Brussels, 31 March 2011
eTwinning for cross-border learning: School projects of the year announced
Now in its seventh year, the European Commission’s 'eTwinning' scheme (www.etwinning.net) involves more than 130,000 teachers in 31 countries who are using information and communication technologies (ICT) to set up cross-border educational projects. 500 teachers and 120 pupils are meeting in Budapest on 31 March-2 April to share ideas for future eTwinning initiatives and to celebrate the eight best eTwinning projects of the year, involving schools from Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: “The eTwinning initiative has been a success story from the start. It promotes learning and creativity, as well as giving young people a sense of pride in being 'European'. eTwinning has no fixed agenda – it includes everything from encouraging youngsters to use their school library to promoting language learning. Above all, it's about using ICT to help children achieve their full potential.”
The eight winning projects were selected from more than over 300 submissions and are divided into three age categories: 4-11, 12-15 and 16-19. Each is an example of innovative practice in which at least two schools from different countries have been learning together in a new and creative way.
In addition, there are also special categories for maths and science, language learning in French, Spanish and Italian, and a special prize, sponsored by the Commission, for studying the language of a neighbouring country. One school from France (Lycée Benjamin Franklin, Auray, Brittany) and two from Spain (IES Doctor Alarcón Santón, La Roda, IES Melchor de Macanaz, Hellín) will receive the award for a project which encouraged pupils to study the roots of modern romance languages. The special prize has been strongly supported by Commissioner Vassilliou, who in February launched the initiative, "What language does your neighbour speak?"
What is eTwinning?
eTwinning uses ICT-based support, tools and services to make it easier for schools to form partnerships in any subject area.
The scheme is part of the EU's Comenius programme and receives around €10 million in funding each year. It does not finance individual projects but offers tools and support to teachers and pupils such as the eTwinning portal (www.etwinning.net) and seminars for teachers.
National Support Services, organisations or institutions which represent and promote eTwinning in all EU countries plus Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey, provide training and support by phone and online, organise meetings and national competitions, and run PR campaigns.
To find out more:
eTwinning Portal : www.etwinning.net
eTwinning Conference & Camp website : www.confcamp2011.etwinning.net
eTwinning prize winners 2011: http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/awards/european_prizes.htm
European Commission: Comenius programme