eTwinning is part of the LLP programme (Longlife Learning Programme). It was born in 2005 and in seven years it has been joined by lots of teachers from all over Europe. It can be considered one of the widest communities of teachers in the world. They can meet there, discuss, share and work together in a really collaborative way, giving life to creative and original projects able to motivate students but, I’d also say teachers too.

Lately eTwinning is thought of as a sort of social network both by teachers and especially by students who normallly use the Twinspace to communicate with their partners peers or to upload and  have a look at project materials,  without realizing that at the same time they are “working“ and learning .

This is in fact the extra value of eTwinning: pupils work and learn without even realizing they are “studying”.

Students in fact have the opportunity to improve their ICT skills using the eTwinning tools such as the “pupils’ corner”,a corner especially designed for them in the project’s Twinspace, where students from different countries can easily stay in touch writing messages and letters, sharing materials and proposing personal ideas or stating their opinions. Moreover working on the eTwinning projects gives students the opportunity to know and familiarize with a lot of useful tools and softwares that can enrich their projects.

The platform offers a series of tools that can be used in the development of the project, however, plenty of tools can be also found in the net or suggested by the NSS or the CSS or by the project’s partners. This creates an innovation in the work which increases the quality not only of the products and the results, but additionally of the educational processes. This then leads to acquiring a real technological competence.

So we can say that eTwinning is training to practice all of the expressive possibilities offered by digital communication: images, videos, audio resources, texts, digital presentations, videoconferences and  combinations of these. Geometry or maths http://www.etwinning.net/it/pub/profile.cfm?f=2&l=en&n=38463 or science http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysEvwDphxNo made using technology. So these subjects become interactive, creative, original , in a word innovative and they motivate students to study them.

I think that the first benefits from this experience are for teachers. Personally, I have learnt a lot from the co-founder of my project “The new adventures of the Twinnies around the world”  http://new-twinspace.etwinning.net/web/p33902 , winner of the European Prize 2012, in terms of ICT skills. As all materials have to be shared with the partners uploading them in the platform, it leads to learning how to manage it with the help of either their partners or of the National agencies that are always present with their assistance or using demo’s able to explain how to use the tools. In this way all of the teachers’ new knowledge can be transferred to their students.

Another extra value is that it offers a new enthusiastic way to study school subjects. There are in fact plenty of eTwinning projects about their learning. They didn’t act because they received feedback from a teacher to do better, they decided for themselves, which score was enough for their expectations and which actions to take when they achieved a low score; re-try or move onto a new task. This study shows the importance of understanding children’s idea of learning.

Usually an etwinning project gives the opportunity to use a lot of tools, such as e-mails, chat rooms, slide shows, images’ galleries, audio files, blogs, videoconferences, wiki, power-point presentations, e-books,…Comparing  eTwinning and traditional teaching methods, the first uses a methodology based on investigation, creativity, interdisciplinarity and abundance of images, sounds, sources in general. It provides students with the opportunity to “see” what they are learning, to investigate using different sources and tools, to “create” using a great variety of instruments and especially to communicate, studying. All of the activities supported by the use of ICT lead to an increase of the students’ motivation. They diversify the quality of the project and increase its achievement. Starting working on eTwinning is easy ! Clicking on   www.etwinning.net and follow the instructions to register, all teachers could have a look at a great  variety of projects that will lead them and their students to open their minds  improving at the same time  their ICT skills .


