of Higher Education Meeting
Dr Ġorġ Mallia participated in
the Dirctors General of Higher Education Meeting, held as part of
Malta's EU presidency. The two day meeting was held on March 13 and
14, at the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra. The theme of the meeting was
"Pursuing Digital Technology in Higher Education".
Dr Mallia gave a talk on Learner
centred education and then led a lively workshop about the subject.
Dr Mallia's participation was
invited by Ms Edel Cassar, chairperson of the meeting.
A group photo of
the delegates and speakers at the Directors General of
Higher Education meeting held in Malta in March, 2017. Dr
Mallia is in the front row, third from left.
Sigurd and the
Tree of Life
Ġorġ Mallia’s latest children’s
book is in English, and draws visually on the Scandinavian
“tomtenissar” (Santa’s elves) that are so popular as decorations
over the Christmas season.
But there’s nothing Christmasy about Mallia’s Sigurd and the Tree of
Life, as it’s a tale that involves the last wizard on Earth
searching out the tree of life before a poison that’s been fed into
its roots kills it, and with it all of life in the world.
The book, aimed at children that
are between eight and twelve years old, came into being when Mallia,
well known for his cartoons and illustrations, drew a picture of the
traditional “tomtenisse”, lamp in hand, looking out at the reader.
The “tomtenissar’s” faces are usually hidden behind long hats and
very long beards, with the nose peeking out. Mallia has stuck with
this depiction of his characters, going for a puppet-like rendering
of figures, populating the bare forests of the cold north.
In fact, Sigurd lives on the edge
of one such forest, and is visited by the spirit of an ancient
wizard who tells him of the danger to the tree of life. The rest of
the book is Sigurd’s dangerous quest (with evil wizards creating
huge obstacles in his way) to save the tree.
There are quite obvious hints to
ecology and the way the environment is slowly being corroded by
those who are too selfish to think of the future, but this is a
subtle, understood message in the story that creates a world full of
wonders, dangers and a quest that needs to succeed.
Sigurd and the Tree of Life is
published in hardback by Horizons, and is illustrated with nineteen
full colour drawings by the author. It is being launched at the
Malta Book Festival next week.
The cover of
Sigurd and the Tree of Life, published by Horizons
discussion panel on Freedom of Expression and Online Defamation
On February 26, 2016, Dr
Ġorġ Mallia, as Head of Department of Media and
Communications, led a panel discussion following a talk by UNESCO
Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Professor
Guy Berger. Professor Berger had been brought over by the Faculty of
Media and Knowledge Sciences to give a research seminar to the staff
of the Faculty. The talk on Online Defamation was given at the
Dolmen Hotel in Qawra, in collaboration with the Tumas Fenech
Foundation for Journalism Education. The panel discussion went into
the pros and cons of criminal libel and the extent and nature of
defamation, particularly in an age of social network diffusion. The
panel included, apart from Professor Berger himself, Professor Joe
Cannataci (UN Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy); Mr Karl Wright
(chairman of the Institute of Malta Journalists) and leading libel
lawyer Dr Joe Zammit Maempel.
panel on Online Defamation at the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra on
February 26, 2016
In June, 2015, one of Malta's
best publishers, Merlin Publishers, published
Ġorġ Mallia's first book for
children in six years. The book, which he also illustrated with
twenty three black and white cartooned images, introduced a new
character to Maltese juvenile literature, Il-Professur Għasfur.
Merlin's official press release
for the book reads as follows:
Ġorġ Mallia is a name intimately
connected with the world of books and reading. A researcher,
academic, author and illustrator, he is rarely far away from a book.
Various other commitments have, however, kept him away from writing
children’s books, so his return to children’s fiction this year is a
very welcome comeback after a six-year break.
His new novel, Il-Professur
Għasfur, is also his first with publishing house Merlin
The book sets out to be a ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ of
multidimensionality, where an 11-year-old girl – Katrin – finds
herself in the laboratory of a very peculiar scientist, nicknamed
Professor Bird (il-Professur Għasfur).
Together with a very special
tortoise, she ends up whizzing from one dimension to the next on
board the professor’s unique and experimental dimensional-travel
platform. Each alternate reality presents a ‘what could have been’
version of the world, much to Katrin’s amazement.
Even as the professor is intent
on mapping all possible dimensions, the three adventurers find
themselves in unexpected, sticky situations and need all their wits
to find their way out and safely back home.
Mallia is a cartoon artist.
Readers of Il-Professur Għasfur are also regaled with his
illustrations for the book. Drawn in a cartoony style in lush blacks
and grey, the 23 illustrations complement the writing, often adding
detail to the many characters and contexts that is not evident in
the narrative itself so that the words and drawings work hand in
hand to tell the whole story.
Il-Professur Għasfur will
not only appeal to fantasy and science fiction fans, but also to all
those who like a fast-paced adventure story written in crisp
contemporary Maltese. Il-Professur Għasfur is available from
all bookshops or online.
Ġorġ Mallia's first
children's book in six years, Il-Professur Għasfur,
published by Merlin Publishers
Early in 2014, a
collection of international papers exploring Social Media
use in education were edited by
Ġorġ Mallia and published as the
book, The Social Classroom: Integrating Social Media Use
in Education. The large book was published by the
prestigious American academic publishing company IGI Global,
of Hershey, PA. The book went on to be widely used as a
reference work in this topical area of study, with quite a
few universities around the world adopting it as a standard
A mini-website dedicated
to the publication can be found
This was the description
of the book provided by the publisher:
As technology is being integrated into educational
processes, teachers are searching for new ways to enhance
student motivation and learning. Through shared experiences
and the results of empirical research, educators can ease
social networking sites into instructional usage.
The Social Classroom: Integrating Social Network Use in
different viewpoints on how social networking sites can be
integrated in education. Highlighting both formal and
informal uses of social interaction tools as learning tools,
this book will be very useful to all educators, trainers and
academic researchers in all aspects of education looking for
a theoretical/practical approach to resourceful teaching.
Reading a copy
of The Social Classroom, a huge 570-page book that
explores different viewpoints on using Facebook and
other social networks in educational practice
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