The overall objective of the Community of practice, developed in the pilot schools, is to develop a support system for the schools that are part of the project. The Community of practice will include the development of a virtual community of practitioners through virtual and in-person meetings, comprehensive support provided to the project stakeholders regarding the use of the resources provided as part of the project, as well as the monitoring and stimulation of the implementation of the stakeholders’ project activities.
The “e-Schools – Virtual Community of Practice” network will be established within the Yammer business social network with the goal of connecting the school employees to communicate and share examples of good practice in the use of ICT in education. Within the network itself, different groups will be created – for science teachers (biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics), principals, school project managers, administrators and e-School technicians. However, additional new groups can also be created at the initiative of other teachers and in accordance with the preferences and needs of teachers and students (for instance, a group for teachers of primary grades 1 to 4).
The Yammer network will be used to systematically and continuously encourage users to actively cooperate in the community using educational webinars on the use and possibilities of the application of Yammer in the operation of schools and in teaching, virtual environment and in-person teachmeets in the Regional Training Centres (ROC), at workshops and Birds of Feather (BoF) events as part of the CARNet Users Conference (CUC ), at conferences of Modern Technologies in Education (MTE ) as well as during organised exchange visits to innovative schools that are part of the project.
User support for schools that are part of the project will also be organised, which is envisaged as having three components:
- Centralised user support for services developed within the pilot project, provided by the Helpdesk for the support of the educational system, via usual communication channels, but also via the Yammer network. The Helpdesk coordinates the communication with the schools and their founders, replies to inquiries related to the project and offers support for the use of the services and contents developed as part of the project.
- Distributed technical assistance provided to the schools by the school founders.
- Coordination support, which is part of the CARNet user support department, which will coordinate all activities and communication with the schools, monitor the execution of the contracts and support the schools to actively implement the project. It also collect and processes information, carrues out surveys etc. for the purposes of the other results.