European Schoolnet - Overview
European Schoolnet (EUN) is a network of 31 Ministries of Education in Europe and beyond. EUN was created more than 10 years ago with the aim to bring about innovation in teaching and learning to its key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers and researchers.
European Schoolnet’s activities are divided among three strands of work:
- Policy, research and innovation.
European Schoolnet demonstrates how information and communications technology (ICT) can support change in teaching and learning. As part of the services it provides to its stakeholders, European Schoolnet produces country reports which highlight the major trends and policies in today’s education systems in terms of ICT. Through various research projects and networks of pilot schools and local coordinators across Europe, European Schoolnet carries out studies on topics such as the use of games in schools, internet safety, use of learning objects and many other topics.
- Schools services. European Schoolnet has established a strategic position as a European platform for schools to achieve effective use of technologies in teaching and learning, promote the European dimension in education, develop new pedagogical approaches and equip teachers and learners with new skills and raise interest in subjects such as maths, science and technology. Many thousands of schools are engaged in our programmes. European Schoolnet has particularly worked on enhancing cooperation across Europe between schools, as the coordinator of the EU's eTwinning Central Support Service and the promotion of the European dimension in education (myEurope, Spring Day for Europe).
- Learning resource exchange and interoperability. European Schoolnet is at the forefront of global initiatives related to the exchange and interoperability of digital learning resources. With the commitment of participating Ministries of Education and support from European Commission research programmes, European Schoolnet is building a Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) service for schools that will enable teachers and learners to find educational content from many different countries and providers. The LRE helps Ministries and other content partners to become part of a federation of repositories.. A measure of the success of the strategy is that, in the MELT project, 16 Ministries of Education in Europe are already making available approximately 40,000 learning resources and over 100,000 learning assets via a beta version of the LRE.
European Schoolnet’s maintaints several portals that offer teachers resources, discussions, news, classroom activities, collaborative tools, practice examples and training opportunities.
This is the list of portalts:
- eun.org. The gateway to education in Europe. It is the main access to European Schoolnet's activities, projects and services to teachers, school leaders, pupils and policy-makers in Europe.
- eTwinning. School partnerships in Europe. It is the gateway for school in Europe to meet each other and to collaborate on a large number of themes and projects.
- Xplora. European science education portal. It endeavours to be a major European hub for the science education community with a wealth of resources, tools and information for science teachers.
- myEurope. It is a Web-based project which aims to help teachers raise their pupils' awareness of what it means to be a young citizen in Europe.
- Spring Day for Europe 2007. "Schools Celebrating Europe". It is an annual citizen-driven event project on democracy and citizenship where young people learn and make their voice heard on topical European issues.
- Insafe. It acts as a hub for safer Internet information and highlights the activities of a growing network of 19 national awareness raising nodes.
- Insight. knowledge base for new technology and education. It is EUN’s observatory for new technology and education. It provides policy-makers, school leaders and all actors in the field of ICT in education with news and analysis on e-learning in Europe.
- Virtual School. It is a virtual meeting place for teachers to exchange material and discuss experiences.
- EUN Communities. It is a Virtual workspace where teachers, policy-makers, researchers and others can communicate, share files and news articles, discuss in online forums, publish web pages and feel close to each other.
- eSchoolnet: The European Teachers Portal. It is a portal for teachers in Europe. On the eSchoolnet website teachers can get in contact with other colleagues, find and exchange learning resources, share experiences, join EUN's international teacher networks, work together in online communities and projects, and much.
European Schoolnet has been working on interoperability and specifications to facilitate the implementation of learning technologies in schools across Europe since its beginning in 1996. There have been various European Commission funded projects to support this work:
- The first project was MM1010 which established a European school information network, i.e. European Schoolnet itself. The project also created the first European Schoolnet metadata model (EUNMES) and an educational Thesaurus.
- A follow-up project, part of the fifth Framework Programme was called European Treasury Browser (ETB) which aims to create an infrastructure for the exchange of European learning resources. A multilingual thesaurus of 11 language versions was created within the project.
- Furthermore, CELEBRATE built upon the interoperability of Learning Objects (LO) and different Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) so that the one is not dependent on the other.
- eColours-project continued the work on cross-boarder creation of learning resources, whereas EUN members are actively seeking efficient ways to agree upon the exchange on learning resources in the European level.
- OASIS: Open Architectures in Schools in Society. OASIS is a project that promotes small virtual communities in schools, concentrating particularly on how the role of socialisation can be enhanced by the Internet.
- Life: Learning Interoperability Framework for Europe.The aim of the LIFE project is to improve interoperability and the use of standards in the field of e-learning by increasing the effectiveness of Learning Technology standards and specifications.
- ITEMs: Integrated Teaching Elearning Modules. The Integrated Teaching Elearning Modules (ITEMs) project has as central objective the development of a framework aimed at driving up standards of teaching and learning in Science and Mathematic
- Currently it is running the ASPECT Best Practice Network for educational content. It is is a 30-month, Best Practice Network for educational content that involves 22 partners from 15 countries, including 9 Ministries of Education (MoE), four commercial content developers and leading technology providers. For the first time, experts from all international standardisation bodies and consortia active in e-learning (CEN/ISSS, IEEE, ISO, IMS, ADL) will work together in order to improve the adoption of learning technology standards and specifications.