On the 30 May 2017, the European commission released the document “School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life”. In this communication, the EU commission suggests concrete actions to help the Member States in delivering high quality and inclusive teaching for the young, support the necessary knowledge and competences to fully participate in the society, and emphasises the key role of eTwinning in reaching these goals.
The European schools’ twinning project between European schools will continue its efforts to support inclusion. This includes the necessity to meet students’ needs, in particular: special needs, socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, immigrants and people coming from geographically deprived areas or war zones. Moreover, eTwinning will continue with increased efforts to promote social inclusion through education.
The EU commission will enhance cooperation between schools making partnerships and mobility for students more accessible, and promoting participation in eTwinning, to increase digital and intercultural learning, with the aim to create better and more inclusive schools. The EU commission emphasises that the spreading of eTwinning to all European schools can stimulate students and teachers’ digital competences and broaden schools’ horizons. The document underlines that eTwinning is a safe online environment for international didactical projects and provides easily accessible tools to widen educational provision and maintain intercultural and international contacts among teachers and students.
Another objective set by the EU Commission is to support teachers and headmasters in reaching high teaching standards. To do this, the EU will continue to develop online resources for school professionals and new eTwinning opportunities for in-training teachers. As reported in the EU commission document, thanks to eTwinning “Europe encourages collaboration and learning among teachers with online courses, and joint training events, which are vital for school personnel’s professional development”.
WHAT ETWINNING IS
eTwinning is the European community of teachers involved in electronic twinning between schools. The project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus + Programme, and co-ordinated in Brussels by the European Schoolnet consortium, promotes innovation in the school, use of technology in teaching, and the shared creation of educational projects between classes in different countries. Indire is the eTwinning national unit since 2005. The Italian Unity is constantly working with the network of National Units in the 36 participating countries and with the European Central Unit. There are over 440,000 European teachers registered in the platform, out of these, about 50,000 are Italian, with over 15,000 implemented didactic projects.