Annelene Timmermans (Belgium) has been working in education for thirteen years and is currently teaching English (EFL) and Dutch in a secondary school in Flanders. She is a lecturer/teacher trainer at the Master of Teaching program at KU Leuven, and also has experience as a journalist. As a language teacher, Annelene has been focusing on creating communicative classroom activities and integrating media literacy into language lessons.
In the summer of 2010 Annelene received a Fulbright grant to participate in Study of the United States Institutes at the Institute for Training and Development in Amherst, Massachussetts (USA). There she met with thirty secondary school educators from all over the world, thus creating a strong global network of colleagues. This enriching and life-changing experience led her to participate in other international programs for teachers, such as European English Teachers’ Seminar (2011, London, UK), English Teachers’ Training Course (2012, Bell College, Cambridge, UK), e-Twinning Professional Development Workshop (2015, Luxembourg) and the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar on ‘Media Literacy and Critical Thinking in the Digital Age’ (2018, Kyiv, Ukraine). She enjoys comparing educational systems and learning about new teaching methods from international colleagues. She also organizes exchange programs for her students and accompanies them on cultural trips to Italy as a guide.
Annelene received an MA in American Studies from University of Antwerp (Belgium) in 2007, after obtaining her master’s degree in Literature and Linguistics (English and Dutch) and her teacher training degree from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) in 2006. Her research interests include American literature and American history.
Christiana Varda (Cyprus) is the Founder of Media What, an NGO focused on promoting media education through participatory digital media. She is currently an Associate Researcher and PhD student at the Media, Cognition and Learning Research Group, at Cyprus University of Technology, where she focuses on media literacy, misinformation and online media platforms. She is currently working on the Co-Inform project, a European-funded Horizon 2020 research project which aims to create tools that will increase society’s resilience to online misinformation and generate more informed behaviours and policies. In addition, she’s an Associate Lecturer at UCLan Cyprus, teaching creative Adobe technologies on the BSc Web Design and Web Development.
She has versatile experience in education, media and digital technologies. She co-organised the first nationwide Technological Camp for students ages 7-18 in 2008, with courses in video editing, robotics, game and web design. In 2009 she joined the American Academy Larnaca, a private secondary school, and introduced and taught the Media Studies A-level until 2018. From 2016-2018 she also headed Media & Communications for the organization. In her role as Media & Communications Coordinator, she developed the concept, launched the new web platform, and created and implemented the school’s communication and marketing plan.
Christiana graduated as a Schreyer Honors Scholar from the Pennsylvania State University, where she studied on a full CASP / Fulbright scholarship. She holds a BA in Communications (Journalism) and a BA in English; she also holds an MA in Interactive Multimedia from the Cyprus University of Technology.
Finally, she is passionate about bringing quality independent cinema to the Larnaka community; she is the Executive Secretary of the Board of the Larnaka Cinema Society, a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation.
You can watch Christiana's TEDx talk Have social media failed us? here.