Project meetings

Partner meeting and working meeting/experience exchage in Riga

Meeting minutes

13.09.2017/ Day No.1

The partner meeting and working seminar started with registration and welcoming coffee. After then all participants from all three institutions introduced to themselves. There were participating project manager, coordinators and teachers in this meeting. Project manager Sandra Bidzāne from RSTS told about the project, its aims, activities, results etc. Project coordinators Arita Ošiņa (RSTS) and Rainer Kuutma (VCVTC) as well as teacher Katriina Karkimo (PIC) presented their school and experience in e-studies, and told about working with e-learning materials. There are rather many differences among these three schools. RSTS has the biggest number of students and staff, there are also many specialities provided in RSTS. PIC and VCVTC are smaller educational institutions, but they are more experienced in working in e-environment and with e-learning materials than RSTS. All partner schools are working in Moodle. PIC is using different interactive on-line tools to make learning more attractive and interesting for their students. RSTS and VCVTC mainly are using PowerPoint presentations, lessons notes, different materials in PDF and tests as e-learning materials. Mathematics teachers Elita Kazakēviča (RSTS), Alexander Kainberg (PIC) and Sille Allik (VCVTC) told about teaching mathematics in their schools. There are also many differences. RSTS in the only school with final state examinations, which are the same as for the gymnasium and secondary school students. PIC and VCVTC haven’t final examinations at all. There is a huge difference in amount of mathematics lessons. RSTS has the biggest one. Also the most complicated mathematics topics are in RSTS.

In conclusion of the first day project manager and coordinators discussed about the project budget and project money for partners that RSTS hasn’t transferred yet due to complicated system in state institutions of Latvia.

Late in the evening project participants went to the Folk club ALA, where had a nice dinner.

14.09.2017/ Day No.2

The second day began with the partner meeting and conversations about project documentation, reports and next activities in Porvoo. At the beginning coordinators from PIC and VCVTC were unpleasantly surprised about all the complicated reporting that offered RSTS according to its previous experience in international projects. As coordinator from RSTS Arita Ošiņa went to the Nordplus seminar on September 15, she found out that it is possible to use more simple reporting and documentation. So project partners don’t have to make agreements on voluntary work, it will be enough with timesheets in the end of the project. Partners don’t have to submit originals of the invoices, tickets, cheques etc. regarding the travel and accommodation, it is enough with the copies and one report with all travel and accommodation costs for every meeting.

During the first part of working seminar teachers started to work with development of inquiry form for the students. Teachers of every school worked in the groups and wrote down some questions for this form. After then each group presented its questions and all seminar participants discussed about these questions. All seminar participants agreed on Katriina’s idea to divide the inquiry form in several parts. The first is background information, like gender, age and study program. The second part is about attitudes towards mathematics and studies in general. The third part is about materials used in learning mathematics. Then come 10 mathematics exercises. The last question is about student’s ideas for development new means for learning mathematics.

The last question is about student’s ideas for development new means for learning mathematics. In the second part of working seminar all 5 teachers worked together and wrote down mathematics exercises. At the beginning teachers had written down more than 10 exercises, but then all decided to reduce the number to 10 in order to have the inquiry form rather short and concrete. Katriina put all questions in Google Form as all had decided before. The Google Form allows to get a summary of all responses that is needed for this project.

15.09.2017/ Day No.3

There was only working seminar in the third meeting day, but project manager and coordinators from RSTS and VCVTC also participated in order to help their teachers with English.

In the first part of day teachers worked in groups – Estonian teachers together with Latvian teachers and both Swedish teachers in one group. They had to discuss about the form and content of the e-learning material in mathematics that has to be developed within the project. After lunch teachers presented their first ideas. Alexander from PIC showed 3 internet platforms where is possible to make different kind of exercises, tests etc. in attractive form. Estonian teacher showed one more platform. It was decided to use these 4 platforms for the development of e-learning material. All teachers got a homework to make at least 3 exercises in one or several of these platforms. These exercises should be developed based on the results of students’ survey in each school. Teachers have to present the exercises or explanation material during the next meeting in Porvoo in November 2017.

In the conclusion of the meeting project manager and coordinator from RSTS informed all participants about the tasks and deadlines until the meeting in Porvoo on November 8-10, 2017.

