European IST project brings e-learning community closer together

European IST project brings e-learning community closer together Europe needs to make full use of the expertise and best practice available in the field of e-learning technology, concluded a meeting to launch a new user group for European organisations involved in the development of high tech learning objects for schools, on 28 March.

The ‘context eLearning with broadband technologies’ (CELEBRATE)   user group was created by a project of the same name, funded by the European   Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) programme of the Fifth   Framework Programme (FP5). The CELEBRATE project involves 22 partners from nine   Member States as well as Norway, Israel, and Hungary. With a budget of X 7 million,   the initiative is providing up to 500 schools in six countries with access to   affordable digital and online education.

With a view to reinforcing the initiative, the newly launched user group will   provide a community for European organisations such as educational publishers and content owners, public and private sector   developers of learning platforms and national and regional content repositories.   The user group is also expected to act as a bridge to international initiatives   developing learning objects for schools.

‘It is intended that the CELEBRATE user group will act as a catalyst   for the European eLearning content industry by providing a forum for schools   and national school networks producing open source material, commercial content   owners and publishers, and ICT [information communications technologies] learning   platform developers,’ said Ulf Lundin, director of the European Schoolnet,   the project co-oco-ordinator. Speaking at the launch, Mr Lundin outlined the   international dimension of this initiative and the work of the European Schoolnet.   ‘Schoolnet will also build on its existing relationships with international   initiatives such as Canada Schoolnet and the Learning Federation in Australia   to ensure that Europe not only exploits global standards related to the design   of Learning Objects but also makes full use of expertise and best practice related   to this field from around the world.’

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