Education in 2013

I’ve found a new tool EDCANVAS & that’s how I want to share these videos with you today in class using our interactive board. Let’s see what it looks like 🙂

Education today should teach students what the technology cannot do: CREATIVITY” (Diane Coyle, Economy of Enough)

I’m just asking to leave your personal comment, from your heart. You can keep into account:

  1. What you’ve learnt all these years at school & how. Strengths & weaknesses. Pros & cons;
  2. Where you’d like your educational system to head for /move towards;
  3. Is this way of learning relevant to you? Di you find it stimulating? Why?

Thanks 🙂

51 thoughts on “Education in 2013

  1. Hi you all!

    Well…what can I say, I’ve spent all these years (not so many) learning by long and boring hours of words and words, all coming out from someone’s mouth (usually the teacher) and I always had to listen! Every time after twenty minutes I used to log out and start thinkin’ on my own, I often thought “how can you do that?” also teachers once went to school, isn’t it? And did they like listening all the time, taking notes, then goin’ home, studying, sleeping, going to school, listening, studying over and over and over? I don’t think so, then why are most of the teachers still trying to fill up our minds in the same way?
    Actually I don’t remember that much of what I did at “scuola media” I don’t remember anything about geography for example, probably because we had to study ten to fifteen pages, for the test, and then we went on to the next coming ten pages. Instead I remember very well those subjects in which we used to watch movies or search things on the internet, like Italian, English, Music and Spanish. The other teachers never even thought of doing something different from explaining and writing on the blackboard, like maths…I hated that, when nobody had a clue on how to do the exercise and the teacher wasn’t able to get how to make us understand if not explaining it in the same way.
    I think new ways of teaching are absolutely needed! I’d really like to use more visual and physical methods, (not meaning you have to beat students) I’d like to have a more humanized approach, more informal, easy going with all the teachers, like cooperating with them, not hating or ignoring them. And since we are young and need to move (because staying 5 hours sitting on an absolutely UNCONFORTABLE chair is a torture, not only for our butt, however for the brain!) I’d like to find some ways of learning by moving, also outside the class.
    It would be amazing if we could learn by watching videos, even making videos, and not only in English! Then what about learning by gaming *___* THAT would be learning, seriously, not memorizing things for at most 3 days. C’mon guys…gaming! 😀 who doesn’t like games? And you know what? What if we could study at home by playing, instead of highlighting things? There are so many kinds of games we could do, not only those in which you have to put the necessary word to complete the sentence, I can assure you that by playing Videogames like Skyrim you can improve your vocabulary soooo much! And you can improve your pronunciation and writing too with…hum… World of Warcraft, where you have to collaborate by chatting or talking with so many other people who usually speak English, Spanish and German, but also Greek and so many strange languages you can’t even try to read. So you see that games can be very useful..
    Improving our learning style is very important to me, and using new technologies is much more stimulating than one hour of frontal lesson, as we saw on the documentary by Al Gore, old habits with new technologies do not work!

    Cu :)!

    • What you actually mention about learning by playing is a new trend called GAMIFICATION and is used in most of the APPS (for tablets) to learn a foreign language. Still life cannot be like a game all the time and you must also get used to … sweating and bearing frustrations 😉
      Thanks for your very inspiring comment.

  2. Personally I completely agree with Virginia, I don’t remember almost anything about the “scuola media” because we study only with the book and for the test we have to memorize all the pages and at most one month I’ve forget it all jet. I think that we saw one or two films in all the three years: one in two hours of substitution, and the other when the teacher at the end of the school had no more willing. I enjoy a lot of my English’s classes because we spoke a lot and the teacher was very good. The problem of the “scuola media” was that I didn’t even care a lot of the system of the school because I didn’t mind to really learn something because nobody told me how much important was! I think that this is the worst mistake of the school now a days. Infact it don’t instruct us to the life! One time my teacher said that school is comparable to doping test, because while the world of the doping is more innovative than ever the research for doping test is lagging behind. The same for the school, while the world of technologies like computer and tablet and smartphone, of globalization and intercommunication is becoming the present and not the future, we are still in the 90’s. In my opinion we definitely have to move forward the new methods. “Collaboration, creativity, new experiences, explore” these are the words that can help us to think out of the box, to make us believe that we can have a better future. But at first we have to appreciate what we already have! If the future is now, so let’s try to do something new, maybe we will get wrong something but is human! Not only for us but for the next generations too, we can help to make the future more brighter.

    • Dear Valeria, thanks for reminding me of the importance of SHARING the learning GOALS with the students and also DEFINING THEM with you. As you said, let’s appreciate what we’re doing NOW, HERE and I’m delighted to be able too do this blog and read your precious comments. 🙂

  3. Hei guys! 🙂

    Surely the school offers us a good cultural background.
    Sometimes, however, it is boring to sit on the school desk for five hours, listening to the teachers who explain the subjects, take notes from the blackboard in a notebook or on a textbook.
    This type of school is not challenging.
    My attention is high in the first ten minutes of class, then vanishes.
    I know that some students are also taking natural medicines to keep the mind active.
    I have no doubt about the importance of school and study.
    I would be in favor, however, the introduction of new educational systems, the technology that could stimulate curiosity of the students.
    Instead of simple blackboards, there should be interactive whiteboards to be more creative, to work in groups.
    It wouldn’t serve more writing tasks in the diary or notes in the notebook with the risk of losing some information to absence or inattention.
    Any information would always be available to students.
    Often, at home, my mom appoint a proverb that says: “Do not confine your children to your education, because they were born in another time!”

