eTwinning Schools –Benefits and vision of school models


How was the idea
of the eTwinning School created? eTwinning was born 14 years ago and
I think especially in the first 10 years, we addressed pioneer, special teachers,
enthusiastic teachers but there were one teacher per school. After 10 years, we realised that more and more
teachers were registering the same school and what we call
a whole school approach was growing. What we’re seeing now is the emergence
of teams of teachers in schools. How can a school become
an eTwinning School? First of all,
there must be actively eTwinners, active teachers
who have been involved in projects. Then they must have organised
some events locally, promotional events, like for instance
presenting eTwinning to other colleagues, professional development events, which is training other colleagues,
especially on eTwinning. They must have demonstrated
some knowledge of Internet safety and responsible use of the Internet. Their application must be signed and
provided with a signature of the school manager. When we move from the individual teacher
in the school to a team of teachers in the school, this team has to be supported
by the school principal, by the extended school management team, so our vision of the eTwinning School
is that it involves management at every level. What is the mission of
eTwinning Schools? We believe that students in eTwinning Schools
should be agents of change, we believe that eTwinning Schools should be
inclusive and innovative learning organisations but especially we would like them
to be models for other schools. If you take the 5 elements,
it starts with shared leadership, which is really a device
to empower all the people in the school, to take responsibility and
to lead with their ideas, and it goes from
the teachers to the pupils because it also looks to empower pupils. So this empowerment
goes within the school itself but once they’ve attained the status, part of their mission is for them
to go out and try and empower other schools. What is the role of eTwinning Schools? The role of eTwinning Schools
in the present and in the future is to become models
for other schools to follow. They are leaders, they are
ambassadors of the eTwinning ideas. They are a label of excellence
but also a label of openness and inclusion, and in the future,
we hope that as many schools as possible in as many countries as possible
will have this label which is a guarantee that
these schools are inclusive, they deal with
Internet safety issues properly, they include students
in the decision-making process, in the pedagogy, they open to collaboration, to teamwork, they have an open and
collaborative school management, where shared leadership is pursued. So these are all properties
which in the future we hope will become the norm for all schools, but for the time being, they’re only,
if possible, something to imitate for other schools.

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