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Twinning between secondary schools
This report from the Commission deals with the setting up of internet twinning links between European secondary schools.
Report from the Commission to the Council on using the internet to develop twinning between European secondary schools [COM (2002) 283(01) - Not published in the Official Journal]
This report is in response to the request of the Barcelona European Council of March 2002 to "undertake a feasibility study to identify options for helping secondary schools to establish or enhance an internet twinning link with a partner school elsewhere in Europe".
The objective is to encourage all secondary schools (approximately 150 000 in Europe) to set up internet twinning links in order to develop joint educational projects by the end of 2006. This objective is in line with the process mapped out by the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 and later developed by the Stockholm and Barcelona European Councils, and it is intended to intensify and improve the use of the new technologies in order to develop a digital culture and achieve education systems' future aims.
In order make Europe the most competitive economy in the world, information and communication technologies (ICT) play an important role. The Lisbon Council had already asked Member States to ensure that all schools in the EU had Internet access by 2001. The Barcelona European Council also called on them to ensure that by 2003 the ratio of Internet-connected PCs to pupils was brought down to one for every fifteen pupils.
The internet twinning links, which are set to grow between pupils, teachers and schools, will in the near future help to strengthen ties between schools in order to promote exchanges of information or documentation and set up projects.
This report highlights several elements which are essential in ensuring that the internet twinning project gets off to a good start and functions smoothly:
- setting up facilities and equipment in secondary schools;
- training teachers and teacher-trainers by incorporating not only the multilingual and multicultural dimensions but also the importance of multimedia tools in educational projects;
- setting up specialised services or structures to assist in the search for partners within the European Union, provide online assistance and follow up projects;
- finding topics designed to bring people together, such as language learning, intercultural dialogue and European citizenship;
- staging publicity events and demonstrations at European level, such as Netd@ys and eSchola.
Pending approval by the Seville European Council, a support framework for internet twinning will be set up at European level under the eLearning programme.