard badge backpack, also manageable with other backpacks which support open standards.

The badges that INTEF issue are serious badges, which acknowledge achieved goals and professional competencies. Participants can share them in social networks, organise them in collections, show them in their INTEF Open Online Training Profiles, export them to their digital sites and to any other backpack that they might use.

This Backpack was born with the aim of becoming a professional portfolio of digital micro credentials that favor a rethought education, which does not train teachers based on the hours they spend on their own professional training, but on the competencies and skills they acquire and improve when continuously developing professionally.

Currently it is also connected with the Portfolio for the Digital Competence of Teachers, an online service that we have opened in October 2017, and which is the service to acknowledge teachers’ digital competence, based on self-assessment and an evidence dossier, both of which are gathered in a digital competence passport, which proves the teachers’ level of competence, endorsed with open badges.


The most popular feature of our open online courses among teachers are weekly live events, broadcasted through our Youtube channel, in which experts come and debate on the course topic, the participants themselves have a voice, come and exchange best practices, or facilitators solve doubts live. These live connected events are seen as a way to humanise online training and are also disseminated through all the social networks we are present at. They consist of Twitter chats, digital round tables, facilitation events, webathons, Facebook events, flipped podcasting and so forth, all with the aim of fostering professional communities of connected educators.


Learn more at #AprendeINTEF.





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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

INTEF MOOC at the eMOOCs Conference 2017

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Last Tuesday 23 May 2017, I was invited to speak at the Fifth European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, hosted by UC3M, to whom I sincerely thank for the opportunity to share what The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (INTEF) have been doing regarding Massive Open Online Teacher Training in Spain for the last 4 years.

I took part in a session about National Policies on MOOCs, together with stakeholders from France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The session was moderated by Darco Jansen and for an hour we could present, deliver, share, debate and discuss on the potential of MOOCs and how the various Ministries are tackling their regulation.

This session addressed the potential of MOOCs to respond to the challenges relating to changing societal needs in a global and digital economy, and to the modernization of Higher Education. On a European level, although differences were observed between the countries, it seems that strong European involvement in MOOCs is widespread. However, the strongest involvement is seen in those regions with supportive policies and structures. Institutional policies at national and regional level seem to be a determinant factor in the uptake of MOOCs. Prominent addressed questions were, amongst others: why should governments (not) care about MOOCs, what are the reasons for governments to stimulate MOOCs, what are the potential benefits to society from a MOOC-based strategy, and so forth.

My presentation was about how MOOCs are being managed at the Ministry of Education, and the evolution of the INTEF Massive Open Online Training Catalogue for the last 4 years.

Here you are the support slideshow that I used at the panel, the talk transcript, and the recording of the whole morning session:




Talk Transcript

Slide 2

Although in Spain there is no specific educational policy regarding Massive Open Online Teacher Training, it is back in 2012 when The National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training in Spain identify three lines of work to structure a Strategic Framework for Professional Teacher Development, fully aligned at that time with European Union policies on Education and Training that have been implemented in the "EU cooperation in education and training (ET 2020)" program and in the proposals announced in the "Rethinking Education“ strategy.

The three lines of work were:

First. Focusing both initial teacher training and continuous professional development towards a new competency model of the teaching profession in the 21st century,

Second. Exploring new training roadmaps that facilitate professional collaboration,

Third. Establishing a common framework that allows the accreditation of professional competences for the teaching profession and the recognition of activities that show contrastable evidence of effective professional development with itineraries that encourage educational leadership.


It is under the second line of work within that Strategic Framework for Professional Teacher Development, that open online teacher training is first regarded as a way to train teachers on competencies and skills, to open up training so as to foster personalized learning, learning by doing, autonomous training, and training which seeks for shared knowledge and educational practice exchanges, which survive beyond the actual training periods.

Slide 3

Our massive open online courses are a training roadmap that focus on content dissemination and include an activity plan that opens to collaboration. They are not based on topic delivery, but promote online learning communities, autonomous learning, and social connections, and where the role of the facilitators, mentors and the whole dynamization team is essential.

The Massive Open Online Courses that INTEF run have a connectivist approach, the interactions and connections at social networks play a key role and rather than tutors, we have facilitators and energyzers who guide and accompany participants all along the learning experience.

