As a Primary teacher I know that my students are building their world and what they really need, more than listening to me, is having the chance to interact with lots of things and, obviously, with lot of children. In this way, one of the things that technology let us nowadays, it’s the possibility to connect with people from other countries and learn by equals; to learn new things which will allow us to increase our cultural awareness.
The cooperative and collaborative work is the perfect tool to motivate our students in any task we plan. But, what happen when the teacher plans an activity in which you, the student, have to be in touch, not only with your school classmates, even with students from other countries? Since I started to use video conferences in my classes (long time ago), that is what I am trying to do with my students all the time. So, I think that I have the answer… When you do that, your students are really engaged in the activity, they are totally motivated, they are working with people from all over the world and they are doing it by themselves in their classroom.
At the same time, when we want to plan an activity in a collaborative way, we have to get into account what kind of materials we are going to use. If we let our students to act as media makers, if they have to prepare and create all the materials that we will use later in the activity, then we are giving to the students the main roll of the task and they will feel totally motivated because the activity depends of their own effort to manage it.
"(…) It’s a funny way to study without books, with a computer, a Tablet or a Smartphone." Laura Aguado (12 years old).
Mixing the collaborative work between students from different countries and letting them to be the producers of the contents, is the way to change the way they learn… is the way to engage them.
"It was a nice experience. It was the reason to our motivation to improve English and by this way to be able to communicate with people from other countries. Working in Skype with students from New York let me being more interested in English and litle by litle I was studing harder. I think that this project allowed me to travel to an English speaking country." Laura Aguado (16 years old).
"(...)by this project I was interested to learn English and I realized that I could be in touch with people from different countries and I didn't have to learn the languages of all countries." David Aguado (12 years old).
"(...)even if we were far, we felt friends. At the same time it was the reason to learn English and specially to realize the importance of this language, we needed it to be in touch with our new friends from Poland." Ariadna Lanzas (12 years old).
But this motivation, this new energy, flows not only in the students. It flows in teachers too. One of the things that I always try to do, when I start a new project, is to promote the relation between teachers. Sharing ideas, tools and knowledge. Because every teacher always has something to add to any project. It’s necessary to let them to find their role and by this way the project will grow more and more.
"The project aroused curiosity and brought a lot of excitement in the class. It was also an excellent way to improve my own skills in using new technologies." Anna Gorka (Teacher from Poland).
"I think technology is a great tool to learn, also they can review what they learned in the class for social sciences. They enjoy more." Nihal Yazgan (Teacher from Turkey).