High School Dobri Daskalov

Namely, the teaching process today is held in new two-floor building where both theoretical and practical lectures are conducted. In the school there are more than 10 classrooms with a computer for every student, internet and informatics, biology, chemistry, physics and art laboratories, all with computers and basic teaching materials. There is a separate room with a computer, DVD, TV, LCD projector, upright piano and a facility used for different presentations, lectures, workshops, meetings and art and culture manifestations.

The school has 66 employees – teachers, professional associates, administrating and teaching personnel. All the employees have appropriate education according to the legal regulations for realization f the pedagogical and educational process.  Also in the High School „Dobri Daskalov“ there are 851 students, 325 boys and 526 girls, organized in 28 different classes.

What was the High School „Dobri Daskalov“. (Review)

Before year 2000, the High School "Dobri Daskalov" from Kavadarci, was equiped with 22 computers, of which 17 were set in the classroom for Informatics and 5 computers were placed for administrative affairs. During that period, the school did not had any laptop or LCD projector.

Students have access to these computers only during the classes for Computer Sciences and Programming Languages.

With the projects GOPA-VET II project (2003), "Computer for Every Child" (2008) and the trainings for teachers in using ICT in teaching process, the school increased the number of ICT equipment as well as the number of trained teachers to use it.

 Today the school has more classrooms that are fully equipped with ICT equipment, with a stable internet connection, LCD projectors, and teachers who consistently use ICT in teaching.

According to this a better utilization of equipment was obtained. So, the Director together with the coordinator of ICT, following the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and Science of Macedonia, in the school development plan, inserted guidance on the application of ICT in teaching process. From the obtained evaluation, the following was determined:

Internet The school had broadband Internet access throughout the school, via a cable network in the building.
IT equipment maintenance Maintenance was carried out on an ad-hoc basis, with no maintenance contract in place. A private company was engaged to deal with occurred problems on a case-by-case basis.
Licensed software All of the software installed in the computer room was licensed but a full update of the software in use in the school needed to be carried out.
ICT professional development Most teachers received some ICT certified development, though some of this occurred several years before. This had been delivered through a mixture of subject association meetings, informal help from colleagues
Teachers digital literacy All teachers indicated that they were able to use personal computers to access the Internet and email, perform basic word processing and enter student results at the end of each term.
ICT usage in teaching process Some teachers often were using ICT as a teaching and learning tool. Many were using ICT as a teaching resource occasionally. And a few did not use ICT as either a teaching or learning resource at all.
ICT skills The majority teachers had basic ICT skills, but, many of them lacked the confidence or the knowledge to use these skills to improve learning and teaching in their classrooms.
ICT awareness Most of the staff recognized the benefits of using ICT in teaching and learning process.
School website The school had a basic website in place, developed by the ICT coordinating teacher, which was updated on regular basis, but it did not contain specific teaching and learning materials.


Where the High School "Dobri Daskalov" want to get to. (Priorities)

According to the emerging priorities, a team was formed with aim to implement the ICT in the teaching process. The school director led this team together with teachers who are in this sector. The team was guided by the school development plan and the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and outlined the following school priorities:

Students would experience e-Learning activities more often.
The school website would contain content developed by teachers and students and be used as a communication tool.
The school would create and use its own digital content.
The school would work towards providing all learning areas with access to a range of ICT equipment, including mobile devices, over the next 5 years.
Teachers should acquire the skills to use technologies and to integrate ICT into their teaching methodologies
To increase the confidence of teaching staff in the integration of ICT in their subject areas.
To procure external technical support so that teachers could focus on integrating ICT rather than trying to resolve technical issues and so that the ICT co-ordinating teacher can focus on helping teachers integrate ICT rather than maintaining ICT equipment.


How the High School "Dobri Daskalov" planned to get there (Targets)

The school director together with the coordinator for ICT, set goals and activities that needs to be achieved or implemented in future. About this issue several times was discussed during the teachers' councils and many other team meetings. The parents were informed too. Some of the decisions were taken from the research done with students, but in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of the Ministry of Education and the education inspectorate. So, the key targets are:

What the High School "Dobri Daskalov" did (Tasks)

The school increased the amount of ICT equipment available, especially laptops and data projectors for each classroom.

The school organized training through the local education centre following identification of CPD requirements in ICT (both skills-based and pedagogical).

