Since three years, eTwinning platform has become a constant and important presence in our school, Ipsia “G.Marconi” Ortona, Italy. It is a real piece of curricular teaching that becomes international, which discusses how other schools, in other countries, deal with the same topic, discovering new strategies, new paths, new knowledge and new realities, but also new languages, cultures , habits, ways of being, in a truly cooperative process .
eTwinning was born as a platform for the creation of electronic twinning and consequently, as an opportunity to create a meeting, an exchange, a sharing of knowledge and good practices. Over time eTwinning has “evolved”, it has become “great”, also taking care of support and accompaniment of the actions on students.
We have discovered that eTwinning is a circumscribed, safe, controlled and secure online meeting place that we too can enter with the mediation of teachers.
During our afternoon meetings at school after the curricular time the students carry out activities related to projects with the guidance of teachers on the platform and in collaboration with students from different foreign countries.
The key feature that makes an eTwinning project successful, effective, engaging and exciting for pupils, is that it should be, preferably, “a piece of curricular teaching that becomes international”, in which our work has as its goal the realization of a common product, for which we are all responsible, students and teachers.
The topics are different, as well as the disciplines involved, but all are inspired by the needs and training needs of students.
Currently, the students of the Ipsia “G.Marconi” of Ortona under the guidance of teachers, prof. Romina Marchesani and Danila Rodolfo, are involved in various platform projects, Kindness is the key, Let’s save the food, Media Literacy, (also linked to other school projects), Break the silence! Stop Bullying, The Oceans’ rescuers and Rightful Perception of Reality (linked to one of the Erasmus + projects of our institute). The school is also involved in 9 different Erasmus+ projects.
Through these projects the students are the architects of their personal, social, cultural and cognitive growth, participating in first person. In eTwinning pupils introduce themselves through different apps, they introduce our school, activities, our jobs; they discuss about logos, themes, but also they share ideas, opinions, knowledge. They communicate, and produce in English. They participate and create quizzes, lists, signs, definitions, indications, commercials, shortcuts, games, role-play, researches, essays.. The text, written and spoken, becomes significant because it is necessary for exchange, for mutual knowledge.
And knowledge helps in understanding, in overcoming obstacles, prejudices, stereotypes, bringing the students closer to the others who, in communicating, will have the same uncertainties, insecurities and fragility as they do.
The use of technologies is a fundamental step of the planned activities. You can make video conferences or video clips, create avatars, emoticons that represent us or embody our ideas.
Therefore it should be emphasized!!! In a completely pleasant way students’ digital skills improve significantly because they are always invited to try new
ones, different according to their communicative purpose and often they also find themselves experimenting with those suggested by our partners.
“The” e “of eTwinning stands for” electronic “, to underline how technologies are the basis of these profitable and meaningful exchanges, because cooperative learning finds its most congenial playing field in the network, eliminating the boundaries of space and time, allowing everyone to make their own contribution to the success of everyone’s work, in the times and in the ways that are most congenial to them “.
The students get involved on a weekly basis, they have tasks to complete monthly and they “learn from mistakes” and they also have to respect deadlines.
We have had and we are having great success with our works and our activities. Most of our works have been praised by the partners and chosen as representative of the projects.
It is important not to forget another aspect, not at all secondary, that of inclusion and team work: teachers invite and consequently involve all students in participating in the projects, no one excluded, because the work is of the group, and not of the individual, even if the contribution of the individual is decisive for the success of the team!
For many young people for whom participation in Erasmus + exchanges is not possible, eTwinning helps to meet others, through video meetings, chat rooms presentations and web contests.
Therefore we are happy and proud of this possibility that our school has given us and we hope to be able to continue, with the hope of involving more and more students and teachers.
Students of Ipsia “G.Marconi” Ortona