    BYE 😉

    • CHALLENGING is the right world. We all need challenges. Anyway, the Interactive boards without INNOVATIVE METHODS of teaching may be useless. I hope they will not end up substituting the frontal blackboard with a frontal Interactive Board 🙂 Thanks Giorgia

  4. At school I learn listening to the teachers who speak for hours and I can only listen and take notes. Scientists say that the attention of the guys in the 21st century is of 15-20 minutes every hour, so imagine staying sitted for 5 hours and learning only what the teacher says in the first 15-20 minutes.
    I think that teachers should use different ways of learning and one of this ways could be technology; like the example which the 2nd video says: “the DNA could be more interesting if animated”, we could learn more if for example only touching the imagine of the DNA on a screen it’d appear the name of its components or if clicking on an equation the soluion would appear. We could pay more attention at the lesson so learn more.
    The new thecnologies, can also help teachers at illustrating concepts that for students are not clear in a different way. When, for example a student doesn’t understand something teachers could help him showing some videos or drawings, which show the student the same topic explaned in different ways.
    I really liked the phrase of the second video:”make your classroom as dynamic as the world around us”. I think that in life you don’t stay only sitted on a chair listening to someone, you also communicate with people, compare your opinion with the othes, use creativity, and many other qualitits that everyone has in a different way. In my opinion with the use of thecnology school can become more similar to the world around us.
    🙂

    • Thanks Elena, I wish we could use our creativity much more because it’s the most precious gift we all have & will be what will make your future a brighter place 😉

  5. Hi everybody,
    I’m complitely agree with Virginia. In the secondary school I’ve learnt only studying. The teachers only spoke and explained every hour. They’ve never do a lesson with an interactive board, they’ve never do an interactive activity to explain some. We arrived in class and they started explaining until the bell rings.
    For example if we had to study the first world war, the history teacher started to speak about this topic using only the book and we had to listen and then to study. In this way we spent hour studying for test, but three days after that we forgot all we studied. It was useless because we didn’t learn anything. For example I didn’t remember almost anything about the french revolution, about the states of the world and about some italian poet like Leopardi. To avoid this boring lessons and to learn something having fun sometimes we asked some teacher to do some lessons with the interactive board: the only teacher who came to meet us was the maths teachers who brought us in the classroom with this board to study geometry,maths and science. In fact once a week we did a lesson with the interactive board and in my opinion we learnt more than sitting listening to someone who speaks. I think that some of my old teachers explain only because they had to do it, and they didn’t care if someone didn’t understand. I think that the teachers have to understand that they explain to teach students and not fot themselves.
    So I want to say that I’m agree to study using new technologies. We aren’t in 1950, we have the lucky to be able to use new technologies and we have to take advantage about it.
    However if a school don’t have money to buy interactive boards or computers there are a lot of different ways to teach having fun. For example sometime we can take a lesson out, for example in the garden, we can watch films ( useful for every subject like history, spanish, english ecc) and we can do more group works.
    Lastly I want to say that I really liked these videos mostly that of the colorado legacy foundation because I also think that we have to think out of the box and to improve our school we have to use our imagination, we have to explore, we have to be collabvorative and innovative. We MUST take a step forward!! 🙂
    Bye

    • Christian, i AGREE with you. I sometimes think that in our school system too much time is spent on testing and too little on DOING. Let’s BOTH COMMIT to change things for the better, TOGETHER 😉

  6. Well, i’ve been in Italy for more than 9 years now, but i still cant/ dont understand this country in many aspects! I came here when i was only 5 so i learnt to write and read here. In my country (Africa) the teachers are more strict: they cane you if you misbehave, if you dont do your homework and if you talk during the lesson, they can even punish you if they see you misbehaving outside school! The only thing i like about the schools there are the uniforms, they are nice and comfortable. However their way of teaching is still as it was in the 90s and i dont think it will ever change.. Actually i dont remember anything of what i learnt in primary and secondary school although i really liked going to school when i was a kid. My favourite subject was english because we used to listen to songs, watch movies and i used to sing with my friends during the lesson, it was really fun and i really miss those days! At first i didnt really mind the boring way of teaching of some teachers/ professors because my parents told me that we were about to move to England, but since we are still here i guess i have to think about it and try to change what can be changed. I think that teachers should renovate their way of teaching and shift from old and boring textbooks to maybe ipads, computers and other things. I spend most of my time at school and i think its quite annoying and tiring to sit for 5 hours on the same chair! I’m not a robot, i need to move and interact with people! During the lessons i usually follow for about 15 or 10 min and then if the teacher doesnt start doing something more interesting than talking and reading the textbook i begin to draw or talk to my mate and then think “i’ll revise when i get home”, but at home i dont! I would really like if the teachers started using THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM method, i guess i would learn much more in that way 😉 Its time to change some things or else a lot of kids will get out of schools not knowing and remembering anything of what they learnt. The videos i watched were really inspiring and made me think quite a lot of how things are going on in italian schools, especially our school “Grigoletti”, and i felt soo bad and sad about it 🙁 I really appreciate the fact that some teachers are doing their best to change things in this school and i hope that soon they will succeed in their project,so that we will all enjoy coming to school! 😀

    • Thanks Abigail. I’ll never give up! I don’t believe in AUTHORITARIAN teachers with canes but rather in AUTHORITATIVE (reliable, respected, trusted) ones. And I do not believe you’ve learnt nothing all these years. Do not confuse REMEMBERING and LEARNING 😉

  7. Hi,
    I personally remember a lot of things that I have studied at “scuola media”. Why? Well, i think because I had fantastic teachers, people very human, people who really love their job, people who are able to understand and speak with students! I learnt a lot with them but we had never used technology! So, I am not against the use of technology in school, but I don’t think things will change with technology! I believe school will be always school, studying will be always studying! I mean.. if you have to study maths, you have to do a lot of exercises! Yes, it’s boring! But I think that it would be boring even if you do your exercises with a computer or an i-pad. Maths will be always maths! I don’t know if it’s clear what I mean! Anyway I think using technology maybe would be useful and funny! But I can’t understand why people think that learning with it will be easier! If I’m following a lesson my my attention stops after 20 minutes, ok, but do you think if I’m watching a video my attention will during much? I think no.. Maybe this thing is subjective, but for example at “scuola media” we watched a documentary about nauture and i fell asleep after 30 minutes! I conclude by saying that I think it is right to integrate technology in school but I think it should not completely replace what was the old method of teaching! because even with the crisis, not everyone has a computer or are able to use the i pads! Maybe with this comment will appear that I am a person against new technologies! I’m not! I am the first person who would not live without a computer or my mobile phone! but I think that some things should remain as they are and that technology often makes us forget the simple things, like the beauty of writing a letter instead of an e-mail or read a book! I’m saying that technology is certainly useful and above all it certainly avoids a lot of effort! But I personally think that the best things, the best rewards are obtained struggling and maybe sometimes it’s better to take a book than a computer!

