Shaping School Culture With Technology: Impact of Being an eTwinning School on Its Climate

Shaping School Culture With Technology: Impact of Being an eTwinning School on Its Climate

Lamia Büşra Yeşil (Uli-Wieland Grundschule Vöhringen, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1408-5.ch014

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the impact of using technology on school culture along with its effects on the organizational climate. The researcher uses a case school and reveals ethnographic research with sample activities. To identify the correlation between being an eTwinning school and its effect on the school culture, data were collected from a focus group consisting of 11 administrators and project coordinators in Turkey whose school is an eTwinning school. Their views about integrating technology to the school culture and their preferences on using Web 2.0 tools as a leader are questioned. The data obtained is analyzed and interpreted by descriptive analysis. According to the results, it appears that being an eTwinning school has a positive impact on the school culture. The schools that use technology most are characterized by innovation, sharing, collaborative work, and positive communication with stakeholders in terms of shaping their culture.
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Background

The word school culture relates to convictions, perceptions, interactions, attitudes, written and unwritten laws shaping and influencing every aspect of how a classroom works. Students, parents, educators, administrators, and other members all contribute to the culture of their school (The glossary of education reform, 2013). Peterson and Deal (1998) point out that a school with a positive school culture is a place with a shared sense of what is essential. There is a shared ethos of concern and caring and a mutual dedication to assisting students to learn (p. 29). Peterson and Deal further describe schools which have positive culture as:

  • Where teachers have a shared feeling of purpose, where they pour their hearts into education;

  • Where the fundamental standards of collegiality, enhancement, and hard work;

  • Where rituals and traditions celebrate student achievement, teacher innovation and parental engagement;

  • Where casual heroes network offers non-social data and assistance.

  • Where achievement, happiness, and humor abound (p.29).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Future Classroom Lab: Created by European Schoolnet, the Future Classroom Lab (FCL) is an inspirational learning environment in Brussels.

MEBBIS: It is an online system created by the Ministry of National Education in Turkey. Teachers, students, and parents can do many operations with this system. Thus, formal transactions are handled efficiently.

VMOSA: Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans is an effective planning process that helps to define a vision and develop practical ways to enact change.

Innovative Schools: Schools that are involved in innovative practices, promote collaboration among teachers, actively participate in international projects, and use digital technologies.

eTwinning: The community for schools in Europe. It is a secure internet platform that provides a range of activities in which schools can join both the national and international levels. It provides professional development opportunities for teachers.

European Schoolnet: European Schoolnet ( www.europeanschoolnet.org ) is the coordinating body of eTwinning at European level, on behalf of the European Commission.

eTwinning School Label: The eTwinning School Label is given to the schools in for their commitment to the creation of international collaborative projects through eTwinning.

Central Support Service (CSS): The European eTwinning office, run by European Schoolnet in Brussels. The CSS is responsible for the central coordination of eTwinning.

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