For many teachers ICT is not a subject that they welcome. As P.E. coordinator I’ve come to realize P.E. is also a subject that some people “shy” away from (to put it nicely!) Like ICT, it’s a subject where control can be very easily lost, as with so much exciting equipment the lesson, if not handled correctly, can descend into mayhem! Also with P.E. there is the added fear that a child could do a serious injury, despite trying to wrap them up in cotton wool! So when faced with incorporating the two subjects, even the more experienced teacher may shiver in trepidation. However ICT in P.E is in fact a gift from the heavens as it can be used to enhance and improve lessons and even leave the teacher free to concentrate on behaviour management whilst modern technology takes over some of the teaching!  How to throw a javelin? How to correctly hold a hockey stick? Questions that can be somewhat embarrassing to ask colleagues who all seem to know the ins and outs of a sporting encyclopedia! How can you teach something that you’re not even sure about yourself? YOUTUBE! The creators of Youtube must be pure saints for allowing us the world of sport at our finger tips! Literally! The only hassle now is which video to choose and making sure you have censored it beforehand! Dance workout programs are becoming part of many people’s usual exercise regime, so making them a part of school life is just the obvious step! Dance is a strand of P.E that many people struggle with so a program that breaks down those tricky dance steps not only does the hard work for you, but also allows the teacher to stand inconspicuously at the back of the room, ensuring all of the children are participating and behaving, as well as practicing their weekend dance moves! Win Win!ICT can also be used not just in the teaching aspect, but assessing children’s routines and skills. A quick recording using the ever trustful flip cameras and not only have you and your class instantly created a tool to help you improve and critique sporting performances but you have also created your own youtube style video to teach others across the school. The children love to see themselves on the big screen (Interactive whiteboard to me and you) and it’s a terrific source of evidence for their achievements! So even the more anxious teacher should not feel nervous when it comes to the dreaded duo. In fact, if used wisely, P.E. and ICT can be combined to create a fun, memorable lesson enjoyed by all (especially the teacher!) .

Visit http://gettechnofit.weebly.com/index.html to find out about ideas of Wilbury Children on keeping fit using technology.





I’m an Italian teacher and I know that illustrations have a number of possible benefits to learning.  The comic making process itself offers many learning opportunities and comics can provide effective teaching with the incorporation of content delivery. If you think that some concepts, that could be difficult for students to understand in a textual way, could be better communicated using  pictures.  Moreover illustrations can be used to get students attention, to increase their emotional interest in a topic and to help them to summarize or rephrase information. As you can see in the picture below comics’ creation gives students a lot of benefits in every school’s subjects, especially to reinforce their computer skills.

Yet I had another scope when I decided to use comics I would like to improve English in my Italian students, so I needed a tool that was simple to use for the primary school. I explored a lot of  sites and apps available, which allows you to create characters or avatars, but my choice fell on “Toondoo”, a free illustrating service. In my opinion, it is the fastest  and easier way to create cartoon strips. Using a lot of functions everyone is able to create, personalize, and share cartoons, regardless of their artistic ability.

According to website, “ToonDoo is a cool, comic-creating tool that allows you to create your own cool comic strips with just a few drag ‘n drops ‘n mouse clicks!” It’s produced by Jambav, a fun site for kids that is devoted to creating a unique array of free and customizable online games of educational value for children of all abilities.


by Yasemin Allsop

When I first told the news to the class of children whom I teach maths, that we will soon be using iPod Touches in lessons, the reaction I received

was very interesting. They were screaming with excitement as though I’d told them that they had won the lottery.  I wondered why. Why were they so ecstatic? Would they behave in the same way if I had said that we will have laptops in the classroom? What did they expect?  To learn better… or were my lessons so boring that iPod Touches would make them more fun. I don’t know, maybe..

I spent a considerable amount of time evaulating some maths apps which would be suitable for the topics studied. I had 21 children and only 20 iPod Touches, so some had to share. This wasn’t a real issue as some of the children prefer working with a partner rather than working alone.  21 pupils from a Year 5 class (ages 9-10, 14 male and 7 female) took part in the project. The children had higher mathematical skills than expected for their age levels. They were from four different classes and did not have much intercommunication with the children who were not from the same class as them outside of the mathematics classes. They sat in mixed gender and ability groups not necessarily with children from their own class. I selected these children as I teach mathematics to them every morning, which allowed me to implement multiplication and division mathematics games on iPod touches into their  regular daily numeracy lessons. This was the first time that they had used mathematics games on iPod Touches in the classroom.

The Learning with iPod Touches Project lasted for a whole term. The data collection was administered at four levels. Firstly at the beginning of the study before allowing the children to use the iPod Touches, an online survey was completed by the children about the use of technology to understand their experiences with iPod touches and other technologies. Secondly the questions ‘What do you expect to learn from using an iPod touch that you can’t from other technology?’ and ‘What are the ways of learning multiplication and division calculations?’ were asked, and a children’s concept map of their discussions to answer these questions were written down on a A4 sheet by them. Analysis of the data from this document was based on identifying words that indicated their perceptions and expectations from learning with iPod Touches.

