Online Communities in the Classroom

Part of the series Better Learning with ICT

  Online Communities in the Classroom


Explore how to make use of online communities in the classroom as secondary French teacher Marie Guyomarc'h gets advice from fellow teachers.

Download Online Communities in the Classroom
Follow on Twitter Post "Online Communities in the Classroom" to your Facebook Profile

In order to prevent spam emails

you must be registered and logged-in to use this feature

or use your own email to send this link


Teachers often shun online communities and social networks due to negative publicity and online safety surrounding certain websites. But Marie meets Lisa Stevens, a primary Spanish teacher who relishes using social media websites for teaching purposes.

Lisa explains the benefits of using websites such as Twitter and Voicethread, and she demonstrates how to use them in the classroom.

Marie then takes on the challenge of applying what she's learned by using it in her own lessons.

This enhanced video gives access to extra video and resources directly from the video player.


You might also like

Extra materials (10)

Becta\'s viewpoint and review of the video

Yr 8 MFL lesson plan by Marie Guyomarc?h

Yr 8 VOKI pupil worksheet by Marie Guyomarc'h

A list of publications recommended in support of the video

A class hand out by Lisa Stevens

Yr 5 MFL lesson plan by Lisa Stevens

Yr 3 MFL Lesson plan using Twitter by Lisa Stevens

Yr 4 MFL Lesson plan by Lisa Stevens

Yr 6 MFL lesson plan by Lisa Stevens

Becta's viewpoint and review of the video

Related links (10)

Comments (7)

Post Comment

Public or private comment
    • I am increasingly worried about
      21 July 2010 - 14:22

      I am increasingly worried about the increase of teachers using social networking and 'fun' 'interactive' techniques to 'teach' their pupils. This clip illustrates why. So much time is dedicated to the peripheral aspects of social networking, and practically no time appears to have been spent on actual teaching; ie, the disseminating of knowledge. While I understand the desire to ensure that students 'get incolved' with their own learning, I feel it infantilizes students to assume that they dont have the brains to learn in the traditional manner: ie, by a dedicated, knowledgeable, aspirational teacher, who does not just cater for the lowest common denominator, nor make assumptions about students 'ability to remain motivated'. Using Twitter in classrooms is a dangerous precedent, and I do not plan tu use it in my own classroom.

    • Re : I am increasingly worried about
      26 July 2010 - 11:13

      You are putting up multiple straw men in your arguments and they don't hold up. Let's take those arguments apart shall we and reflect on them?

      You list the three words 'fun' 'interactive' and 'teach' in inverted commas so I presume you are using them in a pejorative sense - you already 'seem' to have made a value judgment which you haven't qualified except for a series of dismissals in your comment without substantial evidence other than opinion.

      I know the teacher in question and can assure you a lot of learning goes on in her classroom. The children are engaged in learning nearly every moment of lessons.

      As you should well know "traditional" vs collaborative methods are merely different parts of the spectrum of teaching and learning. It's a pity that such dismissive comments are not based in anything other than conjecture and lack of experience in emerging pedagogies in these areas.

      How can using Twitter be a 'dangerous' precedent? In what way is it dangerous - is it actively stopping learning or stopping learning in the way you would have it?

      I suspect that to deny "any" strategy in teaching would be particularly myopic - I'm afraid there is no particular teaching style that is a gold standard. This post would suggest you have already made your mind up before trying such a strategy.

      Twitter gives me access to thousands of colleagues globally - it is quite a good fit for teaching MFL by dint of that alone.

      It is possible to get feedback from several native speakers almost instantly and in context - I don't see a "knowledgeable aspirational teacher" being able to do that - of course it is "knowledge" and in spades. So therefore your "lowest common denominator" really doesn't hold a candle. Not only can Twitter give access to other MFL professionals it can also give access between children in different countries; have people point you to wonderful online resources and practitioners and a host of other extremely useful tools. I would have thought education is all about engagement, reflection and manipulation of knowledge rather than just storing it as a repository or having it transmitted in only one way by one person.

    • Re : I am increasingly worried about
      30 July 2010 - 10:14

      Whilst I share some of the concerns about how time-intensive producing a voki is, I can't accept the conclusion that therefore we should only use traditional teaching methods because they work better. There is no doubt that those kids were engaged in the lesson, and whilst I wouldn't do this type of lesson too often, once in a while to maintain motivation and show that languages can be relevant and in tune with pupils' interest is also important. We as teachers just need to develop the improvement of pronunciation and oral practice - I agree that there were some problems highlighted by this film. Maybe we could get pupils to learn their phrases before recording it? That would develop a more natural intonation. Or maybe the teacher could record their own voki first, and pupils could use it as a model for pronunciation?

    • lisibo lisibo


      21 September 2009 - 15:06

      Just to clarify - eLanguages is a way of making links with classrooms across the world. In the sense that you are making partnerships or 'twinnings' and using e-mail and online technology to communicate it is 'etwinning'

      However, eTwinning is also a programme in its own right, linking school across Europe in collaborative projects-

      And October is a great time to get involved - eTwinning Weeks will be running all month. Find out more here.

      If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or contact the eTwinning team on