The Austrian eLearning Cluster



school year 2007/08

school year 2010/11

school year 2008/09school year 2011/12
school year 2009/10school year 2012/13


In November 2007 the VBS Schönborngasse was invited by the VBS Mödling, to join the eLearning Cluster NÖ. In a Kick-off event in Mödling we were heartily welcomed in this partnership, together with the BHAK Laa/Thaya.

The eLearning Cluster schools encourage the youngsters to work interactively. The students use the new media very efficiently(e.g. by producing podcasts and carrying out video conferences). They use Testing tools for exams, for which they go in on computers. The evaluation takes place automatically, and the grading is carried out very quickly.Learning platforms like Moodle are used by the students to exchange teaching and learning materials electronically. But, of course, they also still enjoy personal contacts, which help them get to know each other better.
The learning platforms offer the youngsters the possibility, to create their own ePortfolios, where they can upload their CV and present the best papers they produced during a school year. This tool will certainly gain momentum in the future, when more and more companies as well as universities visit those ePortfolios in order to learn more about and applicant.
In February 2009 representatives of our cluster met at the HAK Laa/Thaya: our main topic was the work with new media (e.g. whiteboards, electronic registers, podcasts). Quickly it became obvious, that work with all these technical equipment is rather time consuming in the introductory phase, but as soon as teachers and students have got used to them, the majority appreciates the advantages.
In April 2009, during the eLC2.0 Meeting in Melk the partnership grew by one more school, the BHAK Bruck/Leitha. During the school year 2009/10, we plan to discuss the question of how to present our schools as good as possible to the public, mainly in the training company and language lessons. Students should learn to use Concept Maps while planning a project. In addition to this, students will produce a movie in a media project.

In September 2009 the students of the 3BK (2009/10), coached by a big group of teachers, started work on a very big and interesting interdisciplinary project. Prof.  Krenn coordinated the project professionally, and Prof. Hudolin again and again managed to motivate the youngsters in the 3BK for this really challenging project.

The students drafted short introductions into a number of software programmes in the following subjects: IFOM, WINF, BPQM, CRW, and German. These introductions should help the beginners in the laptop classes working with their computers.
On October 20/21, 2009the eLearning didactics conference was held at the TGM Wien. it goes without saying that the teachers, who coached the project, participated in this conference. The number of participants was so high, that the organizers had serious problems with where to hold all the workshops announced. We learnt a lot at this conference, although we have to admit, that the output would certainly have been higher, if the expected hands-on experience in the workshops had been possible.
Project work was continued with much energy at school. In IFOM the students drafted standard templates for the Word documents and ppt-presentations. In BWQM the project documentation was carried out with the new Software (x+o) PM-Tool. In addition to this, a group of students worked on our media project in the German lessons: a movie of the Buch Wien 09.

On January 22, 2010 we held our dress rehearsal for the big meeting with the partner schools. Of course, we still made some mistakes, but we used the time before the meeting to correct the mistakes.
On February 11, 2010 students and teachers from the partnerschools (VBS Mödling, BHAK Laa/Thaya and BHAK Bruck/Leitha) visited the VBS Schönborngasse, and the students of the 3BK presented a small number of the wide variety of mini projects they had worked on since the beginning of the school year.
After a short welcome message of our principal, HR Dr. Battenfeld, we started the presentations and learnt a lot about the opinion poll tool Schoolpark, the VBS network tools, how to make a backup on your computer, and how to produce little videos with Movie Maker, etc.
The graphic design (right) and the Concept Map below show the comprehensiveness of the project, on with the students worked for a number of months.

Of course, we also enjoyed the social part of the meeting. After the presentations, we all could enjoy some good food and drinks at the buffet, and we could also use this time to exchange experiences in small groups. Afterwards, the students and teachers of the BHAK Bruck/Leitha presented their work with Concept Maps and Mindmeister.
Here you can watch the video of the meeting!

All the files, which were created in the course of the project, can now be made public on the  Moodle learning platform, so that the students of the partner schools can also use them and will hopefully be able to tackle one or the other computer problem with the support of these files.
Already on  February 12, 2010 the students of the 3BK produced very funny mini videos, which round up the project, and in which they could once more reflect their work in the several groups and express their joy over the success of the project. Have a look!
On March 1, 2010 we attended a meeting of representatives from all eLCluster schools in Lower Austria at the BORG Wr. Neustadt. It was highyl interesting to learn about the manifold projects, which are carried out in the numerous Cluster schools.