The school provide information on ICT professional development to all staff at least once a term.

The school put a maintenance contract in place for technical support.

The school teachers developed a school website. Pupils 'work is showcased on the site and the site is used to inform the wider community about the school. Senior pupils are currently learning how to upload their own work to the website.

The ICT coordinating teacher in the school arranged for the demonstration of ICT equipment in the school. They consulted other schools regarding the use of interactive whiteboards, their cost implications and the use of alternative technologies.

The school incorporated an interactive whiteboard in order to be used by teachers, through which they have an opportunity together with the students to realize one part of their curricula with the help of information and communication technology.

A member of the e-Learning team at school coordinated the production of the newsletter. Senior classes assisted in the layout and production of the published material. All teachers were asked to contribute content, electronically, from their classes.

The school staff began to informally support each other when colleagues experienced difficulties using technology.

The school within the project Integration of e-learning in the classroom-iOERc Erasmus + program, is in the process of making the on-line platform for the implementation of activities in certain subjects.

The school implemented LMS system Moodle for e-learning that is actively used by the students and teachers from the school year 2011/12. The access is provided through the school website www.dobridaskalov.edu.mk, or through the link www.dobridaskalov.edu.mk/moodle.

What the High School "Dobri Daskalov" achieve (2nd Review)

Each subject department reviews its e-Learning practice as part of regular subject department meetings. The school website editorial team is in place; the website is updated regularly and contains a growing body of teaching and learning content, information and advice.

Regular and planned technical support has ensured ICT equipment is available as needed almost all of the time. There is an increasing amount of digital content developed by teachers and students and shared within a subject department. Students are showing a greater interest where e-Learning is part of the classroom practice.

There is an increased amount of 'informal' professional development taking place among staff. Teachers' confidence levels in the integration of ICT have increased. ICT has become integral to lesson planning and preparation and teachers feel their confidence has grown considerably. Teachers have noticed an improvement in the standard of pupils' writing and presentation when ICT is used for writing stories, poetry and in the preparation of work for display around the school and on the website. Teachers and pupils no longer see ICT as an add-on but as an essential learning tool and their confidence in using ICT has increased.

Having an ICT technician available on a regular basis removed technical hurdles and allowed teachers to concentrate on ICT integration instead. The ICT coordinating teacher is spending more time on promoting and supporting e-Learning throughout the school and a smaller proportion of time addressing technical issues. With technical issues no longer the predominant issue, the ICT coordinating teacher was able to concentrate on ICT integration and assisting teachers to organize e-Learning activities.

Overall, this resulted in a gradual but significant shift in the ICT culture within the school. The primary goal of integrating ICT into the curriculum seemed elusive and somewhat daunting to many at the outset, but over the course of the year teachers saw that, through small practical steps, much can be achieved. The process of deciding on and producing content for the newsletter presented many new opportunities for learning in classrooms, much of which involved discussion, collaboration, active learning and creativity. ICT was an integral part of this process. It also presented children with another audience for their work. Parents indicated a greater understanding and appreciation of the work of the school, in many different ways, including e-Learning activities.

Sharing of resources/equipment between local schools was very successful and continues.  All students in the school have a user account for the e-learning system Moodle, so that they can follow the set of uploaded presentations and materials, they can send their homework in the determined deadline, then the teachers can grade them, made quizzes on which the students are immediately assessed and they can also discuss in the created forums on different topics related to the curriculum content.

 The application of the above mentioned ICT tools, is increased the desire and motivation in performing everyday tasks from teachers and students.

Today the school has more classrooms that are fully equipped with ICT equipment, with a stable internet connection, LCD projectors, and teachers who consistently use ICT in teaching.

What next?

Presently new classrooms are in construction phase within the school that will be equipped with interactive whiteboards and other modern computer equipment. After completion of the project Integration of e-learning in the classroom - iOERc Erasmus + program, the school will gain access to new on-line platform through which the students will have the opportunity to actively participate in the teaching process. Furthermore, teachers are planning to look more closely at the methodologies being used and to explore the possibilities of becoming involved in inter-school collaboration projects. The e-Learning team plans to compile a training and information guide on e-Learning for new or temporary staff. The e-Learning team will research what courses are available through the local Education Centre or online and make this information available to teachers. There has been a specific request from a number of teachers who would like to learn more about using digital video.