Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 49

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Diagnostic test, medication or maybe powerful antidote to the European (socio-moral) crisis? eTwinning can do it! by Christina Drakopoulou institution, eTwinning can help to maintain a relatively good level in the language which is the bridge of communication and a precious way for removing misunderstandings. The first meeting was about eight years ago. However we “gave” hands for three consecutive years between 2010 and 2013. In this splendid canvas we have worked and spent countless hours Greeks, Dutch, French, Turks, Italians. All the colours of the educational palette in unexpected combinations. One missing, and the result would not be the same, our memories would not be as rich as they are. There are students who enjoyed and earned so much from their experience. What if we could launch "transnational forum" within the eTwinning platform, where students open their wings to fly through modern topics where they can reflect the vision and ideas on the European world (colourful or critical world…) We will not talk about eTwinning projects. But for the main pillar of eTwinning, the edu-solidarity that guides to a whole purpose. The socio-economic reality - the crisis of the last five years in many parts of the world makes – the euro-twinning more urgent than ever. Here in Greece, there has been a redefinition of priorities, opportunities, available resources. The children in classes are not so enthusiastic and cheerful... they have ceased to think in terms of the "here and now" that corresponds to endless recreation. It seems that the uncertain future looks to bother even younger students. They become witnesses of the financial problems of their families. If foreign languages are taught with a view to certify basic skills for communication, to open horizons and to get useful job skills, today learning serves the prospect of a possible migration and a given mobility. Important sums invested in education are now available to meet basic needs such as food and electricity bills. This corresponds to fewer educational opportunities, school dropout. (Even young students are forced to look to find a way of living). Result: shrinking of the student population, closed schools, fewer opportunities, more pressure. As Noam Chomsky says: “the easy victims in times of crisis are schools and teachers.” They are those who absorb the pressure and stress due to poverty, unemployment, unstable economic and social conditions. In these conditions eTwinning is requested to assist in the curriculum with competitive skills in the field of the 21st century. New functionalities and activities closely linked to daily life (video conferencing, text writing for hanging on school blog) can involve students and guarantee future personalities with critical opinion and the courage to express it. eTwinning can also be an antidote to dropout or temporary absences from classes due to economic hardship. As an educational program – eTwinning is also a weapon against stereotypes. The European generation receives various messages: in Southern Europe there was talk about the PIGS, the acronym which includes countries in deep financial crisis, but behind this sign there are families who fight to earn a living. The Northerners partners give the impression that South wastes valuable resources at the expense of other economies. The best way to “heal this hit” is to continue to support the eTwinning cooperation between schools in different countries. Communication, collaboration and cultural exchange demolish myths diligently built by shortsighted policies and discursive massive media. Through eTwinning teachers we are given opportunities to improve ourselves and empower children illuminating dark spots seeking to define their lives and prescribe their future. By giving the example through our daily practice educators are protectors of children's rights by facing the recent model “deforestation of the public school and expulsion of the youth from the economy and society”. We are in favour of quality time versus the tyranny of speed and the immediate effects. And the most important: Teachers we must rekindle the enthusiasm into the classes, inspire children that 49