The findings of this study indicated that the students perceptions of learning mathematics with games using iPod Touches was a positive one. This conclusion can be confirmed by the data evidence presented. The results of the post-survey showed that the participants felt good about having had an opportunity to use iPod Touches and reported that using an iPod Touch was fun. They also disclosed that they learnt better when using an iPod Touch (71%). Furthermore they agreed that using an iPod Touch made learning mathematics more interesting (100%) and easier to learn (71%). The survey also revealed that the students were confident in their technological skills as they noted they didn’t need any special training to use iPod Touches.

Nonetheless they agreed that using an iPod Touch made their learning more fun and interesting, there were a number of students (29%) who didn’t know if using an iPod Touch helped them to learn better. This may tell us that the iPod Touch may not be the most appropriate tool for teaching all students and therefore educators need to employ different methods and tools for teaching and learning to meet the needs of all students. 

Although the students’ perceptions of using iPod Touches was more about the affordances of the device, this can also be used for understanding their learning experience. Their comments about their perceptions of learning such as; the visual features of the games, content, learning by doing, being in control, collaborative working, learning without realising, motivation and failure provides us with an insight into how they think and learn.

Students also reported that they liked having an opportunity to complete the same task many times until they were happy with their scores. When their score was low, this was not seen as a failure, simply as ‘low score’. This is very important for two reasons; firstly it encouraged students to try and do better which will impact on their confidence level, secondly it gave them the ownership of their learning. They didn’t act because they received feedback from a teacher to do better, they decided for themselves, which score was enough for their expectations and which actions to take when they got low score; re-try or move onto a new task. This study shows the importance of understanding children’s idea of learning.  It was not the purpose of this study to measure learning gained by playing games using an iPod Touch, rather this investigation wanted to find out simply children’ perceptions. When used together with well designed learning activities the iPod touch offers many opportunities to increase interactivity and students engagement with learning. The findings presented that learning with games using iPod Touches had an impact on children’s learning by making it more interesting and fun, but it is difficult to measure if this had any effect on the students’ actual learning.




I have worked with my 24 students this year (from January) with 12 iPads. The students are 10 years old. They have worked in pairs so they also have to practice co-operation, but sometimes they have worked alone. This is a special ”test project” to see how iPads can develop the kids motivation and knowledge.

We have most of the time worked with Pages (Writing stories, research, texts, mind maps etc), Garageband and a couple of other apps.  We have also borrowed e-books from the library. I found many advantages with iPads. It is easy to start and get into the iPad so you save a lot of time. You don’t need an ICT room or something like that, just open the program and start. The pupils learn from each other like rings on water, as a teacher you just need to start up the idea and most of the kids love to work with the iPads. They are also often proud of their work. Another advantage with the iPads is that you learn with several minds. You can for example see a picture of an animal, listen to the sound of the animal, and the right pronunciation in English and all the time you touch. I think this is great. I don’t think there are so many disadvantages; of course some kids thinks its more fun to just play games and watch videos on youtube. The temptation to do this instead of work is sometimes too big.

We haven´t had so many technical problems so that’s good.  We haven´t got a printer connection with the iPads so the pupils have to e-mail their work to the computers and after that log into a computer to be able to print their work on paper. This has been more complicated for the kids. In Garageband we have to practice to play chords on the  guitar and to play the keyboard. We have also worked to add our own lyrics to a famous melody. The pupils have of course got a headset when we have done this.

When I asked the students about fun things to do with the iPad they answered:

  • Stories in the app
  • Olympic research
  • Hangman
  • Writing e-mails to a friend
  • Making a song and making music
  • Talking Tom
  • Writing stories
  • Reading for one another
  • Using You Tube
  • Playing games

Bringing lessons to life!

Macbook in the classroom

by Stephanie Zenonos

Wilbury Primary School, London, UK

In a large, busy primary school, despite an allocated ICT time and a well-devised timetable, “There’s someone in the ICT room” is a phrase dreaded by any impulsive teacher. So what to do if the ICT suite is occupied? Laptops!

A sigh of relief? Or beads of sweat upon the brow? As with everything, it depends on the teacher.

Some fear the temptation of a laptop in front of an inquisitive child, will be too much and those little fingers will be itching to find an online game just as the teacher launches into a complex explanation. However the logical solution, which is not always so obvious, is to take advantage of the mobility of a laptop and simply close the lid until they are ready to be used.

