On 9th -11th May 2019 in Dublin, Ireland - the eTwinning School thematic conference took place with great success.
The eTwinning School Label is now in its second year and the conference provided the perfect opportunity to announce and celebrate the 1,004 schools awarded for 2019-2020. It was also the right moment to launch the eTwinning Schools Mission Statement.
During the three days of the conference, the eTwinning Schools were empowered to be role models in the world of education and had the opportunity to network with like-minded teachers from other countries.
On Thursday 9th May, the participants were welcomed by Senior Inspector Seamus Knox from Ireland’s Department of Education, and Cécile Le Clercq Senior Policy Officer, European Commission.
Both officials spoke highly of the eTwinning Schools. Mr Knox referred to the participants as “pioneers”, and Ms Le Clercq stressed the important role eTwinning schools play in to equipping teachers for the digital age.
The keynote address was given by Maureen O’Sullivan, Member of Parliament of the Republic of Ireland. During her speech, Ms O’Sullivan mentioned:
Young people from rural areas have the chance with eTwinning to mingle with young people in other countries (…) eTwinning raises the awareness of young people about gender equality and eSafety (…)
Finally, Ms O’Sullivan talked about how eTwinning reduces the risk of radicalisation among young people, by offering them the chance to meet and get to know people from other cultures.
The following day, the participants had the opportunity to follow a variety of workshops dealing with topics such as shared leadership, public speaking, collaboration, intercultural competences and inclusiveness, eSafety and many more.
During the last day of the conference, participants experienced an innovative plenary discussion. Davis College gave an interesting and interactive session with audience participation, during which they described a day in an eTwinning School.
Through the performance and interaction with the audience, it was clear that eTwinning can be used to deliver the curriculum, using innovative pedagogy and a wide variety of approaches. This directly leads to flexibility and excellent learning organisations.
Finally, the conference finished with Ronan O’ Sullivan, an enthusiastic eTwinning Ambassador talking about the eTwinning school in action.
“When I first discovered eTwinning
And saw how you guys were grinning
I took it to Mallow
Where learning was shallow
Now all my students are e-winning”