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European School Education Platform
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How can small and rural schools benefit from eTwinning?

When rural schools open to the world with eTwinning.
Collage of two pictures. Children walking to school in Maldegem (Belgium) and river in Vireux-Wallerand (France)

Rural areas make up a significant part of the European Union, however they are often underpopulated and have ageing populations. Small and rural schools are faced with common challenges: their remote locations mean that they can feel distant from educational resources, teachers have limited access to professional development opportunities and pupils can feel isolated.

But these challenges can also become opportunities. A strong sense of community and parental involvement can enrich pupils’ experiences. In mixed and small-size classrooms, teachers get to know each pupil well so they can give them extra help if they need it. As classes are smaller, pupils can work together on projects more easily, help each other and make decisions collectively with their teacher.

 

eTwinning connects rural students to the world

 

We visited two rural schools where eTwinning plays an important role in shaping  pupils’ learning experiences: De Driesprong in Maldegem, Belgium and Collège Charles Bruneau in Vireux-Wallerand, France.

 

 

For De Driesprong, eTwinning has provided opportunities to bring the world into the classroom. It has allowed pupils to connect with children from other countries from a very young age, while improving their language skills.

eTwinning also benefits teachers – bringing in new dimensions of teaching, motivation and creativity. By collaborating with teachers from other countries, they can share and learn from each other.

In Collège Charles Bruneau, eTwinning shows pupils that they can succeed outside of their region. Working with children from throughout Europe has made their pupils feel more curious about and closer to other European countries.

 

eTwinning supports the professional development of rural teachers  

 

eTwinning inspires teachers to develop innovative teaching methodologies. Many teachers have stressed that cross-border collaboration keeps them motivated, and increases the quality of their work. With eTwinning they have become more familiar with ICT tools and have improved their digital skills.

In recent years, eTwinning has offered online courses, webinars and onsite workshops that focus on the challenges and opportunities at rural schools, with the aim of equipping teachers with new ideas, tools and practices to implement in their classrooms.

 

Small and remote rural schools eTwinning community

 

Since 2022, the Small and remote rural schools eTwinning group has provided a space for eTwinners to share their common goals. If you’re an eTwinner, join the group to participate in professional development activities, contribute to collaborative articles, share ideas for projects and network with other eTwinners.

 

Additional information

  • Area:
    Rural
  • Education type:
    Early Childhood Education and Care
    School Education
  • Target audience:
    Teacher
    Student Teacher
    Head Teacher / Principal
    Teacher Educator
  • Target audience ISCED:
    Early childhood education (ISCED 0)
    Primary education (ISCED 1)
    Lower secondary education (ISCED 2)
    Upper secondary education (ISCED 3)