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Involving families in an eTwinning project

31 
May 
2012  |  

familia2On previous occasions we have written about the participation of teachers in projects as well as the involvement of the students. This time it is the turn of the families. The contribution that they can make to a project in progress is always valuable. We have consulted our eTwinning ambassadors and the present article presents both their experience and their recommendations. 

 

The topic of making families aware of the projects in which their children, grandchildren or brothers and sisters are taking part is directly related to dissemination. Without suitable dissemination of the project, there may be parents who have not heard that their children are participating in a European project, or who interpret this participation as just another extracurricular activity. So if we are taking part in a project we can start by making the families aware of what eTwinning is all about, what the aim of the project is, the precise activities which are being carried out or are projected, the products which are being created and the improvements and learning acquisitions which are expected in their children. And as well as informing them, why not invite them? This is how to make room for the cooperation of the families so that they contribute by helping and/or offering their experience. 

 

cuentacuentosIt is not unusual to find a member of the family with some degree of experience in the topic being worked on; at times it is a relative who has more free time and can voluntarily collaborate in some of the tasks being carried out. Or there may be someone who can serve as a link to experts or associations that can be useful for the objectives sought. Similarly in the multicultural environment in which we live, there will be families who can teach us about cultural aspects which we are unfamiliar with. 

 
How can we put these initiatives into practice? The ambassadors offer us a series of tips: to begin with it is necessary to present the project, and publicize it. A good opportunity can be at the informative sessions and the meetings that the tutors have with the families. The participating students can also be the ones to create a presentation of the project aimed at their families, for example, with a video. 


Moreover, the ideal situation is that the families can also see how the project is progressing, can make suggestions and comments which should be taken into account. This undoubtedly helps to strengthen the links between the school and their much needed involvement in the education of their children. Those who are interested can be registered on the project TwinSpace with the role of a visitor, so that when they so wish they can see the progress and the different contributions and materials produced. If this option is not chosen, then as part of the dissemination, they can be sent e-mails with the links to the materials, the web page where they appear, the blogs, giving them the possibility of intervening, or they can be sent printed newsletters, etc. Publishing articles in the school magazine, if there is one, both in its digital and paper version, is also a good mode of dissemination. Not to mention the social networks which we mustn't forget reach the most technologically minded. 

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Open days can be organized so that the parents can visit the school and see the students working on the project or communicating with their partners using ICT tools. If a corner of the school or the classroom can also be devoted to the description and exhibition of the project, with panels, photos, etc., this space can serve as its display window.


Image_exposiciónAnd conversely, the activities can be brought out of the school to exhibit in cultural classrooms, civic centres and municipal libraries. In these cases the best idea is to invite the general public so that people can get to know eTwinning and the families can feel satisfied, not to mention, proud of their children's  participation in this type of project. 

 

 


Whether the projects are related to the students' surroundings, the geographical location, the natural environment, history, traditions, current problems, they will also encourage the involvement and participation of their families. 

Lastly, after the project has been completed it can be a good idea to invite the families to a ceremony where the participating students are awarded diplomas, all the results can be presented and a final evaluation is made of the experience. 

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