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Final video wrapping up the conference
Part 1 video live streaming
Part 2 video live streaming
Part 3 video live streaming
Part 4 video live streaming
Prize_ceremony – video live streaming

Panel Discussion: (More) Reflections on eTwinning

The second part of the panel discussion with Márta Hunya, Bettina Zeidler, Conor Galvin and Pieter Hogenbirk, continued with the audience voting and the panel reflecting on and discussing the results.

The audience was asked to choose the most relevant advantage of eTwinning for them personally out of 5 suggestions (see picture below).  50.6% of the audience answered that the most relevant advantage of eTwinning for them is the positive impact on pupils skills or motivation to learn. The second most favoured choice was being involved in an international teaching community (20.4%).

Photo: Antje Schmidt

Photo: Antje Schmidt

The panel viewed this as a good result, as it means that teachers put their pupils first. The panel discussion moderator, Riina Vuorikari, then pointed out that these five alternatives were actually the results in the recent Impact Study on eTwinning.

Also the last voting task was linked to the Impact Study on eTwinning. Teachers in the audience were asked to answer if they were surprised to hear that pupils, according to the study, rated improvement in using the computer lower than all other impacts due to their pre-existing confidence in using ICT tools.

Photo: Antje Schmidt

Photo: Antje Schmidt

Of the primary school teachers, 51.9% were not surprised by that statement, while 22.2% said they in fact were surprised. 26.7% did not  comment. The voting results of teachers other than primary, largely correlated with these, and can be seen on the picture left.

Overall the panel was not surprised over this result, based on the fact that the tools used in eTwinning are tools used in everyday life – tools that pupils indeed may know from before.

At the end of the session, the panel was asked what their wishes are for eTwinning in the future: Bettina Zeidler mentioned the involvement of pupils as her wish, while Márta Hunya emphazised creativity. Pieter Hogenbirk shared  his plans to develop his school into the best whole school eTwinning school and challenged everyone to do the same. Conor Galvin’s wish included new technology and the use of web 2.0. He also pointed out that teachers are the heart of eTwinning and hoped that that continues to be the focus in the programme.

Panel Discussion: Reflections on eTwinning

The plenary session on the last conference day was highlighted by some proven experts as practitioners and researchers on the podium: Márta Hunya, Bettina Zeidler, Conor Galvin and Pieter Hogenbirk. After a short introduction of themselves, the panel members commented the following voting session, in which the audience could vote for certain statements.

Voting result 1

Voting result 1

The first question related to citizenship and eTwinning, as social competence is regarded to be part of the 21st century skills: “To what extent does eTwinning help to include citizenship into my teaching?”

According to 39.3% of the audience, eTwinning helps to include citizenship into the curriculum for their whole school, and for 32% eTwinning is at least helpful to include citizenship for their own teaching. Thus nearly three quarters of the teachers appreciate eTwinning as a valuable support to educate future European citizens (see voting result 1).

The next main topic of the conference – whole school approach – was investigated in the following voting questions. For example, 48.4% of the participants agreed that in their school the school management drives and supports eTwinning. And – a very positive and amazing result – 45% of the participants stated that eTwinning activities are integrated in most of the official curriculum subjects (see voting result 2 below).

Voting result 2

Voting result 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eTwinning indeed seems to be well integrated into school life. Almost two thirds (63.5%) of the audience voted that eTwinning activities are done during school time.

Inspiring keynote speech on Learning Citizenship

Professor R. H. Fryer´s keynote address on learning citizenship for the 21st century was inspiring, both within in an eTwinning context and in a wider scope.

IMG_8391The future is not only here for the taking – it is here for the making”
Professor Fryer talked about risk society – the fact that the world we live in today is unpredictable and if you will scary – and what this sort of world demands of its citizens and of teaching and learning. Fryer stressed that in an uncertain world citizenship is not only about coping with or responding to the situation. It is about active engagement and about shaping the world. Therefor the real issue for eTwinning according to Fryer, is how do we make students the authors of society they live in today.

”Diversity can lead to a higher level of cohesion”
Fryer also talked about social movements, the voices these movements have given groups that have not had a voice before ¬- and the diversity that this results in.  Fryer stressed that peoples’ attitude to “other”, the way we look at “other”, is of importance. He talked about the notion that diversity actually can lead to cohesion; that coming in contact with other ways of thinking, other sets of priorities and other ways of doing things actually can lead to a higher level of social cohesion.

Giving the pupils a sense of themselves in a social world”
What kind of teachers does this new world of risk need? Professor Fryer left this question for the conference audience to think about.

Concerning the role of the teacher, Fryer emphasized the teacher as someone who draws out the potential in others. He also stressed the importance of giving the pupils a sense of themselves in a social world.

Welcome Address

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth could unfortunately not be personally present at the conference, but sent a video greeting to the participants. In her welcome address she acknowledged the willingness of teachers to learn with and from each other. Furthermore, she cordially thanked all the teachers who make eTwinning happen for their contribution to its great success. While eTwinning helps young people to find their European identity and to broaden their horizon, it still has enormous potential for the upcoming European programme period from 2014 to 2020. In her concluding words she pointed out an expanded role for eTwinning in Europe on a new platform. Sounds exciting, doesnt’ it?

João Casanova, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Portugal

João Casanova, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Portugal

Afterwards, the Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Portugal, João Casanova, warmly welcomed the guests from all over Europe. What is eTwinning? eTwinning is the largest learning community in Europe. It brings best practices of the use of ICT in our schools. In Portugal, 1.800 schools and 4.000 teachers are involved in eTwinning, sharing ideas and communicating with schools across Europe. A large number of Portuguese teachers use ICT in their classes. Due to modernisation in the past years, the technical facilities in schools have improved remarkably (almost one computer per student!). João Casanova stressed the importance of the topic of this conference – Citizenship and School Collaboration – as citizenship means commitment for active participation in society. Teachers, amongst others, have a responsibility for students being active citizens of tomorrow. eTwinning with its variety of possibilities has a lot to offer for students to become fully aware citizens of Europe. In this respect, he wished a fruitful conference to all participants.

The audience could then experience “citizenship in action”: Portuguese students from the Michael Giacometti School gave a fabulous impression of their percussion show with simple music instruments like tin cans and wooden sticks. Their stirring rhythm and enthusiasm literally spread to the public!

Percussion performance from students of Michael Giacometti School

Percussion performance from students of Michael Giacometti School