In eTwinning projects it is crucial to have a good communication network between teachers and students participating in the project.
We communicate for a range of purposes and in many ways.
When a user wants to only present or share information and not receive replies, it is one-way communication. For example, a teacher may use Google Sites to create a website of student science projects for a science course to share with students and their parents. Web 2.0 tools, like Google Sites, help teachers present and share information, mostly, in text and pictures, by creating websites.
Podomatic is another Web 2.0 tool that allows presentation and sharing of audio information. Feedly is an RSS tool that curates content based on suggested interest and field areas. These Web 2.0 tools provide oneway communication, where information is provided by the creator, and there is no specific interaction with users.
In two-way communication, a user can share information as well as receive responses from others. There is an interaction that is two-way in this type of communication.
For example, a teacher may use a poll, or a survey that’s embedded in her class presentation, using the Web 2.0 tool poll everywhere. Students in project can respond individually, using their mobile devices like cell phones. The poll can be displayed directly in the presentation so the teacher and the students can view immediate feedback. Other Web 2.0 tools that provide two-way communication are blogger, a blogging tool. And email tools like Yahoo Mail, Gmail or Microsoft Outlook.
When more than two people want to establish communication back and forth, it’s said to be multiple way communication. The communication could be in real time or asynchronous. For example, students communicating on an issue might use an online discussion board like BoardHost or an audioconferencing system on Skype so they can discuss a project at the same time. Some of the other Web 2.0 tools that support multiple people communicating together are Google Hangout and Google Docs. These tools provide interaction between multiple parties that could be synchronous or asynchronous.
1- Remind– Online tool for sending text messages to students, parents and project partners.
2- Google Hangouts– A video chat tool from Google. Accessible across different platforms and devices.
3- Penzu- An online tool for journal writing with simple navigation, a clean layout, and a high level of security.
There are hundreds of Web 2.0 communication tools today, with lots of different features. Therefore, it’s increasingly important to emphasize the need to understand the type and nature of an instructional issue or task, in order to be able to choose a specific tool with just the right features that can help solve the instructional issue you’re having.