The mail goal that our catalogue of massive open online courses pursue is that participants learn by doing and produce digital artifacts which showcase their learning progress, that help them improve their digital competences and that they can set up portfolios and learning diaries full of learning evidences which endorse the whole experience.

From only offering a pilot catalogue of 3 MOOC in 2014, we have evolved into offering a series of Nano Open Online Learning Experiences (NOOC), whose estimated effort is 180 minutes and that are oriented to achieving a single goal, to developing or improving a single digital competence, whose learning evidence is a single digital artifact.

Besides we are now offering Self- Paced Online Open Courses (SPOOC) to foster learning anywhere, anytime, at participants’ own rhythm, and that catalogue completes the whole circle of the Open Teacher Training that we are so far running at the Ministry of Education in Spain.

The concept underlying the whole offer is The Common Digital Competence Framework For Teachers, whose latest version was published in January 2017, so all our online training initiatives are based on that framework, divided into 5 Areas, 21 sub-competencies and six competence levels.

From the beginning, in 2014, up to this very day, over 77.000 teachers and professionals in the field of education have signed up and taken part in our MOOC, NOOC and SPOOC, all developed at a customized Open Edx learning management system, which we have enriched with the design of X-blocks that cover the needs for the social open online teacher training that INTEF support. For instance, we have technically designed a portfolio aggregator, so that the learning evidences produced by participants are visible and spread, we have made the learning system bilingual (Spanish – English) and we have come up with a badge X-block connected to our own Open Badge Backpack.

Slide 4

The Open Badge Backpack that INTEF is continuously developing is fully compatible with our Open Online learning managements systems, and it is a safe, open standard badge backpack, also manageable with other backpacks which support open standards.

The badges that INTEF issue are serious badges, which acknowledge achieved goals and professional competencies. Participants can share them in social networks, organise them in collections, show them in their INTEF Open Online Training Profiles, export them to their portfolios and to any other backpack that they might be using.

Besides, the backpack has recently incorporated a design tool so that you can create and edit your badges before issuing them if you are one of our badge issuers.

This backpack is born with the aim of becoming a professional portfolio of digital micro credentials that favor a rethought education, which does not train teachers based on the hours they spend on their own professional training, but on the competencies and skills they acquire and improve when continuously developing professionally.


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Monday, 22 May 2017

DigComp and EntreComp Stakeholders Event - 12 May 2017

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Due to the key role The National Institute for Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (INTEF) has played in early adopting the European Digital Compentence Framework and adapting it to the teaching profession, last 12 May 2017, INTEF was invited to take part in the DigComp and EntreComp Stakeholders Event, a conference hosted by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the EU Commission, in Brussels.



I had the honour to attend, on behalf of INTEF, the official presentation of the new European Digital Competence Framework 2.1., by JRC - Seville, share the Spanish initiatives in the stakeholders exhibition, and be part of a session of panelists where I shared the timeline of achievements INTEF has accomplished regarding Teachers' Digital Competence from 2012 up to 2017.

See below the illustrated timeline as well as a summary of the talk:

Summary of the talk

2012

The "Common Digital Competence Framework For Teachers" Project was born in 2012 in Spain, and from the very beginning, it was closely aligned with the European Digital Competence Framework. It was born under the Plan for Digital Culture in Schools, which the Ministry of Education launched in that year too, whose set of projects are the result of the shared reflection process that the Ministry opened with the active participation of the Autonomous Communities, external experts and Heads of various Units within the Ministry itself, who constituted a Working Group on Teachers’ Digital Competences. The Working Group then established a range of objectives regarding the future Framework. The Framework should be a tool to:  
  • Allow teachers to know, help and assess the digital competence of students.  
  • To provide a common reference with descriptors of digital competence for teachers and trainers.  
  • To help to be more demanding regarding the digital competence of teachers (University does not currently give sufficient training to future teachers in digital competence and, moreover, it is not required either for the practice of teaching in Public Administration)
  • To allow everyone to have a list of minimum teaching competences.  
  • To help teachers have the necessary digital competence for using digital resources in their teaching profession.  
  • To encourage a methodological change in both the use of technological means and educational methods in general.
The Working Group members stated then that the framework should bear in mind both Initial Teacher Training and Continuous Professional Development and three lines of action were established at the time:   Line 1: Proposal for a common reference framework.   Line 2: Plan for evaluation and accreditation of Teachers and Schools.   Line 3: Parallel promotion of teacher training in digital competence. After studying various other Frameworks worldwide, it was agreed by The Working Group to focus on the 5 areas of digital competence in the DIGCOMP project implemented by the former IPTS, now known as JRC Seville. The Working Group considered the European Digital Competence was the best reference for an adaptation into the teaching profession and so started working together to publish a first draft of The Spanish Digital Competence Framework For Teachers, which was eventually published in 2013.

