Catania, October 2013: the great folks from Enrico Fermi!
In late October, close to 300 eTwinning Ambassadors from all over Europe got together in Catania, southern Italy, to share their views on IT-based international school projects and discuss the future of school collaboration within the European Union – and beyond. The eTwinning initiative has been rolling on and gathering ever more momentum since 2005 and even though the EU educational programs will be completely revamped in 2014, one thing seems certain: eTwinning will remain as a cornerstone of the EU school collaboration.
There are many aspects to eTwinning that make it a natural part of the curriculum in European schools – the extreme importance of good international connections and digital proficiency being just two of them – but there are also other benefits that should make eTwinning extremely attractive for both teachers and school leaders. Through eTwinning is is possible for everyone working within the educational sector in Europe to build an international, professional network that in itself creates amazing professional development opportunities. eTwinning has made it possible for me to get unique insight in educational systems of several European countries and get direct access to colleagues and students worldwide. These privileges have transformed my role as a teacher and IT teacher trainer and the really good news is that the same opportunities are wide open to you as well!
Kudos to the Italian eTwinning crew for the great conference and a special huge thank you to my Catania colleague Lucia Turiano and her great students for showing me around in Catania and in their school Enrico Fermi. You guys really made my visit into an experience way above anything a conference normally can offer.
To wrap this up, I quote my good friend and colleague Tiina Sarisalmi in Finland, from her post about the Catania conference. In the very last part of her post, Tiina writes:
By their nature eTwinning teachers are pioneers of educational change. They are willing to explore and plunge into the unknown. They’re looking for new ways of learning and willing to open the classroom doors and windows to the future. This creates the mental state and atmosphere in which creativity and innovation bloom. The moment when you enter the discomfort zone is crucial. Innovation can only take place outside the box, preferably working, learning and building knowledge together in a Network for Sustainable Innovation.
That pretty much says it all.
Oh yes, one more thing! Don’t miss the November 11 Episode of eTwinningOnAir, the publicly streamed round table discussion for eTwinning Ambassadors, with lots of interesting content for everyone interested in eTwinning! Tiina and me will air Episode 5, Catania – The Epilogue, though my YouTube channel as usual but you can also watch live directly on the corresponding Google Plus Event.