Thursday, January 7, 2021

Virtual meeting to Italy - the voices of the protagonists!

 Here's a video with the voices (and faces!) of some of the protagonists of the virtual mobility to Italy...this is what they said about this new, "digital" way of participanting in an Erasmus project! 

Monday, January 4, 2021

The virtual meeting to Italy

On 2-3-4-9-10 December 2020 the fourth pupils' exchange of the project took place, totally online. At the beginning of the project, nobody could have imagined that this would be running as a virtual mobility but, on the other hand, we feel we have succeeded in "reinventing" the way of "doing Erasmus", facing the problems related to the management of an international project in the middle of a global pandemic by turning critical issues into opportunities. While on the one hand the pandemic has heavily affected the project by preventing a real exchange, on the other hand the virtual mode has allowed us to involve a much larger number of students from the 6 participating countries (about 120, in total). 

The mobility was hosted on the Zoom digital platform (Main Room and International Groups Rooms), with the support of the TwinSpace as a reference point for the daily schedule with tasks and links to the materials. 


The first day was really emotional for all of us...after a long time, we returned to "do Erasmus", leaving aside the bad thoughts and problems related to this difficult period. With great joy, pleasure and a touch of emotion, the virtual mobility kicked off with an online welcome ceremony. After the welcome and the official greetings from the IC A. Gabelli School Principal, Adriana Battaglia, a group of Italian pupils gave a performance playing, singing and dancing to Sicilian folk music. 

After the introductions of the participants to break the ice, the first activity was the CITY GAME, which we transformed into an original virtual tour of the most representative places in Misterbianco...through gamification, students from all participating countries discovered the hosting town thanks to a breakout room full of information and new multimedia contents, accompanied by the voice of Emily, the pupil who played the role of "virtual touri guide". The Mother Church, Campanarazzu, the Roman Baths, Piazza Mazzini, the Museum of Carnival Costumes and much more, in the form of quizzes and games to find a secret code... After the winner was announced, the students interacted discussing the activity they had just done and the main places of interest in the city... and everyone seemed to have had a good time!

The first day flew by! It was really nice to connect with our foreign partners again and rekindle the Erasmus magic...

                                                                         DAY 2

The second day was entirely devoted to the work in international teams, with tasks focusing on the collaborative creation of Google Slides presentations on UNESCO sites and Modern Wonders in Italy, Croatia, Poland, Cyprus, Spain and Greece,. We also worked on an interactive itinerary of modern architectural wonders by using the app Tripline
The six international groups, supervised by one or more teachers, worked in six Zoom rooms to learn about the monuments in each country, decide on how to organise the group work and share the tasks to create the final products remotely using digital tools together. 
The day was very challenging, but rewarding...There were some technical difficulties (as expected!), but collaboration, communication, creativity and shared use of digital tools are the key words to sum up a fruitful experience! 

                                                                         DAY 3

We started the third day with a "tasty" surprise... the Italian pupils talked about their eating habits through a showcase of some of the most typical Sicilian foods: cornetti, arancini, cannoli, cartocciate, paste di mandorla and frutta martorana are definitely a must when visiting Sicily. Food is an integral part of the Sicilian cultural identity, so participants were given a virtual "taste" in front of the webcam...The food was much appreciated! 
After that, the activities focused on describing each participant's favourite places, through a digital map created with Padlet. Next, pupils could interact by posting questions and comments on the map in real time. 
Finally, we talked about traditional Sicilian games: La Campana, La gara dei tappi, Pugnu Cutugnu and Un, Due, Tre Stella. We showed a video tutorial made by the Italian students before the visit to "demonstrate" and explain the rules of the games to their foreign friends. It was interesting to interact immediately afterwards, comparing the games in each country to find similarities and differences. We are looking forward to getting some videos where partners can show us their interpretation of the games!


On the fourth day, we were proud to show off the natural and cultural beauties of Sicily! A visit to Misterbianco would not be such without getting to know the true spirit behind the local community's passion for Carnival and its extraordinary costumes. We put together a video to show the Carnival parades and the Museum of Carnival Costumes...but that wasn't enough...a wild group of young 'cavemen' broke in and made us experience the energy and light-heartedness of Carnival, thanks to their cheerful dancing.

