The 2nd Gymnasio Exedorou announces the successful completion of its second etwinning program.
Our eTwinning program has kept us alert and busy almost all school year, but with the end of May, we announce the successful closure of the project.
Our partners are from Spain, Italy and Germany, and we had an excellent collaboration. We started as partners, but we had the luck of entering a group that fostered equality and advanced us in administrators, a role that many of our students also held and exercised with great responsibility.
All tasks aimed at creating a pedagogically "correct" atmosphere within which we could achieve high levels of collaboration and cooperation among students and teachers alike. Being aware of the sustainable development goals on education and collaboration, we set the project's main aim to be collaboration and interaction, which we undoubtedly achieved considering the number of messages and discussion threads that one can find in the project forum. However, it is worth mentioning that the side benefits were the most impressive. We formed collaborative networks, grew relations with shared objectives, and built friendships.
A review of the project
We started by meeting the partners in excessive online discussions to decide on the following steps. We created our teams and went on with e-safety and rules about copyright. Having explained the netiquette rules thoroughly, we made our profiles using Pixis, taking care not to expose our students' data. Our students joyfully accepted the idea and also created avatars to use instead of their photos.
We then moved to the presentations of our countries. Still, we decided to skip traditional PPs and show innovation by creating them in the form of quizzes using Kahoot. Playing the Kahoot proved to be an excellent choice. All students got enthusiastically involved, even those we had never seen participating before. Therefore, the project coordinator, Mrs Efraimidou, and the pedagogical team decided to let the students of class C create and play Kahoots. They formed revision questions in English from various subjects like sport and maths, geography and biology, which we then played in class, boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Our students shared thoughts, feelings, reactions and ideas in the discussions that each of our twinspace pages entails.
Our next task involved food. As Maya Angelou so interestingly put it, "through the food, we learned that there were other people in the world". We created videos with our favourite recipes, which we shared and discussed and promised to try out. By then, it was already Christmas, so we shared wishes on a Padlet. Our students created a Cultural Advent Calendar, which is very popular in western countries, but unfortunately, it lasted only until the 25th of December, like any such calendar.
Starting the new year, we suggested the formation of twelve transnational groups. We challenged our students with the production of collaborative presentations, which they would then turn into videos, allocating them to four themes (favourite places, ideal town, ideal school and what makes our lives "good"). Luckily, our students had worked on the notion of "ideal schools" during their English classes. Additionally, our Environmental team was working on the idea of sustainable towns, so we worked together with them, and our students used the knowledge acquired during those sessions on their etwinning productions.
Returning to the project, each group had an administrator, and they had to arrange meetings to work on their projects. However, we must admit that sessions proved problematic considering the time difference and the busy schedule of our teens nowadays. Fortunately, we reacted quickly and arranged transnational meetings within school hours, and although we lacked equipment and the internet connection was not stable, we managed to achieve our goals.
Next, since every three transnational groups shared a theme, we assigned a Padlet where the three teams could collaborate, share and engage in productive discourse manifesting their points of view, expanding the initial interconnection.
Towards the end of our project, it was time to revise and reflect. The outcome of that contemplation would be a Logo that would communicate their thoughts on the whole process. For their production, students used Canva and Postermywall and uploaded them on Wakelet to vote for the one that would represent their project.
Their final task was to evaluate the project. Our students present their ideas on this Padlet
And a collaborative Mentimeter word cloud as well as a poster
Our students collaborated with great excitement and joy, and we believe they have gained immensely from that experience. They have learned about e-safety and copyright and how to respect each other's work. They used English for their products and when conversing on their Viber team. They had to collaborate, discuss, question, accept and reject ideas. They learned how to use IT tools they had not used before. And they managed to succeed in their undertakings, boosting their feelings of self-value and respect.
As mentioned above, the etwinning team has joined forces with the environmental group, and both had a fruitful, profitable and rewarding collaboration. The ecological team created the grounds for some creative writing tasks that helped both teams. Those tasks helped boost their imagination and resourceful spark, which added value to both projects. More information you can find in this article
Further, writing tasks connected to the English book assisted in the unfolding of the notion of an ideal school. Additionally, the enthusiasm that the students exhibited while playing the Kahoots set in motion a collaboration among most of our teachers, providing revision questions that students translated into English and proceeded in the production of new Kahoots. As a next step, having learned how to use the tool, the students created their self inspired quizzes.
Our pedagogical team,
Mr Cristodolakis P., Mrs Mayroudi Ag., Mrs Lafatzi I., Mrs Pipini P. and the coordinator, Mrs Efraimidou K., would like to thank all our colleagues who contributed to the project's completion.