1 Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (SLOVAKIA)
2 Constantine the Philosopher University (SLOVAKIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 82-89
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Development of the use of information and communication technologies together with the globalization progression influences significantly also the ways and tools of education and professional training. The paper will present the description and achievements of an Israeli-Slovak project carried out during the period of December 2012 through May 2013 with teacher trainees from the Kibbutzim College of Education (Israel) and Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (Slovakia) who were completing their teaching practice at primary and lower secondary schools then. In the project 19 Israeli and 19 Slovak students were involved. They worked in pairs via email communication and during the period of 6 months they conducted 3 "sets" of mutual correspondence in which they expressed their opinions on various aspects of education related topics. Each "set" consisted of at least 4 emails of each party. At the end of each "set" of exchanges trainees had to send (online submission) the entire correspondence to their supervisors in Israel (Israeli trainees) and Slovakia (Slovak trainees). The first e-mails were devoted to self-introduction and included some background details about both parties.

The topics for discussion based on trainees´ teaching experience and class observations were as follows:
- ways to motivate learners
- ideal teacher
- challenges of heterogeneous class.

E-mail exchange for the first topic started at the beginning of December 2012 and finished by the end of January 2013. For the following two topics (each announced after the previous e-mail exchange was submitted to supervisors) they also had two-month periods for exchange of ideas and submission of all the discussions to their supervisors. Trainees had to provide examples and discuss differences between the commonly used practices in both countries. To understand theoretical aspects of the topic, before starting the exchange of ideas, trainees were expected to read at least one theoretical article related to the topic which was submitted to them by their supervisors.

The e-mail exchanges were assessed by the supervisors according to the following criteria:
1. topic centered focus
- ability to recognize and name the topical issue
- ability to eliminate irrelevant ideas
- depth of the view

2. creativity and originality
- ability to express own/original attitudes and creative ideas
- ability to ask challenging questions
- ability to suggest original/creative solution(s)

3. practical implications
- ability to interconnect the trainee’s theoretical knowledge about the topic with
their teaching experiences
- influence of the discussion on the currently changed/improved teaching behaviour on teaching practice/at subject lessons
- giving examples of the changed teaching skills and techniques under the influence of the discussion
- professional enrichment and development

4. effort and communication
- study of additional sources, materials
- enthusiasm, interest in the topic
- ability to discuss/develop and share ideas
- ability to summarize, conclude

5. comprehensibility
- clarity of the expressed ideas
- relevance of the used concepts
- appropriate style of writing

6. intercultural similarities and differences
- ability to notice and name similarities and differences of approaches to the topic
- stating examples of cultural differences and comments on them
- expressing personal enrichment in the field of inter-cultural awareness.