THE ETWINNING PLATFORM. AN EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT ONLINE
January 2015 will be the 10th anniversary of the creation of the eTwinning platform. eTwinning is an initiative of the Council of Europe, it is the main action of the European Commission’s Learning Programme, and it recently started to be a part of Erasmus+.
So eTwinning can be defined as a free and safe platform that enables teachers from the European Union and a few neighbour countries to share ideas and carry out collaborative projects online. There are currently 280,017 teachers enrolled on the platform, 37,597 active projects and 131,778 schools within the platform.
eTwinning is a safe platform, only teachers can enrol on it, and their pupils can get access to their working space within the platform, the Twinspace. It’s a free platform, and teachers or schools who use it don’t receive any funding, but they receive support and services. This avoids bureaucracy and is one of the reasons for its success.
Involving students in an eTwinning project has many advantages. Firstly, all the students can enjoy the possibility of practicing a foreign language in an authentic context and not from schoolbooks. At the same time, this encourages motivation because it involves using new technologies and it is the culture our students are familiar with. Using the platform necessarily implies fostering ICT skills and learning new tools that can be useful in later adult life. Besides bringing together teachers and students from two or more European countries, it necessarily fosters tolerance and understanding and thereby promoting the European Dimension.
This paper describes the participation of a group of students from 1st year Bachillerato in the Pare Vitoria High School in Alcoy, during the 2014-2015 school year in the project “WSUP: Wide School Unit Program”.