    • Dear Giusy thanks for your honesty. I’m sure you remember a lot of things as you had fantastic teachers and were emotionally & affectively INVOLVED. Kids with new teachers usually think “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you CARE”. Did you think the same?
      As regards the new technology nobody claims that using them tehre won’t be any COMMITMENT (impegno) & EFFORT (sforzo) . These will always be necessary to learn. watching videos & documentary doesn’t mean leaving the kids fall asleep in front of the screen. What I mean by using new technology is an ACTIVE use where students learn by DOING & COOPERATING. And yes, the best rewards are obtained with effort “NO PAIN; NO GAIN!!” with or without technologies. And books are great!

  8. PLEASE WATCH ALL VIDEOS. Once you click PLAY CANVAS then you should click on the right arrow ⫸ to watch the next video.

  9. Oh yeah. That’s stunning. My idea is that ..
    I see no real problems. I can’t find such a insurmountable obstacles. I trust it: I believe in an ideal school, on new methods of working, news from a total different way of thinking. As I heard, “divergent” thinking.
    The only weird, but spread, bad thing is that we’re not really convinced. As a consequence, it won’t work if we don’t work together.

    And, and the end of all, I do admit my negligence. It’s a fact that I, too , I have the tendency to think this kinda things.. “well, few more months and I’m done with school.” It’s not forbidden to say it.
    But why do we think this? Why must this all ( school, lessons, teachers, classrooms) get this miserable aspect? We’re induced to what’s our brain going on believing , now. Repeating us “ don’t think about it. Again, “when nothing goes right, go left.”
    I don’t want to stay there. No one ‘d be there. I hate this being “always the same”.

    At 6 years old, I started the elementary school. I attended a normal-size, ordinary building. It had 5 classes, one for a year, a canteen, a gym, toilettes, computer room provided of 5, I should say (with all its respect) “ancient” pc, and a wide green garden. But in my mind, all those things are related to a very cozy feeling! Each one. The canteen, for example, we loved going there: we played among the tables, we cheated the rows, we stole the sandwiches away.. also the gym was magic for us: we felt, one day, like wild animals, the next one, like free winds, the next-next one, like soft fairies, whooping all the time. And the computer room, great! We were fully captured by it: we had a lot of interest in using that “news” at our eyes: we wanted to use mouse, desktop, speakers, printer,.. touch everything but meanwhile frightened of breaking something.
    Now, people have missed the point. We don’t mind to discover new applications, get to acknowledge the multitasking work that would born by using technologies..we just give up, at the beginning. We save the step. The fundamental step towards the way forward. Eheh we hold the foot together to remain backward. We don’t even try _ For me, it always worth a try._
    As this all happened, who was with us? There were teachers. -In the truth, there were persons which liked teaching in their life- We kids liked learning. And both, of the two side, knew that school was the place where we could meet to stay together. Lovely naughty students that little by little sneaked into teachers’ lives, and teachers.. right, harmonious, young in spirit, mild, responsible, firm adults. Suddenly , we fell into the trap of books, homework, calculations, tests.. and that moment, teachers arrived, showing it as “games” that will simply have a place in life. Then they took a cake and cut it into slices as we started counting with enthusiasm . They assigned us to write a story at home, but before, they made us create the paper where we should then write it. Now nobody does it anymore. It hardly happens, because it is called “stupid”, it’s a weird “loss of time”. But, I say, now, after all, I still know how to make papier-mâché. 😉
    And since then, we students moved from home to school daily, and we were glad to do it, just because there were no real transfer. What was “school”? bho. People always talked about “school starts in September” “June, school is about to finish” “stop school” “8 hours of school” but we didn’t understand. ‘cause school was a piece of family ( maybe flew a little away by mistake). And as much as for the family, it had no sections of time, measuring. UNLIMITED just as dearest things are.
    When I went to elementary school I caught a scolding, ‘cause , during the afternoon break, that was spent outside in the garden, I started tearing buds off . I did it to decorate the den, which friends and me built under that tree the day before. My teacher saw me and walked closer to me. I don’t know if I was more worried or more happy. Then, I saw the teacher’s disappointed face. I waited. Punishment? Bad remark? No, no.. she just told me “you’ve done bad, you know? Soon it’s spring and that were new buds about to bloom, now you will never see how beautiful it would have been along the branches. You can be happy now, but tomorrow your decoration won’t be useful and this tree will still be without its fresh leaves. Now continue playing or think about what you did. You choose.” I had killed new baby leaves.. it could even see only a little of green.. I, didn’t let it get unwrapped under the sunlight, and that’s all. I really felt so ashamed of myself. After a while I stood up and hugged the tree, I explained him that it was like with me and my nails: it grows again. But the sorry I felt was sincere. With silence and a tight hug, I really wanted to tell him that. that sort of love.
    I really liked that “it’s just me, me WRONG! I’ve mistaken” and this was my lesson, and my personal one.
    What is great is that it will remain deep into me forever, but mostly, I really thank whom feed that sense in me.. a precious teacher.
    It’s scaring how that “YOU” said by teachers, has become “YOU”. (OH GOSH. I mean, the first as singular, the second one as plural).

