You can click on the links here or watch them on the page marked videos.
We hope you enjoy them.
You can click on the links here or watch them on the page marked videos.
We hope you enjoy them.
In the workshop eTwinning in Practice 5, three winner projects were presented by the teachers involved; winner of The Marie Sklodowska Curie Prize Fly me to the Moon, winner of the English as a second language prize P.A.L.E. Play and Learn English and The Mevlana prize for intercultural understandning, Intercultural dialogue through fairytales, drama and art.
In a packed room, with people even standing at the back, we got an interesting insight into the three winning projects. All three projects are very different; they involve different age groups, subjects and sets of activities and tools. Nevertheless, there are still several similarities between the teachers’ presentations. Could these similarities be some of the key ingredients in a recipe for a successful eTwinning project?
All presenting teachers stressed the importance of having good project planning and the importance of having set time lines for doing things in a project. However, they also pointed out that planning does not mean over planning: Pupils need to be able to see and reflect on the proposed plan, and to come up with their own suggestions and ideas of what to do in a project.
Many of the teachers involved in these winning projects had worked with one another before, and could therefore build on their previous collaboration and ways of working. A good lesson might therefor be to hold on to previous eTwinning partners, while also being open to new contacts. The teachers also stressed the value of good communication and being organized in the project. This is of even more importance for big projects, with partner schools from most European countries.
Many of the teacher presenters of this workshop also showed us that they build on activities they have done in previous eTwinning projects, which makes planning a new project easier, even if the new project is not identical to the previous one.
During the workshop, it also becomes evident that these (eT)winning teachers are creative and enthusiastic and eager to learn, also from each other, and are continuously developing their teaching. What also shines through is how proud the teachers of these three winning projects are of their work in eTwinning. And so they should be!
In this workshop, the Turkish Ambassador and English teacher Adil Tugyan gave an insight into the characeristics of education in the 21st century. What do students want? What skills do 21st century teachers need?
While most students today are digital natives who are familiar with the internet and social media, the majority of teachers are rather digital immigrants. But in order to prepare their students to a live in a modern world, teachers need to adapt their classes to the requirements of the future. This means for example to create a diverse learning environment (in terms of media, data sources and collaborative approaches).
What does it take to be an effective teacher in the 21st century? What do teachers need? These questions were lively discussed during the workshop and a lot of examples were exchanged. With several videos and a vivid presentation, Adilshowed examples of his own teaching experience in Turkey.
In fact, the characteristics of a 21st century educator are diverse: he/she should be an adaptor, communicator, risk taker, collaborator, leader, model, learner, critical thinker, controller, and: a reflective practicioner. “Stagnation is the death of any teacher!” So teachers should adapt to the know how of their students.
Adil pointed out that some important aspects for 21st century learning are to enable active learning and to change the roles of teachers to being rather facilitators or coaches fostering student centered learning.
Certainly several participants might have found this a quite challenging task. But the crucial factor for teachers is to be still open to learn and stay curious in getting to know new tools and techniques – this is the best attitude with regard to their students. eTwinning offers great opportunities to share new tools. Teachers can benefit of the experience from colleagues all over Europe. Just give it a try!
The second workshop of Drs. Pieter Hogenbirk and Dr Conor Galvin was oriented at the exploration the challenges of things like identity issues in relation to digital lives and active citizenship. The discussion in small groups led by Dr Conor Gavin touched topics of digital citizenship, questions of privacy / visibility, ‘footprint’, ownership of the digital self, levels of citizenship , etc.
The topic of digital citizenship has been really interesting for the discussing teachers because they realise how important it is to know how act when we are online, and what should be taught to the next generation. All of the audience agreed there is a need to talk about responsible use of technology. The workshop was really useful and inspiring.
If you can speak even one Slavic language, it allows you to operate and communicate in many countries and languages. I don’t understand- “Nie rozumiem” in Polish, would be “Ne rozumím”* in Czech, ”Nerozumiem“ in Slovak “I don’t know”—“nie wiem” in Polish, “ne vim” in Czech, ”Neviem“ in Slovak, etc.
eTwinning teachers from Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Croatia presented their successful projects and all the Slavic participants of this workhop could understand them. Katarzyna Chojnacka from Poland introduced interesting activities done with her students in the project “Japan“ which was devoted to history, culture and traditions of Japan.
The project “Matematyka zmysłami i zabawa gotowa / Mathematics senses create fun“ dealing with Mathematics was presented by the Polish teacher Marzena Kaszyňska. It was really interesting for the audience beause of its creativity and fun way of teaching complicated Maths issues. The project has inspired especially science teachers.
Kornélia Lohyňová from Slovakia and Petra Plíhalová from the Czech republic showed all the participants of the workshop how great is to motivate pupils to become the sportsmen and great representatives of their country as well as to learn more about the idea and the message of the Olympic Games. Their project “Rýchlejšie, vyššie, silnejšie / Faster, Higher, Stronger” impressed not only by its interesting form but especially by using a great amount of ICT tools.
A Croatian teacher Dubravka Granulić attracted the attention of the audience by her inspiring presentation of the project “Moja knjiga – moj priajatelj / My Book – My Friend“.
This workshop was the presentation of quality, creativity and enthusiasm of the teachers and their students. The mutual understanding of all Slavic languages involved was its added value.
