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Bringing your learners into the global classroom

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The need to engage students in authentic intercultural experiences has led educators to use online intercultural exchange projects with partner institutions around the globe. In this workshop, we will introduce the basic knowledge and skills necessary to set up and run such an exchange. You will learn about the UNICollaboration platform where you can find partner classes, tasks, and training tools for university collaboration. You will also learn about platform such as ePals and eTwinning for primary and secondary exchanges.
We will then go through the steps of setting up and running an online exchange and learn how to deal with the problems which can arise. You will work in groups in order to have the opportunity to simulate exchanges for your classes.

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Bringing your learners into the global classroom

  1. 1. Bringing your Learners into the Global Classroom: Setting up and Running Online Intercultural Exchanges •Robert O’Dowd •University of León, Spain •http://www.scoop.it/t/intent-project-news •www.uni-collaboration.eu
  2. 2. Telecollaboration: Intercultural contact and collaboration in the classroom • Telecollaboration involves online intercultural collaborative projects between students in geographically distant locations integrated into educational programmes
  3. 3. • • The experiences of practitioners: What types of problems (if any) have you had when organising or running your online exchanges?
  4. 4. • • • • • • Unless there is a clear outcome in terms of publication opportunities the time and effort needed are more profitably employed in the pursuit of other research areas… Different semester times and class timetables make cooperation difficult and the new ‘modulisation’ process means that students have less time for such projects. Because it requires a lot of time investment, because of lack of computer expertise to set and carry out, and because it is difficult to set and evaluate. Maybe because of the reluctance towards technology of some teachers, the personal commitment it requires in terms of time, the costs bound to the setting up of a computer lab. For many reasons: because it is difficult to find partners, because such projects are extremely costly (time, technological effort, attendance, finding the appropriate technical infrastructure or lack thereof), because there is no external funding or opportunities to use research funds for these activities. This type of activity is still not well-known and, therefore, it is not considered important in the context of language learning.
  5. 5. • Read the INTENT Report on Telecollaboration in European Universities: – http://www.scoop.it/t/intentproject-news 5
  6. 6. Plenty of Support for Telecollaboration for Primary and Secondary Educators
  7. 7. • • • • • • World Class: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/ Global Gateway: http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/ ePALS Classroom Exchange http://content.epals.com/ Science across the world: http://www.scienceacross.org/ E-twinning: http://www.etwinning.net/ i-earn: http://www.iearn.org/
  8. 8. INTENT : Integrating Telecollaborative Networks Into Higher Education LLP: 2011-2014
  9. 9. UNICollaboration.eu: the Home of Telecollaborative Exchange for University Classrooms
  10. 10. Start here to find databanks of classes, institutions and practitioners who are interested in establishing contacts…
  11. 11. If you choose ‘classes’ then you’ll be able to search or browse a list of classes which are interested in taking part in online exchange projects...
  12. 12. Create a new class and let other practitioners read about your group and the type of exchange you’d like to have…
  13. 13. In the ‘Tasks’ tab in the top menu bar, you’ll find collections of tasks, task sequences (i.e. collections of interconnected tasks) and assessment tools to use in your online exchange projects…
  14. 14. To learn more about how online exchanges work: Click on the ‘Training’ tab in the top menu bar. Here you’ll find accounts of different exchanges (‘Sample projects’) and information on how to set up and run an exchange (‘Training modules’)
  15. 15. When you choose a sample project, click on the different tabs to read about the project, the tasks it used and how educators evaluated the project…
  16. 16. To discuss issues related to telecollaboration with colleagues
  17. 17. Your thoughts…. • What questions should a teacher think about when planning an online exchange? 20
  18. 18. Questions to ask when designing an online exchange for your language course • Where can I find partner classes and ideas for activities? • How can we organise exchanges when there is limited access to technology? • Do my pupils have enough FL skills to take part in an exchange? • Which online communication tools should I use? • How can I integrate my curriclum and my online exchange? • What should be the role of the teacher? • How should I assess the exchange?
  19. 19. Where can I find partner classes and ideas for activities?
  20. 20. What makes a good partner-teacher for my online exchange? • Watch some telecollaborative teachers on UNICollaboration.eu talking about this here: • http://www.uni-collaboration.eu/? q=node/438 • What do they mention?
