Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Working through projects collaboratively II

I would like to showcase today two more examples of project based learning done collaboratively between schools from different countries. Both projects have obtained European E-Twinning awards recognising their innovation, their pedagogical value and the positive impact that they have made in all the participant schools.

The eTwinning action was launched in 2005 and it basically consists of a  platform for staff working in schools in Europe to communicate, collaborate and develop projects together. The eTwinning action promotes collaboration through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).  Extracted from and more information:
eTwinning projects can fit very well in the philosophy of CLIL:
  • Language learning can be included in content classes,  projects in this case.
  • The content acquired in the projects can be used in the language-learning classes.
  • Students will develop very important learning skills working collaboratively in projects.  
Every year the European Union gives awards to the best eTwinning awards following these criteria:
  • Pedagogical Innovation and Creativity
  • Curricular Integration
  • Collaboration between partner schools
  • Creative use of ICT
  • Sustainability and transferability
  • Results and Benefits
There are specific awards for projects in French, German and Spanish supported by their respective Ministries of Education. For more information: VISIT.

All the awarded projects are excellent and I recommend 2 school projects I find inspiring and innovative:

Carpe Nuntium: voilà nuestra "FrItalianza" y aprende español: two high schools from France and Italy create an "FrItalianza" to investigate and learn about journalism and at the same time improve their language skills in Spanish.  Their activities were recorded in a blog. The project went through several stages:
  • Make individual presentations to break the ice
  • Show the schools, their staff using videos, recorded interviews etc.
  • The world of journalism: the students used forums to talk about their views on different aspects of the media
  • They worked on the topic the fight against poverty and social exclusion through investigating and analysing different tv news from Spain and France
  • They created their own news programs in French and Spanish
  • Through all the project they were improving their linguistic skills in a second language

Carpe Nuntium: voilà nuestra "FrItalianza" has implemented an innovative methodology with which French and Italian students have been able to achieve a B1/B2 level in Spanish and have learnt about journalism.

The second project involved four schools from 3 different countries, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. The project includes some very interesting features:
  • The teachers from every school had worked together in a previous project and used a wiki to share ideas to develop this second adventure
  • The project was developed by students in different subject areas in their curriculum
  • One of the main goals of the project was that all students used  numerous ICT tools
  • The students investigated the benefits and risks of the Internet in a first phase
  • In a second phase students worked in mixed nationality teams to create presentations on the services which are offered on the Internet using a wide range of tools
  • Lastly, they investigated the use of these technologies in their own schools, using interviews with the teachers and questionnaires among the students
The project promoted safe surfing habits in the students, but has also widened the cultural horizons of the participants and allowed them to improve their written expression and reading comprehension in Spanish

Two very innovative collaborative projects in Spanish that combine innovation, collaboration, the use of numerous ICT and the improvement of language skills. Two very inspiring projects for any school.