I received an email directly to the website ‘catch all’ account on October 7th last. It purported to be from a teacher in southern Italy who was researching “podcasting in education” and she was particularly interested in the eTwinning project entitled “Once Upon A Blog” which ran 10 years ago. The project involved the teachers and pupils of two schools, one in Dublin and the other in Malta. The participants exchanged myths and legends through a blog site hosted on this website. The content included podcasts, videos, artwork, drawings and competitions. It was a very rewarding experience and both schools benefitted from the collaboration.
Yesterday I received almost the same email again together with a questionnaire but this time around it was through a reputable EU funded organisation’s email service.
One question I was asked was why I didn’t use the TwinSpace on the eTwinning Portal.
The main reason was it was initially unreliable. It suffered regular Cold Fusion errors and threw up pages of code which locked us out of your account. In fact I even had trouble applying for the Quality Label and it had to put through by the staff in Léargas at the time. These bugs or system failures impacted on our ability to keep a diary on the TwinSpace as it often took too long to refresh the edited content and the link would timeout. Of course, it may have been the fact that both schools were island nations and the connectivity may have been at fault. Be that as it may, the facilities offered by the TwinSpace on the eTwinning Portal did not meet our online needs – we were ahead of our time. Both teachers required realtime communications, considerable storage space and flexible editing of content. Unfortunately, despite eTwinning’s best efforts we decided to go with WordPress as I had been using for various projects since its inception.
I will set up a page about “Once Upon A Blog” in the next few weeks and tell the entire story. I might even have contributions from the 2006/7 participants.
Check out my interview conducted by Joe Dale back in 2008 on his blog Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom.
Happy 10th Anniversary to all the teachers and students involved in the project.