This meeting was not only a perfect occasion to exchange experiences and to make new plans for the next school year, but also to prepare the Conference of all Austrian eLCluster schools, which will take place in Steyr from April 12-14, 2010.

The eLC Spring Meeting 2010 was held at the Museum Arbeitswelt Steyr from April 12-14. As eTeaching and eLearning have already become an integral part of our daily teaching, the goal was set to bring the two initiatives eLSA (eLearning im Schulalltag) and eLC (eLearning Cluster) closer together in the next few years. Many grammar schools are members of both initiatives, therefore we should be able to make use of synergies and to avoid redundances.

The Keynote-Speaker was Averil Morrow from Northern Ireland. She very lively not only presented the "Irish way of teaching", but also her viewpoint, that the way we put our questions is to blame, if teachers are not content with their students' answers.

The social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.) have as much become part of school life as the notebooks and recently also the netbooks.

Of course, the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse also presented the netbook-project, which we started in early spring 2010 and which opens new ways of learning and enriches our activities in the eLearning Cluster.

The impressive projects which were presented by the various schools once more proved, that quality and media competency are growing from year to year.

Francesc Pedró from the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation held the final . His topic was: „The New Millenium Learners: how technology influences today´s learners“. After this speech, the audience had again enlarged their knowledge of this topic and everybody was confident, as the statistics he showed were a clear proof that Austria is among the leading nations in the field of ICT at schools.
The eDidaktik Meeting took place again on October 20/21, 2010 at the TGM in Vienna. Several teachers of the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse participated. As the meeting started on October 20 at noon time, the schools of the eLCluster Lower Austria took the occasion to meet at the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse in the morning in order to discuss plans for the project work of the school year 2010/11. Of course, the Cluster leaders were read to answer a number of questions.
In the course of the Netbook-Project also cooperated with some of our eLCluster partners as well as with the BHAK Judenburg in the school year 2010/11. We agreed on this cooperation in a meeting on November 9, 2010.
The eLCluster work of the students during the school year 2010/11 was to a great degree devoted to exploring the chances and challenges of Web 2.0 platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. Therefore, it goes without saying, that the students of the 3AK (2010/11), who carried out this project, also participated in the Safer Internet Day 2011.

On January 27, 2010 the members of the eLCluster team, in order to coordinate the next steps. Work in the 3AK makes good process; our colleagues Sigrid Krenn and Brigitte Kristöfl will represent the VBS-HAK III Schönborngasse at the Spring Meeting in Steyr.
On January 28, 2011 the BHAK Bruck/Leitha ivited us to participate in a seminar on competence orientation and interdisciplinary teaching materials for students, who change from secondary school to the commercial school. Our colleagues Petra Klicka-Kocurek and John Toth represented the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse in this event. Shortly afterwards, on February 4, 2011, the same colleagues together with a greater team, held another meeting, in which they discussed the new features of the Praxis-HAS, which starts in September Herbst 2011.
The next Seminar was held on February 3, 2011 at the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse. We enlarged our Mahara ePortfolio skills.

Two colleagues joined us from our partner schools: Dr. Ursula Reber from the BHAK Bruck/Leitha and Mag. Sabine Böhm from the BHAK Laa/Thaya. All other participants were colleagues from the VBS-HAKIII Schönborngasse.

The expert, who held the seminar, was Mag. Klaus Himpsl-Gutermann, who works for the Department for Interactive Media and Education Techonologies at the Donau-Universität Krems.
The Austrian eLCluster Meeting was held in Steyr from April 5-6, 2011. The presentations focuses on three topics: individual learning environment, use of modern media during the lessons, and principles of teaching with notebooks or netbooks.

