Distance learning at the time of COVID-19. The case of ICS Padre Pino Puglisi, Buccinasco (MI), Italy

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E-learning, webtools and 2.0 apps for education are a theme of main interest and are deeply supported being of great importance in 21st Century Skills.February 2020 saw the outbreak of CoronaVirus (COVID-19) in China and therefore all over the world, with a strong impact, at first, in Italy. 

logo.jpgIn such an extreme situation, since February 23rd 2020 in Lombardy first and soon afterwards in the whole Italy (and short afterwards in other Countries), distance learning has become a daily reality for many teachers facing mandatory closures.Since day 1, Dr. Angela Panzarella (or Miss Angela for her student), referent for Internationalism in ICS Padre Pino Puglisi in Buccinasco opened Virtual Classrooms on Edmodo and involved her team of Internationalism (Sabrina Valenti, Francesca Mori, Patrizio Mongiardo, Giovanna Dell’Elce, Graziana Caruso, Veronica Stimolo, Giulia Maiocchi) for quick training sessions (when restrictions became official training sessions were arranged thanks to the help of Zoom) on webtools for education, distance learning and virtual classrooms.

Angela was the one launching the process of the Virtual Classes. Her students reacted positively and with the enthusiasm of children in year 1 of primary school: despite their age and with parental tutoring and help, they are deeply engaged in the activities.An important mention is to be done to Aurora L. (class 1D) who created her first LearningApps, too!As for the students, the same enthusiasm was shared by the teachers in Internationalism group.

The team also shared information and best practices with the whole school and, as in opportunity waves, all the school actors were engaged in distance learning process.The mandatory closure of schools opened to an opportunity for practicing different forms of e-learning and educational webtools.Apart from School’s Online Electronic Register, all school teachers are experiencing new forms of distance learning: Edmodo and WeSchool as main platforms for virtual classrooms; padlet, LearningApps, Kahoot, Storyjumper, genial.ly, edPuzzle and other webtools to create interactive lessons and games; Screencast-O-Matic to create and record video-lessons. Angela and Sabrina also produced a step by guide on how teachers can get started using Edmodo (link: here) and their enthusiasm brought the whole team to arrange and provide training sessions for teachers of the near comprehensive schools, by sending them training material and tutorials, too. 

A wave of cooperation started. And when the lockdown of Italy became mandatory, after Italy’s infection rate continued its exponential rise, the online meetings, web-conferencing and video chats became more than ever the daily reality to feel part of an active community, really devoted to lifelong learning and sharing best practices as well as emotions. Because education can really build bridges and destroy walls.The whole Internationalism team is currently working to a set of tutorials and handbooks to be shared not only by their school’s teachers, but by teachers all over Italy (and abroad). At the same time, they are sharing contents, materials and lessons online, because, now more than ever, school is of everyone and for everyone.


Miss Angela’s classes on Edmodo

A game in LearningApps sent in jpeg format via Edmodo by a student (Sofia 1A)

A game made in LearningApps by a student (Aurora 1D)

Students replying to tasks 

A video-lesson made with Screencast-O-Matic posted on Edmodo.


Angela Panzarella (02/08/1978), laureata in lingue e letterature straniere moderne (inglese e serbocroato) con indirizzo filologico letterario, un’ulteriore laurea in lettere (storia delle tradizioni popolari) presso La Sapienza di Roma, master in traduzione, abilitazione SSIS (A345/A346), master CeCLIL (Ca’ Foscari) e Metodologie CLIL nel XXI secolo (IUL Firenze), benemerenza in Filologia (Philology Sila Trophy, per il saggio “As You Like Her…”), expertise in bilingual education since primary years, dopo anni di docenza nella scuola secondaria di secondo grado, insegna inglese nella scuola primaria per la sperimentazione e il proseguimento dell’esperienza bilingue (IBI-BEI, istruzione bilingue, bilingual education, CLIL & technoCLIL) nella provincia di Milano. E’ formatrice riconosciuta dall’USR Lombardia (per corsi linguistici e metodologici CLIL, technoCLIL e webtools per la didattica) e certificatrice Cambridge Young Learners (International House) ed ESOL (Cambridge, International House, English Speaking Board). Referente per l’Internazionalizzazione, è anche esperta eTwinning, Erasmus+ ed Europrogettazione, con partecipazione a seminari multilaterali in Italia, Europa e Paesi del Mediterraneo. Attiva con pubblicazioni anche su Scientix e per Stem Discovery Week. Ha scritto per i suoi “gnomi” (come si diverte a chiamarli, e per i quali è Miss Angela), la collana completa di testi per la didattica bilingue 100% CLIL e technoCLIL per la scuola primaria.Last but not least, è una bassista con esperienze musicali in ambito nazionale e internazionale.


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