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Posted by Maria on February 27, 2011


Dear eTwinners,

While I was waiting for the announcement of eTwinning Prizes 2011, I thought of researching the history of this event. Especially, I would like to answer novice eTwinners’ querries about this competition so that they would feel prepared to initiate their own future virtual school partnerships. In what follows, I summarise my research findings in a question-and-answer format.

What have been the eTwinning prizes’ entry requirements?

First of all, the school partners’ projects must have won a European Quality Label by the Central Support Service (CSS). This distinction of excellence allows them to enter the competition, because it recognises that their joint works have got previously qualified with National Quality Labels (for two project partners, at least) by their respective National Support Services (NSS). In other words, their national accreditation has been carried out before the annual European assessment takes place. For example, the shortlist 2006 included projects from the 2004-2005 school year.

What have been the categories of the eTwinning prizes’ competition?

In 2006, the prizes were awarded to two broad age groups (5-12 and 13-19 year-olds) each of which was divided in three subcategories: school collaboration, pedagogical innovation and digital resources. However, in 2007, three age groups were formed (4-11, 12-15, 16-19 year-olds). In 2008, the boundaries of the age groups slightly changed (4-10, 11-14, 15-19 year-olds) and one special prize category was launched, that is the Science and Maths. In 2009, the age groups’ boundaries were the same as those in 2007, while one more special prize category was added, that of the French Language. Last year’s age categories did not change, neither have this year’s. Morever, in 2010’s competition two new special prize categories were introduced: the Spanish Language and the Creative Use of Digital Media. In 2011, there was no separate category for the creative use of ICT, while two all-new special prize categories, the Italian Language and the Language of a Neighbouring Country have been launched.

When and where did the prize-giving ceremonies take place?

From its very beginning, the prize-giving ceremony has been held during the annual eTwinning Conference. In this way, on 13 January 2006, the winners of the first eTwinning prizes were announced in Linz, Austria. Next, on 23 February 2007 the eTwinning prize winners were revealed in Brussels, Belgium, whereas on 16 March 2008 the ceremony took place in Bucharest, Romania. On 13 February 2009, the eTwinning finalists and winners’ announcement was celebrated in Prague, the Czech Republic and on 5 February 2010 in Seville, Spain. This year, on 31 March 2011, we are going to enjoy the awarding ceremony in Budapest, Hungary.

What has been the nationality of the winners?

Within the five-year’s celebration of eTwinning prizes, more and more European countries are embracing this initiative. So far, 33 NSSs have joined in which means that a multicultural and multilingual scenery has been created. Leaving aside any countries’ differences in terms of population, registered schools in eTwinning or their NSS’s entry year, I am giving a report of the winners’ nationality in overall numbers: Spain (12 times), Poland and Italy (10 times), Slovakia and Romania (7 times), France, Lithuania and the Czech Republic (5 times), Portugal (4 times), the United Kingdom, Malta, Norway, Germany, Greece, Sweden and Bulgaria (3 times), Finland, Belgium, Hungary, Latvia, Cyprus and Turkey (2 times), Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland and Slovenia (1 time).

NSS Countries Winners ΄06 Winners ΄07 Winners ΄08 Winners ΄09 Winners ΄10 Winners ΄11 Total
1 United Kingdom (UK) 1 0 1 0 1 3
2 Malta (MT) 1 0 0 0 2 3
3 Finland (FI) 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
4 Norway (NO) 1 0 0 0 1 1 3
5 Spain (ES) 1 1 1 1 5 3 12
6 Poland (PL) 1 1 1 2 4 1 10
7 Germany (DE) 1 0 1 0 1 3
8 Slovakia (SK) 2 1 0 1 2 1 7
9 France (FR) 1 0 1 1 1 1 5
10 Italy (IT) 2 1 1 1 2 3 10
11 Lithuania (LT) 1 1 1 0 2 5
12 Greece (GR) 2 0 0 0 0 1 3
13 Czech Republic (CZ) 1 1 0 2 1 5
14 Belgium (BE) 1 0 1 0 0 2
15 Sweden (SE) 0 0 1 1 1 3
16 Ireland (IE) 0 0 0 1 0 1
17 Portugal (PT) 0 0 0 2 2 4
18 Hungary (HU) 0 0 0 1 0 1 2
19 Romania (RO) 0 0 0 2 3 2 7
20 Latvia (LV) 0 0 0 1 1 2
21 Bulgaria (BG) 0 0 0 1 2 3
22 Austria (AT) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
23 Croatia (HR) 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 Cyprus (CY) 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
25 Denmark (DK) 0 0 0 0 1 1
26 Estonia (EE) 0 0 0 0 1 1
27 Iceland (IS) 0 0 0 0 1 1
28 Luxembourg (LU) 0 0 0 0 0 0
29 Netherlands (NL) 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 Slovenia (SI) 0 0 0 0 1 1
31 Turkey (TR) 0 0 0 0 1 1 2

What have been the subjects and topics of the awarded projects?