  21. 21. Look for a possible partner-class for your context • Explore UNICollaboration.eu and epals: • http://unicollaboration.eu/? q=classes_list • www.epals.com
  22. 22. How can we organise exchanges when there is limited access to technology? • In-class options: • Outside of class options: Write from home & ‘CC’ teachers • Technology-free options: Posting “Culture boxes”
  23. 23. One traditional approach to telecollaboration: e-Tandem: The Tandem Approach: “…this entails that each partner should communicate as closely as possible to half in his/her mother tongue and half in his/her target language. This grants both learners the opportunity to practise speaking and writing in their target language and listening to and reading text written by their native speaking partner.” http://www.slf.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/etandem/etindex-en.html
  24. 24. • Hey Pablo! It was great to receive your letter. I was so happy to see that you responded to my questions. Thank you. Your responses were very informative and definitely showed me that family life in Spain was not all I'd expected it to be (I was surprised, for example, that your family is not religious. I assumed that most families in Spain are, and I'm sure you have many assumptions about life in America as well). Your English is very good. There are only a few suggestions that I have to correct it. Some of your sentences are too long, and would make more sense if you separated them into two or three sentences instead. For example, "My parents are not divorced in Spain there are very few cases of divorced" could be rewritten as "My parents are not divorced. In Spain there are very few cases of divorce." Your letter was great and made sense despite these things. Good work. Las fiestas en the ciudad de Nueva York son muy locas y emocionantes. Voy a las discotecas con mis amigas los jueves, los viernes, o los sabados. Vamos a los bars tambien. Nosotros volvemos a nos salons de dormitorio a las cuatro de la manana. Queremos bailar a las discotecas. Necesita tener veintiuno anos por beber el alcohol pero la mayoria de estudiantes en las universidades tenen los "fake IDs" y ellos beben el alcohol. … No sabo mucho de Espana. Sabo que hay un museo de Guggenheim en Bilbao y sabo que hay muchos castillos bonitos. Que sabes de los Estados Unidos? Como es la fiesta en Espana? Elena
  25. 25. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Dear partner/ .................................., Supporting pupils’ correspondence I will introduce myself to you in this letter. I am ................. twelve/thirteen years old. .........................a boy/girl. .........................a twelve-year-old girl. My surname is ............................... and my first name is........................ People call me ............................................ I have ..............two brothers .......................three sisters. I don't have any brothers or sisters; I am an only child. I live ................... with my father/stepfather .....................……with my mother/stepmother ............................ with my parents with ............ ............................ in a boarding school (or another place where you live when you cannot live with your parents). My parents are divorced. I like ................... football /......................./....................... I love .................. music. I like people who............................................................................................ I don't like people who.................................................................................. […] I am looking forward to hearing from you. Bye for now. (I must go now/ that’s all for now/ Bye/) (Based on Schlieger, 2001: 19)
  26. 26. Which Online Communication Tools to use? • In your opinion, what might be the different outcomes of using these different tools? As a teacher, which would you prefer? • Asynchronous v. Synchronous tools? E.G. E-mail & blogs v. Messenger & Chat • Oral v. Text-based tools? E.G. Skype &Videoconferencing v. E-mail, blogs etc. • Web 1.0 v Web 2.0?
  27. 27. One experience of Videconferencing • • “My local secondary school (11-18 year-old children) was given vidoconferencing equipment by a local business, which also helped them find a partner school in France, close to the business's French HQ. The school experimented with videoconferencing for several months but finally abandoned it. The head of foreign languages told me that the main reasons were: 1. Difficulties in finding mutually convenient times when the two schools could link up. 2. Lack of time to plan for a session so that it ran smoothly and became really fruitful. 3. Embarrassment of teenagers confronting one another: reluctance to talk and lots of giggling about the hairstyles and clothing of their counterparts. 4. No measurable progress in the students' language skills as a direct result of the videoconferencing sessions. “ [Graham Davies – personal correspondence]
  28. 28. Choose the tool to fit your school • • • Spanish student feedback comparing oral and written discussion boards: “I prefer the written one because you don’t get so nervous and you have more time to think about what you want to say. Also I did not like to speak in the computer lab with my classmates listening to what I was saying.” “It’s easier to understand them in the written forum because it’s very difficult to speak with someone that you don’t see.”
  29. 29. What should I keep in mind about online tools for my online exchange? • Read some advice by experienced teachers on UNICollaboration.eu : • http://www.uni-collaboration.eu/? q=node/440 • What do they mention?
