European Schoolnet is a network of 31 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, their aim is to bring innovation in teaching and learning to their key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners.
ICT and digitization are a particular focus of European Schoolnet’s work, because of the critical role they play in terms of designing and implementing future classroom scenarios and supporting new forms of learning both in and out of school. The following initiatives are some of their latest projects in these fields.
ITELab – The Initial Teacher Education Lab Project
ITELab (Initial Teacher Education Lab) is a Knowledge Alliance project between higher education institutions and industry to foster innovation and knowledge exchange in initial teacher education. It is co-funded under the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme from January 2017 to December 2019.
Universities and companies will come together in ITELab and work with Ministries of Education, national ICT agencies, regional education authorities and other stakeholders (participating as Associate Partners) to address the issues of how student teachers currently receive training on the pedagogical use of ICT, and the mainstreaming of innovative pedagogical practice that involves ICT.
The new ITE University-Industry Forum that will be put in place during the project, will work with a wider group of stakeholders online and in three annual Capacity Development Workshops to establish and sustain this as a permanent network under the independently funded European Schoolnet Future Classroom Lab initiative.
The new open source course modules developed within this project will benefit all ITE educators across Europe.
The ITELab project enables organisations to participate as unfunded Associate Partners: they do not participate in project General Assembly meetings or having voting rights but ITELab aims to have an active engagement with a wide range of different stakeholders who have an interest in initial teacher education.
ITELab project partners are particularly interested in working with Associate Partners as members of the ITELab University- ICT Industry Forum:
- to review and discuss online the initial recommendation for how ITE curricula can be improved to better reflect the needs of new entrants to the profession related to the pedagogical use of ICT.
- to launch a programme of (recorded) webinars and online discussions for Associate Partners related to:
- leveraging/adapting existing teacher professional development resources so that they can be incorporated in ITE courses;
- rethinking how ITE curricula can be improved to provide student teachers with the competences they need for technology-enhanced teaching and learning and the design of the future classroom scenarios involving ICT;
- improving the ICT knowledge and competence of teacher educators;
- developing new policy-level initiatives to build better bridges between existing CPD programmes and ITE;
- making recommendations for how EC research programmes can support innovation within ITE.
The benefits for ITELab Associate Partners include having opportunities to:
- help shape the discussion by exchanging knowledge and ideas with the project partners;
- have early access to the modules for piloting in the Universities and the student MOOC;
- receive an invitation (one per associate partner) to participate in three ITELab capacity building workshops involving Ministries of Education at European Schoolnet’s annual EMINENT conference (November 2017, 2018, 2019);
- be recognised as an Associate Partner on the ITELab website and promotional materials.
School Education Gateway: Europe’s Online Platform for School Education
Presented in 23 European languages, the School Education Gateway is a single point of entry for teachers, school leaders, policy makers, experts and other professionals in the school education field.
On School Education Gateway you will gain new insights into Europe’s policy and practice in school education: short news articles, a calendar of events, and a collection of Good Practices from European projects and classrooms. You explore even opinions and ideas in school education provided through expert articles and video interviews.
You will as well find publications to stay informed, ready-to-use tutorials and teaching materials, from Europe for your classroom! Also, discover how the European Toolkit for Schools can help schools promote inclusive education and tackle early school leaving; or other topical resources, such as good practices and guidelines for entrepreneurial learning.
Teacher Academy allows teachers to discover a wide range of training opportunities and resources for their classroom. It consists of a central course catalogue with information on in-service onsite courses by independent course providers, School Education Gateway’s own free online courses, and a selection of teaching materials developed by eTwinning teachers, EU institutions and other EU-funded projects.
Schools across Europe can benefit from the funding opportunities provided by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme, including support for training courses and teaching assignments for professional development, or participation in project partnerships.
Teach-UP – Teacher Upskilling Policy Experimentation
TeachUP is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. It is a three-year policy experimentation project, which has just started, running from March 2017 to February 2020. It has 17 partners, including 11 Ministries of Education/representatives, 4 Initial Teacher Education institutions, 1 research organisation and 1 advisory partner.
The key objective of this policy experimentation project is to understand and measure what is the impact of providing online expert tutoring/mentoring on retention and learning achievement.
The project will create 4 courses (collaboration, personalised learning, formative assessment, creative thnking) to be delivered as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) under two separate instructional designs (peer support and mentor support) to a mixture of professional and student teachers who are sampled as part of a randomized control trial. The overall number of participants is targeted at 4,000. The MOOCs will be piloted in 10 countries (Austria, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, and Turkey) with the content and interface translated into each of the national languages.
Teach-UP is a policy experimentation which will investigate the following questions:
- To what extent does online tutoring/mentoring increase teacher retention in online courses?
- To what extent does online tutoring/mentoring improve teachers’ learning achievement?
- Does online tutoring/mentoring improve teachers’ self-regulated learning online?
- Is online tutoring/mentoring also cost-effective?
- How do peer-assessment and expert assessment vary and how are they valued by teachers?
The project has just started and is currently developing its website, but should you have any questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org