you start, make sure that your students have sufficient time in the
computer lab to write their letters. If you have just one access to
the Internet, let the students write their letters on diskettes and
send the messages from there.
is not necessary that every pupil has Internet-access. Most teachers
collect all letters their pupils have written, and send the complete
package of letters to their colleague. Upon receiving, the colleague
abroad distributes the letters among his/her pupils. This can be done
in print or by copying the file to the class' area on the school's
you use this procedure, then teach the students to organize their work
by naming their file in a specific way like: the student's initials,
which number the letter it is, and the name of the school.
If it was Martin Smith at St John's Secondary School, that had written
his first letter, the file could be named: ms _ letter1_ St Johns.
When the student saves the next letter he writes, he just needs to
exchange letter1 with letter2. In this way it is easy for both the
senders and receivers to keep track of the correspondence.
you are not too confident in using the technology, hopefully you have
a colleague that may assist you - or at some schools an ICT adviser
that is available.
may be useful to inform each other about the ICT equipment situation
at the school. Is it possible to retrieve images from the net? Does
the partner have access to a scanner or a digital camera?
is important to have the postal address, telephone and fax numbers of
the partner school. E-mail can go wrong and it is essential that you
can reach your colleague in some other way.
between the teachers
to establish a good working relation with your colleague by writing
regularly. You will discover that it is great fun to have this
personal contact and an extra motivation for involving and supporting
your students in their work.
and your colleague must agree upon the schedule for sending letters.
An overview of holidays, exams etc. is extremely important.
to establish dates on which you will exchange letters. Beware of not
drawing up too tight a schedule. There will always be unforeseen
events during the school year. It may be an idea to make a calendar
for a whole school year. This can be a big help when planning other
the reception of letters. Immediately after receiving letters, you
should always send your colleague a short message to let him/her know
whether or not letters have arrived in good order.
between the students
'Image of the Other is based on the idea of letting the students work
in pairs in order to give everybody a chance to get a personal contact
with peers from the very beginning of the project. If there are too
many students in one class, then some students may collaborate with
two students in the other class.
Make sure that everybody has someone to write with, it is a good idea
to exchange lists of names of students and indicate against the names
whether the name is for a boy or a girl. In some countries a name may
be both a boy's and a girl's name. In some cases a little extra
information between the teachers about the students may be useful.
with your colleague who is doing the matching. Return the list with
the matched groups, so both classes have them available.
with your colleague the level of accuracy required, which level of
grammatical and idiomatic accuracy do you wish to aim at?
If you receive a video or pictures, try to guide your pupils'
reactions. Some may have built up an image of their partner which is
not in accordance with reality. Defuse any awkward situation
It is vital to evaluate the project,
both during and at the end, with your pupils and your colleague.
1. Every time that letters of the
pupils are sent, you and your colleague abroad keep each other
informed of the development of the project by adding an electronic
2. You can always send messages
separately in which the development of activities or problems is
reported. Also appointments that were made earlier, e.g. on dates of
transmission, are discussed and changed if necessary. Plans with
regard to the topics of the letters or the sequence in which they are
dealt with may be adjusted. Sometimes the pairing of pupils is not
successful. An example is the extremely diligent pupil co-operating
with a partner who writes very concise letters
3. An end-evaluation is advisable
4. Between pupils and teacher interim
evaluations may prove to be worthwhile. Suggestions and ideas from the
side of pupils can improve quality of the project.
No. 1 !!!
Electronic mail is a fantastic medium
for communication. But you will have to keep in mind that e-mail need
some rules for successful usage, especially in education.
This is why Golden Rule Number 1 within many teleproject is "ALWAYS
ANSWER". Nothing is more serious than you not knowing what happened to
your partner when there is complete silence or vice versa.
So please take care that you always
inform your partner, by e-mail, by fax, or by phone, about the reasons
of hopefully temporary electronic silence.
Good luck in the work to you and