PTS teacher collaborates on project with school in Spain

Palmer Trinity School (PTS) World Languages teacher Raul Gonzalez was recognized recently for his collaborative efforts with a class at its sister school, Colegio Marista Champagnat, in Salamanca, Spain, by EducaRed, a Spanish company that promotes the Internet as a tool to create innovative educational opportunities for students and teachers around the world.

Through his project, “Una Clase de Cine,” taught entirely in Spanish, Gonzalez gave PTS and Colegio Marista Champagnat students the opportunity to work together to create video presentations relating historical cinema to social issues in Spain.

Gonzalez is a firm believer that film can be used to put social issues in a historical context, allowing students to learn without actually realizing they’re learning. Through “Una Clase de Cine,” Gonzalez used the movie El Bola, a Spanish film about a 12-year-old boy raised in a violent household, to teach students about corporal punishment and domestic abuse in Spain, an issue that has gained prominence over the past decade.

Upon hearing that Carmen Gonzalez, a music teacher at Colegio Marista Champagnat, was interested in the project, Gonzalez took the opportunity to collaborate with her students and apply his lesson to the global classroom experience.

Using Edmodo — an educational, social-networking tool with many of the same applications as Facebook — students from both schools were able to communicate on a daily basis. These

students watched the film on the same day, organized into small groups and uploaded video interviews to Edmodo to create video documentaries that would be shared with both schools.

Gonzalez was one of four teachers selected by EducaRed from among 2000 applicants, based on the innovative, educational and technological prowess of his project. As a result, he will now receive funding to expand his project on a global scale. Within the coming months, he plans to develop a website that will allow classrooms all over the world to benefit from instant-stream historical films, corresponding lessons and collaborative projects.

Raul, Gonzalez has been a teacher at Palmer Trinity School since 2003.

“I think this project represents who we are at Palmer Trinity School,” he said.

“It’s an innovative way of learning, it’s using the world classroom as a model, and most importantly, it represents the effective use of technology.”

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