Agnieska Bilska | Europe
I firmly believe my students are at school to become prepared for the challenges of modern world but first of all to succeed in pursuing happiness. The formal system of education tends to overlook their natural talents and preferences.
In order to make my classes more engaging and memorable I use games, gamification and projects related to real-world issues, for my students to become more autonomous and responsible for their own learning process. Because classes are numerous I rely on technology to build relationships, address individual needs as much as possible. I use social media as an educational tool and follow new trends to be able to understand and teach the youth. That is why 5 years ago my students and I set off on a mission to make wireless internet accessible to students at school and to allow them to use their own mobile devices in class. We managed to convince school authorities and most teachers to work in BYOD model. The solution compensates for the fact that Polish schools are not very well equipped with computers, so the use of ICT in education is limited.
During the campaign my students made workshops on the use of mobile devices for their peers and teachers locally and during numerous conferences around the country.
Since then, my students have become independent thinkers, willing to strive for the best, able to pursue their dreams and achieve the most ambitious goals - some of them are now studying at universities abroad - UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia.
In order to take the idea of open WiFi/BYOD at schools even further and to promote the use of ICT in education I have taken on projects reaching out beyond school life to access teachers, parents and kids. Here are some of them:
Agnieska impressed the judges with her incredible energy and dedication to teaching. The range of projects she is involved with demonstrates her own initiative, and reflects a constructivist, collaborative and creative use of technology.
Superbelfrzy - informal teachers professional development group
I am one of the admins of a Facebook group of 150 teachers determined to change the ossified system of Polish state education by conducting free, open projects available to everyone on multiple social media platforms and in real world, like: writing blogs: www.superbelfrzy.edu.pl/, www.zamiastkserowki.edu.pl/, Facebook fanpage, publishing open education resources, organising conferences, meet-ups, workshops, edu-hackathons, webinars.
Gamifikacja Edu - Facebook fanpage
I am on a quest to re-introduce games into formal education both via gamification and game-based learning as a way to raise engagement and motivation of students through learning-by-doing and to teach system thinking, social skills and empathy.
CoderDojo - coding club for kids
It was my initiative to start a kind of hackerspace for the youth at my school where kids were able to use school IT equipment to teach each other coding, design and simply tinker. Later on it evolved into a full-fledged coding club CoderDojo Gliwice with instructors from local Technological Institute and software companies.
Tech Klub Gliwice - a meet-up for NGO
I am the leader of local tech-club which aims to bring modern technology to non-governmental organisations by networking them with representatives of business, municipal administration, tech-industry, academics, the media, etc. Its activities consist in monthly meetings with workshops, presentations and fun.
Warsztat Miejski w Gliwicach - a municipal workshop
With a group of local activists we have started a campaign to promote the idea of creating a municipal workshop for the citizens of our town combining the functions of a small tinkering studio and a makerspace or even a fablab. This is a new project, we hope to see the results soon. Keep your fingers crossed!
Urban games for mobile devices - games and workshops
I am the author of a series of workshops for teachers teaching them how to design urban games for mobile devices. My students make game-based projects in middle school, my article on QR code quests was included in the Book of Trendsâ€ published by Sanoma/Young Digital Planet.
I have organised urban games for edu-conference participants using applications: ARLearn (Dutch) and Actionbound (German).