About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2591-2600
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

THE EUROLINK - VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: REFLECTIONS, IMPACT AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM A PAN EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION

S. Jones

Univiersity of Bedfordshire / Core Education UK (UNITED KINGDOM)
This paper presents and discusses the initial findings of an Action Inquiry into the new learning approaches and pedagogical principles enabling collaboration and learning in the EuroLink - Virtual International School.

In 1996, a small group of schools in a variety of countries across Western Europe began to see the potential of the internet in terms of progressing educational experiences. Together they tested out the new wave of emerging technologies, from teleconferencing to collaboration on enterprise projects. In 2009 the schools came together once more, to refine their thinking and find a new purpose in their collaborative endeavours. The result was the European Union funded ‘EuroLink - Virtual International School’ otherwise known as ELvis.

The ELvis partnership of 7 schools (from Italy, Germany, Netherlands, UK & Belgium) is researching new approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in the context of a Virtual International School. The aim of this paper is to share reflections form the first 2 years of the collaboration, articulating the impact and lessons learned during a preliminary investigation into the collaborative approach to education across national boundaries.

According to a variety of authors, (Freison, 2009; Jones et al, 2009; Oblinger, 2005; Seely Brown, 2002; Prensky, 2001) with the emergence of new technologies, we have arrived at a renaissance period in the way learners learn and a rethink is now needed on the way our educational philosophies impact on the art of educational practices. However there are some inherent obstacles associated with cultural change and cultural differences, in embedding emerging educational practices into a Virtual International School, which has given rise to a series of research questions.

This paper will discuss these inherent problems and then address a selection of the questions arising, around the development of new pedagogical approaches used in the virtual international school. These are:

• How are emerging technologies employed to support learning?
• What is the role of the teacher?
• How are lessons constructed?
• What is being learned and by whom?

The work follows a grounded theory approach (after Glaser & Strauss, 1967) using a series of Action Inquiry cycles (after Zuber-Skerrit, 1995). Data collection has been through semi structured group interviews and questionnaires. Data analysis has been carried out through coding as identified by Strauss et al (1998).

The initial findings from this Action Inquiry cycle have demonstrated the need for a framework of guiding principles, around which programmes of study can be designed. This framework has now been created, shared with ELvis staff and is currently being implemented in a selection of programmes of study in the second phase (years 3 and 4) of this project.

Although ELvis may be considered unique in some sense, the lessons learned from this initial study will benefit others who are embarking on a similar path of international collaboration and co-operation.
@InProceedings{JONES2011EUR,
author = {Jones, S.},
title = {THE EUROLINK - VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: REFLECTIONS, IMPACT AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM A PAN EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2591-2600}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Jones
TI - THE EUROLINK - VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: REFLECTIONS, IMPACT AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM A PAN EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 2591
EP - 2600
ER -
S. Jones (2011) THE EUROLINK - VIRTUAL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL: REFLECTIONS, IMPACT AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM A PAN EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 2591-2600.
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