eTwinning in Action – Plenary Session

Anne Gilleran, Senior Pedagogical Adviser at eTwinning’s Central Support Service, served as moderator for the panel. She gave a lively introductory presentation Illustrated by reportages and interviews that followed the development of eTwinning from its inception until today. “eTwinning is a successful endeavour and it’s growing every day!”

She highlighted the many different opportunities that eTwinning offers, such as tools for communicating, sharing, learning, and teachers’ professional development aids such as learning events and pedagogical workshops. “ eTwinning arrives just at the right time, when teachers have a need.”
Then she gave the floor to the panel:
Carlos Medina, Spanish Ministry of Education: “there is no bureaucracy; eTwinning offers reliable support.”
Luca Volonté, Lombardia Regional School Office Representative: “this is a new approach, eTwinning represents a total engagement. Pupils have an active role. Teachers are taken out from their routine. “

Eugenio Rivière, DG Education and Culture, European Commission: it was indeed a great idea to provide a tool such as eTwinning instead of simply funding a new project. eTwinners feel the complete ownership of the project.
Tomacz Szymczak, Fundacja Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji: the success of eTwinning comes also from the fact that it has been fully designed from the bottom up.


EMINENT 2011 Closing Session

Marc Durando, European Schoolnet Director, closed the conference by stressing the importance of time, time needed to discuss among European Schoolnet members and time to be given to the teachers to adjust to technological and pedagogical changes. Another key element for success to integrate new technologies in the classroom will be to provide teachers with successful models and validated examples of good practice.

Marc warmly thanked all the speakers and the national ministries of Education for their involvement in the conference  and concluded “We have all the right ingredients: Ministries, teachers, experts, so now is the time to move forward on promoting innovative learning practices”.

EMINENT 2011 is officially closed and we look forward meeting you again next year.


Session 2: The iTEC project and the classroom of the future

1. Will Ellis, iTEC Project Manager, iTEC update – the first project scenarios now being validated in classes across Europe

Presentation:   ITEC update

The core of iTec’s project are the learning and teaching scenarios . Will Ellis presented the future class room and challenged the audience to visualise how does the future classroom looks ?

“As for the future your task is not to foresee  but to enable it”

Will Ellis presented the  iTec project and the projct’s life cycle. The iTec project aims to identify good practices, trends in culture,  trends in education and what’s the new and emerging technology. The iTec project combines all these elements.

A video of a typical learning scenario was presented also available through the following link:
For more information on the iTec classroom scenarios visit the iTec website:

2. Patricia Wastiau, Senior Adviser – Research and Studies, European Schoolnet, What we know from research about innovation process

Presentation: What we know from research about innovation process

In her presentation Patricia Wastiau highlighted that there are several  definitions on innovation in education.

Patricia Wastiau  emphasised that innovation in the daily school reality is about the following 4 elements:

  • Energy,
  • Trust,
  • Empowerment; and
  • Skills.

Innovation is a process and thus has several definitions, however all definitions point to one key factor “ADAPTABILITY”.

The three gaps of innovation in education:
1. Policy gap
2. Identification gap
3. Evidence gap

Food for thought:
– Is scaling up the right challenge to look into?
– What is transferable?

The overall all message of this presentation highlighted the need for “a change in attitude and values…at all levels”.

3. Responses from a panel

a. Bálint Magyar, member of the Governing Board, European Institute of Technology

Presentation by:Balint Magyar

In his presentation Bálint Magyar,  focused on the challenges of best practice and that the challenge is on the ” prediction of the spreading” of best practices.
The following three elements need to be addressed for the spreading of best practices :

  1. Institutional ( paper based content vs digital content)
  2. Financial (the different financial cycles of amortisation in education) and
  3. Pedagogical.

b. Øysten Johannessen, Chief Strategy Officer Cerpus AS

Presentation by: Oystein Johannessen

During the presentation Øysten Johannessen  focused on the 2011 Horizon  Report K-12, a publication entitled “Inspired by technology, Driven by pedagogy” and the 6 elements that were concluded from this publication. Furthermore, Øysten Johannessen presented a project entitled NDLA, more information on the project  is available through the following link:

Øysten Johannessen  conceded his presentation by presenting  several ways on how to addressing the policy gap, scenario deployment and the challenge of budgetary issues.

c. Richard Galvin, Director of the European school Brussels II

Presentation by:Richard Galvin

Richard Galvin,  presented practical ways on how to mainstream the scenarios in all classrooms and how to engage our digital natives.

The key note message delivered by Richard Galvin focused on “Putting the focus on the teacher having the knowledge, skills, creativity and confidence to select and blendfrom a range of classroom teaching and learning technologies, appropriate for the learning event being created, is essential”

4. Lieve Van den Brande, Senior Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Education and Cuture – Creative Classrooms in an innovative Europe – A new European initiative

Presentation: Creative Classrooms for an Innovative Europe

Lieve Van den Brande  highlighted in her presentation that a lot is happening in terms of  use of ICT in schools and that the next challenge is to address the systemic integration and mainstreaming in formal education and the link between formal and informal education.