Partner meeting and working meeting/experience exchage in Porvoo

Meeting minutes

08.11.2017/ Day No.1

In the first meeting day PIC was presented, its curriculum and the students' viewpoint on the college and study opportunities. Over the course of the day, the project participants – RSTS, PIC and VCVTC presented the results of the questionnaire. As a result of the mathematics teachers' presentations, the data of all the participant countries questionnaires were compared and the common issues affecting all learners on the most challenging study topics were assessed and discussed. The results of the survey once again confirmed that the problems of mathematics acquisition are similar in all countries. For learners, mathematics seems to be difficult, often they do not see its link with real life, but at the same time, learners believe that mathematics is important and needed in their future professions. The students’ answers highlighted that they would love to master mathematics. Many suggested ideas for more attractive and interesting teaching materials. The results of the proposed mathematics tasks have revealed that the worst outcomes are obtained solving percentages, unit measurements and different equations.

Later, the PIC teachers introduced their college premises and study directions. The seminar participants went on a college tour to get acquainted with school, classrooms, training and leisure activities.

Over the course of the day, teachers from the project participant countries introduced the e-study environments they use at their educational establishments and countries. The representatives agreed on topics for which teachers in each project participant country would draw up their mathematics assignments in the Kahoot internet platform:

  • Riga State Technical School – tasks for transition from one measurement unit to another;
  • Porvoo International College – quadratic equations;
  • Valga Vocational Education Training Centre – solving of percentage tasks.

It was decided that the tasks should be tied to social situations that would be binding on the students in order to see the link between mathematics and real life.

While mathematics teachers discussed their issues, project manager and three coordinators talked about and planned the next meeting in Valga on March 7-8 in 2018. There were also discussions about the documentation on project expenses for travel, board and lodging and meeting organization as well.

In the evening all project participants and representatives of PIC had a tasty dinner in the nice restaurant in old town.

09.11.2017/ Day No.2

The day began with an interesting and useful presentation about digitalization and IT tools in education of PIC by Katriina.

The representatives of the project participant countries presented the tasks they had set up in the Kahoot internet platform. The participants discussed the tasks that were developed and discussed the creation of the explanatory material for the theoretical material and tasks to be connected, and their link with possible e-study environments.

At the end of the meeting, the results of the work concluded were summarized, and it was decided until the next meeting in the VCVTC, to offer learners to calculate the above tasks using the previously developed theoretical material in order to assess the progress of the students and make the necessary conclusions.

Partner meeting and working meeting/experience exchange in Valga

Meeting minutes

07.03.2018/ Day No.1

At first participants of the project meeting got acquainted with VCVTC having a tour at the school premises and watching presentation prepared by the project coordinator of VCVTC Rainer Kuutma. After then the mathematics teachers presented the results of testing e-exercises and theoretical explanation material. Estonians hadn’t finished the testing yet, so only Finns and Latvians could share their experience. The greatest part of Finnish students admitted that they like e-materials on Kahoot internet platform. They also found rather exciting the competitive side of Kahoot. The PIC students think that it is possible to learn something from Kahoot.

Some e-exercises caused problems for the Latvian students, but they really enjoyed doing tasks on Kahoot internet platform. The RSTS students also liked to compete in Kahoot and they found e-exercises rather attractive. The students even asked to the mathematics teacher to give them exercises on Kahoot, so excited they were. Unfortunately many students didn’t read theoretical explanation material the teacher had prepared. If they had read it, very possible the theory would helped them to do e-exercises.

The next meeting task was to develop the second inquiry form in order to check results in mathematics for the 1st year students. The teachers decided to develop this form on the basis of the first inquiry form. There were added several questions about e-environment, Kahoot platform and other e-issues to the second inquiry form. The teachers have to do this survey during April and analyse the results.

08.03.2018/ Day No.2

During the second meeting day project participants developed support material/short guidance on using Kahoot platform for other teachers. This support material consists of simple instructions with nice pictures how to develop exercises on Kahoot internet platform. There will be developed also instructions for using similar internet platform.

In the end of meeting project participants talked about the final conference that will be held in Riga on May 23. There will take part all teachers, project manager and coordinators, as well as students in the conference. RSTS will invite also mathematics teachers from other vocational schools and representative of the Latvian Nordplus administration. Arita as Latvian project coordinator will tell about the project in general. Kristīne will introduce with the project website. The teachers and students will share their experience in the project and present the project results. The teachers have to include 3 slides about the school in their presentation. The duration of presentation for the teachers have to be 10-15 minutes. The students have to talk approximately 5 minutes. The first school that participate will be VCVTC, the next will be PIC and as the last ones their experience will share RSTS teachers and students.