2013 - 2014

That first draft included a proposal of descriptors and overall levels, and it was revised and refined by a wide range of stakeholders and experts in the field of Education, who were discussing and debating for a shared document until in June 2014 a new update of the draft was published.

2015

The project came to a halt for different reasons, but the draft framework was translated into English. Meanwhile, the DigComp continued being developed, of course, refined and improved by JRC, who has always been a great support for us.

2016 - 2017

In May 2016 the Working Group is reactivated and starts meeting once a term, which also speeds up the re-elaboration of the Framework and the creation of a tool for the certification of the digital competence of teachers. All along 2016, the Working Group discuss on a shared Framework that now includes 6 levels of competence and specific descriptors for each of the 21 competencies within each of the 5 areas of the digital teaching competence. For the descriptors writing and the levels coherence, as well as for updating the names of some of the areas within the Spanish Framework, we have followed the methodology of version 2 of the European DigComp, published by JRC Seville, also following the European line of action.

The 2017 version of the Spanish Common Digital Competence Framework for Teachers is published in January, taking version 2 of DigComp as its basis and fully adapted to the teaching profession. It is available both in English and in Spanish. Simultaneously, we have been developing the Digital Competence Portfolio for Teachers and its Self Assessment Tool, which have just been piloted by over 1000 teachers nationwide in March, with very good results.

The Portfolio and the Framework have been refined in April, after a Conference with Stakeholders and Teachers that we hosted in Madrid, and whose aim was to draw final conclusions in order to further advance in these tools as the means to certify the digital competence of teachers. At the moment, we are still developing, from a technical point of view, the Portfolio, thanks to the feedback we have gathered from the one-month pilot stage that we carried out in March, with a Dossier, linked to the Self-Assessment Tool, as well as a proposal of a training roadmap for teachers to improve their level of digital competence.

The concept behind the portfolio is that the results of the self assessment and the evidences uploaded to each dossier generate a digital passport which shows the level of digital competence of each teacher. The teacher will then be able to request that the Educational Authorities regularly certify that level. The teachers will be provided with a training roadmap, personalised according to their answers to the SAT and which will allow them to pass levels.

The portfolio is also connected to our Open Badge Backpaback, where their professional digital badges are stored, shared and acknowledged. We do hope that we are able to make the portfolio public and supported with official regulation very soon.
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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Live Conference on Open Educational Projects for CLIL Primary Education

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On Thursday 4 May 2017, my group of beginner teachers and myself will be presenting at Moodle MOOC 10, at 16:00 Spanish time, on Open Educational Projects for CLIL Primary Education.

This live conference is part of  the #ictclil_urjc challenges within the Master's Degree on The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education that I have been teaching from February to May 2017 at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

The live conference, to which we have been invited to take part in by Dr. Nellie Deutch, is included in the free Moodle MOOC 10, running from 1 May to 4 June 2017, and it will be delivered by over 20 beginner teachers, who will be introduced to their first live talk ever, will be sharing their learning journey at this Master's Degree, which is partly taught at Moodle, as well as presenting their learning diaries, achievements and the digital oucomes they have designing for two months for their future Primary Bilingual Students.

Check below the support slideshow we will be using:



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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Moodle MOOC 10 - Starting on 1 May 2017

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Moodle MOOC 10 (MM10) is scheduled to take place from May 1 - June 4, 2017 on Moodle for Teachers.

