sábado, 2 de abril de 2011

School Linked Projects

Nowadays, when it comes to using learning technologies in the classroom, the variety of things we can do as teachers in almost endless. It just requires imagination and creativity to come up with a new way to use LTs to achieve our lesson goals.

One nice and important feature of using LTs is that we can actually get in touch with other people around the world in order to exchange educative experiences. Bearing this in mind, it is good to know that liked projects arise as one of the best options. A linked project lets schools that are geographically distant get in touch with each other. By means of using them, we can have learners communicate with other learners in different countries, promoting and fostering not only the practice of the language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and the linguistic competence, but also the good relationships between people from different cultures and the practice and learning of universal values like respect, love, tolerance, etc.

In the light of such linked projects, teachers and students can communicate with each other by means of using different applications available on the web. Among these, some of the most popular are (video) conference calls, chat rooms, emails, blogs, forums, and wikis. At the present time there are different sites and freeware on the cyberspace that offer these applications; for example, Facebook, Skype, Blogger, eLanguages, ePals, etc., which are free and available in different languages.

Some of the advantages of using link projects are:

1. They are engaging,  motivating, interesting, and fun..
2. Students can develop and practice with their language and computer skills at the same time.
3. Communication and understanding between cultures is promoted and enhanced.
4. Students can also create the content as they work on the project, so teachers save time and effort.
5. They are easy to carry out.

Some recommendations:

1. Be careful when planing your linked project: make sure you have a clear topic and purpose, learning objectives, tasks to be performed by learners, resources and skills needed, type of language and content appropriate to the learners' level, age, and abilities, etc.
2. A good linked project should last 2 o3 three weeks. Avoid working on huge projects that take a lot of time and effort on the part of teachers and students.
3. Ensure all learners are familiar with the different applications and web tools to be used.
4. When selecting the name of the project, always come up with something that is catchy and summarizes its purpose and topic.

Finally, here you are some links that are useful when working with linked projects:

1 comentario:

  1. It is always a hit when you provide opportunities for your students to communicate with people different from their classmates. If they are native speakers much better. They feel it is the real thing (and it is). Twinned projects are based on mutual benefit by sharing curriulum projects or complemeting them. Since it is online careful considerations should be made on the type of online communication tools to be used and platforms to provide directions and showcase their mutual work.