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eTwinning Friends – Support in Times of COVID19

eTwinning Friends is a network of international bodies, organisations and initiatives that share the same values as eTwinning. The eTwinning Friends Network helps eTwinning to expand its voice and messages further while helping eTwinners expand their skills by sharing their knowledge with them.

This has been proven particularly relevant during the times of school closures when eTwinning Friends proved true to their name, helping eTwinners by offering support and expert guidance on variety of topics.

In March Scientix held an online seminar to inspire and guide eTwinners to develop STEM projects related to the annual topic of Climate Change and Environmental Challenges. Furthermore, Scientix created an Online Meeting Room (SOMR) that was available to any teacher, Ministry of Education or STEM expert during the current COVID-19 lock-down period.

During the same month, the ambassadors of Europeana held an online seminar on how to adapt learning scenarios to online teaching. Additionally, Europeana worked on collecting resources for their portal by educators, aiming to provide and explore innovative and inspiring examples. These examples show how the cultural heritage sector is harnessing digital cultural heritage to respond to these challenging times.

In May, experts from EUROCLIO organised an online seminar introducing eTwinners to the educational toolkit they developed and how it can motivate, support and teach their students to make their own documentaries on recent European history. Furthermore, EUROCLIO has created a free, seven-part online course on online history teaching (recordings available).

In May as well Eco-Schools introduced eTwinners to their Seven Step methodology inspired by project-based learning and based on a whole school approach. This methodology provides students with a framework that helps them observe, study, understand and experience first-hand some of the most pressing environmental threats, all while implementing action for change through Seven Steps.

The latest friend to join the Friends Network, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), also held their first online event in May. UNHCR presented eTwinners with the complex issues of teaching refugees in the classroom, starting from the concept of refugees and how the concept is introduced in the classroom as well as the challenges that the refugee children face at the same time.

Better Internet for Kids (BIK) guided eTwinners on how to tackle disinformation, scams and fakes news. On their website BIK offers materials about the steps one has to take for making internet a safe place for all:

Anne Frank House held two seminars both in May and June on their online tool, Stories that Move. This free interactive website is available in five languages, offering five learning paths that help young people explore the impact of hate speech, exclusion and discrimination.

House of European History (HEH) created thematic activities in the classroom available in 24 languages and through their #HistoryHoarding series created short educational games for the kids’ indoor activities: