The European Schools Project (ESP) started in 1986.
A central concept was introduced and refined to structure computer-supported collaborative learning: the teleproject. The concept includes Internet-based collaboration between teachers and pupils around topics that are thought to be relevant for learning and teaching of all participants in the project.The topics demand active and authentic learning of the pupils. For the collaboration a mutual foreign language, and different digital tools electronic are used.
Since 1986 thousands of participating teachers/educators have designed and organized many thousands of international teleprojects, on hundreds different conversation topics, using many languages.Tens of thousands of pupils in many countries of the world, many of which European, have taken part in it.
Various aspects were researched, educational materials were developed and produced, examples of good practice gathered, and teacher education, both pre-service and in-service, organised.
And slowly ESP as educational network organisation emerged with a culture of generosity: as collaboration is at the heart of educational activities, One is no-one without the Other with whom the mutual learning is done.
Within the Comenius3 action the European Collaborative Learning ECOLE -network was created in 2001, in which is built both on ESP-experiences and expertise, and on Comenius best practices. Its aims focussed on making available web-based content for computer supported collaborative learning projects, e-learning courses for teachers’ professional development, information on new ICT-tools and electronic learning environments, and support for transforming Comenius projects into interactive electronic collaboration projects.
The theme of the network is ‘Educational Use of ICT’. ECOLE has one sister-network in this thematic area, the COMP@CT network. Comp@ct (Comenius Multimedia Projects and Communication Technologies) is an educational network supported by the European Commission under the 2001–2004 Socrates programme.
Its purpose is to help Comenius schools in their ICT-related project activities. Comp@ct has strong roots in this area as a result of experience gained from the CoMuNet and PICT thematic networks in a previous phase of activity since 1996.
By the end of 2004 ESP, ECOLE and Comp@ct faced the challenge of how to create a new larger collaborative open network organisation to which everyone can belong. Thus in March 2005 the different activities within ESP, ECOLE and COMP@CT were joined in a new international Association: the European Schools Project Association or ESP Association in short.
This Association has as aims to keep on improving learning, teaching and schools with the use of ICT by supporting mutual learning of pupils, students, teachers, educators, researchers within a virtual community.
The 25th year Anniversary book – issued in 2011, and composed by our honorary members Kirsten Anttila and Mogens Eriksen – will give you a very good impression. This book exists also in a pdf version and an epub version (for e-readers).