The beginning


 
   

Before a teacher is able to start a project, some conditions have to be satisfied. Quite a number of these conditions are mentioned in the list of 'General Hints', which you will find in the next section. Below the most important clusters are summarised.

Matching
For various reasons it is important that your partner and his/her pupils do not differ too much with regard to the following aspects:

Age: both forms should be of about the same age group;
Numbers: both forms should have about the same number of pupils;
Level: both forms should have about the same level of command of the English language.

Other differences between the two forms should not cause any problems. They might in fact make the link even more interesting.

Procedure
Keep in mind that each teleproject or each subtopic of your teleproject has a basic cycle of activities. This cycle need careful planning to let it run smoothly.

Step 1: Local Activities
You will introduce the theme of the (next) message. You and your pupils discuss the theme and decide what activities are necessary for writing the letter, supported by the material.

Step 2: Writing the letter
Your pupils will first write a draft, on paper or computer. Then you correct them according to the criteria previously agreed with your partner (see general hint no. 14)

Step 3: E-mail
The letters of your pupils are being sent as electronic mail.

Step 4: Confirmation
You await a confirmation from your partner that the messages were received.

Step 5: Remote Activities
The partner school will follow the same scheme as sketched above, and prepare their own letters. In addition they can react to the letters that were sent to them.

Step 6: E-mail
The letters of the partner school are sent to you.

Step 7: Confirmation
You will send a message that you received the messages in good order.

Step 8: Reading
Your pupils will read the mail they have received from the pupils of the partner school.

Step 9: Local activities
A new theme is introduced, replies to previous messages are written, personal news is added......

The cycle starts again......

Evaluation

It is vital to evaluate the project, both during and at the end of the collaboration, 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 note.

2. You can always send messages separately in which the development of activities or problems are 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, questions, and ideas from the side of the pupils can improve the quality of the teleproject.

Golden Rule 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 No. 1 within many teleprojects is: "ALWAYS ANSWER". Nothing is more serious than you not knowing what has 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 your students!!!

 

 


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