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Research about eTwinning

2011  |  


Image_lupaThe National Support Service is pleased to present research projects by participants in eTwinning activities.





We present a news item on the thesis presented by María Luisa March Blasco, a counsellor in secondary education. This paper, undertaken under the guidance of the UNED (National Distance Education University) is entitled ' eTwinning and basic competences in the European Union' and is based on the application of the eTwinning progamme model as a driving initiative for the acquisition and development of basic competences. The thesis has also made it possible to study the impact of eTwinning activities as a support for the integration of both the formal and informal curricula, experimenting in virtual learning environments and interdisciplinary work and cultural exchanges.  

eTwinning and basic competences in the European Union.


eTwinning, Basic Competences, European Dimension of Education, Open Curricula, Collaborative Learning, Project Work, Information and Communication Technologies.


The movement generated by a series of documents published by the European Union has led to the reformulation of school curricula in the member countries around the concept of competence as the axis which configures the design and development of all educational levels. 

The networks of knowledge generated in educational institutions thanks to the introduction of telematic supports reinforce the need to participate in the Information Society, and necessitate the training of the students in a series of basic competences. Combined with collaborative learning this makes possible the use of ICTs as teaching elements of change in learning models. 

The eTwinning initiative, launched by the European Union, involves twinning two European schools using ICTs, thus entering more deeply into the idea of a school which is open to its surroundings and introducing a European dimension into the teaching-learning process, thus permitting the integration of the concept of European citizenship and the linguistic and cultural wealth of our continent. 

Taking the role of counsellor as the agent of change in schools, the general objective of the research has been to determine if the application of the eTwinning programmes positively influences the development of competences. 

Three groups were chosen from different locations as the population for the study: the eTwinning coordinating teachers in the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, the coordinating teachers in the region of Campania (Italy) and the coordinating teachers in other different European countries. According to the results obtained and their validation in the sample selection process used, a total of 69 projects from Andalusian schools, 3 projects from Italy and 10 projects form the rest of the European Union were studied. The samples invited to participate in the research coincided with the total population chosen.  

With regard to the experimental design chosen for the research, a mixed design was decided on based on the collection of quantitative and qualitative data. Several specially designed instruments were used in combination: an electronic questionnaire for the eTwinning project coordinating teachers in three languages, a semi-structured interview and other instruments for analyzing the contents of the eTwinnning portal.   
The type of analysis performed was in accord with the selected instruments. A comparison was also made between the data obtained in the present study and in previous research, and numerous common findings were revealed as well as some contrasts with regard to the profile of the eTwinning user, the projects and the results and benefits achieved. 

As a basic conclusion, there was a high degree of consensus among the teachers who considered that the application and development of eTwinning programmes in secondary education schools directly contributed to the acquisition and development of Basic Competences.  
The basis is formed by a series of interrelated competences which are acquired, developed and potentiated: Languages, Social Sciences and Citizenship and Learning to Learn. 

Other conclusions derived from the application of eTwinning programmes are: the integration of the formal and informal curricula, the use of the possibilities offered by virtual environments for learning, and the encouragement of interdisciplinary work and intercultural exchanges. This study opens the door to an ample and practically unknown field of research. 

You can hear the interview given by the author of the thesis to Spanish radio (RTVE): 



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