Home / Premios eTwinning 2012 / Study, practise and teach ICTs with ICT4U

Study, practise and teach ICTs with ICT4U

2012  |  
Title: ICT4U

Educational level: Post-Compulsory Secondary Education (16-18 years old)

Subject: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

premio_ict4uThe students from the IES Maestro Juan María Leonet school in the optional subject of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) would never have imagined that they would have to take the role of the teacher and, in collaboration with other European companions, present the characteristics and uses of different ICT tools to their teachers. 



Teachers from Belgium, Greece, Hungary and Iceland became the new work companions of Jesús Melgar Tito, the Spanish teacher who explains below some of the aspects which made them decide to put this project into practice: "The ICT4U project was born from our constant need to reach our students in the most user friendly and attractive way, with the contents of our subjects. There is no doubt that for this it is imperative to use ICTs; any teacher who wants to use attractive material needs to invest a lot of time and learn to master certain IT skills. In contrast, for our students the use of the computer is so intuitive that, with a lot less effort, they are able to handle any IT application with relative ease. This made us think of the possibility of the teachers and students changing roles which could be beneficial to both, as it would not only make us aware of different tools and their educational use, but it would also mean that the students would learn first hand the difficulty of preparing a class, something that teachers tackle every day".

With this working idea, and already being part of a Comenius association, the group of teachers drew up a complete plan in which they also determined some prior tasks before the start of the project; all of which had one objective: to get maximum involvement on the part of the students. This implied taking their interests into account, making them partners in the proposals for activities and taking notice of their opinions on the development process. This detailed work plan, together with the collaboration among teaches and students in its design, was without doubt the key to the success of the project. 

The Sudents' corner in the TwinSpace was the perfect place where the students could get to know each other, choose the tool they wanted to work on and create mixed nationality groups, in perfect safety. These were the groups which, in the different meetings organized through the Comenius programme,  would be in charge of  giving face to face training sessions to their teachers. But first, as part of the eTwinning programme, they had to coordinate and carry out reasearch work on the chosen ICT tools. In this way, combining the possibilities offered by eTwinning and Comenius to schools, the students have been able to experience what it means to work in collaboration with companions from other European countries, both by means of the new technologies, and by sharing a classroom with them. Although it is sometimes difficult to achieve, ICT4U is a perfect model of how to integrate both programmes in one single project. 


The creation of a wiki in the TwinSpace for each tool, allowed the different teams to collect the relevant information from each one and organize it under four headings: summary, register, manual and educational use. In this way, as well as being the work space for the students, also accessible and clear for any visitor, the ICT4U TwinSpace is a very useful collection for teachers interested in integrating ICTs into education. The list of tools presented, as well as their functions, is enormous: personal information managers like Diigo, social networks like Facebook, on-line notice boards like Wallwisher, image administrators like Flickr, information networks like Twitter and a long etcetera, complete the index of tutorials which the groups have drawn up and presented to their teachers. The project web site also presents all these manuals, organized using Issuu, as well as videos with the face to face sessions given in the Comenius meetings. 


The functions of some of the tools have also been demonstrated by using them in the project itself. Thus, to the convenient use of the above-mentioned TwinSpace, can be added that of Twitter, by means of which the participants announced the latest progress in the work, Dipity, with which they drew up a time line to reflect the different stages and events, Wallwisher for the exchange of opinions and congratulations, etc. In a word, in ICT4U the stars have been the ICTs as the objects and support for the project. 


The satisfaction that this project has produced in the students is illustrated in the words of Eva R., one of the Spanish students: "I have a very good opinion of the experience because we have been able to get to know people from the rest of Europe and see that we are not that different from people from other countries and that our way of life is very similar. It is a way to practise colloquial English with the companions from other countries and more formal English when we carry out the work and make oral presentations. My parents think that it is a privilege for anyone to take part in a project like this".

For his part, Jesús Melgar Tito, tells us: "as a teacher it is a motive of pride to see how the students, at first rather reticent towards the project, have got involved, incorporating these tools in the daily learning of their subjects and, above all, to see the enthusiasm and pleasure with which they comment on their experiences and what they have done with their companions, in a way that when mentioning students from other countries they seem to be there at the next desk".

With ICT4U not only has an innovative methodology been implemented capable of motivating the students and permitting them to get basic competencies, but a set of very useful manuals has been drawn up which can be re-used by other teachers and students. It is a project which was carried out during two school years and has been recognized with the National eTwinning Prize in Hungary and Spain, and selected as a  candidate for the 2012 eTwinning European Prize. We are looking forward to the annual eTwinnng Conference to find out if they manage to win this prize as well. Don't wait until then and visit the project today. 

This presentation, which details the main characteristics of the project, was shown at the 2012 National eTwinning Prize Giving:

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TwinSpace: http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p21079/welcome

Web: http://www.ict4u-project.eu/

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