First and foremost, projects are crosscurricular while at the same time based on the national syllabus of each school subject. So far, school partnerships have chosen to work on various subjects, such as History, Literature, Art, Drama, Music, Citizenship, Social Studies/ Sociology, Religious Education, Geography, Maths/ Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Natural Sciences, Environmental Education, Health Studies, European Studies, Media Education, Classical Languages (Latin & Greek) and Modern Languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian). In addition, some vocational schools have selected more specialised subjects to deal with (Design and Technology, Economics). Also, sometimes, projects come as a follow-up of or as a starter for a Comenius partnership project. However, communication in one or more official European languages along with the use of ICT skills have been an integral part of their work process, but also sometimes among the main learning objectives to be achieved.

The topics tend to be practical, relevant to students’ everyday lives and interests, while aiming at their physical, psychological-emotional, cognitive and social development. Age categories differentiate with respect to the emphasis put on each of them, yet successful projects have greatly involved students (teachers and, sometimes, the entire community), encouraged them to be more active learners and citizens, increased their motivation, self-expression and creativity, whereas they have fostered friendships. Some of the projects have dealt with international themes (Cyberbullying, social networking tools, migration, European identity, variety of religions), whereas others with intercultural ones (food habits, lifestyles, attitudes, costumes, traditions, folklore, monuments, famous places, myths and legends, fairy tales, significant dates in the year).

What are the tools preferred by the winners?

The winning projects have used the eTwinning Desktop Tools, the TwinSpace Tools, virtual learning environments (communities, virtual classes), audio/video conferencing, forums, chats, blogs and podcasts, galleries of ecards and photos, multimedia material, tools of social networking, wikis, software for presentations, pictures and drawings, math software, videos, digital resources, Google maps and emails, of course.

What are the skills developed and the winning products?

First of all, students have worked in teams to carry out their various tasks. They have done some library and/or WWW research, exchanged cultural information, discussed, commented and evaluated partners’ works, searched for differences and similarities in their cultural and linguistic heritage. Moreover, they have shared experiences and opinions, given feedback on media material and developed their understanding, appreciation and respect for other cultures.

Catering for the skills above means that the students have also improved their language and ICT skills. Apart from traditional reading and writing on-paper skills, they have practised online reading, blogging, recording audio-visual digital formats, producing films, making online journals, uploading digital material, creating mind-maps, taking interviews and reporting on school events. Among other things, school partners have collaborated on articles, poems, short stories, critical essays, guide tips for film making, film reviews and active ways of learning languages for more autonomous learning.

What is the evaluation process?

Firstly, the applications are judged by a national panel and secondly by a European one. In this way, various shortlists are proposed till the last stage whereby an independent panel of experts from the European Commission, the Pedagogical Advisory Group for eTwinning, the Central Support Service, and national Ministries of Education make the final decision.

From the outset of the competition, projects have been ranked with respect to achieving outstanding school collaboration and interaction, pedagogically appropriate innovation (e.g. to the age of pupils) and lots of creative, purposeful digital resources. Besides, the projects’ sustainability and transferability characteristics as well as their benefits and tangible outcomes are highly praised. Finally, legal and ethical issues have to be properly addressed.

What were the awards for pupils and their teachers respectively?

Students and teachers alike gain learning experiences in an enjoyable way. They share opinions and ideas, open up their schools to other European cultures and develop themselves as individuals and professionals. Yet, eTwinning awards aim to enhance these advantages by granting prizes to winners and runners-up.
In particular, the first prizes were educational trips for teachers and students to eTwinning Camps in Lanzarote (April 2006), in Sicily (April 2007), in Vimeiro (May 2008), in Thessaloniki (April 2009) and in Malaga (September/October 2010). The special categories have been sponsored by various stakeholders (European Schoolnet, eSkills Week, the Spanish Ministry of Education, the eTwinning National Support Service in France, the eTwinning National Support Service in Italy and Accademia della Crusca, the European Commission’s Multilingualism unit, the eTwinning National Support Service in Hungary), with prizes such as study grants, school equipment or participation to conferences. The runners-up (teachers) have participated in professional development European workshops and teacher training events.

