eTwinning in Infant Education. Why not?

18 
Nov 
2010  |  
eTwinning_infantil

To quote  Sir Ken Robinson, one of the greatest experts in creativity, “the children of today will do jobs that have not yet been invented. For economies to prosper we need children to think creatively and to understand cultural values. Creativity is original ideas that have value”, “We need teachers who are not only capable of teaching facts, but who leave the children room to cultivate their talent. Everyone learns in a different way, that is why the way things are taught is important”, “The time has come to finance talent”.

Children from 0 to 6 feel great interest and curiosity for everything that surrounds them. They discover their immediate environment and begin to socialize. It is therefore a good moment to widen their frontiers with all types of creative stimulation, to encourage their capacity to investigate and to let them work in groups with other children.

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Proyecto Emotions, memory and Videos, colegio Ángel Ganivet de Sevilla

eTwinning is not aimed at teachers of a certain stage, all the teachers of non-university education can participate: Infant, Primary, Secondary, Vocational Training or other types of institutions like Official Language Schools or Music Schools. However, the three main axes around which eTwinning is structured, a European dimension, the use of ICTs and collaborative work, may seem more complicated for integrating into the Infant stage. Here are some reasons and examples which contradict this statement.

After the inclusion of digital competence among the eight basic competencies in the current study programmes, the use of ICT tools in the classroom is a must. The variety of tools which are available on TwinSpace and above all, the safety which it offers as a working environment, make it an ideal platform for starting to develop digital competence from an early age.

TwinSpace is also a flexible space which permits the integration of products developed with a multitude of external tools, (Voki, Storybird, YouTube, VoiceThread, SketchFu...) which are very attractive for work with children.

Project Colours of life: common story written by children, EEI Gloria Fuertes, Gijón

 

Project Math - easy and interesting, CEIP San Juan Bautista de Madrid

In a word, ICTs offer new possibilities in the classroom to encourage experimentation and investigation as well as stimulate children’s creativity.

Although learning can be enhanced by collaborative work at all ages, it is precisely at this stage when participatory methodology is most widespread. With an eTwinning project collaborative activities can be organized among the children, and this collaboration can be extended beyond the school, with the participation of their families who are usually very willing to take part at this educational level. The Día a día project, although it belongs to the first cycle of primary education, is a good example. The parents participate in the classroom Wiki adding photos which the teachers and the children then work on in class.

The teachers have many strategies and tools available to encourage the development of creativity and collaborative learning and can find in eTwinning a reference framework and space to develop projects and exchange experiences and ideas in a safe environment.

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EEI da Baiuca, Pontevedra

 

Using eTwinning as a tool for investigation, creativity and expression as well as being very motivating and attractive for the pupils of infant education, is also a programme which offers different opportunities for the teachers to enjoy: to get to know each other in the virtual environment, to exchange ideas and practices, to participate in the Groups and Didactic encounters… etc. It is undoubtedly a perfect choice for Infant Education.

Below are a few of the projects which may serve as inspiration:

Gran Compañía de Teatro Infantil – Grande Compagnia del teatro dell’infanzia

Colours of life - common story written by children

1, 2 Buckle my shoe

Grandi quadri e piccoli pittori, Grandes cuadros y pequeños pintores

Travelling with our e-story

Math - easy and interesting

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