eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 - Page 44

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2014 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------responsibility, dignity, tolerance, trust, honesty, social intelligence, personal involvement, team strength. Following a national competition our school became a European school for the second time. 117 schools across the country took part in the competition, and the school of Petrosani ranked 20. Competition involved assessing the quality and consistency of the school management, reflected in managerial documents, and the impact the activities of European projects had on culture. We received a title of excellence, CRIO WEST 2013, on our 3 areas of excellence: the area of excellence “Relevance supply training school”; the area of excellence “Labor market and community partnerships”; the area of excellence: Development and use of resources”. We are constantly involved in projects and collaborations with our partners in eTwinning projects, to be among the top high schools in using technology, to capture the attention of good students who want to join us in these projects. When presenting high schools in the spring, our school stand was constantly visited by eighth graders, curious about extracurricular activities undertaken in previous years. We pride ourselves on two county average baccalaureate and especially the fact that we participated in numerous projects over the last years. So we are a European School thanks to the involvement of teachers and students in equal measure in eTwinning projects too. The Effective Use of Video-Calling in Schools by Diana Linford Introduction Video-calling is a very powerful tool for the classroom. It enables pupils to talk with pupils in other schools – and other countries – easily. Here, I will try to explore how teachers can use this tool effectively to promote deep learning for their pupils. The use of video-calls facilitates direct access between pupils in different schools – and often in different countries. This is not learning from books, or ‘from the internet’. This is powerful, direct peerto-peer ‘Web 2.0’ teaching and learning, guided by the two (or more) teachers who have set up the call. As Beetham and Sharpe [1] put it, “if not yet completely ‘borderless’, the walls of the classroom are increasingly see-through”. There are a number of video-calling tools, some of which are free. Skype is popular and easy to use, but there are others. Using a video-conferencing tool such as Adobe Connect or Webex works very well for multi-partner calls, and it is also possible to upload PowerPoint presentations to use during the call. Some of these video-conferencing tools are available via the eTwinning National Support Service (NSS) of each country – it is worth checking with the NSS to see if this is available. This kind of 'live' interaction also involves the discussion of 'netiquette' and how to behave online generally, and particularly during a live video call. The UK schools inspectorate (2010) noted that, in schools where provision for e-safety is outstanding, there is a shared responsibility for e-safety throughout the school staff, which helps “pupils to become safe and responsible users of new technologies” [2]. Language learning Skype – or another video-calling tool – can be used very effectively in the language classroom, both at primary and secondary school level. In order for the pupils to benefit fully from the experience, it is important to plan and prepare before the call. For younger pupils, I recommend a highly structured approach, such as the following examples. This ensures that the pupils are familiar with the vocabulary and activities in advance of the calls. This will help them to approach the sessions with confidence and enable them to use the time effectively to practise their speaking and listening. Any vocabulary to be used (for example, in a 44