    • Dear Giada, what you’ve written is beautiful. You actually explained the concept of the PEDAGOGY OF “BEING” & lEARNING BY DOING that can take place with or without technology! School should be like a family that makes you feel welcomed & understood but when you make a mistake it tells you off by making you UNDERSTAND the reason why you shouldn’t do something. Deep in my heart I believe that there is no such word as FAILURE ONLY FEEDBACK. And without mistakes we cannot learn 😉

  10. Hi!
    I personally remember a lot of things of my years or school. I had teachers who were more interested in teaching us how to live than teaching some maths formulas. That’s great, ‘cause I think at school we should learn exactly how to face life, and less specific things. We can learn it when we will have decided what to do in our life, but.. how decide? What’s really good for us? What makes us really happy?
    We can’t prepare us for life by ourselves, teachers should.
    I have.. something against using iPads or something else to learn. Everybody has been at school without technologies, and I think we can learn without them. Learning doesn’t dipend on WHAT we use, HOW MANY money we spend. It depends on HOW teachers teach, how them use new technologies for teaching. As Giusy said, if we do maths on an iPad, it will be boring too, ‘cause it’s always maths learned in the same way!
    For example, I think maths should be made in class, in groups, without using any for of technologies, but only by ourselves and our minds, exchanging ideas and correcting each other.
    Anyway, I think that what the videos said is true and should be made by every teacher. As other said, teachers should stimulating our mind, our curiosity and our will to do.
    It isn’t the medium or the support that makes a lesson boring, It isn’t the subject. Teachers do. Teachers should change their way of teaching.

    • Hi! I somehow agree with you when you say that school should be “school of life” but I also want to remind you that also families and their teachings and examples exist. Without the COOPERATION of teacher, family and student little can be done. And There’s no teacher who can prepare you to life if you REFUSE TO. You are not a vase to be filled 😉
      Sure we can teach & learn without technologies as much as we could LIVE without tv, pc, phones, cars … is that what YOU want? Should school fall behind and leave you unprepared for the life outside the school walls? Last as I already said in another reply (did you read it?) NO TECHNOLOGY can REPLACE THE TEACHER’s METHODOLOGY. And believe me, if you did maths the way you say ( called COOPERATIVE LEARNING) technology could help a lot. But it’s HOW the teacher organizes the lesson that can make the difference 😉 And, if I may say so, teachers make the lesson boring but students who remain PASSIVE, because it’s easier to be lazy, often contribute to kill the little enthusiasm left!

  11. hi!
    well, i think that we are in the 21th century and a lot of things are changed, now most of us use tecnhology and we are addicted by it! so, in my opinion i think that if we use more technology to do lessons it would be more interactive and our attention will last longer! I think that here in Italy we’re like in the “paleolithic” compared to the other states and now is time to change, well i’m not saying that the books are not important but, i say, that studying 50 pages of history in the book is a suicide! we are in a new century and the mentality of the people now are different from the mentality in the 90’s,now we are very influenced by music and images and if we try to do lessons with this two important things i think that we will start to be more interested to follow the lessons. For example, if we start to study history with more images and less words like in a comic or watching videos, i think it would be nice!

    • Yes Shade I hope history will be taught with videos and images but the idea is not so much HOW MANY pages of FACTS you will remember but HOW MUCH YOU deeply UNDERSTAND of the importance of learning history which is “to avoid the mistakes made in the past”.

  12. Hi!
    Honestly I think that the question “What you’ve learnt all these years at school and how?” is a good question to ask us. But, why don’t ask teachers “ What you’ve taught and how? With passion for your subjet? Have you made the lesson interessing above all where these were boring? Have you ever wondered why half the class faild your exams? Were tou sorry about this?” Yes, is like an interrogation but the answer to the first question is here!
    Personally when there is an exam I study for this, but it doesn’t mean that after long time I’ll remember. Also I listen the lessons but often are too much boring because a few involving.
    The best teacher I’ve ever known was in elementary school. Makes you laugh because I was too young to understand, but since then I remember a lot of things. In all she did there was THE HEART! Connecting the speech about new tecnologies, talking abou six/ seven years ago she used for example tv, sometimes computer and also overhead projector and I remember that when she asked us that we used it, were so happy!
    Intead in high school I used only the tv and sometimes the computer but I had good theachers in fact I remember some topics of subjets, also the most boring or difficult.
    Setting aside if a teacher is good or not, I understand that the majority of teachers have his teaching method and doesn’t want to change it. But nowadays the teenagers are different that in the past, the world is different but teachers not. This is the problem. I think that they could do the effort at least to indroduce something now. Not only the tecnology, also group work, researchs etc. to come toward us.
    For me lessons of maths or history are difficult to change wiith new technologies (in maths is used the blackboard) in fact as I said would be nice do researchs, work gruop or somenthiing involving.
    As my mates said an hour of lesson can’t be only explanation! It’s impossible understand everything.
    In conclusion use new tecnologies and change the lessons are sure stimulating for us and why not, also for teachers! As in the videos by prof. Cimetta and as I read is is scientifically proven that students didn’t listen the lessons and faild exams after using new tecnologies are improved!
    But provided that ALL students have the opportunity to enjoy!

    These two readings are interesting!
    http://www.repubblica.it/scuola/2011/12/23/news/un_tablet_sul_banco_non_solo_un_libro_2_0-27116836/

