eTwinning is an EU initiative to encourage schools to network with each other over the internet. With around 50,000 registered users across Europe, increasing numbers of teachers in Europe have proven that they are finding new ways to develop and innovate teaching and learning.
At this year's annual eTwinning conference in Prague on 13-15 February, the European Commission awarded prizes to ten outstanding eTwinning school projects.
As a major action within the European Commission´s Lifelong Learning Programme, eTwinning offers schools in Europe a means to communicate, share ideas and run online collaborative projects. Through an online platform which makes use of web 2.0 tools to facilitate communication, eTwinning has become a truly collaboration-based community where teachers demonstrate creative ways to strengthen their work in the classroom. Since the scheme was launched in January 2005, teachers from 48,286 schools have registered in eTwinning, and have carried out 11,994 projects involving at least two schools from two different countries.
This year´s annual conference was held in Prague 13-15 February 2009. The event hosted over 400 participants, comprising teachers from across Europe, representatives from eTwinning's central and national support services, and other important stakeholders in school education. The conference will focus on "Creativity and eTwinning" and speakers include Ján Figel', the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth; as well as Dr. Edward de Bono, an expert in lateral thinking, and an Ambassador for the European Year for Creativity and Innovation 2009.
On the eve of the conference, Commissioner Figel´ explained the significance of eTwinning in 2009: "2009 is the Year of Innovation and Creativity, so it is especially fitting that we celebrate the ever-growing success of the eTwinning scheme as an example of creativity in education. We need to encourage innovative approaches in education to improve the quality and effectiveness of Europe's school systems and help equip young Europeans for the society and economy of the future."
The highlight of the conference will be the award ceremony, at which prizes will be handed out to ten of the best eTwinning projects from the 2007-2008 school year. There are five categories, three by age (4-11, 12-15, 16-19), one by subject area (maths and science), and a special one that is sponsored by the French Presidency, on the use of the French language.
Over 500 project entries were assessed, based on their innovative nature, integration in the curriculum, collaboration, creative use of ICT and transferability. The top ten finalists are from 40 schools from 21 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom).
The first four category winners will receive a trip to the eTwinning Camp in Greece in April while the French category winners will receive a French-study grant in France this summer.
The eTwinning Portal: www.etwinning.net
EUROPA RAPID Press Release