Hi, I'm Ester Degennaro. I teach English in a middle school, and my students are 11-13 years old.

My motto is: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw.


Two videos about Michelangelo school and the city of Bari made by students for our eTwinning project" DIGITAL LEARNING TEAM"

I use Flipped classroom /ESL “Episodes of Situated Learning”, that’s a teaching strategy based on active learning.

This to make possible that students could be actors of their own education-related with emotions and real life situations. The Classroom has to be re-designed as a lab: lessons become workshops into which problem-solving and collaborative learning are the central students’ activities. Digital technologies and mobile devices can empower these businesses making possible that every student could be able to produce its contents and share them with peers.

PBL approach is a good teaching method for engaging all students with mixed abilities, in meaningful learning and developing the 21st-century competencies of critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication. ETwinning network is perfect because collaboration has a wider European dimension and students have the possibility to compare and share their ideas with international students.

My learning digital team's working

Course introduction


MODULE 1- What's a collaborative learning?

Collaborative learning in a flexible classroom

Is your classroom set-up flexible and interactive like the one shown in the video? Without necessarily having access to flexible classroom furniture, has the video inspired you to see how you might make your classroom environment more collaboration friendly? What about the technology and online tools used by the students; have you used these with your students and have they effectively facilitated collaborative learning?

In our school we have only one class with a flexible and interactive set-up. The students use ipads at school which effectively facilitate collaborative learning.The student is the real protagonist of the learning process. The environment facilitate more friendly collaboration.

Circle time is a very interesting activity that I used in all the classes. The use of technology is an effective and usuful mean of communication only when collaborative practices are used.

PBL pedagogical approach facilitate effective collaborative learning in the classroom

I use all the collaborative online tools mentioned in Anna Laghigna's video. Self and peer assessment are useful to monitor teamwork. Two padlets created by my iPad classroom below.

In my personal experience collaboration among teachers is fundamental to achieve excellent results in students'learning process. It produces significant benefits for both.

Etwinning projects are a concrete demonstration of effective collaboration, without borders.

"eTwinning don’t ‘promote values’, but depend on values, such as: multicultural understanding, cultural sensitivity, mutual understanding, desegregation and awareness of minority rights issues, respect to human rights, democracy, solidarity and respectful friendship as a powerful bond between people ". (Gardner, 2006a)

Low level of cooperation: students listen to teachers' lectures and passively do the tasks.

High level of cooperation: students work on the eTwinning project; the classroom works in a team, each group has a task to do and is responsible for its work. They have a goal to achieve altogether. Motivation increases the success of their learning process.

MODULE 2 -How can you design collaborative learning in the classroom?

The learning objectives for this module are:

Understand how to embed collaborative learning into lesson design

When you plan a lesson design is important how to embedded collaborative learning activities into it. Cooperation and collaboration are two different things. The first one implies that students "work together with" than collaboration. Cooperation is more passive than collaboration. Collaboration is active because it means more involvement than cooperation.For example, when facilitating a meeting where a group is trying to solve problems and make decisions, the goal is collaboration.

Appreciate the four dimensions of collaborative learning concerning group work, shared responsibility, making substantive decisions, and interdependent work

They are fundamental elements in designing collaborative learning activities.

Understand how the 21st Century Learning Design Collaboration Rubric and Learning Scenarios can help you reflect and design collaborative learning activities

Assess the two collaborative learning activities you described in Module 1, using the 21 CLD Rubric, and report in your Learning Diary

Rubrics are essential to assess collaboration. I usually use For All Rubrics. https://www.forallrubrics.com/checklist/editRubric/6317e2de-949e-4fee-a4e3-f1e33565f080/

Grazia Paladino posted on Facebook very interesting tools for assessment and self-assessment of collaborative skills . Thank you very much. http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/cooperative-learning-evaluate.html#9

Module 2.5 .Collaborative learning scenarios.

Check out the scenario template and 6 example scenarios in the resource section of this module. What do you think of the template? What do you think of the example scenarios? Do you find them inspiring? Can you see how you might adapt some scenarios to create collaborative learning activities for your own context? What do you find useful or less useful about these scenarios?

These seven phases to plan and structure my learning activities in advance are useful tools to reflect on the project I'm planning:

1)Dream ( brainstorm and share ideas)

2)Explore (collect information on a certain topic)

3)Map ( structure students' thoughts and ideas)

4)Make ( develop or create a product)

5)Ask ( interview experts)

6)Re-make (replan or revisit the product on the basis of the feedback)

7)Show ( publish and presents the results of their work)

Module 2.6 Learning Activity

1st activity Low level: I assessed it with a code 1 because it's a classical lecture without any form of collaboration.

