By Antonia Loncar, Communication Coordinator of eTwinning
eTwinning is the community for schools in Europe and neighbouring countries bringing teachers and students together since 2005. Funded by the European Commission under the ERASMUS + programme, eTwinning is a fully digital platform where its users, also known as eTwinners, can find partners, collaborate on projects and participate in professional development activities organised at European and national level. As of January 2021, eTwinning counts more than 880,000 registered teachers, from + 215,000 schools working on nearly 116,000 projects. As an online community, eTwinning is based on mutual respect and understanding as reflected in the eTwinning Code of Conduct.
For eTwinners, however, eTwinning is more than a digital collaboration platform: it is first and foremost a safe online space where they can bring their students and explore the world together. Since its beginning, eTwinning has made sure to make the online safety of its users a priority. Enabling students to develop critical thinking is at the very core of eTwinning, and throughout 2021 the platform will continue to support teachers in tackling this topic by providing resources and learning opportunities on the annual theme of ‘Media Literacy and Disinformation’. In the eTwinning Group “Media Literacy and Disinformation” eTwinners can, for example, find teaching guides, inspirational materials, online events and activities on the topic or join one of many professional development opportunities. The public ‘Community insights’ offers an overview of different activities eTwinning has been supporting the teachers with on their journey through Media Literacy over the years.
What are the benefits of joining eTwinning? According to the results of the eTwinning Monitoring Report 2019, 92% of 10,000 teachers consider that participation in eTwinning increases their students’ motivation. The same percentage agrees that eTwinning fosters collaborative work among students. eTwinning recognises the efforts of participating teachers and their students by awarding the most successful projects the European Prizes, European Quality Label and National Quality Label. Schools that display a strong commitment to shared leadership and are recognised as leaders in digital and eSafety practice can receive the eTwinning School Label.
During the school closures of 2020 due to Covid-19, 11,000 teachers got together in the eTwinning Group ‘eTwinning at home and… back to school’, to discuss learning ideas for activities at home, useful tools, and their preferred resources. Finally, they shared and exchanged their own inspirational stories.