    http://doc.studenti.it/altro/didattica-pedagogia/tecnologie-scuola.html

    • Dear Francesca, I question myself everyday on the validity of my teaching methods.I’ll try to answer your questions.
      “What have you taught and how?” I’ve tried to tech you to LOVE English, to learn it also OUTSIDE the walls of the school, to become an INDEPENDENT LEARNER, A CRITICAL MIND.
      “With passion for your subjeCt?” A lot of passion even too much sometimes, not always RECIPROCATED with the same intensity 😉
      “Have you made the lesson interesTing? above all where were these boring?” I did my best to involve ALL of you with different activities and tasks mixing reading, listening, writing, speaking, sounds, images, facts & personal responses. Sometimes it works sometimes your mind is focused sometimes it goofs off, on other subjects’ tests or worries.
      “Have you ever wondered why half the class failEd your exams? Were You sorry about this?” It never happens that half the class fails my tests, but I look for reasons of EVERY failure. I’m always SORRY about it but I’ve also learnt something very important for my survival. I CREATE THE CONDITIONS for lEARNING TO TAKE PLACE and I believe I’ve done MORE THAN I SHOULD to make my students pass their test. But in the end, if a student refuses to COMMIT, to make the lEAST EFFORT, it’s his/her choice & I am not willing to put the blame on myself any longer. It’s about time students took on the RESPONSABILITY of their ACTIONS & choices & above all of taking advantage of all the LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES THEY ARE GIVING. Now I ask you:
      1) Do students take adbantage of all opportunities or are sometimes lazy and blame society, family and teachers? 😉
      2) Can a lesson be 100% INVOLVING if the students don’t make the effort to cooperate & be ACTIVE?
      Thanks a million for the articles. I’d read the first,. The second is visible only in the first page then I’m not allowed to read it. I’m a teacher not a student 🙂 🙂

  13. Hi you all!
    I completely agree with Giusy.
    I think that most of what I know now, I owe to my teachers and my family. The professors I’ve had, so far, have been very good, yes, some I liked less, others more .. but I have always had an excellent relationship with them. The excellent way that they had to teach and admiration I had for them, maked me follow up with peace of mind and interest their lessons, which became, in part, an hour of ‘fun’..the thing that makes me regret more is that, nowadays, is more difficult find professors who teach with passion and altruism .. and those few who still do, are brutally repressed by our system that’s falling apart; so , in my opinion, our education system should not demotivate teachers, but encourage them so that they are able to transmit their passion. Should also make it clear to students that knowledge is a personal wealth and not just a way to get a good grade, students should understand that what they learn now will help them for a lifetime!!
    However ,changing the subject, I’m also in favor of using interactive material like i-pads, computers and interactive boards but,like Giusy, I think that these new methods can’t replace the previous methods. But I also think that for future generations, use i-pads or computers will be easier than now.. today I alreadysee young children (5-6 years old) who use mobile phones and tablet better than me and so, perhaps, they’ll be able to understand better from an i-pad rather than from an old book and this is a good thing for them!
    I hope for them that the system can help them at the best in the coming years, in the best ways and with the best teachers. Remaining faithful to my books, I support the use of technology, foe example i really like the English lessons in the LIM because are very engaging, although many times, I don’t show outwardly my interest.
    I will not be the model student, the perfect one, but today, the teaching methods,although are very limited and reduced, compared to the methods that you would like to apply, I like them the same.

    • Bruno your words are full of wisdom.As far as I have students like you I promise I won’t get demotivated 😉
      Nobody believes that the old methods are bad and have to disappear. Actually, every method a teacher adopts is valid as far as he/she is CONSISTENT and feels at ease using it. And I would add as far as it makes students USE THEIR BRAINS, ENGAGE & COMMUNICATE THEIR FEELINGS AND IDEAS. “In medio stat virtue” virtue stands in the middle and I myself believe I’ll try to INTEGRATE OLD PRACTICES and NEW TECHNOLOGIES in my teaching. Thanks!

  14. Well, reading the comments of my classmates, I noticed that everyone has a single thought (to agree with virginia). we are all focused on the fact that being 5 hours in front of books and a teacher is boring. but let’s take a moment to wonder if it’s just the fault of those who teach us. put yourself in the shoes of a teacher who is now twenty years that always teaches with the same method that got sick or lost his passion for his work and to put in front of him an iPAD and saying “LEARN TO USE IT”. you think he would want to? distort their teaching method used for 20 years. And why? “BECAUSE WE SHOULD STAY IN STEP WITH THE YEARS.” Fortunately, however, there is someone who fights for us (although it might not do it) and tries to teach us by sending us not only what we should teach, but also the passion he has to do so by engaging and sometimes more than they should and bringing into play to do it. So do not say that if a teacher does not use computer or tablet is ugly and bad. is simply a different mindset, that we, when our time comes, we should revolutionize and in so doing, try to establish a new relationship between technology and people referring to the reasoning of Al Gore:

    NEW TECHNOLOGIES – OLD HABITS = BAD
    NEW TECHNOLOGIES – NEW HABITS = GOOD

    So, having said that, I will conclude by saying that it’s up to us to change things, with or without others.

    • No teacher is bad ( not ugly = brutto) because of the MEANS he uses. As you say & I repeat: it’s not what tech we use but HOW that matters. So please do help me change the mentality 😉

      Source: venspired.com via Laura on Pinterest

  15. I remember a lot “scuola media” , I went to “centro storico” middle school. It was a great school especially for the teachers…they knew how to teach us, even though they were like 60 years old (i’m not judging their ages). They didn’t down on students indeed they helped us, for example my math teacher asked us if we didn’t understand something or if we could do the exercises. My italian teacher used to be very strict and she didn’t axcept when someone was laughing, she was an “old style” teacher who reprimanded everybody but she was also a good teacher. When I was near the blackboard I quivered but at the end I always did a good oral exam and I took good marks.
    The only thing in the school that at the beggining was naughty was wearing a uniform!
    exatly a uniform, we had to wear the school uniform (a sweatshirt with the school’s logo and a t-shirt for P.I.) If you didn’t wear the uniform they wrote a note on your personal notebook. I built a fantastic relationship with my german teacher and also with my english teacher, we didn’t tell each other our “things” (like secrets exc…) but we talked about the subject, school and tests, I didn’t do this with the other teachers because I was too shy.
    I agree with Virginia, teachers can’t look only at the book and retake every-thing is on it! teachers have to enjoy the lesson with their students! Teachers has to involve and to teach well, I hate when teachers reprimand students all the time, this make me nervous. If I were a teacher I’d try to teach as best as I can and to calm my students telling them that “everybody can make a mistake we aren’t perfect” and repeating well what they didn’t understand. The problem is that the society doesn’t think about school problems and put aside young students who are “the future”. If we don’t have bases how can we build our future? How can we conduct the world?

