En Francais: Programme
Classe à Classe: partenariat en-ligne des
élèves des écoles Françaises et Russes.
Partnerships between Russian and American
Classrooms was founded in 1998 by Dr. Ray Kronquist.
Ray also teaches an online physics course at Mission
College in Santa Clara, California.
For several years, Virtual Classrooms has provided
online tutoring services to K-12 and college students
in the U.S. using tutors in Russia.
Now, Virtual Classrooms is beginning a new program,
which we call "Class-to-Class".
The idea for this program arose out of meetings
Ray had with a number of Russian high school teachers
in Akademgorodok in Novosibirsk this summer. These
teachers were all very enthusiastic about a program
for their students to work over the Internet with
students in the U.S. A description of the program
A Russian high school class of students with
good English skills would partner with a U.S.
high school class, and all of the students would
have partners in the other school. They would
first get to know each other through Internet
videoconferences. Then, they would work on projects,
which would be posted on the schools' web sites.
The purpose of this program is to improve the
students' foreign language knowledge, their academic
knowledge and their knowledge of a culture different
from their own. It is our hope that this program
would grow to a large number of students, and
the better knowledge of foreign cultures would
lead to a more peaceful world.
1. Each student would have a partner in the other
school. Both the American and Russian class would
be divided into pairs of students, one from Russia
and one from the U.S. Each pair of students would
meet on-line for sessions about 1.5 to 2 hours
long each week. During the first meetings students
would get acquainted; they would talk about themselves,
about their families and their pets, about their
hobbies and interests, about the cities where
they live and schools where they study; they would
exchange their photos or have Internet videoconferences.
These would help students to get to know better
their partners and the culture of the other country.
Then the instructors would help each pair of the
students to find the subject for their collaborative
projects, and then each pair of students would
start to work on their own project.
2. There are a great number of topics that could
be offered for students' projects, and the instructor,
who would be responsible for this program, could
suggest project topics, or the students could
select other topics. For example, a project could
be devoted to study and/or comparison of U.S.
and Russian literature, art, history, economics,
political system, social system, geography or
attitudes. Also, students could choose exact or
natural science (math, physics, chemistry, biology
etc.) topics and make small scientific research
studies on them. For example, a physics instructor
could suggest a question to answer like that:
"How should we run in a puddle and not become
wet?" This is not a usual textbook problem and
would require experimental and theoretical work.
Students would have to make their own research,
to find the material in books, on the Internet
and collaborate together on the project.
3. During the semester, students would write
the reports on what they were doing, and at the
end of the semester, they would write a final
report on their projects. These reports could
be PowerPoint presentations, web-sites, or Word
documents, so with the help of their teachers,
students would get familiar with such useful tools
as MS PowerPoint, MS Word, HTML.
4. What would the on-line meetings look like?
Since Novosibirsk and California have a 14 hours
time difference, on-line sessions could be scheduled
for evenings (California time), since many American
students have computers and Internet access at
home. Russian students could get on-line at the
same time from their school's computer lab, which
would be morning in Novosibirsk. To communicate
on-line, students would need to have web-conference
software like NetMeeting installed on their computers.
This software allows participants to have a videoconference
(if at least one of the sides has a web-camera),
to have an audio conference (students would need
earphones and microphones to talk), to make drawings
and insert photos on the whiteboard and to exchange
text messages in the text chat. Thus, this software
would allow students to communicate easily and
efficiently, to exchange ideas, to discuss problems
and to work together on the collaborative project.
Also, students could use e-mail, instant messengers
(AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN messenger,
ICQ) and discussion boards to communicate with
their classmates and the partner class.
What would the students gain?
- Team working experience;
- Experience in a real international project;
- Better knowledge and better understanding
of foreign culture;
- Learning to be more tolerant of other cultures
- Skills in Internet communication;
- Experience in putting in writing their ideas
and knowledge in a clear, well-structured way
while making their reports;
- Computer skills: NetMeeting, MS PowerPoint,
MS Word, HTML, Internet search engines etc.;
- Improvement of English knowledge (for Russian
- Knowledge that students would get working
on their research;
- Research experience.
- Making new friends and having fun
Participants' Roles and Responsibilities:
The Russian school would be responsible for:
- Encouraging students (of the Russian school)
to regularly participate in on-line meetings
for their partners;
- Checking if students
participate in on-line sessions regularly;
Providing the computer class in the morning
time for on-line sessions;
- Providing the
help for students if they need it by the instructor
coordinating the program in the class, by English
teacher and probably also by the computer techniques
The American school would be responsible for:
- Encouraging students (of the American
school) to regularly participate in on-line
meetings for their partners;
- Checking if
students participate in on-line sessions regularly;
- Providing the help for students if they need
it by the instructor coordinating the program
in the class and probably also by the computer
- Financial support
for the program (supporting Virtual Classrooms'
tutors time to coordinate and manage the program
and covering some Internet costs of the Russian
Virtual Classrooms would be responsible for:
- Providing a person which would coordinate
the whole project;
- Installing all the necessary
software for web communication in Russian schools
and providing the instructions on installing
for American schools;
- Providing several training
sessions for students and their instructors
in both schools on using the software;
(weekly) monitoring of the project, and reading
- Some group Internet meetings
with students in both schools to ensure all
pairs of students are on track to complete their
- Providing any other help that students
or the instructors would require;
For Further Information
In Russia, contact Nina Rinskaya at email@example.com
In the U.S., contact Ray Kronquist at firstname.lastname@example.org , (408) 929-9066