AEL (Educational Assistant for Schools and High-schools) highly appreciated by its users | SIVECO Romania

AEL (Educational Assistant for Schools and High-schools) highly appreciated by its users

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Bucharest, 28th of January, 2003 - AEL 3 e-Learning platform already functions in 120 schools and high schools all over the country  - this is only the beginning of the implementation effort which, by the end of 2003, will bring the platform developed by SIVECO Romania SA in 1220 schools and high schools in the country.

Schools from all 41 Romanian counties were provided, within SEI (Computerized Educational System) program, developed by the Ministry of Education and Research, with computerized labs made up of 26 computers (provided by HP, IBM and Fujitsu-Siemens on which AEL is installed), printer, scanner and communication equipments.

On this occasion implementation training courses for future users were organized, followed by "open lessons", demonstrated live by the teachers who took part in the training.  

Although the training plan supposed a 6-person training in every school and high school where AEL was implemented, this number increased in all schools, due to the special interest for finding about and using the system. Alba county held the participation record (where 30 teachers were trained - about 10  teachers per school unit), together with Alexandru Ioan Cuza National College in Focşani (where 19 teachers were trained).

The training system is designed on a "waterfall" model, according to which a group of users is trained in every school unit; they will train, in their turn, their colleagues in order to use the system. The training at every level is certified after passing an exam and attested by a diploma of AEL Expert, AEL Certified Trainer or AEL Certified User. 

Statistics made in 80 out of 120 locations (42 national colleges, 10 scholar groups, 25 high schools and 3 general schools), based on the appraisal questionnaires fiiled-in by the participants in the courses  (570 teachers, 37 students, 92 network administrators and secretaries, 5 educators, 5 lab operators, 3 librarians) is an argument for the teachers? availability to use the new teaching methods and for the students? interest for this interactive, very attractive way to assimilate information.

The fact that AEL system addresses not only to informatics training, but also to the education system in general, is also reflected by the specializations of the teachers trained in the first stage: Biology, Chemistry, English, Physics, French, Geography, Informatics, History, Religion, Literature.

For SIVECO Romania, who designed AEL system, the observations coming from teachers, students and other participants in the demonstrations stand for valuable suggestions for improving the system, that is for adapting it to the users requests.

Out of the 396 teachers who answered the questions related to the AEL appraisal, 208 (that is 53%) accorded it the maximum grade, while 94 (24%) the lower grade, which leads to the very encouraging conclusion that 77% of the trained teachers highly qualified the system they are to work with. Almost 90% of the participants in AEL training courses from Tulcea high schools, accorded the maximum grade both to the system and the training process in general, due to the professional advantages the educational soft provided them.

"The program is accessible both for the teachers and for the students", believes Ionel Nichi Stroe, Religion teacher at "Mihai Eminescu" National College in Buzău.

Luminiţa Antoanela Viaşu, Biology teacher at Alexandru Odobescu Scholar Group, says that "AEL is an efficient method which stimulates teachers? and students? creativity."

An exceptional reference comes from Daniela Butuşină, teacher at Simion Bărnuţiu Theoretical High School in Şimleul Silvaniei, which declares that "AEL succeeded in fulfilling her dream for computer-assisted teaching."

 "We highly appreciate the initiative coming from the Ministry of Education and Research, which makes possible the use of modern teaching methods", says Radita Albu, Chemistry teacher at Mihai Viteazu National College in Sfântu Gheorghe.

This generous idea is as well favourably appreciated by Valentin Marincaş, teacher at the Administrative Economic Scholar Group in Sfântu Gheorghe.

"We are talking here about something new and useful, which facilitates a lot the teaching process", declared Maria Daniela Olteanu, teacher at Alexandru Odobescu Scholar Group in Lehliu-gară.

Pozitive feed-back also came from students.

At Mihail Cantacuzino National College in Sinaia, the students who assisted at the Biology open lesson appreciate that, due to the new teaching methods, it is much easier to understand the lessons.

Costel Burca, student at Alexandru Ioan Cuza Scholar Group, declared that "after this course he found a new learning method".

Similar appreciations came from most students who filled-in the appraisal questionnaires.

Simona Dumitru, student at Mihai Eminescu National College in Buzău considers that the AEL training period was extremely interesting and useful. 

Both students and teachers are very anxious to apply again the knowledge they acquired about AEL by teaching interactive lessons and developing electronic educational material.

The teachers who teach other subjects than the ones presented in the live demonstrations after every implementation, expect and are very much interested in enlarging and diversifying AEL electronic library, while many of them aim to design their own content for lessons and tests.

About Educational Assistant for Schools and High-Schools:

AEL (Educational Assistant for Schools and High-schools) is an integrated system assisting pupils, teachers and all the participants at the learning process developed by SIVECO Romania and constitutes the axis of the software applications in the information program of the Romanian schools.

Started in 2001, the program promotes in Romania educational methods aligned to European standards.

The AEL system is built up based on modern educational methods, which conform to the three stages which generally define the educational process: obtaining basic knowledge, developing the tactical and strategic thinking.

The didactical support offered for teaching includes tutorials, exercises, simulations, problem solving and educative games. The system has an electronic information center based on electronic manuals and a content exceeding the usual text presentation. It contains as well other materials, in different presentation forms, including a variety of multimedia content (video demonstrations, step-by-step presentations, animations). The knowledge base provides search mechanisms by key words, templates, areas of interest.

The system aims to integrate both basic applications (such as programs for typing learning) and office tools, complex simulation devices in different fields and others.

The system also offers facilities in student appraisal:

  • Electronic tests, with grading assistance;
  • Support for drawing up tests, for choosing, at random, a set of questions out of several possibilities;
  • Electronic catalogue;
  • Chronological data about each student;
  • Participating in competitions, evaluations, simulations, tests at local, regional and national level.

 The assistance for management and monitoring includes:

  • School archives and manuals management, automatic electronic distribution and update; 
  • Schools organizational structure management: teachers, students, classes, catalogues etc; 
  • Support for schedules design and management;
  • Different statistical collection data from all over the country;
  • Access to the available data at national level;
  • Manuals appraisal system at national level; 
  • Information centralization;
  • Performances and activities monitoring at school and even teacher level, for obtaining
  • coherent information, based on the data in the system, both for long and medium term managerial decisions and for establishing long-term policy and strategy. It allows different views over data: different perspectives, different aggregation levels.