EMBED 2012 to showcase best use of ICT in Maltese education

Teaching history through ICT is the running theme of ‘EMBED 2012: Best Use of ICT’, a six-day event at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, between April 25 and 30. The event will also bring to a close a very intensive scholastic year in terms of ICT-related educational projects.

Organised by the Curriculum Management and eLearning Department (CMeLD) within the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE), and the Directorate for Educational Services (DES), the exhibition will showcase the latest technologies and approaches towards the use of ICT in education through the theme of Maltese history.

Workshops include private companies that offer educational products and services that harness ICT. These include interactive whiteboards, programmable floor robots, educational software for game consoles, and the use of freeware.

With the emphasis on hands-on experience, students use the workshops to become more acquainted with graphics, multimedia, animation, music, physical education using Wii, Lego NXT, Bee-Bots, WE-DO robots, interactive whiteboards, Microsoft tools, Apple GarageBand audio editing and iPhoto photo editing, and Web 2.0 tools, among others.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the new e-learning platform provided by Fronter which is being rolled-out in State Primary and Secondary Schools.

The exhibition will host several workshops were students, teachers and parents are invited to join in and learn how technology can make support education and make it fun for children. These include a stop animation workshop where students will create their own puppets and animate them, podcasting, videoconferencing, graphics and other multimedia production.

The Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education together with Microsoft will launch the Innovative Teachers Forum, an annual competition for best use of ICT across the curriculum with the winners representing Malta abroad.

EMBED 2012 will also incorporate a prize-giving ceremony that will recognise the best use of ICT across the curriculum.  These awards encourage, promote and share good practice in ICT in our schools and show how e-learning is not just the use of the computer.

The eTwinning National Support Service will also organise workshops and hold its annual prize-giving ceremony for the best eTwinning Projects.

Two challenges in computer programming have also been launched. The scope of the NXT Challenge is to elicit participants to hone their programming skills through NXT Mindstorm programmable robots.  This is sponsored by IMS.

Scratch IT to see IT!  is based on the freely downloadable graphical environment known as Scratch designed by MIT specifically for introducing children to programming in a fun and easy way.  The awards of the competition will be supported by the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta and the eSkills Alliance Malta, which is driven by MITA and partners.

The eLearning centre within CMeLD aims to be the hub of innovation and creativity and at the forefront to explore and exploit these tools. It is also committed to implementing the ambitious national eLearning strategy and to ensure that eLearning grows and develops for the benefit of all learners.

This activity is being organised with the support of various local suppliers.

“EMBED 2012: Best Use of ICT” will be open for schoolchildren from 8.30 am to 1 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday 25/26/27/30 April; and for the general public on Saturday between 9am and 4pm and on Sunday 29 between 9am and 12pm and 3pm and 6pm at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta.

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