A new study on the impact of partnerships between schools in different countries has found that pupils - particularly at secondary level - significantly improved their skills, including cultural and social skills, IT and foreign languages. The impact of the partnerships was strongest on pupils who visited partner schools. Seven out of ten schools said that the partnerships had a strong to very strong impact on pupils' cultural awareness and expression as well as social and civic competences. This was followed by computer skills (54%) and communication in foreign languages (52%). The partnerships were funded through the Comenius exchange programme, the schools' equivalent of Erasmus.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "School partnerships enable young people to acquire the basic life skills and competences necessary for personal development, future employment and active citizenship. Comenius also helps pupils and staff to get to know different European cultures and languages. These partnerships will continue to receive support under our new Erasmus for All programme in 2014-2020."
The study also found that the scheme benefits teachers and schools within their local community. Teachers said partnering a foreign school improved their knowledge of other education systems and strengthened social skills, as well as helping their language skills.
Two out of three schools claimed that the partnership had improved their image and 80% said it strengthened their European dimension. Teaming up with schools abroad also helped develop closer ties both within the school and with local authorities.
Comenius partnerships have a comparatively greater impact on teachers and on schools and their environments in pre-primary and primary schools because it is easier to mobilise and involve an entire school and to integrate new ideas and activities into curricula at this level. In contrast, the impact on pupil skills is stronger at secondary level.
For many schools in remote parts of the European Union, partnerships financed from EU funds are the only opportunity for pupils and teachers to get involved in a project abroad. 85% of schools covered by the study said they intended to apply for funding for future partnerships.
The study surveyed 50 schools in 15 European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom) which received grants from the Comenius programme to set up partnerships running from autumn 2009-2011. Monitoring the schools over the two years, and beyond, the study examined in-depth how the partnerships affected pupils, teachers and the school.
This study provides an analysis of the impact of Comenius school partnerships on participating institutions.
The results of the study show that these types of school partnerships have a highly significant impact on the school community as a whole: in 75% of cases observed, it was perceived as being “quite strong”, “strong” or even “very strong”. It was on pupils themselves that the impact was greatest, followed by teachers and then by the schools and their environment.
The Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) is an inter-disciplinary network of leading international researchers who are exploring the role and impact of analytics on teaching, learning, training and development.
Alongside Keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities, the Conference will address the impact of ICT and the imperatives for schools, learning and CPD. There will be a strong BYOD theme running throughout the programme and a chance to hear the recent developments on the Naace Curriculum Framework.
Naace ICT Impact Awards will be presented throughout the two day event – and this year will see a less formal dinner on the evening of March 7 in the form of a TeachEat! More details on this coming soon.
New for the 2013 programme will be ‘Sponsor Zones’ which will provide delegates with half an hour hands on drop in sessions run by Naace Sponsoring Partners to showcase their latest products and ideas. A brilliant opportunity to explore products you’re interested in close up!
Many studies on the role of ICT as a catalyst to change learning scenarios have failed to grasp relevant developments because they were working on the ground of a given set of technology options and codified learning models. If the areas of implicit, tacit and informal learning are not taken into consideration there is little chance to discover fundamentally new forms of learning through ICT.
The HOTEL Support Action aims to contribute to more effective, holistic and faster innovation cycles in European TEL, by increasing quality at the level of the cycle itself and of the different phases foreseen, that can be replicated in the future. Taking inspiration from the "Deming Cycle" model (Plan/Do/Check/Act) the HOTEL project focuses on the design, testing and validation of a new innovation working method for TEL (the HOTEL Innovation Cycle).
The most important element of impact of the HOTEL project will be:
- To establish a sustainable and replicable working paradigm (the HOTEL Innovation Cycle) to identify new models of learning through ICT, analyse the specific elements of innovation, assess the potential impact at the micro (technology-learning), meso (organizational-learning) and macro-level (policy); present results of the analysis and assessment to a community of innovators, researchers, decision makers; collect the results of field-test and in-depth contextualized proof-of-concept activities;
- Set up three Learning Exploratorium Labs (one in higher education, one in a corporate setting, one within an international professional network focused on eLearning quality) where the Innovation Cycle can be tested and validated and that will represent a contribution to the European Innovation Partnership for TEL.
The focus of the support action is on adult learners and the ways they use or might use ICT to learn as a structured and fully organized activity, but also as a side effect of work and personal development in many fields.
Building on the strengths of OER10, OER11 and Cambridge 2012 (where OER12 and OCWC12 conferences combined), OER13 will take place at the University of Nottingham, renowned for its Open Nottingham programme which has strategically embraced the agenda of open access to teaching.