Not all problems are as easily rectified, such as the loss of wifi signal (an often occurrence!) Shock! Horror! Those beads of sweat are turning more into a stream now. Trying the good old “turn it off and turn it on again” approach has bought us a few minutes but “the browser is not connected to the internet” is still putting a spanner in the works. It is then the blessed words “Shall I work with someone else?” saves the day. Spanner averted! The logic of a child can sometimes evade you in the panic of the situation.

Laptops are the perfect accompaniment for a group project, which gives the teacher the freedom when it comes to seating arrangements. It helps the children assign roles to each other, scan texts, make notes and work as a team- skills that are necessary for the future. Of course there is an occasional quarrel over whose turn it is to type, but that’s when teacher steps in.  A final worry for some is that the excitement of using the laptops, the thrill of the whole world being at their fingertips will be too much for the children and they might deviate during the lesson from the lesson’s activity (just as your head teacher or heaven forbid an Ofsted inspector is walking past). This is exactly why having laptops so readily available is such an advantage.

We’re integrating technology into their every day lives. In this day and age, where technology has become almost compulsory, using laptops and the like, will become as second nature as using a pen, and as we, their teachers, are preparing them for the future what better way than exposing them to something imperative for their future success.

Chris Burgess from Tradale Primary School in rural Australia talks about how he use technology for online collaborative learning.


Taradale Primary School is a small state school in regional Victoria, Australia. We are located 100km from Melbourne in a town of about 300 people. The school opened in 1855 during the Victorian Gold Rush, making it one of the oldest schools in the state. As well as our classrooms and play ground, we also have an onsite farm. The farm is home to our vegetable garden, orchard and our animals – 4 chickens, 2 calves and 2 lambs. If you would like to know more about us, please look at our website below or follow us on twitter. 


Being a small school we are keen to engage with other schools both face to face and remotely to provide additional educational and social experiences for the students.

What we do?

For face to face experiences we spend every Wednesday at another small school. We are also a part of a cluster of small schools that work collaboratively together to provide school camps, joint excursions and regular ‘Group Days’ where the schools all get together for a day of joint learning and social activities. We also participate in a number of other activities such as maths, science and PE days with other schools and we house the Taradale Play Group for pre-school children as well as hosting a number of community activities.

Additionally, we participate in a number of online collaborations that allow our students to participate in joint learning activities with other students, whether they be in Victoria, Australia or around the world.

Exploring the opportunities that technology provides for online interactions showed us that despite being a very small school, we could still participate in numerous learning opportunities from around the world.


Our first online collaboration was through Global Partners Junior. I had participated in this programme whilst working at a larger inner city school in Melbourne, so was familiar with what it could offer educationally and how it would engage the children. The Global Partners Junior programme is run from the City of New York Mayor’s office. It is an online collaborative project linking children from around the world in educational activities that are relevant to everyone.

Prior to introducing Global Partners at Taradale, we looked at the upcoming unit of work to see if it fitted in with our planned curriculum and met the requirements of the state learning standards. Then we looked at how we would integrate it into our timetable and talked to the parents and students to gauge their interest and support. We then looked at our timetable to see when we would fit it in and how much time we would spend on it in class and how the students could use it at home. As our school has a strong focus on digital learning and the environment, we could see that Global Partners Junior would fit well with our existing curriculum and give the students opportunities to learn more about the world and make friends with children from other cultures and countries.

The students all have internet access at home and this project was structured so the students could do additional work at home, for example email their overseas peers, research set topics and continue with their projects.

We introduced the programme to the students by having them explore New York online and finding out a few facts about city, including landmarks, culture, history and famous people. With a city as exciting as New York it was not difficult to engage the students!

The students were keen to talk to and meet their new friends, so as well as email exchanges and the discussions page on Global Partners Junior, we have used our Interactive Whiteboards for Skype and Google chats with other schools, apart from navigating time zones, this has been a relatively simple task.

This particular project has enabled a number of collaborations for the students.

For example, in our last unit we looked at products and services in each of our communities and the way these products and services are marketed around the world. We are currently participating in a project on sustainability with schools in New York, Rio and Mumbai and looking at the impact we all have on the planet. As these topics are of both global and local importance the students were able to relate their experiences with both their classmates and their international peers. These unit topics encourage and cater for different learning styles, if a student wants to work alone he or she can, or a student can collaborate with other students. We have found that the appeal of working with students from around the world has encouraged all of our students to work collaboratively with their peers.

We are keen to expand our network of online collaborations, if schools are interested in working with us or knowing more about what we do, please feel free to contact me.