The purpose of the MOOC is to connect with educators for instruction and learning, reflective practice, social and collaborative learning, cultural exchange and peace, personal and professional development, community building, best practices and challenges involved in teaching and learning with technology, student engagement with the content, peers, and the facilitator, and learning to teach online with Moodle course and learning management system.


MM10 will take place on a Moodle website called Moodle for Teachers (M4T) and Moodle for Teaching.
Participants will be able to participate in live online classes and view the recordings from the Moodle session area. The aim of the M4T workshop is to provide participants, who have never used Moodle or who would like to enrich their previous Moodle experiences, with the knowledge and skills to navigate a Moodle course, access resources, activities, and blocks from a student perspective and practice the same Moodle features in practice areas as teachers and managers of a Moodle course. The participants will develop a lesson in teams in a Moodle course of their own.  
Participants will need to devote at least 10 hours a week on theoretical and practical aspects of online learning (individually and in teams). Participants will learn about resources, activities, and blocks as students and practice the role of a teacher in setting up resources and activities and in the role of a manager to set up blocks in a Moodle course. In addition, teacher will have access to the admin settings for courses and user enrollments as managers of a Moodle course and Moodle site. Participants will learn to create tutorials and collaborate with students using Jing, Screencast-o-matic and/or SlideSpeech and authoring tools (Youtube, Vimeo).
In week 1, you will be grouped into teams of 10 or more depending on the number of participants, so you can practice as managers of your own course and create a lesson in the course. Access the collaborative group discussion forum below to view your group and get your password to access your Moodle MOOC 10 Moodle Course Practice Area (MM10CPA). You may collaborate with your group and start planning the collaborative course from week 2.

Certificates of Completion

Participants, who wish to get a certificate, will need to enrol in the Moodle MOOC 10 (MM10): Reflecting on the Webinars in order to reflect on 5 of the live presentations (webinars) on Moodle MOOC 10. They are required to write a text and add Multimedia to each post. They can create a PowerPoint presentation and add voice to it using SlideSpeech or if they don't wish to use their own voice or they do not have a mic, they can use Slide Speech or Plotagon. Participants are required to adhere to the following reflection template.
Participants only need to add the link to their blog post for each of the reflections. After they submit they link, they will be able to retrieve their certificate of completion for MM10. The due date for the reflective practice is June 15, 2017.

Badges on Moodle 3.1 and Moodle 3.2

Participants will be awarded a badge for each week of MM10 Moodle training. Participants need to follow and do the tasks required on Moodle for Teachers Moodle MOOC 10 teacher training course area. Participants, who get a badge for each week of the Moodle training, will qualify for a certificate of completion. Due date is June 10, 2017.


Dr. Nellie Deutsch, an experienced education technology practitioner, will help set up online Moodle courses and support you all throught the MOOC as well. Meanwhile, follow the conversation at Twitter using #moodlemooc10.
Do not miss the live lessons and/or the follow-up recordings for first hand good practices on teaching with Moodle.

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Monday, 6 March 2017

Why opening a learning diary

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What is a leaning diary

A learning diary is a fantastic tool that helps us all build our personal identity in the Internet and in which we can showcase our lifefong learning processess, evidence and styles.

A learning diary will will help you:
  • Build your digital identity on the web.
  • Have management tool for your knowledge. This can be done through labels, and so forth.
  • Open a space for reflection of the activities that you are doing during a training course or other types of courses.
  • Keep a channel of communication and dissemination. 
  • Share a collaborative workspace since the learning diary allows the participation of peers who will make your learning richer.


How to build a learning diary

There are many online services that offer learning diaries, but maybe the easiest and more efficient one is just a simple journal that you can set up with Blogger, for instance, or any other type of blogging service.

If it is the first time that you go blogging, here you are some easy kick-off tips:

What is Blogger?

Working with Edublogs

Blogger Tutorials for Beginners

And finally, I would like to share with you a set of examples run by a bunch of pre-service Primary CLIL teachers from University Rey Juan Carlos in Spain. They have just experienced opening their learning diaries and will be filling them up with the learning evidence gained at the Master's Degree they are completing there from February to May 2017.





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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Pair up and swap introductions!