A great start of the workshop – Drs. Pieter Hogenbirk meets all the participants personally J. The workshop begins with the presentation of the state of implementation of citizenship into curriculum of the school based on some quality indicators used by the Dutch inspectorate – Quality assurance and Educational supply.
All the participants have carried out the self evaluation of their schools on citizenship and in groups discussed together with Pieter Hogenbirk and Conor Galvin the issues of citizenship, how citizenship activities are affirmed to the school subjects and what can the schools do to strengthen the importance of active citizenship in the educational process.
This workshop has given its participants the opportunity to obtain new viewpoints and insights on the discussed topic, it was inspiring and motivating for teachers and it was worth to attend it.
Intercultural understanding is a very important topic for teachers all over Europe – and all over the world. Marta Hunya and Bettina Zeidler, who both used to work as pedagogical advisors for eTwinning, use their workshop to offer inspiration and ideas to teachers who would like to include an approach to intercultural understanding in their eTwinning projects – with the intention to guide their students towards a feeling of european citizenship.
But what does european citizenship mean exactly? Probably it means something else for everyone of us. So we need to discuss, to find common grounds to start from. We all have different backgrounds, different cultural roots that shape our opinions and views in ways that often are not obvious.
To illustrate this, the idea of culture as an Iceberg with a small visible and a big invisible part serves well: when we meet someone, we know only very few things about their culture, maybe we know popular food from the region the person comes from or we can understand the language they speak. But we can’t see the “part below the surface”, the attitudes, emotions and values, the roots of the culture. Intercultural understanding doesn’t have the intention of getting the whole iceberg out of the water and in plain sight – but to make a bigger part of it visible, understandable.
More about the iceberg model.
In a second group work we then talked about values we think are important and in the groups agreed on the most important ones we share. Of course this is only the beginning: there’s still the question of what, for example, respect means to someone from Cyprus and someone from Norway, or what reliability means in Portugal or Romania – or for any given individual! Respect, tolerance, cooperation, honesty, trust – we need to negotiate the meanings to get closer to understanding each other.
It’s clear that discussing about values, their counterparts and their meaning with pupils can be very fruitful, but it definitely is a challenge.
An interesting way to include these discussion into eTwinning projects is to find a topic where values play an important role. History can be a starting point: seeing historical events from different perspectives, learning about controversial persons and the values they appreciated, discuss their intentions and goals, find out why they acted the way they did.
The teachers’ role in this is to be moderators and facilitators, to guide the pupils and help them express their own opinions. Detailed observation, sharing experiences and impressions can be a starting point, role plays can help exploring different perspectives.
A very inspiring and interesting workshop! A starting point for thoughts about the term european citizenship and its meaning for education.
Here we are!
http://pear.ly/b0VMz – all’s there. Just click and check it up.
Good discussion = candy bar!;) Starts lovely.
A lot of people wanted to join but the training room got full with a blink of an eye.
Candies were most appreciated.;)
Turning off the lights may appear to be a serious problem when tradition meets new modern functionality.
Programs and what we can do with them in eTwinning?
Pictures: Microsoft autocollage, Photosynth, Sumo paint
Interesting how you can make panorama pictures and a sheep of popcorn and useless IKEA tools…
What about a comic book?
No problem! There are many free easy-to-use programs available.
Feel like animation?
A good discussion is much appreciated. Tools look fantastic but will children be able to learn them quickly enough to use them? Some of us seemed to have turned Tool pro in some respects. We had some brave chaps in the audience who presented their own productions too.
We were instructed how to produce and use raster pictures.
It’s very easy to use 2.0 tools to make a mixture of information and pictures to make it digestable.
Last but not least…
If you feel like creating a magazine cover or a film poster, you’ll probably love BighugeLab which offers a wide range of accessible tools. And…
Flockdraw for those who need a picture/drawing made simultaneously by children from all collaborating countries.
It was definitely worth it!
A full to bursting room to hear about quality in eTwinning projects.
Workshop in three parts: planning before, during the project and after.
Elizabeth states that preparation is everything. Define a projet that meets all project partners’ needs and define a calendar.
What are the students good at doing- have you asked your pupils what they want to do? Are they involved at the planning stage?
One teacher says the students can be very demanding! Another teacher gets the children to find their own partner school. A third teacher suggests not necessarily at that level but they should feel involved- it is their project.
Using student’s skills, whatever they are, is seen as empowering for students and utilising these skills- the diplomat, the ICT whizz, the language specialists- this is great practice for 21st century workplace skills preparation.
Other snippets of good practice at the planning stage:
Clear, attainable goals,
A short video conference for 15 mins to get to know your partner can solidify the project relationship – or not!
What is collaboration?
You need to share your work and build in some interaction, a quiz, or something for the partner to do with the exchange.
This was you will avoid the “so what?” response.
Introducing eTwinning Plus
Michael led us on an interactive geography lesson discovering our new eTwinning partners.
Maps to flags to quizzes and QR codes! An excellent way to learn more about
Gorgeous Georgia Awesome Armenians Merry Moldovians Terrific Tunisians
Unbelievable Ukranians and Amazing Azeris
We have left our details on the special forum and look forward to supporting our new eTwinners in their first projects. ( For more details: Please change your profile settings to indicate interest in eTwinning plus projects and join the forum dedicated to this new venture).