eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 - Page 101

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2014 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Being in the Fast Track with eTwinning by Andrea Ullrich This school year has mostly seen me in the fast lane, powered by eTwinning - some really good projects and two fantastic Learning Events made we work close to my limits but also provided me with the energy to do so. At first I would like to thank the teams of “Across the miles we meet”, “Be smart, don’t start” and “Europe’s Sweet Tooth” for their great collaboration, but this article will mostly be about another project, a project carried out with Anna Tobiacelli, a long-term partner and friend and some volunteer students who could also be called longterm project partners. The idea of the project was born when I visited Anna in Warsaw last summer. The moment we saw a pedestrian crossing looking like a keyboard we started outlining projects – just for fun – and two weeks later “Music Reflections – Our Meeting with Chopin and Bach” was born. First we just thought of a typical eTwinning project, using TwinSpace and so on, but as Zespół Szkół Ogólnokształcących Nr 1 Społecznego Towarzystwa Oświatowego, Warszawa has the nice tradition to organize an exchange every year, we soon agreed on adding an exchange. Usually we do not have exchanges with partners whose language we do not teach, but the headteacher at my school supported us, convinced by the visibility quality label projects provide our school with. At the beginning we just had them work in their national teams, providing the partners with information on the respective composer and locations. In November we started the real collaborative stage of the project - with our advent calendar and some prizes to be won. Each student and teacher provided at least one slide, and every day we got to know something new about each other and the role music plays in our lives. The last window contained a puzzle that led you in three steps to the URL of the voting tool. After teachers had matched students for the exchange, we launched another introduction; but this time it was “Introduce your partner with the help of a cartoon”, which really made them talk to each other. By then we had moved to a closed Facebook group as uploading, commenting and ‘liking’ photos was a lot easier there, and some students had experienced problems when trying to log in to TwinSpace. To cut it short, May finally saw us united, first in the streets of Warsaw and Gdansk, then in Thuringia. What great learning experiences! Reading about a place where a composer was born or visiting it with your peers are two very different ways of learning. We arranged similar activities in both countries, visited museums, had guided tours with students as guides, workshops, bilateral teams… this list is long so please check our diary here: Needless to say that some of my colleagues objected that idea, as students would miss classes and thus not learn enough. Everybody reading this knows that, of course, they learned… probably more than enough. In one of their final presentations, a group stated: “The meeting was like an English lesson – just one week long.” 101