Another series of lectures dealt with the improvement of the school system and the cross-linking of eLCluster and eLSA schools. Watch the video!
The development of the eLClusters was not without problems in the school year 2011/12, as money was short due to the general savings policy of the government. Nevertheless, a great number of colleagues attended the eLearning Conference on October 18/19, 2011 at the TGM in Vienna. There we had excellent chances to exchange experiences and learn about new tools and methods for elearning. The eLCluster group Lower Austria also held a meeting during this conference and discussed the further cooperation for this school year.
On December 15, 2011 the team members met again at the BHAK Laa/Thaya. The representatives of the VBS Schönborngasse had decided in a meeting before, which topics we would like to focus on this year: in project manangement the students drafted a tutorial for how to handle the question of copyright. As soon as these tutorials were ready, they were uploaded to a Moodle Platform, where all partners had access to them.
The spring meeting of the school year 2011/12 was held on April 17/18, 2012 April in Steyr. Appr. 280 participants could collect information about partnership projects in the fields of "individal learning environment" and "media pedagogy". "Mobile learning devices", "networking with eLSA schools" and "school development" were presented as well as ideas of Dr. Peter Baumgartner about the "ePortfolio as a central learning tool". Dr. Chris Gerry (Skillslab, UK) opened new rooms for the audience, and MR Dr. Christian Dorninger (BMUKK) informed the participants about the lastest developments in the fields of performance rating  and centralised school leaving exam. 
Photo: Gert Steinthaler
Die Frühjahrstagung des Schuljahres 2012/2013 fand am 9./10. April 2013 in Steyr statt.

Nach der Eröffnung durch Frau BL Mag. Heidrun Strohmeyer (BMUKK) stellte der Keynote-Speaker Prof. Dr. Christian Spannagel den Teilnehmer/innen den „Inverted Classroom“ für Mathematik vor. Unter einer „umgedrehten Mathe-Vorlesung“ wird keine Vorlesung im eigentlichen Sinne verstanden, sondern  Inhalte werden vorab zu Hause mithilfe von Vorlesungsvideos selbstständig erarbeitet, und in der anschließenden „Vorlesung“ werden offene Fragen gemeinsam beantwortet und anhand unterschiedlicher Aspekte näher diskutiert.

Unter dem Stichwort "Partizipation und Vernetzung" wurden zahlreiche innovative Schulentwicklungsprojekte vorgestellt. Didaktik-Projekte mit mobilen Lernbegleitern als praktische Erweiterung von Schule und Klassenraum boten einen breiten Einblick in die facettenreichen Möglichkeiten, die die Mediendidaktik für beruflichen Kompetenzerwerb bietet.

Schulentwicklungs-Projekte mit vertikaler digitaler Vernetzung mit NMS und VS wurden ebenso vorgestellt wie Überlegungen von Mag. Max Schrems zum Thema „Rechtliche Herausforderungen von Facebook“. Im Anschluss daran bot Anja Balanskat vom European Schoolnet einen umfassenden Einblick in die pädagogischen Praktiken des IKT-Einsatzes in Europas Schulen.

Abschließend erläuterte MR Mag. Christian Schrack (BMUKK) die eLC-Zielsetzungen für das Schuljahr 2013/2014 sowie die eLC Zukunftsplanung im Hinblick auf die nachhaltige eLearning Dissemination.

Als schulübergreifendes Projekt innerhalb der Schulpartnerschaft wurden umfangreiche App-Tests für Smartphones und Tablets, eine grafische Aufbereitung der Ergebnisse sowie ein Vergleich der Ergebnisse vorgestellt.

Im Sprachunterricht werden ePortfolios eingesetzt. Der Online-Zugang der Schüler/innen zum Stundenplanverwaltungsprogramm WebUntis erwies sich für alle Beteiligten als äußerst praktikabel.  Durch die selbstständige Eingabe der Noten bzw. Ausdrucke der Schulnachrichten/Zeugnisse durch die Lehrenden mit dem Schulverwaltungsprogramm Sokrates konnten wir einen maßgeblichen verwaltungstechnischen Aufwand optimieren.

Der Elternsprechtag im April 2013 wurde erstmals mittels Online-Terminreservierung (http://www.elternsprechtag.at/) organisiert. Die Evaluation zeigte, dass die digitale Form der Abwicklung des Elternsprechtages sowohl bei den Eltern als auch bei den Schüler/innen und Lehrer/innen großen Zuspruch fand.

© Dr. Susanne Pratscher, Mag. Erich Risslegger, MSc und Dipl.Päd. Sigrid Krenn, MEd


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