TILA organised a teacher training in the Netherlands, which was held last Tuesday at the University of Utrecht. A group of 30 language teachers from different secondary schools attended. The workshop started with an enthusiastic talk from Kristi Jauregi.
Among the topics being discussed were:
- The TILA project.
- What is telecollaboration? What is its additional value for second language education?
- Which interactive internettools are available? What are the possibilities?
- What are effective tasks for telecollaboration?
The talk was followed by a live conversation with a Spanish teacher (via BigBlueButton, on screen). She recently started telecollaboration sessions for the third time at NSG, a secondary school in the Nederlands, and was willing to share her experiences. The struggles you might encouter starting telecollaboration at your school, as well as the additional values of telecollaboration were both being discussed. She is so excited and positive about the experiences so far that she even managed to incorporate telecollaboration sessions into the school’s curriculum!
The intention of the workshop was not only to talk about TILA and telecollaboration. The teachers were also invited to explore the tools Moodle, BigBlueButton and OpenSim themselves so they could get a first impression of how it works. For most of the teachers it was their first experience being an avatar in a virtual world (OpenSim). Not everyone knew immediately how to handle this tool, but they seemed to enjoy it.
Although some sceptical noises were heard, the majority of the teachers attending the training seemed curious and very positive. Some already indicated they can not wait to start telecollaboration at their school. The topic of telecollaboration in class has become so interesting, that a second teacher training is planned for another 30 language teachers who also subscribed for this training.