Lieve Van den Brande  highlighted that the Objectives linked to Europe 2020 & ET2020 are:

  • e-literacy for all – digital competence
  •  ICT enhancing innovation of E&T

Leading to creative classrooms.

Furthermore Lieve Van den Brande, concluded that the overall objective is to Support to Member States to integrate/mainstream ICT use in educational policies and practices.

Teacher new role and impact on student ways of learning in 1:1 approaches

The conference delegates were joined today by teachers involved in the Italian School 2.0 initiative.

Emanuele Fidora, General Director –DGSSSI at the Italian Ministry for Education, universities and research, welcomed the participants and gave a round-up of this initiative to boost the use of technologies in the classrooms.

Started in 2011, Class 2.0 is in an experimentation phase and has involved 50 classes across Italy so far. In a next phase, this will be expanded via the involvement of the support organisation INDIRE and by setting a community to monitor activities of the stakeholders involved. The aim is ultimately to cover all of Italy and involve whole schools rather than just a class.

In 2013, Italy is planning a shift from paper to digital textbooks but it should go beyond and Emanuele Fidora advocated the stimulation of private initiatives to invest in innovative solutions that will provide schools with a variety of multimedia products including virtual reality tools and serious games.

It is also the intention to create a platform for schools with a digital products showcase and a display of multimedia content in order to support their effort to use more technology in learning processes.

Acer-European Schoolnet Educational Netbook Pilot, 1:1 Action research project – Presentation of the global results

by Riina Vuorikari, European Schoolnet

Today was the official launch of the latest European Schoolnet/ACER report as described in a previous entry today.

Beyond the main results, Riina Vuorikari provided the audience with more in-depth examples of the use of netbooks in their learning efforts as well as a demonstration of the Fourrier’s ‘computerized lab’. Recommendations were also provided to take on board the most important outcomes of the project.

See the presentation below.

Evolution of the role of teacher after 10 years work on experimenting ICT, in-service online training and national plans on New Technologies and the remodelling of didactical settings (An Italian example)
Leonardo Tosi, ANSAS

Leonardo Tosi provided for an extensive picture of the training needs of teachers in the field of technology, their competences and their regular use of various technological tools in the classroom.

Expectation put on teachers and the tools they have to master in their practices are changing rapidly and ANSAS support this process.

Closing address
Contribution of ICT to the transformation of teaching and learning processes – towards new learning spaces in and out schools.
by Bruce Dixon, Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation

Bruce provided an inspirational talk on new learning spaces and new frontier for teaching. He especially addressed the critical question of what teachers expectations are about technology-richness makes possible for learners, for schools and for teachers. Eventually this is to the teachers to embrace the technology and clarify what it can do in their practice.

In response to Riina’s findings, he highlighted the importance of letting young people with netbooks or lap top all the time and not just at schools like it happens sometimes. Those devices have encouraged collaboration and learning process ownership by young people at unprecedented pace in and out of schools.

Looking at policy framework, guidelines and practical examples, Bruce highlighted key points for teachers to look at when taking on board new technologies and provided tips from existing initiatives. Describing a “unique time for teachers”, Bruce underlined we were going through a time of change which induces a challenging but very exciting time for educators. He concluded that technology increases our pedagogical capacity and opens new opportunities for teachers to explore.

Educational Netbook Pilot final report published at EMINENT

Over 70% of teachers, students and parents involved in the Educational Netbook Pilot agree that the use of netbooks for school related activities has a positive impact on learners’ motivation in school and for learning. This result is part of the final evaluation of the Acer-European Schoolnet Educational Netbook Pilot that looked at the use of netbooks in teaching and learning and involved 8.000 teachers and students in six European countries.

The principal aim of the Netbook Pilot was to explore how the introduction of netbooks and one-to-one (1:1) pedagogy in and outside of schools could impact teaching and learning processes. From January 2010 until July 2011 a total of 240 classes in six European countries (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey and United Kingdom) were equipped with netbooks.

The final report which is based on the replies from 735 teachers, 3602 students and 2618 parents, highlights six issues that are all of importance when working towards a more systematic 1:1 pedagogy implementation in education.

The report is downloadable here (pdf, 7Mb)

For more information about the Netbook Pilot, please go to

Summary report from all sessions (November 16)

Introduction and Animation:

  • Marc Durando,Executive Director, European Schoolnet

Round table members:

  • Jose Vitor Pedroso, Porugal NSS and MeE (about Session: Professional Development of teachers)
  • Jan de Cramer, Flaners MoE & Susan Linklater UK NSS (Session: Pedagogical practices)
  • Agustin Munoz, MoE Spain/NSS (Session: Recognition-assessment of teachers),
  • Michel Perez, MoE France, General inspectorate (Embedding eTwinning into Educational policies)

One recommendation regarding one the four themes developed in the workshop:

  • Agustin Munoz: Pay attention to teachers’ non-formal recognition that they receive from eTwinning, but also to formal recognition. These records can potentially be used for teachers’ professional career.
  • Michel Perez: Tools and kits for new comers and least experienced teachers to eTwinning. The first step is hardest to make, we cannot afford to loose the one who are at the starting phase.
  • Susan Linklater: Accreditation and real evidence on the impact of eTwinning (e.g. learning events, project work) on teachers’ skills and job satisfaction. This area needs more acknowledgement, and only way to get it is through hard eveidence and research.
  • Jose Vitor Pedroso:  Attention on students. Not only recognise teachers’ participation in eTwinning. Many say they don’t have time because of exams. We should start recognise collaboration skills as part of students’ skills set!
  • Jan de Cramer:  Supportive technologies. Time to evaluate tools that are out there for eTwinning, e.g.  evaluate how existing other open tools could be used in eTwinning setting.