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That is the warm up challenge that a group of pre-service CLIL teachers at the URJC Master's Degree for the Use of ICT and Digital Resources for Primary Bilingual Education have started accomplishing this week.

First of all, it is necessary to make the students leave the chairs, stand up and mingle with peers. It surprises, intrigues them and fosters collaboration.

So, let's make a line in such an order that allows pairing up in an easy but unexpected way: shoe sizes!

How? They all make a line and pairs are set according to shoe sizes, big ones pair up with smaller sizes.


 

Easy, effective, quick, and no arguments arise in class. In a few minutes you get them talking and starting collaboration with digital media!




So, now it is time to provide the pairs with clear, brief and concise instructions and let them mentor each other not only on the digital tools they are going to use in order to design their final outcomes, but also on the way they are going to learn together, document all their process and exchange peer expertise, no matter if this expertise is deep or that of a beginner.

Here is the set of instructions provided for them to come up with their first collaborative digital outcome: flipped introductions.

Follow these steps:

Step 1. Get in pairs. (Remember: shoe sizes!)

Step 2. Interview your peer. Make sure you include in your interview questions on:
  • 3 things we should know about your peer.
  • 2 of his/her favorite activities in the world.
  • 1 dream occupation she/he would have if they weren't in the field of education.
  • Any other details he/she is willing to provide, such as expectations on this course, future plans on her/his educational career and so forth.
Step 3. Record the interview (audio or video file). You can use your mobile device for that.

Step 4. Take a picture of your peer or create his/her avatar.

Step 5. Publish the recording on an online service: SoundCloud for audios / YouTube for videos.

Step 6. Write a post in your learning diary (previously opened by every student as a means to record progress and track learning evidence) with the introduction of your peer, including all the digital outcomes you have created for this challenge: picture/avatar, embedded audio/video, the step by step process when crafting this flipped introduction and your own self-reflection on the learning you have acquired by doing the activity.

When you are ready, publish the entry. Comment on your peers' learning diaries posts. It is essential to at least comment in order to connect!!!


For further help with online services to craft this challenge, browse the following:
You can also find help for working with audio and video in these lists below:

And here we are some pics of those outstanding learning diaries ready for the flipped introductions soon to come!










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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Learning activities for 21st century skills: flipped classroom and collaboration in a Future Classroom scenario

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On 3 February 2017 I was invited by European Schoolnet Academy to take part in a live session and share on Learning activities for 21st century skills: flipped classroom and collaboration in a Future Classroom scenario, as part of the social activities of their Future Classroom Scnearios MOOC.

I would like to share the support slideshow with you as well as to thank the live session hostess and host for their support and for the recording.








It is always a pleasure to connect with other educators and learn from one another.

As promised during the session, I would also like to tip on some of the collaborative projects and online tools that we exchanged on that Friday afternoon, just in case they might be useful for future learning scenarios:

Collaborative projects on visuals, posters and infographics:

- InfoEdugrafías: it is a collaborative project founded by a team of Spanish teachers to foster the use of infographics and visual thinking in Education. Its site, available at https://sites.google.com/site/infoedugrafias/formacion-de-grupos-y-eleccion-del-tema, provides guidelines and help for flipping lessons through these artefacts,

- The Twima Project: it is a world collaborative project that brings students of all ages together, around a common topic, in order to design and create a free collaborative ebook full of mentoring, cooperation, creativity and flipped outcomes. The calls open twice a year and are advertised by its founder, @theipodteacher.

Samples of school use, tools and ideas

Here you are some samples of how digital storytelling, posters, infographics and other visuals might be put in to practice when flipping lessons in a future learning scenario, using various online tools:

- Chain stories curated at Padlet: the teacher or a student starts the visual illustrated story and the rest keep it up for some time, until deadline set by the teams/teachers is over. The  sample comes from an online course on Digital Storytelling for Teachers run ny INTEF

- Collection of ready to use infographics at Pinterest: https://es.pinterest.com/infoedugrafias/

- Quick, effective posters on Tackk, which are easy to use to advertise events, as posters to spread online or print, and so forth. https://tackk.com/@majegsm

- Social flyers to brainstorm, curate, advertise, and so forth designed with Smorehttps://www.smore.com/u/mjgsm

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