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European Schoolnet (EUN)

by C. Langenegger; CTIE


  Launched within the European Framework programme "Learning in the Information Society" on a proposal of the Swedish Minister of Education, this project is supporting the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. It will decide on priorities and contribute to action points to create a European Schoolnet based on a multimedia communication platform (
http://www.eun.org). This network is build for the benefit of European schools and will offer an environment within which national educational authorities, universities and industry actors can work together to promote ITC use in training based on robust contents and pedagogical principles.


 

The initiative will ensure the interoperability of schools' networks of networks as they develop in each member state and provide a model platform giving teachers and pupils access to high quality information and services with European added value. It will bring important contributions to the evolution of syllabuses, school programs and teacher training schemes illustrated by good practice examples already available in member states.


  The EUN European Schoolnet is not limited to European Community members: currently, it includes Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. All states who have sibscribed to the Agreement on EUN are membres of the EUN Consortium.

  From the operational point of view, a model platform exists on the Internet and offers access to
pupils and teachers alike at quality information and services. A set of multimedia tools shall pave the way for the cration of a virtual classroom and a virtual resource centre for teachers' professional development. Moreover useful state-of-the-art resources are being included to help the introduction of ICTs in schools.

  EUN is not just another European Project: it is a strategic initiative emanating from eighteen Ministries of Education in Europe collaborating with the European Commission. It is the first time that the development and use of ITC in education has the support of such high-level agencies and with such wide a scope bringing together the major actors of the information technologies industry.

  The Swiss participation to this
multilingual and multicultural initiative is of foremost importance: it aptly matches the basic goals of an Educational policy open to other cultures and to the application of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning.

  The CTIE (Centre for information technologies in education) has been given the mandate by the
Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science (OFES) of co-ordinating the Swiss participation to the EUN Schoolnet.

   Four key Swiss institutes are involved in this effort:

- the Federal Office for Education and Science (OFES) in Berne;
- the
Centre pédagogique des technologies de l'information et de la communication (CPTIC) in Geneva;
- the
Educational Technologies Unit (TECFA) of the Faculty of psychology and educational sciences of the Geneva university and
- the
CTIE in Berne.

  These institutions will guarantee that Switzerland will have a role to play within the different work packages of the project, be it in the Steering Committee, the Editorial board (responsible for the contents of the EUN project), the Communication Group or the Technical Group.

CPTIC will contribute to the evaluation and analysis of multimedia authoring systems and their impact on teaching and learning. Thanks to its long term experience (since more than 10 years) with the professional development of teachers through the use of ICT, the CPTIC will bring an essential partnership. CPTIC will also provide for the dissemination of the knowledge acquired through the activities accomplished in its part of the project.

The
TECFA will be active in a group that construct an application distinct from actual standards and that will supply the project with a virtual workspace. A component of the EUN platform, it will provide pedagogical and technical tools for collaborative and co-operative groupwork.

TECFA will also contribute to the development of a 3-D interface for a virtual library, that will be the basis of a educational site in a very innovative format.

The
CTIE is involved in the European Network of Innovative schools (ENIS): a network of 500 schools, proven centres of excellence in pedagogical ICT activities. This part of the project will supply a strong basis for future ICT-related projects in education. Additional measure will be developed to support schools in their effort to use more efficiently ICT resources in learning and teaching environments.


  The Swiss Group in charge of EUN Schoolnet-CH will provide regular information to concerned circles and people on the work and advance of the project.

© CTIE 1999

 

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24.3.99