From 9 to 10 February 2020, EFEE organized the first case study visit of the “e-Speed- European Social Partners in Education Embracing Digitalisation” project in collaboration with ETUCE. Due to COVID-19 circumstances, the visit took place online and not as initially scheduled on-site in Copenhagen, Denmark. Objective of the workshop was to collect first hands-on national experience on the current use of digital tools in the scholarly context.
On 9 February, the workshop was kicked-off with a short introduction to the Danish Education system, following presentations on the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in daily scholarly work. One of the presentations was given by Sune Weile from the Ministry of Education of Denmark. In his presentation, he emphasized that the access to digital tools is not enough to ensure future qualitative education. In the face of growing digital challenges such as disinformation and digital harassment, pupils need to be equipped with the necessary digital literacy skills, such as the ability to critically reflect on digital content. Another important point raised by Mr. Weile was that the selection and way of involvement of digital tools needs to be adjusted to the different education subjects so that the entire potential of students’ skills and abilities can be developed. As a conculsion, Mr. Weile argued for a reform of curriculums and highlighted the importance of a strengthening the collaboration between students, teachers, schools and ministries. After a lunch break, the focal point of the workshop followed in the afternoon session. Participants had the opportunity to virtually meet the school leader, teachers and students of a local secondary school and pose questions on the use of digital schools in their daily school life afterwards in the framework of separated interview sessions. The overall outcome of these these interviews was that digital tools have been finding themselves themselves well integrated into the school life even long before the pandemic and were regarded as an enriching addition with regards to teaching and learning. The majority of respondents associated the use of digital tools with an increase in flexibility and better students’ performance. Only few challenges were mentioned, such as difficulties to timely combine on-site and home schooling. With regards to the future, all respondents agreed that digitalization will remain an integral additional part of teaching and learning, for instance in the form of blended-learning. However, according to the majority of interviewed students, greater weight should be given to on-site teaching as this would essentially contribute to gain a better understanding of the learning content.
On the second day of the virtual workshop, participants were given the chance to gain valuable on the ground experience by interviewing staff of the teacher training institute “Peadagogikum”. Staff involved the leader of the institution as well as a teacher training. Closing the loop with regards to the first day of the case study, an additional interview was conducted with a teacher candidate of the Koge Gymnasium. Focal point of the interviews was the question of the training curriculum of future teachers has already adapted to digital transformation. A great focus, thereby, was given to didactics and new approaches in pedagogies. In this regard, communication, “reflective practitioners”, “actionlearning” and “reflective teaching” turned out to be the key terms mentioned. According to the respondents, great focus has been given to on-site training, teaching teacher candidates flexibility and adaptability as lifelong learners. After the interview sessions, participants reflected, together with the research experts having guided the interviews, on the main trends of the presentations and interviews. One of the major conclusions drawn is that using digital tools in the scholarly context goes beyond simply using technology, touching upon many different social involved fields, such as culture, psychology, active citizenship. In the light of this, the second virtual workshop was announced to take place from 20 -21 April with Romania as a case study.
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