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European Schoolnet - in a class of its own

Information and communication technology is changing the way we learn. The European Schoolnet aims to help the education community maximise the benefits of these changes by providing an on-line framework for co-operation between schools.


Background


Europe has entered ...
Information and communication technology is changing the way we learn. The European Schoolnet aims to help the education community maximise the benefits of these changes by providing an on-line framework for co-operation between schools.


Background


Europe has entered the era of e-learning. Schools are using computers across the curriculum, and more and more schools are now on the Internet. The advantages of information and communication technology (ICT) are clear: it can better stimulate creative learning; it can link schools to vast information networks and it allows children to work together all over the world. To reap the benefits of the Internet for schools and teachers, 18 European Ministries of Education have set up the European Schoolnet (EUN) to provide resources and services to schools and a framework where the educational community can address issues regarding ICT and learning.


Description, impact and results


EUN encourages co-operation between schools so that the more advanced can help those with limited resources. It offers teaching material and services; support for teacher training; will allow schools to share experiences and give examples of best practice; and will develop common technical and educational guidelines so that schools can learn and grow together. A group of experienced IT teachers from all over Europe will be on hand to help colleagues set up Internet projects with other schools. There will be a special network of 500 `innovative schools' to serve as test cases for research. A Technical Strategy Forum will bring together experts responsible for current national school networks, and the project will be managed on-line, with services as automated as possible so that users can add content themselves.


Working partnerships


Originally fWithin the Fifth Framework Programme, theunded under the Fourth Framework Programme, EUN belongs is now managed byto the Fifth Framework Programme's Information Society Technologies (IST) thematic programme and the Educational Multimedia Task Force, which is run jointly by the DG Enterprise Information Society DG and Education & Culture DGs and DGXXII (Socrates programme). The EUN was conceived as a network of networks building on the vast resources provided by national and regional school networks. These networks, and the specific projects set up under the Educational Multimedia Task Force and the Fourth Framework Programme, contribute actual resources, such as source libraries where digital audio and video material is stored, and which make up a `virtual school' where teachers, parents and students can meet. The whole process will feed back to software manufacturers so that programs can be developed to meet actual educational needs.


Source: European Commission, DG XIII/D.4 - Information and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge
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