The Conference programme will consist of an engaging mix of refereed papers, workshops, symposia, posters and demonstrations exploring the impact of OER on HE within the conference themes.
Creating a virtuous circle
Are we ready to build on the last ten years of investment in open educational resources and move to the creation of a virtuous circle of open educational practice? This shift requires creativity by educators, developers, managers and policy makers with critical examination of past practice to set out practical and achievable plans for the future. How can we avoid open education becoming a vicious circle?
OER13 calls for papers which will open eyes and minds within the three key themes of:
The conference planning committee invites session proposals to bring to each of these themes: lessons learned to inform the feedback loop, stories of current activity to share good practice, and creative solutions to achieving greater emphasis on openness in education.
The theme of Evidence explores what information we have already about open resources and open practices. What have we learned, and how do we use this feedback to adapt our learning? How do we best share and research openly together in the future? How do we demonstrate impact from the evidence gathered? What else do we need to do to adopt a critical approach?
Sharing stories from Experience invites participants to look at what works in open practice and how to foster openness within established systems. What can we learn from the on-going activity of individuals, departments, discipline communities and institutions? How can we best understand and facilitate the spread of open practice, bringing to all learners and educators the experience of exciting new pedagogies?
We are driven by Expectation about the opportunities of openness whilst recognising the need to promote and establish new business models and policies that will realise rather than restrict this potential. This theme focuses on future gazing, and how we plan to deliver this future, given the emergent trends in OER and openness more widely. This theme needs thought-provoking submissions to help us envisage how aligned open practices (such as journals and data) will influence the future. How can we realise the transformative potential of open education, and broaden open practice through a policy and advocacy agenda? How will policy and funding changes affect open practice?
Coming soon! Teacher Collaboration Networks in 2025. What is the role of teacher Networks for professional development in Europe?
This report gives the findings of an expert workshop organized by JRC/IPTS carried out within the TeLLNet project to start the debate on how teachers’ networks are currently contributing to the modernization of the educational systems, and what they will be like in 15 year time.
The project TeLLNet is to study the eTwinning network (currently over 140 000 teachers) through visualisation techniques, Social Network Analysis (SNA) and prospective scenario building exercises. Using these techniques, the goals is to identify the main structures, actors, networks and Communities of practice that are effective in sharing practices, encouraging innovation and creativity at schools.
The Tellnet project organised a workshop to sketch out prospective scenarios about the role of teachers' networks in 2025 for teachers' professional development together with the Institute of Prospective Technology Studies in Sevilla, Spain.
- See the tweets from the participants http://twitter.com/#!/search/collab2025
- Here is a link to the eTwinning Professional Development fact sheet.
Below you can find introductory slides to the Tellnet context. What is the role of teachers' networks for professional development in Europe?
The toolkit was originally developed in order to present a framework and best practices in measuring usage and impact of digitised scholarly resources. The toolkit would be useful to:
- content creators and publishers
- Information professionals and content managers in charge of maintaining and developing digital collections
- librarians, archivists and institutional staff involved in digitisation efforts
- representatives of funding and evaluation bodies
The toolkit will also be useful to:
- researchers and research directors interested in learning about alternative methods of measuring impact
- early career researchers concerned about ways of demonstrating the impact of their online activities
- those interested in understanding the impact of distributing materials online
This “Impact Conference” focuses on the impact of the use of Open Educational Resources on Teaching and Learning. There will be presentations by leading experts and a series of workshops in the afternoon.
Normally an Open Course Ware in this notion does not lead to a degree and does not grant access to faculty. The form of the material differs mainly depending on the issuing university what also leads to different user patterns for Open Course Ware. The original MIT Open Course Ware e.g. is based on presence learning courses and consists of syllabi, presentations and reading recommendations, therefore it is particularly useful for faculty who use it to enrich their own teaching. The material of e.g. the Open University is based on distance learning courses, therefore it is meant for self learners in first order.
Self learners might use Open Course Ware entirely to improve their knowledge, because Open Course Ware does not lead to any credentials. Many self learners use Open Course Ware in addition to regular studies, to fill in single gaps or to get an idea how other universities treat a matter. Self learners would strongly benefit from some more coordination and from some access to teaching beyond the pure material.
Faculty can use Open Course Ware to improve own teaching especially in unknown subjects.
The provision of material on the other side can lead to an international awareness in fields where the provider is an expert. In a perfect world the usage and the provision of material are balanced. Also faculty would strongly benefit from some more coordination which could especially be accomplished by the Open Course Ware Consortium.