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The European experience with ICT in education: The European SchoolNet (EUN)

A plenary panel session by

Jens Christenson, Ulf Lundin, Carlos Triay and Erno Lehtonen
European SchoolNet

Some background to the European SchoolNet
The European Schoolnet [EUN:] exists to help develop learning opportunities for young people across Europe through communication and information exchange at all levels. Its activities are determined by the needs of the constituent members: 23 ministries of education, the European Commission, and ICT industry partners. It was established in March 1997 when the Ministers of Education of the European Union and the European Commission agreed to a proposal from Sweden. European Schoolnet was officially launched in September 1998 after the adoption of a formal EUN Agreement in Lisbon in June 1998. The decision-making body of European Schoolnet is its Steering Committee, which is composed of one representative from each of the participating ministries. The management of European Schoolnet is the responsibility of the EUN Office in Brussels with a truly European staff currently numbering some 30 people. Basic funding of European Schoolnet is provided by the Ministries of Education. In addition, the EUN manages and is involved in a number of projects supported by the European Commission within the framework of the education and R&D programmes of the European Union.

The aims of the EUN are designed to meet the evolving needs of teachers and learners and to align with national and Commission forward plans. They are:

  1. To build a rich, multi-lingual European community for innovation and collaboration in educational policy and practice;
  2. To act as a seamless European gateway to national and regional education networks and their resources and services;
  3. To foster technical innovation, interoperability and common standards;
  4. To build a strong and effective EUN providing synergy and European added value in a networked world.
The work plan describes 18 tasks based on the above aims and objectives.

Highlights of recent months
In a constantly changing political, economic, technological and educational climate, EUN has continued to make headway. Among a number of successes, some particular achievements since November 2000 are:

The panel will discuss the EU research programme on Technology Enhanced Learning. They will also explore Australian support for research and technological development. Further discussion will detail projects such as the Learning Project Cluster and the European Schoolnet. Finally discussion will focus on the advantages of international co-operation.
Please cite as: Christenson, J., Lundin, U., Triay, C. and Lehtonen, E. (2002). The European experience with ICT in education: The European SchoolNet (EUN). In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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