ICT, a path to intercultural collaborative classroom projects
Georgiana Munteanu teaches at School No. 2 Galati, in Romania and she is in charge of the European projects her school runs. In this article she points out that Information Communication Technologies (ICT) make possible international collaboration and facilitate communication between classes from different cultures.
Starting with a contribution of articles to a Finnish e-journal three years ago, then "meeting" e-pals who were writing for the same publication, my students and I had to improve our ICT skills in order to publish the students' articles on the Web. That was a unique experience which I cannot mention without showing my gratitude to Mr. Ilpo Halonen, coordinator of the European School Projects in Finland, who has been doing a lot in the realm of collaboration across borders.
This school year, 2004-2005, a few classes of our school have been developing projects with some partners in Europe: a college in Brest (France), a grammar school in Upice (the Czech Republic), and a secondary school in Osthammar, Sweden. With patience, determination, hope and long hours spent in front of the computer, I could find wonderful friends and colleagues for my students and for myself. The hard work gradually turned into a most enjoyable and a rewarding activity. While tying our cooperation and friendship, we also exchanged ideas, shared pedagogical and teaching experiences, thus enriching our professional horizon.
This fast means of information and communication can be such a blessing for us, teachers, once we wake up from our traditional ways of thinking and teaching and plunge into the limitless resources of the Internet.
It is the third year our students have celebrated "Spring Day in Europe", which was a great opportunity to get familiar and debate on the European values mentioned in the Constitution, the E.U. symbols even though Romania is not yet a member. We feel and believe that 2007 will bring this honour to us and we need to be prepared. Here also, it's us, teachers, who have a great responsibility towards the future European citizens that will inhabit and lead our United Europe to prosperity, cooperation and peace.