In an attempt to fulfil its obligations towards Maltese society in these turbulent times and beyond, the University of Malta's Faculty of Education has developed a far-reaching outreach programme, which is being enriched with the launch of a brand-new portal, #lovetoteach.
Lovetoteach.info is a user-generated-content portal, the collective effort of many academics and top practitioners in the educational field. It is a site intended to support a very wide spectrum of learners, educators and parents, and goes beyond the scope of the Faculty's own website.
The site was launched on Friday 22 May 2020 by the Minister of Education & Employment, Hon. Dr Owen Bonnici, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Dr Colin Calleja.
The site, which is updated frequently, is built around four distinct sections: one for students falling in the junior and senior categories, another for parents, a section for educators and educational leaders, and the fourth section for higher-education students, adults and their educators.
The site also offers the vEDUti webinar series in which Prof. Carmel Borg hosts prominent authors and thinkers. The first such interview was with Professor John Baldacchino from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Juniors and Seniors section provides resources and interactive, as well as, authentic learning activities for young learners. The Parents' section provides resources as well as podcasts and webinars for parents who have now also assumed the role of home-schoolers and co-educators. The Educators' section also provides resources and webinars for educators. The 'Connect to Learning' webinar series, which is part of this section, provides Continuing Professional Development for educators that will equip them with ideas and skills to enhance their practices.
The series has already attracted many educational professionals and is proving to be a popular space for Maltese teachers and school leaders.
"I am very proud of all the hard work put in by the educators for the benefit of the students, but I am especially pleased with how dedicated they have continued to be after the temporary closure of schools and educational institutions", said Minister Bonnici.
Attendees, who actively share ideas in these webinars will be rewarded with a Certificate of Participation issued by the Faculty of Education at the end of the series. The last section offers updated resources developed by local and foreign authors and practitioners as well as support in the form of webinars and short courses to students, adults and their educators, particularly those dealing with this new online teaching and learning reality.
The academics involved in the design and maintenance of the site, the webinars and short courses, include the Dean, Dr Colin Calleja, the Deputy Dean, Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Dr Karen Mugliett, Professor Christopher Bezzina, Dr Philip Bonanno, Dr James Calleja, Dr Patrick Camilleri, Dr Joseph Vancell, Mr Mario Testa and the Let Me Learn team.
"At the Faculty of Education, ranked among the best 400 faculties of education across the world, we believe that knowledge should not be constrained to lectures between educators and students, but it should be shared with the rest of society. This outreach programme, especially this portal we are launching today, is our latest effort in reaching all of those who might need it and somehow improve their lives during these challenging times and beyond", said Dean Dr Calleja during the launch.
"Lovetoteach.info complements the invaluable work being already undertaken by schools, and is our way of participating in this wave of support to all educators, students and the Maltese population at large", agreed Deputy Dean, Dr Attard Tonna.