by Sergio González Moreau, Future Classroom Lab Ambassador, Spain
eTwinning is part of the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport - Erasmus+. Its goal is to promote and facilitate contact, exchange ideas and collaborative work between teachers and students of the 41 countries participating in eTwinning, through ICTs. Moreover, it fosters the exchange of ideas and good practices and teachers professional development.
To coordinate this action across Europe, eTwinning has a Central Support Service (CSS) in Brussels and a National Support Service (NSS) in each country. In Spain, the NSS is at the National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y de Formación del Profesorado – INTEF) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. Each Autonomous Community/City has an eTwinning representative. The coordination between Spanish NSS and the eTwinning representatives is a key element for a good development of the project in Spain. Part of this coordination includes face-to-face and virtual meetings to update information, initiatives and processes that allow an efficient and effective project management. The last meeting of this eTwinning coordination group was held on 22nd and 23rd November at the European Schoolnet (EUN) headquarters in Brussels, which is responsible for the CSS, as well as hosting the Future Classroom Lab (FCL). It was an opportunity for eTwinning representatives to get to know the FCL and its pedagogical approach, a very enriching experience that can positively influence eTwinning projects.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to learn about EUN and FCL, as well as the coordination of the SNA with the autonomous representatives. The next day we visited the Parliament and the European Commission, where we had the possibility to share opinions with
Cecile Le Clercq, Director General for Education and Culture.
This blog post aims to tell you more about our experience at the FCL. Welcome
The opening of the event was carried out by Carlos Medina, Head of the International Projects Service of INTEF. He expressed his thanks to the autonomous communities and cities for being all there and remembered that five years ago a similar meeting was held in the same place.
Elina Jokisalo, Project Manager School Education Gateway & Future Classroom Lab, talked on behalf of CSS. Besides the welcome speech, she presented some of the initiatives related to Erasmus + as the School Education Gateway website that offers a wide range of training opportunities via Teacher Academy.
The Future Classroom Lab
In the beginning, Águeda Gras, Director of the Sciences and Regions program, presented European Schoolnet, and then Elina introduced us to the FCL initiative and what it means in terms of innovation in teaching practice at school level. She emphasised in her presentation that the teaching model has changed in the last decades, in which students have evolved from being just a receiver of information, who only listened and memorized, to persons who collaborate, interact and share to generate their own learning. Taking in mind this objective, the FCL and its division into 6 learning spaces, aims to promote the development of skills necessary for 21st century society:
Communication Critical thinking Creativity Personal and social responsibility Collaboration Ability to learn to learn Digital competences
To do so, FCL created the six learning zones that you can check at the section
Learning Zones in this website. The goal of these areas is to boost interaction, peer work, learning through exploration and problem solving, multidisciplinary work, creative and communicative processes, reflection and personalization of learning.
At the end of the presentation, we visited the physical space in which we could explore and test various resources, as well as being informed of its possibilities.
These two days have been very intense for us, the Spanish coordinators of eTwinning, and we have lived and share a true European experience thanks to the excellent organization of the CSS and the Spanish NSS. When we returned, we all said that we were motivated to continue supporting and working on eTwinning, as well as to incorporate a new initiative to our tasks, the FCL.
The group photo in the article is from a tweet by Anna Perez.