Usually, one of the 5 days would be devoted to a trip to a local UNESCO World Heritage site...and here again, we could not miss the opportunity to let our partners discover the exceptional artistic, cultural, architectural and natual beauties of Sicily, which right now boasts 7 UNESCO sites. We therefore created an interactive map of Sicily's UNESCO sites with the app Thinglink, through which the students were able to read information and watch photos/videos of the most representative places in Sciily, visited every year by tourists from all over the world.

The day ended with an interactive quiz on Sicilian UNESCO sites, played in random international teams, and the announcement of the winners. All students did a great job! 

It was really nice to see so much interest, curiosity and amazement for our land...our hope is that any time soon our friends from Croatia, Spain, Poland, Greece and Cyprus will be able to travel and visit some of these wonderful places.

                                                             DAY 5

The last day took us through a whirlwind of emotions: joy, happiness, excitement, but also a bit of sadness...we came to the end of an extraordinary week, which saw our school community at the centre of an international exchange of pupils, albeit in the unusual digital mode. 
We started off with a 'special' Italian language lesson: our pupils, teachers for a day, got the other foreign pupils to go wild by singing and dancing with them to the tune of Claudio Cecchetto's famous 80s hit, Gioca Jouer...the perfect song to get them to memorise simple verbs through miming actions! Everyone felt the vibe and got involved from behind the screen...!

On their final day, the pupils prepared questions for the board game, the final product of the project. Two interactive quizzes about Italy and Monuments from all the partner countries were played to check what the students had learned over the past 5 days and winners were announced! 
The partners used a Padlet to write some goodbye messages. At the end, pupils and teachers also filled in an evaluation survey to share their opinions about the experience. We were really pleased to receive very nice feedback from our friends! 

The virtual visit was officially closed by the greetings from our headmistress, followed by another performance with typical songs and dances...Our pupils managed to convey all the passion, warmth and energy of Sicily and they were even asked for an encore!

The final greetings were a very special moment...we felt close, despite the physical distance across countries. Unforgettable memories will always remain in our hearts...We feel we have planted seeds of hope, optimism and resilience and we are really proud of what we all managed to do together, as a big international team. Grazie!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Sicily is waiting for you!

Finally....we're ready to welcome you to Sicily through a virtual mobility. We know it will be different but we are working hard to give you a good time and enjoy the rest of our project! 2-3-4-9-10 December we will meet on Zoom and carry out the activities of the virtual visit devoted to Monuments and UNESCO sites. 
Get ready to experience Italy! 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Escape Room about the history of our hometowns

 Another exciting challenge is waiting for you!  This time it is a journey into the past. Thanks to this game (historical escape room), we will not only travel back in time but also learn interesting facts about the history of the partner countries. Great fun guaranteed because we all like escape rooms! Before starting the game, we encourage you to read our book with interesting information you will need during the game.  

As proof of the solution, please send your selfie which will show that 1) you have entered the correct code and 2) you have opened the treasure chest.

Our history book

Our Escape Room 

To enter the full-screen mode of the game, click on the three dots in the lower right corner and then select the sign with the two arrows.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

 Escape Game Defend Explorant  

     As we announced some days ago our international project Bits and Pieces of Culture is back again!! This year new groups of pupils will carry out the project tasks online. Last week the Spanish Team had so much fun playing the Escape Game Defend Explorant, they answered questions and solved riddles concerning the project to help our mascot Explorant to get out of the vampire´s residence.

 They did a good job and had a lot of fun!!

   The happy winners with Explorant!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

How to be safe on the Internet

We start each new year with eTwinning and Erasmus projects by recalling the rules of safety on the Internet. We use various online tools during the implementation of project tasks, so this knowledge is essential. Last year, all the teams created posters concerning cyber safety rules. Read them and then take the quiz which you can find under the posters. Write your score in the comment below this post.

Remember to keep the Full-Screen option activated in order to see all the details on the slides. You can switch it on clicking on the three dots in the bottom right corner and then choose the two arrows.