Reporting without borders – workshop for winners Age Category 16 – 19


Cristina, Claudine and Lucyna

Cristina, Claudine and Lucyna

Cristina Chiorescu, (Romania); Claudine Coatanéa,  (France); Lucyna Nocoń-Kobiór (Poland) took great delight in presenting their winning project ‘Reporting without borders’
This project  engaged the pupils in the collaborative writing of a European magazine making them aware of the fact that such project is a preparation  for today modern blended-learning studies they are to start when they leave school – especially final year pupils.

For Cristina this project was essentially an after school  activitiy while both Claudine and Lucyna integrated their work into their language classes. You can listen to what happened at workshop by clicking the workshop_recording.

Their Power Point Presentation may be viewed here:

Effective schoolteams

The workshop about effective schoolteams was presented by Peter Clarke, an Irish psychologist.  He gave us practical advice about effective teamwork.  We also had the chance to exchange a lot of personal experiences.

During the whole workshop we worked on activities in small teams.

What are the difficulties we experience working in teams?

During the whole conference we hear clearly the same issues coming back:

  • The extra time obstacle
  • The motivation and interest of teachers
  • Technical difficulties
  • Fear of the language
  • Support of the schoolboard

We concluded that both the bottom-up strategy as well as the top-down strategy can be useful to integrate eTwinning in the school.  A lot of enthousiastic students and teachers can influence the headmaster and schoolboard to support eTwinning (bottom-up).  But support and a bit pushing from the headmaster are very welcome to influence the schoolteam (top-down).

Successsful teams

To work with a successfull team we have to keep some things in mind.  Peter Clarke gave us a shortlist.

Also social-emotional issues have an influence on us working in a team:

  1. We need to belong to a team
  2. We need to know that we belong to a team
  3. We need to have a common aim for the group we join
  4. We need to have power and autonomy
There is a dynamic interactions between these four things.

Sharing experience

We had a lot of help from each other talking about things that are going wrong in our project teams.  We exchanged some useful tips and solutions.

Important quotes I take home from this workshop:

  • Teachers are not managable, but that’s a good thing!
  • Influence is about the passion of the topic.
  • Key golden rule: Honouring the end time!

Embedding eTwinning in a school. Case study on forming an eTwinning team in school

The workshop – on the conference theme of School Teams – was presented by Bart Verswijvel, a teacher of Flemish in a technical and vocational school in Flanders  and a member of the Belgian Flemish Nss.

“Like the chess board flying into the room in the legend of King Arthur´s knights of the round table”, an opportunity to find out more about eTwinning, presented itself years years ago at Immaculata Instituut. Bart and a colleague attended the first workshop and as they returned to the school they started a project together with a third teacher. The next year the three eTwinners got a few more teachers involved. Since that first workshop in 2006, the school has had more than 40 eTwinning projects. How did they do this, and what tips are there to be shared with eTwinners, who want to embed eTwinning in their school?

“There´s a role to play for every teacher”
An important point Bart Verswijvel made, is that not all teachers have to be initiators or leaders when it comes to eTwinning. There are roles for everyone; the role of the initiator, the role of the teacher partner (a teacher who participates in a project with an initiator) the freelance teacher (the teacher who might not even be registered but who contributes to a project through the content of his/her teaching), the interactive public (teachers and students you tell about eTwinning, who according to Verswijvel are important spreaders) and the head teacher.

”eTwinning is not a travel agency”
Explaining eTwinning to others is important – and can also be difficult, is another point made by the presenter. The conception of teachers not involved in the programme, can be that eTwinning is about travelling – or that it involves too much work. But it is possible to make it as simple as possible, says Verswijvel

One proof of this is the one lesson eTwinning project in English, where pupils in the Netherlands, Belgium and France met through FlashMeeting. Through asking and answering questions, and giving hints, the different classes had to guess what item was hidden under a towel in their classroom:

Internationaliseren in een lesuur

Some of the tips we got on how to embed eTwinning in our schools were

  • organizing eTwinning training or workshops at the school (inviting ambassadors or Nss to speak)
  • presenting eTwinning at the School´s Open Day
  • giving students in eTwinning projects the task of presenting what they have been involved in to other classes – reaching both other pupils and teachers
  • inviting colleagues into eTwinning activities, without them being part of the actual project
  • connecting your project to other activities done at school (for example Safer Internet Day)
  •  “don´t keep eTwinning a secret”

Participant reflection after the workshop: “When I go back to my school I will …”
Irena Rimc Voglar, a language teacher from a Slovenian school, is in the same situation as many eTwinners:  she´s the only eTwinner at her school. Has the workshop given her ideas for involving colleagues once she goes home?

“The workshop was very useful. I´m the only eTwinning teacher in a village school. When I go back I will present eTwinning and my project at the school´s Open Day. I will also set out to find two teacher partners for my next project.  I also liked the idea of the pupils presenting their eTwinning activities in other classes”

eTwinning in action – workshop from finalists age category 4 – 11

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eTwinning figures

eTwinning figures

The new adventures of the Twinnies around the world,a project invloving 7 – 9 year olds, this project was presented by the whole team. The children in this project travelled across Europe, visiting the Eiffel tower, taking tea with the Queen in Buckingham Palace and visiting museums in all the countries of the project, Italy, Poland, England UK, France and Sweden. Marina spoke about the enthusiasm and excitement of the children when they finally saw all their work publish in a book. Renata told us about the importance of the relationship between the teachers that has resulted in a very strong partnership.

The second project presented was Act in Art involving kindergarten children from France, Greece, Portugal, Latvia and Austria. They painted pictures in the style of various famous artists and collaboratively created works of art. They created a virtual museum of all their pupils’ work as well as using other interesting tools all of which you can find here

“Travailler ensemble / Trabajar juntos / “eTwinning Teams”. Place de l’audio et de la vidéo.”

Michelle Fye (France)  Language: en Español – Room Berlin-St. Petersbourg

La reflexión participativa: ¿Qué herramientas de audio y vídeo pueden potenciar la toma de la palabra por parte de los estudiantes de manera continua e interactiva?

¿Qué entornos digitales pueden motivar a los docentes a inculcar en los estudiantes la importancia de establecer comunicaciones formales e informales a distancia o en su centro? ¿Cuál es el valor añadido para los estudiantes y los profesores?

El proyecto de eTwinning: Un ejemplo concreto: “La encuesta policíaca” Los episodios de esta producción audio y video con varias voces, en varios idiomas (alemán, francés castellano).