eTwinning: 10,000 schools are now registered!
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The eTwinning action was launched in January 2005 and has quickly established itself as a major instrument for school collaboration in Europe, with 10,000 schools registering their interest. It encourages the formation of school partnerships over the internet, adding a European dimension to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in school life. eTwinning is the main initiative of the European eLearning programme.
The Apostolos Varvanas Lyceum in Cyprus is the 10,000th school to have registered for eTwinning. Now it can use the free services of the European Commission’s eTwinning portal to form partnerships with other schools from all over Europe. Like the many other schools that have registered, it will find that it is entirely up to the participating schools themselves to decide on the kind of partnership they want. Whether it is simply to get inspiration from schools in other parts of Europe, or to carry out project activities with them, all is possible under eTwinning. Already 1,500 of the primary and secondary schools that registered at the eTwinning portal are involved in a project with one or more European partner schools.
“eTwinning represents a new and complementary approach to European action in education”, said Jàn Figel’, Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Multilingualism. “The eTwinning action differs from our other education programmes because instead of funding individual projects, it provides an infrastructure, tools and services, to make it as easy as possible for schools to form all types of partnership, from short term projects to longer term cooperation, in any subject area. The service is free, and there are no burdensome administrative procedures. It is a very effective way to foster the use of ICT, language and intercultural skills in school education.”
eTwinning brings innovation into teaching and motivates pupils to learn. Pupils, teachers, headmasters, librarians and other school staff use eTwinning to add a European dimension to school life. Using the Internet, they work together in many varied ways with peers in other countries: they chat, send emails and exchange ideas and learning materials. Thérèse Hagberg, a teacher at lower secondary level in Sweden said, “eTwinning has contributed to increasing our European contacts and has opened our school to the surrounding world”.
Prizes for the best eTwinning projects will be awarded for the first time in January 2006. Schools wanting to compete for a prize are invited to submit their project results before 27 November via the eTwinning portal. The prize-giving ceremony will then take place at the eTwinning conference on 13 January 2006 in Linz, Austria.
For further information about this action, please consult the European Commission eTwinning portal.