Reference Weblinks
eTwinning portal
Schools in Europe achieve creativity and innovation through eTwinning online projects
35,000 schools now involved in eTwinning virtual school partnerships
eTwinning: ‘Virtual’ European school partnerships come of age
eTwinning: 10,000 schools are now registered!
eTwinning: conference in Linz to celebrate the achievements of the ‘virtual’ school partnerships
eTwinning : a new initiative from the European Commission (Questions and Answers)
eTwinning Conference Linz, 13 January 2006
eTwinning Conference Brussels, 14 January 2005
eTwinning: a virtual place for real creativity
eTwinning 2.0: Building the community for schools in Europe
eTwinning: Online school partnerships celebrate their fifth anniversary
Schools in Europe show creativity and innovation through eTwinning online projects
Cyber-community for schools
eTwinning Prizes 2009: the five winning projects


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eTwinning Magazine January

Posted by Maria on January 22, 2011

January magazine

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eTwinning Radio

Posted by Maria on September 27, 2010

dj Stay tuned!

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News pieces from September

Posted by Maria on September 26, 2010

Hello eTwinners all over Europe!

Welcome back (from summer vacations)!
I believe that you will have started to teach and planning ahead for the new school year. As an eTwinning member, I should admit that I have felt nice working with colleagues from various educational backgrounds while participating in the previous year’s Learning Labs events. I hope that in the future we will have the opportunity to further collaborate in some school projects.
So, wishing to share more with you, I will keep reporting on the latest news concerning the Greek National Support Service (NSS) actions.

5th National eTwinning competition
Did you carry out an eTwinning project with Greek partners in the school years 2008-09 and/or 2009-10? Was it awarded with the National Quality Label? Have you talked with them recently? Well, you must be wondering why I am asking all these questions…… The reason is that your Greek school counterpart can apply for the 5th National eTwinning competition.
How much time is left? Within four days’ time they must submit their entries unless they have already done so.

A few things about the rules
The competition is aimed at students’ groups of a wide age range (5-12, 13-15 and 16-19 years old): Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools. Apart from those categories, the projects under selection cover two additional ones, that is a Comenius-eTwinning and an Environmental theme. Applicants’ submissions are eligible only for one of these five categories.
The evaluation scheme is going to take place in two stages. At the first stage, five candidates will be shortlisted for each category while, at the second final stage, two will be awarded a prize. Among the selection criteria, special emphasis is placed on the Twinblog progress reports and the publication of their project outcomes, but also on the sufficient completion of the application form fields.

Awards ceremony – Attendance of the event
The ceremony event is going to be held at the premises of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs in October/November 2010 on a date to be announced. The ten winners will be rewarded with trips to attend Professional Development European Workshops and/or ICT equipment for the school institutions and their students.

For entries submission, you can click here

Hurry up! 🙂

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Extension Date for e2inning Ambs

Posted by Maria on August 4, 2010

Hello, everyone!

If you have already come across the previous post, but you did not manage to apply for the vacancies in time, you should cheer up!??????
It is not too late! A new deadline for eTwinning ambassadors has been announced. That is August 9, 2010, at 2:00 p.m.
Why are you so lucky?
Once more technology has saved you time! Technical problems in the operation of the Greek School Network were reported by candidates from July 30, 2010 to August 2, 2010. Afterwards came the announcement of the extension……
So, for your convenience, you can click here to find the online application form. GOOD LUCK with your adult trainees!

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4-seasons eTwinning in Greece

Posted by Maria on July 28, 2010

You must be wondering what is so urgent for another blogpost……….Well, summertime appears to be a much promising and active season for eTwinners. So, if you have run across this news, I strongly recommend you keep reading it through.

The Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning & Religious Affairs is interested in recruiting 15 volunteer “ambassadors” for a two school year period of service. Teachers that live and work in the administrative regions of Attica, Central Macedonia, Western Greece, Central Greece, Eastern Macedonia & Thrace, Peloponnese, Western Macedonia, Thessalia, Crete, Hpeiros, Ionian Sea Islands, South Aegean and North Aegean Sea Islands can apply for those positions.

Are there any qualifications? Yes….
If you have taught for about three to five years in the primary or secondary education and you hold a certificate of English language proficiency at a B2 level, why don’t you start thinking about it?
In addition, if you have carried out successfully an eTwinning project partnership or another programme at a European or international level and you have integrated ICT in your teaching context, I suggest you consider yourself seriously for those vacancies. Moreover, if you have certified your ICT skills, you should not spend even a minute on having second thoughts.