    • I’m glad to hear students who appreciate the job of their teachers 🙂 Every teacher has his/her own personality but I know that students are good at understanding those who CARE about them and those who are TRUE. You’ve got kinda antennae! I’m sure you’ll do great things in the world and I’m here to help you build the FOUNDATIONS, TOGETHER!

  16. Hi everybody!
    Well.. Honestly, I don’t remember anything that I learnt at the ‘scuola media’.. I remember a few things, I remember few teachers. For example I remember my italian teacher, she was FANTASTIC, a human person, a person who LOVES her job, a VERY GOOD teacher but now I don’t met teachers like her yet. When I was at ‘scuola media’ I didn’t like school,like now,but my italian teacher make me interested in her hours. Even if you hate school, you don’t like it or you don’t like some subjects, the teachers should convey you their passions of teaching and automatically help you to accept what you don’t like. It’s their job,they chose it.
    I’m not against technology but I think that if you are a good teacher that love her job you don’t need technology,it can be useful,obviously,but it can’t changes the way to teaching of several teachers. I love technology,I love my mobile phone,my television and my computer. I find they useful but when they didn’t exsist people lived without technology.

    • Hi Alexia,
      sometimes we are blind and don’t see the obvious things that are in front of us but idealize what we had in the past. We do not see the passion of people who care of us.
      Anyway we teachers can HELP you accept what you don’t like but the final choice is always YOURS. Plus keep in mind that scuola media ( compulsory for everybody) is not a Liceo CHOSEN by students who are supposed to LIKE the subjects taught.
      Read my reply to Fabiola ( which of course you haven’t done) to answer your last line.

  17. Hi everybody!
    I agree with Giusy in some things, but in other I disagree with her. I honestly remember that I have studied at “scuola media”, because I had teachers devoted and they loved their job. They managed to involve me and make me feel part of the lesson.
    However, I don’t think that technology can completely change things , but can help the students and involve them in the lessons, through a different way from the old schools to learnt things.
    Now technology has become an important part of our life, are increasing the people who use it, for example teenagers who use it for school and the adults to work.
    I believe that using technology in school like Ipads, computers or interactive boards is a great ideas to substitute the simple black boards.
    Times have changed and with them the way of life, ideas and education and therefore are destined to evolve methods of teaching and learning.

    • How come you only mention Giusy of all the great comments written so far? Mystery. Why nobody refers to any of the videos?

  18. Hello everyone!
    I’ve been attending school for like ten years now and I’m not complaining of the way I’ve been educated so far but I think that nowadays school should be all about reinvention. We’re in 2013, there are so many new technologies and ways to improve our educational system!
    Back to when I was attending elementary school all I could do was listening to the teacher and studying on books… Don’t misunderstand me, it was fine, but I could’ve learned much more and better by using other kind of supports, like computers. Children of the future won’t even see books made of paper at school, just wait a few years. But it’s not only about technology, it’s also up to teachers to adopt one way of teaching rather than another. For example, if you spend the whole lesson talking to the pupils without a single break they won’t learn anything. Instead, if you talk for fifteen minutes and then give the students a break (which could also be spent by doing exercises or talking about school stuff) they will follow the lesson and learn more and better. If I could change something starting from my own class I would try to make the lessons more interesting, spend more time talking and practicing (especially when it’s about foreign languages). I love English lessons already because we do a lot of stimulating activities but I wish we could do the same with the other languages, doing more listenings and conversation hours to improve pronunciation, watching movies and videos, because most of the English I know comes from the music I listen to and the videos I watch! I’m following a few people on YouTube who make hilarious videos and you can’t imagine how much I’ve learned from them (vocabulary and pronunciation) and I also watch a lot of interviews of my favorite singers (who are all American): the amount of things I’ve learned from them is unbelievable. I also agree with Virginia who said that playing video games in English is useful to improve vocabulary. That’s so true, it worked for me too, I was used to play some video games in english and I’ve learned a lot from them as well.
    Reinventing the system is to key for a future made of well-prepared students so we shouldn’t be wasting a single second!

    • Thanks Mattia. I strongly believe that watching movies in English & listening to songs will make you improve your English tremendously :)nevertheless it’s not enough and we cannot spend all the time doing that because we’d miss the next step: CRITICAL THINKING.
      As you know in our virtual class there’s the link to LyricsTraining but I often wonder how many of you ever use it.if not WHY is it so?
      I add here a funny & provoking pic. See u tomorrow: now I’ll make myself a hot chocolate 🙂 I deserve it as I’ve been working on Sunday 😉

      Source: facebook.com via Laura on Pinterest

  19. Hi 😉
    As most of you I agree with Virginia. Talking about this topic I started reflecting that sometimes I think I’m only losing my time studing because after a couple of months I don’t remember anything, obviously this happen not in all subject but only in the ones which I don’t like. There are a lot of methods to make this not happen, but so: why can’t we develop and start using particulars methods?
    For example, when I was at the primary school I hated italian, it was a very boring subject but it was necessary that I studied it. When we had to learn the alphabeth the teacher made us doing some posters to teach us having fun. Each of us had to draw an animal with the letter that the teacher gave us.We learnt it immediately and now who forgive it anymore? I remember also the drawings!
    Obviously we were at the primary school so I don’t say that we have to work as children, however I think that doing funny activities all together will be only helpful for us. Than nowadays we have the luck to have a lot of new technologies (tablets,computers etc..) so why can’t we exploit tham?
    Certainly the tablets have not been created to play at Angry Birds or other similar games, but to be used at the best as it could happen just at school.
    But than the first problem comes out: There are not enough money.
    I don’t think so dear Italian State that you don’t have money because where the millions of euro given to the footballers come from? Not to mention those which are given to the politicians! We are the new generations and it’s fair that we have the possibility to exploit the new technologies.
    And than, the second problem comes out: most of the teacher don’t agree.
    But not even when the ‘lim’ have been proposed they agreed because thay sayd that the normal blackboard was faster to used. While now that there are the ‘lim’ they fight to have some lessons in that classes stealing tham at the teachers who agree with the project and so have more rights to use tham.
    Well, I think that some teachers have to revise theirselves and try to understand that for us is impossible to mantain the concentration for five hours looking a book! We want to make some extra activities! 🙂

