Plenary Session I – Welcome to the eTwinning 2014 conference

eTwinning conference 2014

Over 500 of the most innovative teachers and education experts from across Europe met in Rome for the 10th annual eTwinning Conference. The theme of this years event is “Opening Education”. The goal is to stimulate ways of learning through ICT and digital content.

Davide Faraone

Davide Faraone, State Secretary for the Italian Ministry of Education

The opening plenary commenced with an encouraging welcome address from Davide Faraone, State Secretary for the Italian Ministry of Education. He highlighted the fact that 600,000 students in Italy use eTwinning and the Italian government see it as an extremely important educational tool. “It shows that the European Union is more than just a monetary environment, it is a living system.” Mr Faraone encouraged people to think of these tools as European and not just within your local country. “The Italian government is committed to these topics. Your work contributes to the growth of Europe.”

Antonio Silva Mendes

Antonio Silva Mendes, European Commission, DG EAC

Antonio Silva Mendes, European Commission, DG EAC discussed how the success of eTwinning comes through the community of teachers and that the theme of opening up education through technology is very timely. He highlighted three areas, linking with other colleagues and sectors within education; which will be the main success for the future, “valualization”; how we can show value of what we do and change in school environment; how can we link schools to enterprises and other areas of society?

eTwinning family

Anne Gilleran, Senior Pedagogical Adviser for eTwinning, introduced the eTwinning families from across Europe, presenting each of the countries within the network as well as the new eTwinning plus countries; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Marc Durando

Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet

Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet gave special thanks to the great enthusiasm from teachers from around Europe. He posed the question “How can we mainstream innovation in education?”.

He discussed the major achievements of eTwinning and highlighted the complex process behind innovation in education asking will innovation come from technology or pedagogy?

He presented some astonishing facts on the ecosystem of eTwinning. There are 320,000 schools in Europe, eTwinning reaches 40% of these. There are 6 million teachers in Europe and eTwinning reaches 5% of them. However, this represents only 2 teachers per school. “We must go from innovative teachers to innovative schools”.

He closed his plenary with a powerful quote from Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Follow along the plenary sessions with a live streaming video

If you can’t join us in Rome for the eTwinning Conference, don’t worry! eTwinning reaches you with its live streaming video. To follow us in real time, you can go to the following page on Thursday 27 November from 2 to 4.45 pm CET (Rome time) and watch the plenary sessions: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/etwinning-europe

Follow the keynote speech and contribute to the debate online using the hashtag: ‪#‎eTconf2014‬

PLEASE NOTE: There will be a coffee break at 15h45 (aprox.) – the streaming video may be interrupted. Check out the programme for more information.

eTwinning Conference 2014: Opening Education – Innovation in teaching & learning (Press release)

More than 500 teachers from across Europe will explore how eTwinning contributes to opening up education via innovation in teaching and learning

Rome, from the 27th to the 29th November 2014

This year the eTwinning Conference celebrates this theme “Opening Education”, in its broadest sense. The State Secretary for the Italian Ministry of Education, Davide Faraone, and Antonio Silva Mendes, from the European Commission (DG EAC), will open the conference with a welcome address. This will be followed by Lord David Puttnam who will take the floor to introduce his keynote: “Resilient Education”, how can our education systems cope with the triple threat: “climates changes” – digital, ecological and economic.

As a recent communication from the European Commission puts it, “teachers should be able to acquire high digital competences (…) to connect through strong communities of practice (…) as shown by the massive engagement of teachers in the eTwinning platform and be rewarded for new teaching methods”. The work of the conference will concentrate on sharing new practice, exploring new ways of teaching and fostering the eTwinning community, through workshops, interactive sessions and informal meetings. The conference will be also an occasion to celebrate outstanding achievements in school collaboration in eTwinning. During the last day, a panel of experts and educators will explore, together with the audience, how eTwinning enhances competences of pupils and teachers.

Now in its ninth year, the European Commission’s eTwinning action involves almost 280 000 registered teachers in 42 countries, who communicate, work together, and set-up cross-border educational projects. eTwinning has affirmed its role in shaping a European space for education. It helps teachers connect, collaborate and share via the biggest learning community in Europe.

***

Conference website: http://conference2014.etwinning.net/
Follow the conference on Twitter: #eTconf14
Link to the video from last year’s conference: http://youtu.be/Tg_5c0VJ-PQ

For further information, please contact:
Valentina Garoia, Communications and Press Officer, European Schoolnet, mob.: +32 (0)488 495246, valentina.garoia@eun.org

***

Background

eTwinning is the Community for schools involving almost 280 000 teachers across Europe, funded by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+ Programme. European Schoolnet acts as eTwinning Central Support Service.

The eTwinning platform offers opportunities for teachers to meet and interact with each other in school projects, special interest groups and online forums. It also offers a rich professional development element via online Learning Events, focusing on collaboration skills and the use of technology with the goal of contributing to the modernisation of educational systems, making them more attractive to today’s youth. Find out more on www.etwinning.net

eT poster press release
European Schoolnet is a network of 31 Ministries of Education from across the European member states, leading educational innovation at European level. As a major international think tank, European Schoolnet operates key European services in education, including the Central Support Service for eTwinning, on behalf of the European Commission, member Ministries of Education and industry partners.
Follow us on Twitter (@eu_schoolnet) and on Facebook

Welcome to the official blog of the eTwinning Conference 2014

Over 500 teachers from 39 different countries will participate in the annual eTwinning conference, which will take place in Rome (Italy) from 27 to 29 November. They will explore how eTwinning can open up education to promote creativity and innovative practices in both teaching and learning, through different panel discussions, networking activities and over 50 workshops.

In this blog, you will find all the pictures from the event, videos, articles, practical information and the latest updates. Do you want to follow the conference in real time? Keep posted to the eTwinning Social Media accounts (hashtag: #eTconf14). You will be able to follow along the plenary sessions with a live streaming video.

Learn more about eTwinning here and follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@eTwinningEurope) and YouTube.