During the school year 2012/13, a Pilot Project began to show students different new didactic strategies on eTwinning platform, during the initial stages of their training.
The Teacher Training Institutes from different European countries worked together to achieve two main goals: to raise awareness of the processes and possibilities offered to their students by eTwinning and to involve their students in a short eTwinning project partnership. This new experience was a success and the second step was the meeting in Manchester in May 2014 that covered such topics as: overview of eTwinning and its opportunities for teachers; lessons learnt from Pilot Phase 1; partnership models for future partnerships.
Two years ago our Genoese University adventure started as well. In 2013 I cooperated as training teacher in a course about European Union teaching: “ Europe for very young people (L’Europa per i piccoli)”. This course was born thanks to a collaboration between “Centro in Europa” and Disfor (Department of Education) in Genoa. The University Professors, involved in the course, were very interested in the eTwinning Platform so the Professor Mrs Fausta Cacciabue organized a Laboratoty about eTwinning platform and its potentialities.
In 2014 the eTwinning lab started with forty students divided in two groups, they collected their lab activities in an ebook . Ten students of them participated in two Pilot Projects:
1) a group of Genoese students and a group of Florentine students shared their ideas during and after their training labs
2) three students planned an etwinning project with their tutors and they worked with classes (from January to June). Two students worked with primary pupils and one student worked with pre-school children.
I was the tutor of Irini Koustas Murcia, a Spanish University student who was in Italy thanks to an Erasmus+ project . We collaborated in a very interesting project about stereotypes “Respecting diversity and break down stereotypes”, which has just received the National Quality Label .
Irini, Mrs Cacciabue and I, talked about it during the second meeting on ” Teacher Training Pilot “, held in Brussels from May 26 to 27, whose outcomes were: the integration of eTwinning in the initial training of teachers in some Italian and European universities, the creation of pilot projects with the students’ direct participation in eTwinning projects in Europe and the formation of a European network of universities concerned to continue and expand more and more eTwinning platform.
Twenty universities exchanged methods and practices about eTwinning integration in the various initial teachers training. Students brought their experience in eTwinning projects, showing a great enthusiasm and motivation . For the National Support Services has been an excellent opportunity to develop, together with European Universities, a common strategy for monitoring the trial and plan future steps, looking for a sustainable way over time to allow for a greater number of universities to participate in this project.
The University of Florence, Genoa, Palermo and Milan Catholic cooperated with the Universities of United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, Denmark, Iceland and Flemish Belgium. In October 2015 the Teacher Training Pilot started again and other Italian University are planning to join it.
Armanda Magioncalda, Italian Ambassador- Primary School Teacher at “ Istituto Comprensivo Staglieno” , Genoa