2nd Activity High level of collaboration code 5: eTwinning project " Digital learning team". Our aim is to develop students digital skills and awarness.For this purpose we will make use of Scientix resources. Through our project students will make research, use some digital tools and gain digital awareness

Module 3: How can you assess collaborative learning?

I perfectly agree with the educator from Greece to various assessment methods to track students' progress in developing collaborative skills

The assessment of collaborative work must be brief, clear and timely. Self- assessment and peer assessment(teamwork) with a checklist to follow during the work are essential because they increase motivation and students' ability to achieve personal and group goals. I use rubrics and checklists to encourage students to learn collaboratively without any competition

Antonio mentions the use of collaborative digital tools, reorganizing the classroom space and introducing more interdisciplinary teaching and the sharing of materials amongst teachers as useful tips. I totally agree with Antonio 7 benefits of collaborative learning. I'm running an eTwinning project called " Digital learning team" which put the students' to the centre of learning. Using collaborative digital tools, reorganizing the classroom space are useful tips to reach an interdisciplinary learning which allow students to share their work with other groups in a collaborative learning environment.

It's essential that students can use choose the tools they prefer to express creatively. All the tools Anna Laghigna mentions such as Edmodo, Tackks, Adobe Spark, Padlets and Prezi are familiar to my students .Before they watch video tutorials that help them to choose better. It implies that teacher keeps her/his professional skills up to date.

I always use rubrics and checklists for assessment.

Here attached models of them .


Dr. Luis Valente's suggestions about the use of Mind Maps, Concept Maps and Infographics

' They are useful and versatile tools that are capable of valuing different skills from what is usually assessed.

For example, teachers can include in the assessment criteria the depth of the concept maps produced by students, the number of branches featured in the mind maps, the clarity of the infographics, the aesthetics and creativity, and the synthesis and wealth of language used in these kind of artefacts.

Involving students in the Involving students in the definition of the parameters to be considered in the assessment, the teacher engages them in the process of creation and assessment'.

I had understimated this aspect to value students’ work in its entirety according to 5 categories: Diagnostic assessment, peer assessment, differentiating individual participation, discrete assessment, and the use of Mind Maps, Concept Maps and Infographics.

Module 4: How can teacher collaboration facilitate collaborative learning?

What do you think about the ‘co-teaching rotation’ collaboration model mentioned by Valentina? Do you find it an interesting approach, and is it one you have experience of? Valentina mentions the need for teachers to bring their best skills and practices to the team while remaining flexible to adapt them in case others suggest better ways of working. Do you agree with this and what are your experiences of

The co-teaching rotation collaboration model is a very interesting approach because it allows an effective sharing of teamwork. It's a true teaching collaboration.

Another very interesting aspect is older pupils taking the teacher’s role encourage pupils of different ages to work together. I'm running an eTwinning project with one class, but I realised that older students' of other class could support the team working all together for a final goal supporting each other.Collaboration is essential for teachers and students too. upon the constructive criticisms of other teachers?

"A real, true collaborator is a person who moves beyond a classroom, which goes across boundaries ".

Virtual environments such as Edmodo, Google Classroom and Twinspace allow teachers to design authentic learning tasks together. But it's true that it's easier to collaborate with teachers in other countries than those in the same school.

I'm trying to change something inviting the teachers of my school to collaborate with me in different platforms.

I totally agree with the the skills required by teachers to work collaboratively even if one of the most important things is that there has to be a task or goal that they all have to work towards.

It’s necessary that all teachers are aware of having an objective in common to reach,only in this case any resistance from sceptical teachers would be overcome.

Without any doubt, technology can facilitate teacher collaboration, but it’s important to underline that it concerns processing, analysing and sharing digital tools. I’ll recommend collaborative and communication platforms to share projects because they can stimulate students to work collaboratively like their teachers.

It would be interesting that teachers of a school could work together to another school, design a learning activity with it, to get immediate feedback with rubrics planned together. It isn’t easy because we ‘ll have to change our mindset with a partner-based mindset.

4.8a Module 4 Learning Activity

RUBRIC: Collaboration&communication

A flower for you

Thank you Teacher Academy for this amazing journey in learning.

Created By
ester degennaro

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