School: Carlos Amarante High School - Braga, in Portugal
Presenter Name(s): Adelina Moura and Conceição Ribas
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): Teachers
Short Session Description (one line): Tips and tools to join a collaborative project and achieve culturally inclusive schools.
Presentation of the Project: Showing teachers concrete examples of global collaborative projects
(Identifying tips and tools for connecting classrooms)
In June 2010 our school was invited, through the Ministry of Education, to integrate a group of five schools in the north of Portugal, which in that school year should start developing the project Connecting Classrooms, sponsored by the British Council. Then, the school director, through the teaching council, identified one teacher coordinator in the school to proceed to the disclosure of the project at school and try to form the work team.
To implement the Connecting Classrooms project it was necessary to find a motivated working team, willing to embrace the challenges that a project aiming at linking schools in Europe obviously involves.
As it is a collaborative project between different classes and different schools in Europe the use of Information and Communication Technology is fundamental. Besides that, most activities developed to motivate students in the learning process involve the use of a set of Web 2.0 tools: Google Sites, Slideshare, Google Docs, Blogger, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa, Grouply, Wordle, Wallwisher, MindMeister, among others. And in order to share our teaching and learning experiences developed in the different Portuguese schools with the European partners it was agreed that every school should use the Internet platform e-Twinning and ICT tools in the development and maintenance of partnerships.
Firstly, it was created a webpage where all teachers and students could post all the works and challenges developed within each school subject that joined the project, regardless the language of work. Then, the best works were made public across borders in the “Twinspace”. http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=5221834
A social network was also created together with the webpage aiming at providing opportunities for debating, reflection, and questioning in order to reinforce individual and collective values, giving students the freedom of thinking in decision making and enhancing the reflective, critical, creative and emotional development.
“Connecting Classrooms” project links schools in Europe to build mutual respect and understanding among students from different societies, creating a safer and more connected world, and culturally inclusive schools. Thus, students work with their peers from other cultures and communities, and learn collaboratively across borders in a cultural exchange opportunity.
Moreover, the focus on “Inclusion” (and Volunteering) helps to develop the cultural understanding and the skills necessary to live and work as global citizens.
In September 2010 we got started and initially there were 10 schools per country involved. In this second year of the project development four more schools have joined in.
Our Presentation here.