Teacher networks diffusing innovation -the case of eTwinning
Teacher networks diffusing innovation - the case of eTwinning Dr. Riina Vuorikari Independent expert Scaling up ICT–enabled innovation for learning IPTS, Sevilla, Spain 12.12.2012
Who am I?Dr. Riina Vuorikari from Finland • First training: teacher in Finland, studying abroad (exchange and postgraduate studies) e.g. hypermedia, web, research, Doctoral (‘09) • 2000-2011 in European Schoolnet as Senior Research Analyst and Project Manager • 2012 -> “free agent”, Research-based education innovation • www. Riinavuorikari.net; http://twitter.com/vuorikari
What is eTwinning? - Brief history – - Contextual background – - Stakeholders involved -
A Lifelong Learning Programme initiative - within Comenius Launched January 20052005-2008 Phase 12008-2013 Phase 2 2014 Entering Phase 3 - within « Erasmus for all »
eTwinning stakeholders1. eTwinners • Teachers from various participating countreis 2. Central Support Service • General co-ordination (run by European Schoolnet) • Platform, services (service provider, data processor) 3. National Support Service in each participating country 4. EC (contractor, data controller)
33 countries, the portal 25 languageswww.etwinning.net -‐ new extension.. is the heart of of eTwinning
eTwinning offers:1. Cross-border school projects • Using Information and Communication Technologies 2. Formal and informal professional development • On-line: distance courses and online interest for teachers, • Off-line: Professional Development Workshops, national meetings 3. Social networking tools
The context of innovation - teachers’ cooperation within a network -
Tellnet publication, In your bags! eTwinning report, early next year!
eTwinning -spreading apositive virus calledpedagogical innovation! How is it possible?
eTwinning brings many existing school collaboration and school outreach projects under the same umberella!Think of Silicon Valley!
Channels through whichinformation, ideas and innovation flow =
In order to pass on the virus, there needs tobe people around who can get it. If you work inisolation, you cannotcontaminate anyone!
What are teacher networks?• Learning networks, i.e. technology-supported Context 1. communities – learners share knowledge with one another – jointly develop new knowledge • Include various forms of teachers’ co-operation, • i.e. teaches working together in groups or teams to improve educational processes and outcomes (OECD, 2009) • Can exist on many levels – within a school – across schools at regional, national and international level
What are teacher networks?• More and more often, blended networks => digital world is mixed with the physical one Context 1. Like our lives too!• Contribute to the quality of – the teaching profession and – the learning experience of students – by encouraging collaboration and knowledge exchange at both teacher and student level
Social Network Analysis (SNA) for teacher networksContext 2. Scale-free network created by bottom- up interactions
Does social capital exist in eTwinning?• Social capital • ability of actors to derive beneﬁts from their membership in social networks " • a property of the teachers and of groups Gatekeeper
Teachers’ co-operation Context 3.• The TALIS studied various forms of teachers working together (OECD, 2009) • Possible to group activities: 1. Exchange and co-ordination for teaching – e.g. exchange teaching materials with colleagues Groups, 2. Professional collaboration Teachers’ rooms – e.g. Engage in joint activities across different classes and age groups (e.g. projects) – Teach jointly as a teameTwinningprojects!
Benefits of teachers’ co-operation • Co-operation among staff creates opportunities for – social and emotional support, – exchange of ideas and – practical advice. • It can enhance – professionalism, – feelings of self-efficacy and – prevent stress and “burnout” • Different kinds of collaboration may not have the same effects!
De-privatisation of teaching practice• means that teachers observe each other, give feedback, and act as mentor, advisor or specialist • teachers who report being involved in such activities regularly also have higher self-efficacyOECD, 2012: Teaching Practices and Pedagogical Innovations
Context 4. “ more than half of the teachers surveyed reported having wanted more professional development than they had received.” Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) OECD, 2009
Teachers’ long term engagement in eTwinning and personal PD 1 out 7 of “old-timers” keep coming back!
eTwinning reach =number of eTwinners / number of teachers In 2012, on average, 3.3% of European teachers are eTwinners
School as a unit of study• Close to 100’000 schools in eTwinning • 26% of eTwinning schools have 2 or more teachers • School teams focus of monitoring in 2012 • eTwinning team: Two or more educational professionals (e.g. teachers, librarians) working together on eTwinning activities (one project vs. separate ones) • 24 case studies in 15 countries Context 6.
School teams: key factors1. Lead teacher(s) • A key role in inspiring and organising the work • Thier motivation as a vital component for the stability of the innovation (e.g. Nachmias et al. 2004) • One of the most affecting factors in ICT-supported pedagogic innovation (Forkosh-Baruch et al., 2008) 2. Rich innovation history • Richer the innovation history, the more expertise and cooperation in the application of the innovation (Nachmias et al. 2004) • For 4 (out of 24) schools eTwinning was the beginning3. Supportive school head
eTwinning teams in schools Examples of “professional learning communities”*• A shared vision• High level of co-operation among educational professionals• Shared practices (e.g.focus on learning, de- privatisation of teaching)• Coherent activities of professional development (e.g. reflective inquiry) *OECD, 2012Teaching Practices and Pedagogical Innovations
To conclude: Benefits of eTwinning for schools
eTwinning benefits1. Variety of pedagogical practices in the class • e.g. Project-based pedagogies, ICT, authentic learning, play 2. Professional development through co-operation • Within the school, e.g. eTwinning teams • Across schools, e.g. local co-operation, networking • With other stakeholders, e.g. learning beyond school walls 3. School vision and mission • eTwinning (e.g. ICT, internationalisation, collaboration, project based learning) part of it