See also the slides on the summary of the sessions when they become available.

EMINENT 2011 – Opening session

The opening session of the EMINENT and eTwinning joint programme kicked off with a video message from the European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou.

The Commissioner congratulated the eTwinning network for its impressive work saying “eTwinning has grown into one of the most successful actions of the Lifelong Learning Programme”. She particularly noted the success of the initiative was linked to the simplicity and lack of bureaucracy, for new projects and partnerships to be set up. The role of the national and central support services was underlined, and she thanked European Schoolnet saying it “has played a crucial role.” She underlined the importance of the initiative, and said it is expected to grow and evolve into an even bigger network in future. See the full video message below.

Giovanni Biondi, chair of European Schoolnet and representative of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research was the second speaker, who focused on the huge changes that technology can bring to education.

“We are in the middle of a revolution in the educational environment,” he said.

“We created a network for schools, dedicated to in service training, material exchange and a community of practice around using technologies” continued Mr Biondi.

However he underlined that technology is a tool to facilitate school reform and changes in teaching and learning – rather than an end in itself.

Giovanni Biondi, Chair of European Schoolnet presentation (pdf)

Alin Adrian Nica, Chair of the EDUC Commission for Education, Youth, Culture and Research from the EU Committee of the Regions then took the floor.  He commended the impressive results of the eTwinning initiative, which have been noted by the Committee. A study launched by the Committee indicated the fast growth of eTwinning initiatives taking place at regional level. In addition he underlined that education geared toward sustainable development and media literacy is crucial for the challenges of modern life – indeed, these themes are covered by many eTwinning projects. These kinds of projects really facilitate cooperation between European citizens. He closed his speech by quoting William Gibson, the novelist and internet imagineer, saying “the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed”.

Alin Adrian Nica, Chair of the EDUC Commission for Education, Youth, Culture and Research, EU Committee of the Regions speech (pdf)

Donatella Amatucci, from the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, Directorate General for International Affairs was the next speaker. She echoed the remarks of Mr. Biondi, underlining that the revolution in schools is not finished – it’s still in progress and has to continue. She mentioned that eTwinning and indeed European Schoolnet are laboratories where we can experiment with new approaches.
These types of experimental spaces are important to help foster new types of partnership between schools. Such governmental initiatives should always target teachers and above all pupils.

Alessandro Clavarino, Liguria Regional Councillor for Education and Training was pleased to be engaged in the event as the next plenary speaker.
“In Liguria we have around 100 research projects for ICT in education,” he said.
The idea of such projects – like eTwinning – is to facilitate sharing and multiplication of new methods in schools. He remarked that there is plenty of interest in schoools for such projects.

Stefania Fuscagni, President of INDIRE, the Italian agency responsible for teacher training then took the stage.

“INDIRE is thrilled to be at the centre of the network at national level and also engage with the European scale,” she said.

She said there has been a growth in support for school programs – and now we see they can grow and expand themselves. This has been the case of eTwinning projects, which grow on the basis of new tools and approaches such as social networks and collaborative project based learning. She remarked the need to better communicate this success to the wider public (i.e. mainstream media).

Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet explained the logic of the whole event. He said this was an ambitious programme bringing together three key networks, eTwinning, European Schoolnet and the Italian Classe 2.0 initiative. The first day is a joint programme between eTwinning and European Schoolnet’s EMINENT event for policy makers. This year, special effort has been made to bring together regional policy makers to engage them in the initiative. The second day is a joint event between European Schoolnet and Classe 2.0.

Marc Durando, Executive Director, European Schoolnet presentation (pdf)

Anne Looney, CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Ireland was the keynote speaker closing the session.  Anne gave an engaging speech covering eTwinning, community building, teacher/learner roles, competence standards for teachers and more. Some of her key points:

  • teacher community driving eTwinning is the key to it’s success
  • teachers are the most sophisticated knowledge workers, linking young people and the community
  • eTwinning gives teachers a chance to develop and grow, and set up projects in an easy way
  • the role of students is crucial – and need for consultation with them is clear. Some countries such as Ireland are including students (even very young ones) to develop policy and educational reform.
  • students always want more opportunities to connect with other students in partner countries

She closed her speech by posing some challenges to eTwinning: could the future involve students setting up ther own projects and then engage teachers, so they drive their own learning processes?

Anne Looney, CEO National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) Ireland speech (pdf)