  30. 30. What tasks to do with your partner class? • O’Dowd and Ware (2009): twelve telecollaborative task types into three main categories – information exchange, comparison and collaboration: • Information exchange tasks: Learners provide their partners with information about their personal biographies, local schools or towns or aspects of their home cultures. • Comparison and analysis tasks: Require learners not only to exchange information, but also to go a step further and carry out comparisons or critical analyses of cultural products from both cultures (e.g. books, surveys, films, newspaper articles). • Collaborative tasks: Require learners not only to exchange and compare information, but also to work together to produce a joint product or conclusion. E.G. The co-authoring of an essay or presentation or the co-production of a linguistic translation or cultural adaptation of a text from the L1/C1 (first language/first culture) to the L2/C2 (second language/second culture). • O’Dowd, R. and Ware, P. (2009) ‘Critical issues in telecollaborative task design’, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(2): 173–88.
  31. 31. What makes a good task for my online exchange? • Watch some telecollaborative teachers on UNICollaboration.eu talking about this here: • http://www.uni-collaboration.eu/? q=node/439 • What do they mention?
  32. 32. Some examples: Science across the world: Eating Habits Survey for you and your International Partners • Complete the following questionnaire in your class and return the results to your partner class. They will do the same with their results. You will then write a report together with your partner in the other country. • 1. Breakfast For breakfast, most students eat:… • 2. Eating Habits The sort of snacks and sweets we eat during the day are:… The arrangements for meals during the school day are: The people who choose and prepare our food are: Traditional beliefs about diet in our country are: The ways in which eating habits are changing are: • 3. Diet and Health • We think that most members of our class eat:  a balanced diet  enough dietary fibre  enough fruit and vegetables  too much salt  too much sugar  too much fat • Our main concerns about diet and health are:
  33. 33. • Example 2: Partner schools involved: Ashcott Primary School, Somerset, UK & Tigoi Primary, Kenya • Activity details • One of the first activities that we did with our partner school was Traditional Tales. One of the reasons we did traditional tales was that it helped us to embed the work into the curriculum… • We used it as an opportunity for the children in Ashcott to retell traditional tales, and then they typed the stories up, illustrated them and linked the pages. We then exchanged these stories with Kenya… • The pupils at Tigoi school then wrote their versions of traditional stories and illustrated them, some they asked the Ashcott children to illustrate as well. We transferred these to the website as well so we could compare them. We found that due to the colonial past, there were a lot of traditional tales in common, but often with slight changes. • http://www.ashcott.somerset.sch.uk/community/tales.htm
  34. 34. Where can I find a good task for my online exchange? • Look at the task database on UNICollaboration.eu or e-twinning here: • http://unicollaboration.eu/? q=node/201 • http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/col • Can you find a task you particularly like for your context?
  35. 35. Assessing Cultural Aspects of Telecollaboration • An interview with Michael Byram: • “Although I have written about assessment for the reasons that we all know, i.e. that what isn’t tested isn’t taught, nonetheless there are problematic aspects of assessment and we can’t be sure what the answers are. Particularly about attitude. Assessing skills is OK, assessing knowledge is OK, assessing the ability to evaluate is OK, but not assessing values or attitudes. That’s where there are problems of a moral nature, as well as a technical nature.” • http://elt.britcoun.org.pl/elt/forum/byrint.htm
  36. 36. What Approach will you take? • • • • What type of tasks would you choose for your exchange? How would you assess your tasks? What tools would you use? Where would you like to have your partner class? – Can you find one in epals or unicollaboration? • What problems do you imagine having when setting up such an exchange?
  37. 37. An Add-on or Integrated Approach? • There is a significant difference in educational outcome depending on whether a teacher chooses to incorporate online classroom connections as (1) an ADD-ON process, like one would include a guest speaker, or (2) an INTEGRATED process, in the way one would include a new textbook. The email classroom connection seems sufficiently complex and time consuming that if there are goals beyond merely having each student send a letter to a person at a distant school, the ADD-ON approach can lead to frustration and lessthan-expected academic results... On the other hand, when the email classroom connection processes are truly integrated into the ongoing structure of homework and student classroom interaction, then the results can be educationally transforming. (Bruce Roberts in Warschauer, 1995, p. 95)
  38. 38. Read more about telecollaboration… • Contact: – robert.odowd@unileon.es – Publications: http://unileon.academia.edu/RobertODowd – See this presentation again: http://www.slideshare.net/dfmro • Read our Report on Telecollaboration in Europe: – http://www.scoop.it/t/intent-project-news – INTENT Project news: http://www.scoop.it/t/intent-projectnews • This project have been funded with support from the European Commission. This project reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.