What’s next?
Any matching candidates are asked to complete an online application form at the website of the Greek National Support Service (NSS) till 2nd of August 2010. To access this, you can click here.

But what about the duties of eTwinning ambassadors?
1. They monitor the progress of projects carried out by schools and individual teachers in the region under their supervision.
2. They organise and evaluate two workshops (at least) in the largest towns of their region.
3. They write a short report of actions taken every four months and submit it to the eTwinning NSS.
4. They report their participation in workshops, seminars and conferences about the eTwinning action to the NSS
5. They regularly use e-learning tools which have been adopted and supported by the NSS.
6. They take part and support other actions of the NSS on a local basis.

Are you feeling uneasy or even perplexed?
You should not worry at all because you can count on the NSS. The chosen ambassadors are going to participate in training programmes by the NSS at the beginning of the following two school years (2010-2011 and 2011-2012).

By the way, did you miss the opportunity to help beat the target of 5,000 wishes for eTwinning 5th anniversary? You can make up for it here. The renewed deadline is December 31st, 2010. Good luck!!!

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Greek NSS for eTwinning

Posted by Maria on June 13, 2010

Launched in 2005 as the main action of the European Commission’s eLearning Programme, eTwinning has been firmly integrated in the Lifelong Learning Programme since 2007. Its Central Support Service is operated by European Schoolnet, an international partnership of 26 European Ministries of Education developing learning for schools, teachers and pupils across Europe. eTwinning is further supported at national level by 30 National Support Services.
from An Overview of eTwinning-The Community for schools in Europe

The NSS role is to represent and promote the eTwinning Action locally. Their main activities include:

the training of eTwinning ambassadors, that is an eTwinning representative body of teachers across the country
the organisation of information events
the participation in decision-making for the prospects of eTwinning Action along with the rest NSSs, the Central Support Service (CSS) and the European Commission representative
the organisation of professional development workshops for teachers who have already taken up an eTwinning project, but also for those who wish to do so. Such seminars aim to enhance European schools collaboration with the support of ICT.
the monitoring and evaluation of national partnerships eTwinning projects
the national award-giving ceremony for the best eTwinning projects annually

The Greek NSS can be reached by the web address, the email at, by telephone number 801 11 38946 and mailform. To stay tuned with interesting news, you have the option of subscribing to the NSS NewsLetter, to the RSS or even you could access their archive for some background information.

The Greek NSS has lately initiated a course of 3-week online seminars (on the moodle platform) to meet the eTwinning teachers’ needs. After a press release announcement, interested candidates are asked to complete an online application form to attend the seminar. The selection process is in priority order while the accepted number of trainees can range from 25 to 50. This means that you need to be on the alert. After successful completion of the seminar, certificates of attendance are provided.
So far the Greek NSS has held a seminar on the project methodogy of eTwinning and its effective implementation in the school curriculum (26/04/2010 – 16/05/2010) while a new one starts from tomorrow till 4 July 2010. Its learning objectives are getting teachers familiar with some Web 2.0 tools (Gmail, FlashMeeting, Blogger) as alternative ways to Twinspace and Twinblog working environments.The next seminar is going to be about Multimedia tools (Gimp and Movie Maker) for eTwinning (21/06/2010 to 11/07/2010). The opening date for applications’ submission is June, 14th 12pm and the deadline is June, 16th.
Even if you have missed those, you should feel lucky because more online seminars are going to be held. So, be generous and spread the news…..

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"5,000 wishes for the eTwinning" from Greece

Posted by Maria on April 25, 2010

The Greek National Support Service has arranged to create “a book of wishes” to celebrate the eTwinning 5th anniversary.

Are they going to beat their target?

They have decided to make the biggest online “book of wishes” in Europe!
Everybody must write creative wishes in Greek or in any other foreign language so that they could show Europe how much supportive Greece is to eTwinning. Their target is to collect 5,000 birthday wishes by 5th May 2010.

Will you join in?
You can write your own wish on this webpage 

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Happy birthday eTwinning!

Posted by Maria on April 18, 2010

On 5th May 2010, eTwinning is turning five years old!
So, you can click on the picture






to find out more information about that day

and sing with your friends, colleagues, classmates:


“Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear eTwinners,
Happy birthday to you!”


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eTwinning is possible for …

Posted by Maria on April 9, 2010

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