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

Prize Ceremony

The Prize Ceremony on Thursday was certainly one of the day’s highlights. All the winner projects are of outstanding quality and particularly committed to overcome borders within Europe. They convinced the jury with great creativity and varied results in the TwinSpace such as online magazines, films, photographs, wiki, blogs and many more.

It started with the special categories, the French and the Spanish language Prizes. The French National Support Service sponsored the French Language Prize which aims to encourage students to communicate in French. In the project “Journalistes en herbe” the students created a journal and analyzed news reports from various fields. The Spanish Prize was awarded by Juan Ramón Villar Fuentes of the Spanish Ministry of Education. He highlighted that the project “Carpe Nuntium: voilà nuestra “FrItalianza” carried out in Spanish as main language for communication also integrated cultural aspects of Europe’s diversity.
The Marie-Skłodowska-Curie-Prize (sponsored by the National Support Services of Poland and France) was awarded to “SOHO: Sunspots Online – Helios Observatory”: in this project seven partners from six countries built up a scientific collaboration with each other. They investigated the sun as the center of our solarsystem and observed sunspots. The classes even arranged video conferences with scientists.
In the age categories, the following projects were awarded for their outstanding creativity and international collaboration:

 

4-11 years – “The new adventures of the Twinnies around the world”: Twinnie yellow and blue went on a virtual journey and shared their adventures in each country in the TwinSpace. One teacher of the project concluded the results like this: “collaboration became friendship”.

Winners of age categorie 4-11: "Adventures of the Twinnies around the world"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-15 years – “A Taste of Maths (ATOM)”: This project aims to increase student’s interest in mathematics combined with culinary experiences.

16-19 years – “Reporting without borders”: Instead of oldfashioned newspapers the students created together an extensive e-magazine. The students chose their topics to write about and interviewed their European partners.

The Prize Ceremony was really a great event to give an insight into some very impressive projects. Teachers, keep up the good work for your students!

Idioms and reality

You may all be familiar with the common idiom “too many cooks spoil the broth”, don’t you?

During yesterday’s Prize Award Ceremony though, I asked myself if this could also apply to eTwinning projects. So, I decided to take a closer look at the facts: 320 prize entries (high quality projects from across Europe) that qualified for this year’s European Prizes had to pass 3 jury rounds with evaluators from 32 countries. This returned a shortlist of 24 projects of which 9 were finally awarded All of them turned out to be highly collaborative, involving several “cooks” – interesting.

Now, what about the ingredients of each of them? Collaboration, team work, communication, curiosity, very diversified ICT use and the key ingredient of all of them: pupils! Each awarded teacher emphasised the importance of team work which does also include their students as principal actors of the projects.

2012’s best eTwinning project “A Taste of Maths” even went a step further, not only taking the cooking metaphor literally, but also giving pupils a central role in the project by delivering them insights into the teachers’ perspective: They prepared riddles and mathematical quizzes for their partners – a motivating way to deal with a subject and getting to know what it means to be precise, engaging and to interact with the partners in a foreign and specialised language.

If this quickened your appetite, please forget about old fashioned idioms. I highly recommend you the project’s blog instead: http://atasteofmaths.blogspot.com.

For more recipes, please also have a look at eTwinning’s new Cookbook (available on www.etwinning.net).

Xavier Prats Monné

There are 155 000 teachers in Europe and they have a great influence on the society.
The teachers have worked hard on eTwinning and made it what it is, a great tool for teachers to use when they work together cross borders.  The students learn a lot about Europe and become a citizen in Europe as well as in their country.
Today pupils can get information easily and use it as they want and we have to give them motivation on how to get these information and how to use it.  The generations before didn´t have this access to informations so they are learning as well as the pupils.
The teachers have to get the tools to move on to the next level in ICT so the pupils can keep on learning and the teachers has to learn from each others so they can move on.
Etwinning is a big success for the European Union, because the teachers are using it to cooperate, it brings schools and teachers together, and it gives the pupil opurtunity to work together without any cost.
It is also important that the amount of money which is given to the eTwinning will not suffer for the crises but rather increase so more schools can work in the eTwinning.
We have to have the budget for education secured so the education can go on.  We have to expect from the eTwinning project that it has some influence on the community.  That it will be the platform for schools to work together.  And those who use it will benefit from it.
We much hope that eTwinning will expand to the whole world instead of being just in Europe.
The teachers in Europe that use eTwinning are not artistic but rather teachers who are willing to work together with teachers all over Europe and are open minded and willing to take part in the future.

Anne Looney

Anne Looney started her speech with some nice stories about Ireland, showed  the only picture for years that show Ireland without clouds all over..  🙂
Then we had to introduce us to the next person and now we connected.
The internet is the new connection and it matters how good speed there is on the internet.  And if you don´t get internet access you get nervous.
Young people are quick to learn how to do things.  They connect to the internet, connect virtually to each other through software but they don´t look you in the eye for connection because they have to have more than one connection going on at once.
It is worrying how virtual connection is taking over the physical connection and there is a new task for teachers to work on that.
Anna showed us some results that said that if teachers connect to another teachers they will get better connection to the students.
eTwinning is an innovation which should be supported by the local community and of course the school leaders.  ETwinning is a innovation which is supported by students and parents.
Teachers collaboration gives better results.  The education system is always changing and if we don´t want it to change we can´t have influence how it will change because though we like it better or worse it will change.  The teachers will then have to do the changes.  Many teachers became teachers because they wanted to change something – some want to change the world other are not so big but want to have influence on the life of their students.
Anne then opened all the twitters and checked out why we teach:   we teach because we have something to contribute to the next generation.
Teachers room in eTwinning will work if the founder has a good idea, the task is clear, the attitude towards all particiapants are good.  The particiapants have to be active and if the task is clear and the conversations are controlled it is more likely to be active than another teacher room which has no certain task and the conversations are all over..
So the connection between teachers will be better if the leadership on the connection is good.
“The little stories has put the big story out of my head.” Tomás O Criomhtháin  It is like the teachers who wanted to change the world but had to start with the boys and girls who needed to learn how to read.
The students are younger than us, they have more energy and they are very flexible and that´s why we have involve them in the change of the educational system.  Because they are smart.  Smarter than teacher?
Schools do not allow smartphones in the hands of students because that is their tools.. Are we ready for the change which is happening just around the corner.  The schools are trying to hold back… for how long…