Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 46

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Due to its characteristics of flexibility, sustainability and openness to innovation and to national and international comparison, eTwinning is especially suitable for the training of future teachers who increasingly will be called to use ICT in everyday teaching, to support communication and learning in a foreign language, to work on projects involving students in an active way and developing personalized learning paths that foster the development of key competences. of the community, further legitimizing the projectbased learning with eTwinning as a community of practice that is crucial for the continuous professional development of teachers, as well as a channel of innovation for the school as a whole. Other advantages are considered in terms of visibility, considering that all new teachers would be informed about the existence of eTwinning and so on all the possibilities Erasmus+ offers to the schools in Europe. Hence the importance of the approach to the innovative reality of eTwinning since the initial teacher training, with the hope that eTwinning will become not only one of the numerous European projects, but a vehicle to introduce in a simple and natural way a different approach to teaching and learning, through the regular use of new technologies, communication in a foreign language and learning in a multicultural context. The Italian Universities participating in the project are the University of Florence, Genoa, Palermo and the Catholic University in Milan for the initial training of teachers of primary and pre-primary, and the University of Rome and the University of Tuscia for the secondary level. The European countries involved are the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, Denmark, Iceland and Flemish Belgium. Teams of trainees of different countries learned how to plan projects in a collaborative way, taking into account their contexts and aiming at improving higher-level thinking together with key competences. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Europe the Pilot started in 2012 by the initiative of several British universities coordinated by the British Council and by Flemish universities in Belgium, Norway and Denmark, focusing exclusively on nursery and primary schools. In 2013 and 2014, other countries, including Italy, joined and 20 institutions were involved in the final phase of the Pilot in the academic year 2014-2015. At the end of the Pilot, with a thorough evaluation of the experiences so far, the countries involved will develop a model of participation of trainees in eTwinning to be presented to the European Commission so that this can be a transferable model for other institutions. Such a step would bring great benefits to eTwinning, especially in terms of the impact study From postcards to stone culture, eTwinning has no limits by Lina Pereira Every school year eTwinning is definitely part of our planned activities and each project is a new challenge and a rewarding experience for teachers and students. The postcards and bookmarks exchange to celebrate the European Day of Languages has been an excellent starting point in our school to involve our students in eTwinning projects. These exchanges have a very positive impact on the school community, promote a real contact with European languages and cultural diversity and it’s real fun for pupils to get something from another school and country. This year the number of schools collaborating with us excceeded our expectations and we received postcards from all over Europe. Inspired by the rewarding effects of this exchange, we decided to innovate by exchanging small samples of rocks and minerals with our European partners. We integrated our eTwinning work into our students’curriculum and lessons planning and joined science with languages, History and Citizenship in a successful interdisciplinary approach with very fruitful results for everyone. The main subjects involved were Biology, Geology and English. The students prepared the rock samples with information cards, wrote the partners’addresses in their Geology lessons and translated them in the English lessons. They also collected information about typical flora in our 46