“E-C Collaboration” with Shenyang, China – Post 4

The last two weeks have been challenging for the ‘E-C collaboration team’.

The team have had to make sure all the power points were completed and handed in to the hand in folders on Fronter so that the students can be paired up ready for them to exchange their presentations. This had to be done before the Christmas holidays. To begin the process Saskia put a reminder on the Bulletin board to inform the Year 7 students that their ‘About me’ power points would need to be handed in by the 6th of December and produced a blog to go into the school newsletter explaining the project to the parents of both the involved and uninvolved students.

The team also prepared a presentation of the project to a guest working for the local Authority who was interested in Quality and Improvement of ICT. All team members then presented this to the guest discussing each of their main roles in the project so far.
During meeting 11 the team decided that between Monday 5th and Friday 9th of December we needed to see the Year 7 class teachers to inform them of the students who had not yet handed the power points in and to let them know that the deadline was Friday 10th of December. Everyone was asked to attend service to show the year 7 classes the forums and explain that they should be used over Christmas to communicate with the Chinese students.

To pair all the students up, the team along with the project sponsor came up with two options. One option was to print all the preference slides off and match them up or we could use a spreadsheet to do this. In the end we decided on a combination of both printing out the preference slides and using a spreadsheet, this method would allow the entire group to get involved in the process. The next step was to print all of the preference slides off for the English and Chinese students. This was completed by the 12th of December. However a problem arose as some of the students from LLS had not handed the power points in. Many of the Chinese students had not included the preference slide in the power point. To overcome this problem Saskia, Jess and Luke created a preference slide for each of the Chinese students from the information given in their power points.

The final task was to pair the students up. This was a big task and many problems occurred throughout the process. However due to good leadership from the project leader and teamwork we overcame these problems. The team was split into groups according to which year 7 classes they had been teaching in the past. Each of the year 7 students was now ready to be paired up with a Chinese e-pal. We paired up as many of the students as we could however not all the power points had been handed in and the remaining Chinese and LLS students did not have much in common according to the preference slide, this made it difficult to continue pairing the students up. Luke K formed a spreadsheet showing the students in the Chinese classes and the LLS classes. This showed the students and who they were paired up with. This was a clear way of showing who was paired up.

One problem was that some of the Chinese students were not on the spreadsheet of names sent by April so there were no Fronter email addresses for those students. This was a problem as it meant the LLS students wouldn’t be able to send their power points to the Chinese and therefore collaborate effectively. Another problem was that some of the Chinese students had sent other student’s power points as well as their own. This made the task confusing as there was no Fronter email for them and some of them were not on the spreadsheet. Each group worked hard to finish pairing the students up in the best way possible using the preference slides that were printed off and the spreadsheet created by Luke K.

All hands to the pump...

Luke T then produced a template email to send to the LLS students explaining who they were paired up with, this included their Chinese ‘e-Pal’ emails address so that the LLS students could send their power points to their Chinese partner. The email also included a question about the Chinese New Year. This helped them to begin collaboration. We had a list of Fronter emails for all of the Chinese students involved to allow the LLS students to send their power points to the Chinese. We now need the students to say ‘hi’ to each other and start to communicate over the Christmas holidays through the use of email and forums. The project so far has been successful and we have met the deadlines set.

*Update*. At some stage of any project, things go badly wrong and team members need to step in and help get it back on track. This has happened in the last week, when it came down to pairing up the students. Becky makes it sound as if things were straightforward, but I need to publicly praise the whole team, and Saskia, Luke K and Luke T in particular, for working so hard on this in the last week. Now, at the end of term, all Year 7s have been sent an email with their epals powerpoint (if available) and contact details. The team went into each Y7 lesson to ensure students knew what to do.

Reminders have given on the parent’s newsletter, Y7 bulletin board and in Assembly on Monday.

Two forums are up and running as well, and are starting to be used…

Rebecca Boak / Mr Sharples

21st December 2011