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eTwinning is a scheme enabling you to work with one or more schools from the 28 European Countries through Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It is a simple and straightforward way of finding partner schools and working on a range of exciting curriculum projects.
eTwinning is the main action of the European Union's eLearning programme.
As a school or college (working with pupils and students between the ages of 3 and 20) you can register your details, search for partners and engage in online partnerships through ICT.
The scheme consists of a central Europe wide portal.
This portal enables you to register the details of your school, provides potential eTwinning partners according to various criteria (including country, age range, curriculum areas, etc.), and, in addition, provides a range of collaborative tools for you to work together with your eTwinning partner. The portal is managed by the Central Support Service, or CSS.
The Central Support Service is backed up by a network of National Support Services, or NSSs. The National Support Service in the UK, is managed by the British Council who promote the eTwinning scheme, provide pedagogical support and help monitor and evaluate eTwinning projects for all British Schools.
eTwinning is a very flexible scheme. It provides a range of tools through your own private TwinSpace, including a shared calendar, forums, chats and bulletin boards and the ability to upload and share resources, as well as the facility to build your own project web pages. You can use these tools as much or as little as you wish. In fact, you don’t even have to find your partner through eTwinning – if you have an established ICT link with a school in another eligible country, you could register your partnership with eTwinning and receive the eTwinning Label, which recognises your participation in the scheme.
You keep track of your eTwinning project via an online Report Card – a simple way of monitoring your activities. This can also help you promote and disseminate your project to a wider audience.
Contact our local eTwinning Ambassador: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the start of the ‘eTwinning’ action in January 2005 schools had been showing increasing interest in a video conferencing solution to use in their partnerships. Conventional video conferencing uses expensive equipment, needs a high grade network or a dedicated isdn line in a fixed room. This is beyond the network capabilities within most European countries even if the costs of equipment could be met by schools.
The eTwininng portal does suggest the use of external webcam conferencing tools such as Yahoo Messenger, Net meeting and Skype. Schools however are normally ‘blocked’ from using these for e-safety reasons as they are not deemed secure for in school use.
At the Annual eTwinning event in Linz in 2006 the webcam conferencing tool ‘Flashmeeting’ was introduced to the CSS team as a suitable solution ‘fit for purpose’ for eTwinning schools. More...