    • Dear Chiara,
      what you have studied is never a waste of time nor gets LOST. Of course It’s great to lEARN WHILE HAVING FUN but it cannot be always like that and WE (I underline the WE) have to cope with BOREDOM & FRUSTRATION & I hope we’ll get stronger. I also dream of teaching all the time using the Interactive Board in my ideal classroom and hope that one day the State will invest in Education. By now I accept the daily limits I have to overcome but if we fight TOGETHER for a better school things cannot but get better 🙂
      “DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
      BE AFRAID NOT TO TRY”

  20. Hi you all! 🙂

    Education is not a right but a privilege.

    In today’s world, the student is bombarded with essays (saggi), problems, quizzes. In this way the school becomes a battle, not a place of personal and communal enrichment; the true aim (scopo) of every school, is to develop each individual student in body, mind and spirit while preparing him for a higher level of learning. Education must nourish the mind and be a solace (conforto), a comfort, in the already hectic (frenetica) lives of students.

    There are teachers who love children, passionate about education, devote (dedicano) enormous energy to education, and introduce new worlds to children. On the other hand, there are also not few teachers who lose their confidence in their work, are uncertain about themselves.
    As Nelson Mandela said: ‘Education and training are the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world’ and then… let’s do it! 😀

    • Very lapidary comment Michela but rather impersonal. What about your personal experience? (question 1)

  21. Hi everybody!
    As almost of you said to LEARN something isn’t important what teachers use, but how they do it, if they want to do it… because if they come to school only to get the salary we’ll NEVER learn nothing.
    But if we suppose that almost of our teachers come to school with will and that they have also the opportunities to use technologies, we could learn more and more.
    When I was at the middle school I had fantastic teachers that taught me a lot of things but it’s a matter of fact that I can REMEMBER only the topic that we made in a interactive way. For example the Italian’s teacher has made a lesson about “Promessi sposi” with some videos and a film and I still remember it because I liked that we were learning and having fun at the same time.
    We live in the 21th century, we are the technologies generation, we are surrounded by them… so why can’t we use them?
    We can’t stay here watching, while the world go on. The other countries developed, it’s time to do the same.
    Our country is old, I mean that almost of us think in a old way, we have to change the system and to do that we must do our best, as the proverb say “old habits die hard”, if we want to change we can do it, because hope is the last to die.
    I really like when we do our lessons with the interactive whiteboard, because we use the book, do exercises, listen some songs, watch videos… and all these in a few minutes. We learn, understand and know better the topic in a funny and “simple” way and we spend less time. I would really like if could use it every day because we’d understand much more, better and more gladly.
    There are pros &cons about it, some people sustain that students like using LIM only because is a means of game and don’t learn nothing, but I disagree and now I’ll share you an American article, I’m curious to know what do you think about it…
    http://thejournal.com/Articles/2010/08/04/Interactive-Whiteboards-Truths-and-Consequences.aspx?Page=3
    In my opinion the LIM is the best way to learn and this video show its goal.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLdHbtuCIyY
    Teachers should answer to some question to understand better why we must use technologies…
    Do they involve their students? Do they want to teach them? Are they aware that everything now is a technology? Do they try to understand us and to get at our place?

    • Thanks Ale, I’m very happy you enjoy the interactive lessons, as much as I do 😉 Of course as I’ve repeated lots of times, in order to have an engaging lesson you need a committed teacher but also committed students, willing to make the effort to be involved. The LIM- like all technology- is just a MEANS and not AN END and I’m trying to find the right BALANCE in our school system. No methodology is perfect, they all have their PROS & CONS that also depend on the types of students, as you are all very different. Thanks for the articles: as regard the first I agree that every class should have an iNteractive board but like all things students will get used to it ( = bored) and if behind technology there isn’t a HUMAN APPROACH in a class where you can where your ideas & EMOTIONS it’s doomed to be a failure.
      Your video is just beautiful!! Thanks, Ive already shared it because SHARING is the future of education and our classroom will go BEYOND OUR WALLS and I hope your comment will be read by teachers and students from other countries 😉 Students like you make me hope in a school without Jurassic dinosaurs but ful of creative kids & passionate teachers. I am on of them because for sure I won’t allow anybody to deprive me of my passion!!
      Last questions: I Do try to involve my students, I Do want to teach you integrating technology. DO YOU try to understand us & put yourself in my shoes?

  22. Hi everybody
    I remember a few things that I learnt at the ‘scuola media’, For example I remember my German teacher, she was my favorite teacher, she was very good and loved his job.
    She was caring and very nice unlike other teachers who do not put passion as she. I’ve never met a better teacher than her.
    I agree the technology and I think that with technology the students will be more careful. It is important to me and so nice to learn from the internet because I can study more accurate and modern and I’m bored less than the books. Yes, I find it very stimulant learn from the computer and new technologies because they are modern and efficient of school books. This way of teaching is really good but I think that it is not easy to use it in Italy where there are very few teachers available to change their way of teaching.
    Today the technology is spread in all the world and allows us to do things in the least time. I really like technology, especially the apple brand, I won`t to do without my mobile phone and I think that without the technology we could not live.

    • As you say Martina it’s not easy to find teachers in Italy who want to change their way of teaching as much as it’s difficult here to find STUDENTS who, instead of ACCUSING AND COMPLAINING, start to COMMIT themselves and do what they’re supposed to do: study.

