eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 - Page 118

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2014 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It all started like an EFL class project, and the teachers had already created the project outline with the aims, the objectives, the work process and the activity pages in the TwinSpace: “Our Political Party”. What really triggered the project was a discussion on a cartoon in which a teacher asks a class what some of the timeless values worth dying for are, and a student says “Money”. The class was asked to create a mind-map in groups of four whether they agree, think of timeless values related to democracy and share it on the blackboard. Then, the students researched certain web sites on five written worldwide documents that refer to timeless values of democracy from the Greek antiquity to recent times, commented and decided on the most important core values of democracy. Each group presented its core values in a collaborative google doc based on a different document, i.e., Politics, by Aristotle, the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence. A debate – a non-googlable question – was given to students to write about it as a class, corrected by the teacher and discussed in the group in order to agree on the two most important values, then shares in a forum. An evaluation sheet about what they had learnt and enjoyed most in each activity was filled in by the students. publishing it in the Municipality website and worldwide via eTwinning public site and blogger.com. Both teachers and students felt thrilled and proud of its successful outcome. To achieve such a goal was not enough to carry out just another project, and get it done. It took time, effort, and my own enthusiasm to involve students, parents for consent, teachers and head teacher for collaboration and communication with international partners. When my students lost interest, as young teenagers often do, I had to stimulate their imagination by going beyond what was obvious, by experimenting, and implementing new ideas and techniques. As an EFL teacher, the involvement in eTwinning has been a challenge for me that has opened up a new, fresh approach to a variety of subjects, such as that of environmental issues, art, politics and democracy through a new perspective. It has led me to a more creative and motivating teaching and learning, adding that sparkle of resourcefulness and imagination that often lacks in the ordinary classroom teaching. I feel that both my students and I myself have been inspired and inspiring in the end. Overall, the importance of such causes as democracy and citizen initiative can be carried through creatively via eTwinning project treks boosting personal and professional growth for both teachers and students who aspire towards a better world. Thus, each activity was based on six steps: a stimulus for discussion, mind-mapping, research, presentation, debate-forum and evaluation. The uploading was taken over by 11 out of the 22 students and was carried out at the school lab equipped with 11 PCs. Every activity page in the TwinSpace was mainly made with a wiki, with title and steps, a web content with a Padlet for presentations or/and mind-mapping, a forum for the debate questions and a blog, for comments and fun. It had more or less a similar pattern to facilitate interaction and collaboration. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the link to our TwinSpace: http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p93826. The project was presented in the school community and disseminated in the local community by 118