The story of an award: How Heritage Got the eTwinning European Prize
English Teacher and Global Learning Coordinator at Heritage
Recognised award-winning eTwinning ambassador
In February I was extremely happy to find out that one of our eTwinning projects – “Heritage M@tters” – was the winner of the European Prize. I felt extremely lucky, as after one year of work on it (we ran the project in the 2017-2018 school year), this autumn I was awarded the National Quality Label, then later the European Quality Label, and now we got the highest award in eTwinning – the European Prize. To be more concrete, out of 860 projects submitted in the competition, only 8 projects received this prize for the 4 age categories, and 8 projects received it for the special categories.
Our “Heritage M@tters” project won in one of the special categories and received Yunus Emre Prize for Humanism and Intercultural Understanding (Prize sponsored by the eTwinning National Support Service of Turkey).
Heritage International School is part of eTwinning community of schools, due to teachers who are part of this online learning community of schools in Europe. There are several eTwinners in Heritage – teachers that are active in eTwinning – but personally I run the eTwinning Club twice a week, as I want to give Heritage students the chance to get in touch with students from other European schools through active collaboration, communication and the use of ICT. Because this is what eTwinning is all about. It is not just entertainment and use of ICT, but also learning and producing outcomes together, in a collaborative way.
We joined the project “Heritage M@tters” in January 2019, as I found out about it just before Christmas, in December 2018. The project was presented at eTwinning Final Conference in Moldova by a Romanian eTwinning Ambassador, Emese Campean. The project had started earlier in autumn, and had only one activity on human rights done.
Together with my amazing Heritage students we managed to do a lot of activities at our eTwinning Club. First, we had a live reading session with our European partners on World Read Aloud Day. We read excerpts from letters in „Anne Frank Diary”, as people worldwide commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust that happened during the World War 2 on Holocaust Remembrance Day – at end of January. As we educate global citizens in Heritage, they must be aware of the events occurring in the world they are part of. Even more so should they learn from the mistakes of the past and make our country and countries a better place to live in.
Also, students had to write articles about several topics referring to our national heritage, such as gastronomy, monuments, poets and writers, books and music, traditional costumes, places to visit, etc. They had to create collaboratively an article in Google Docs about a national hero, after having discussed and selected the hero together as a team, voting for the favourite option). All project partners (Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Germany, Moldova, Romania and Belgium) had to present their own national hero and collect them all in an online magazine, entitled „Our Heroes”. You can view it by clicking here. Our teams got together online and played a Kahoot quiz synchronously on all the heroes submitted in the magazine.
As a final product, we created together on Google Sites our project’s site (click here to view it). Being from different European countries, and exhibiting different traditions and heritage, our site was named „What is a European”. You can’t imagine what enthusiasm it was for students to discover their partners’ schools, countries, cuisine, famous personalities and life in general! At the same time, it made them get a national pride and show the best they have in their own respective country.
Finally, I would like to add that this is the 3rd European Prize that Moldova got for an eTwinning project since the 2013 launch here, out of the hundreds run yearly. And “Heritage M@tters” is the first such award for our Heritage International School. It made me feel proud of our common work. What else, if not international collaboration, could develop better international mindedness, tolerance and acceptance in our disciples?
Read more >>>
1. An interview in Poland about eTwinning and this project
2. Tatiana’s weekly journal for Radio Free Europe in March