Peer Review projects
Going back to the past and recalling the specific atmosphere of those years, what were the challenges that you wanted to address through the eLearning programme?
The overall objective of the eLearning programme was to "support and develop further the effective use of ICT in European education and training systems", which should constitute a crucial factor of "their adaptation to the needs of the knowledge society in a lifelong learning context". Under this framework, the programme addressed essentially the contribution of ICT in lifelong learning through the promotion of digital literacy, in particular for those with poor or no access to the technologies, the promotion of virtual mobility in higher education, the support to a Europe wide school networking scheme, including the training of teachers, and the dissemination, promotion and transfer of good and innovative practices of ICT use in education and training.
As underlying dimensions we can mention the contribution of ICT to strengthen social cohesion, to enhance the European dimension in education and to support the development of innovative teaching methods.
What do you think was particularly successful about the programme?
Although the programme was in general quite successful and cost-effective, I would put a very special emphasis on eTwinning, which is still a major ongoing European initiative in the field of school networking, supporting the exchange of innovative teaching methods and contributing to students' virtual mobility and teachers' professional development.The programme also successfully enhanced the European dimension in education and promoted co-operation between stakeholders in e-learning, for example in the fields of quality and open resources.
What are the most important lessons learnt?
The design and successful implementation of eTwinning, including the effectiveness of its funding model, demonstrates the potential of ICT to support innovative learning experiences, which would not be possible otherwise. It also shows the importance of integrating ICT in a coherent pedagogical project addressing clear needs and with the allocation of appropriate content and technical resources.
What are in your view the main challenges for the future of ICT in learning?
In my opinion the main challenge now is the full integration of ICT in education and training, both as a learning aid and a subject, implying the rethinking of organisation, curricula, teacher training and school infrastructure.
A particular effort should also be put in ensuring access to all, which would contribute to create the conditions favourable to increase participation in lifelong learning.Access the DOSSIER: eLearning programme 2000 - 2006: The Legacy to learn more about the eLearning programme
How did the project contribute to eLearning? How did the project improve possibilities for eLearning?
Within the project, we developed a model for exchanging good practices in e-learning between schools, teachers and policy makers. 9 European countries were involved in the project.
The project activities took place in nine countries and were divided among three strands of work:
- schools: these included visits of triads of schools among each other,
- inspectorates of education: inspectors from the three countries involved in the project visited each other and defined a common framework to assess ICT in schools
- ministries of education: policy makers from France, Lithuania and Spain/Catalonia visited each other in peer learning visits to learn how policy making was done in their national context
As a result a complete methodology and roadmap for peer learning was designed. Partners who contributed to the methodologies included partners from the UK and Switzerland and The Netherlands.
In your training and professional experience, what has facilitated access to the new technologies for education? What has created a barrier? And what are the problems you have faced?
The availability of equipment, broadband in the project schools was the facilitating element for the project. The difficulty has been faced during school visits in practical aspects such as arrangement of timetable and travels.
What impact has the eLearning programme and project had on the lives of beneficiaries/target groups?
The biggest benefit for the target groups, namely schools, teachers and policy makers, was to discover the developments in the use of ICT in other countries and schools, to share experiences and to observe ICT policies in detail.
What were the impacts of the project for the educational or wider community in project countries and in EU policy?
The project proved that peer learning at all levels is a very important added value and a lever for education.
In the policy strand for instance the Catalonian partners mentioned that as a result of the P2V peer learning activity concrete actions were taken to take in account what was learned during the workshop for policy making in Catalonia.
What was your experience of working with partners in other European countries? How did the inter-European scope enrich the project?
That was the real added value in the project. We observed how other schools and policy makers in other countries tackle with ICT and education. It was very productive for generation of new ideas.
How was the sustainability of the project ensured?
In the end of the P2V project, we produced a book in which all steps, activities are included. Still it's possible to find all project outcomes on project website. Also the partners are still using the models developed within the Project. For instance, in Austria, the peer to peer education model developed in P2V project is being used in all secondary schools as a result of the support given by the Ministry of Education.
Which are the most innovative approaches, instruments etc that could facilitate eLearning access? How?
Pedagogical project based on collaboration and constructivism.
What are the most important lessons you have learnt? What are therefore your key messages (max 3) for the future use of ICT in learning?
- Learning from past experiences, reinvent for real
- Build on the strength of teachers and schools
- Clear planning and evaluation in projects.