eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 eTwinning Visibility Newsletter no. 4 - Page 46

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2014 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------part of the project – for example, Christmas carols, or World War 2 songs, or songs about farming – whatever fits in with the project. The songs can be shared even if the pupils do not understand all the words, and this experience of singing a song together is very moving for both pupils and teachers and helps to bring all the participants of the call, and project, together. teachers for staff development and also for international project planning. Pupils benefit from hearing authentic foreign language speech, and also from international collaboration and co-operation. This breaks down barriers and prejudices, and makes international projects come alive for the students. Finally - some hints and tips:      Partner finding for international work Partner-finding is easy using eTwinning, which is free for teachers to join and use at www.etwinning.net. Within the eTwinning site, there are several online Teachers' Rooms for the sharing of good practice, for example: Utilisation de la visioconférence dans les projets – videoconference in projects; and Video-calling in primary education. The international online staff-room It is also very effective to use video-calls for planning meetings with colleagues during international projects. It is an easy way to bring teachers together for the sharing of ideas, with suggestions easily discussed in real time. It also creates real friendships and the offering of mutual support. Will Richardson, in his “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms” [4], suggests that teachers should use these tools themselves so that they can understand how they can be used effectively in the classroom.   find a date and time which is convenient for both classes – check the time zones and include the time in each country in the planning documentation; practice in advance, to check the equipment works and the call is not blocked by the school's firewall; have a clear plan for the call, so that teachers and pupils know what will happen; exchange vocabulary in advance; practise with the pupils in advance of the call; give the pupils, in advance, something they can do if the call drops, or they are not involved all the time; after the call, ask the pupils to reflect on their learning – how effective do they feel that using the video-call has been, and what could be improved? References: 1 Beetham, H. (ed), Sharpe, R. (ed), (2013) Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st Century Learning, p. 5; 2 Ofsted (Feb 2010): The safe use of new technologies, p. 5 www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/safe-use-of-newtechnologies; 3 Ofsted (July 2011): Modern languages: Achievement and challenge 2007-2010, p. 6 www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/modern-languagesachievement-and-challenge-2007-2010; 4 Richardson, W. (2010): Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms, p. 6. eTwinning uses webinars for very efficient online professional development and training, from the comfort of the teacher's own home. These do not usually use the video camera, but are a great way to share good practice. Conclusion Video-calling is an excellent collaborative tool, for pupils to learn from their peers, and also for the teachers to share in team-teaching in an extended international classroom. It can also be used by 46