  23. Hi everybody!
    Honestly I forgot a lot about the lessons I had in secondary school, but I remember that we were always in class and we studied without technology. There were only two times in three years where we used the computers and one of this time the computers didn’t work.
    Now, I think that use technology could be nice, but not if we dipend of it and not for every subject, for example maths: how we learn on iPad how do an operation? Wathing a video? I would forget immediatly after the procedure. As said Giusy you need to do a lot of exercises and maths don’t change becouse we study it by iPad, maths is maths! But for other subject could be very important use it, for example language: use video, watch movie, listen song, in my opinion, are the basis to learn. I haven’t nominated “read” because is an action that is nice to do with the real book and not with an ibook, perhaps I say that because i like see all my book in the shelf and not listed in a virtual window.
    Yes, we are in the 21th century and averything is changing, our life is changing but I think that not all schould change, at least not completely.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nTFEUsudhfs
    This video really striked me! That idea is WOW!
    In my opinion this is a very good mode to use technology so that could improve our way of study. I would use it very willingly. It is convenient, clear, if you don’t understand something you can review it and so you have two different way to see the lessons, that the teacher and that the video and this can help you to understand it completely without any gap.

    • Dear Sonia, I think you should be a bit LESS ASSERTIVE & less assuming. As you’ve never experienced a Maths lesson using the iPad how can you judge its validity? There are professors of the best universities in the world like Harvard & Stanford (like the founder of Khan Academy of the video you’ve linked) who are experimenting and writing books after YEARS of research & you & Giusy get rid of the idea saying “maths is maths”. Don’t you think you’re being a bit conservative and opinionated (supponente)? Plus the professor of the video you like is a professor of Maths & his videos are used by lots of high schools and universities all over the world!
      As regards READING, even this concept is changing (I read studies by Stanford university) and while in the past WE & YOU STUDENTS only read books now in order to be LITERATE (alfabetizzati) you need to be able to decode also other digital means (including Twitter & the web). So said, I know I love paper books but I also love my Kindle 😉

  24. Hi everybody!

    So, I’d like to start with my personal experience with school isn’t all that good because in elementary school the teacher had a lot of preferences and basically I haven’t learned much, in middle school I spent 3 years listening to the same arguments over and over since its end, then now it’s my third year at Grigoletti and the first I was there I failed becuase I haven’t had a good preparation. Now I managed to get to the second year and its quite fine.

    I think also, the ways of teaching are absolutely relevant; if the students get bored they won’t follow the techear and also won’t learn ANYTHING so more involving lessons and also the use of new technnology, beware that they can help but if the student have no interest in learning the technology won’t make a change. Another factor: the Teacher if the teacher goes to school just beacuse he get paid even if he does nothing and he teaches with no interest, the lessons will be like just” sit for an hour there, don’t talk, write, do the exercise, see next week” and the students won’t be involved.

    It’s pretty short but I hope I have explained well my way of thinking about teaching.

    • Dear Omar, I honestly thing that it’s about time you gave up blaming the others (you din’t learn much just because of a biased teacher? and then were and are all your teachers so? never doubted about YOUR OWN ATTITUDE?) & started RESPECTING the. I’ll be very frank. You’ve had 4 days to write this comment and in spite of my recommendations you posted it Sunday at 20.33. Were I supposed to read it at that time?
      As you said teachers can make all the effort to use special effects but if the student, deep in his sould hasn’t got the least sparkle of INTEREST & MOTIVATION it won’t be of any use. I’m fed up of hearing students complaining about teachers who come to school just to get paid. Considering the low salary we get we do even too much to entertain students who come to school to sleep, yawn & as you said sit for 5 hours doing nothing but blaming the system. Too easy my dear, as the world outside the walls of school will be much cruel and have no pity for such young people.
      Bill Gates Bill Gates spoke before a group of high school students and gave them a list of eleven things you did not learn in school
      http://www.webtrafficroi.com/good-morning-sunday-11-rules-you-will-never-learn-in-school-by-bill-gates/ Hope it will make you think not only about teaching but also about learning.

  25. The word “school” derives from Greek (sholè), originally meaning “leisure” (free time) and also “that in which leisure is employed.
    That made me think a lot . Why should school be “free time”?
    So, I thought about my school experience, searching in my blurred memory. I remember only a few things about kindergarten: friends, nice teachers, fun and school plays.
    The elementary school was strange; I remember I wanted to escape and go to middle school but at the same time I cried a lot the last day of school. This because not only notions form the school, but also people, brains, hearts. (So, the importance in educating the heart). I remember the passion of my English teacher in making us appreciate the subject she taught and making us enjoy going to school.
    At middle school I learnt how to live with the others. How to love. How to toil. How to have fun with classmates. How to reason. Middle school’s years were some of the best in my life.
    At high school I learnt believing in my dreams and in my future and not giving up, never.
    But, why “free time”? Because we dedicate free time in doing what we love and what is useful for us, and school should be this! It should make students want to study and learn, it should make students want to express ideas, wishes, opinions and tips. And not being an organization against students and their ideas.
    Well, what saying about new technologies; in my opinion they work only if integrated with old methods and used with mind, so they can be a great instrument for learning.
    So guys, what are we waiting for? We must make the school our new “hobby”!
    Bye. 🙂

    • Dear Chiara, I partially agree with you beacuase I’m reading an interesting book at the moment Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman who warns us about the dangers of transforming also education in a form of ENTERTAINMENT where you expect to be entertained (see my reply to Omar) and lose the pleasure of reaching your goal through struggle and hard work.. By the way you are the one who truly understood what I meant by lEARNING and when you mention social skills like living with the others, loving, having fun, reasoning you got it: that’s my concept of EDUCATING THE HEART & also teaching the EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, often neglected: we have the duty to teach RESILIENCE the capacity to recover from failures,toughness & difficulties so that you’ll be able to grow as a person & face the world. Thanks for having given me the chance to mention this. Last comment but not least 🙂
      Welcome to the use of NEW TECHNOLOGIES WITHIN A HUMANISTIC APPROACH. That’s what I believe in.That’s why I’m reading your comments and writing my replies.

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