As educators and citizens, we ponder what our role is during these critical times while we strive to provide the best education possible for younger generations. Different connected ideas have motivated six schools to team up and create ONLINE (Our New Learning Innovative Network for Education), a student and teacher based two-year project addressing Digital Education Readiness. These ideas are: to attend to our students' educational needs, which calls to urgently update and improve teaching practices and to reinforce Digital Competence, and to contribute to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Digital Competence was already essential but has proved even more so with the unprecedented challenges that forced to shut down schools all across Europe and the world and to switch to distance learning for far too long. We are firmly committed to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; the goals of Quality education and Partnership underlie the whole project, and we focus as well on Reducing inequality, Responsible consumption and Good health and well-being.
A basic, practical objective of this partnership is to develop both teachers' and students' digital skills and develop teachers' ability to teach using these skills in order to improve the teaching / learning process. We also intend to cause a great impact at all levels of our educational communities, and, furthermore, to provide students with quality opportunities to reinforce common European citizenship values, to improve their socio affective skills and be better prepared for the future. We have designed ONLINE collaboratively taking into account the main aspects of Digital Education that need to be addressed at school level, agreeing to include first safety on the net as well as making digital learning more fun, and then digital photography and video technologies, focusing on the creation, use and dissemination of educational online content.
ONLINE will actively involve about 120 teachers and 200 students; teachers of different subjects, both general education and vocational subjects, and particularly IT teachers. Students will participate in the project activities regardless of their socio economic background; participant selection will always be based on students' own knowledge and responsibility. Each partner is responsible for creating specific activities and workshops for the topic they are in charge of: Safety of the Internet, Web design and e-commerce, Learning with digital photography, Heritage and Digital Learning, Video technologies and Digital Pedagogy: Game Based Learning. The project will be carried out by means of workshops, lectures, presentations, panel discussions, game-based learning, collaborative online as well as on-site learning and study visits.
The partnership aims at achieving the following objectives: to equip teachers and students with skills and knowledge on the use of digital tools so that they are all encouraged and motivated to participate effectively and constructively in the lessons, increase their digital competence and strengthen teacher's skills based teaching practice through transnational cooperation and by adopting innovative, effective and new methods and tools, increase their level of foreign languages, boost their communication and social skills and collaboration, improve their socio affective skills through an international approach as opposed to digital technologies isolated at home, use creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making approaches, make the most of exchange of good practices and peer-learning, take personal and social responsibility in an unpredictable situation like a pandemic, boost their cultural awareness and intercultural learning and promote a sense of European dimension, create interest in other countries and be tolerant towards different cultures.
An e-book including didactic materials elaborated during the project, videos documenting LTTs and links to the ONLINE website, social media and TwinSpace will be our final product which can be used as a teaching or reference material by the partner schools in the future. Potential longer term benefits include the acquisition of lifelong skills for direct participants, others involved and future recipients. We are working towards having a positive impact at several levels in all of our educational communities, and to provide a model of good practices for other schools in teaching and using digital skills and assessing the progress and achievements. We want other teachers in our schools and other schools at all levels to use our products and results, or to use ONLINE as an example of good practices, to improve students' digital competences, and all the other necessary skills which make both a student and a teacher a complete and fulfilled person. Sustainability of the project results is imperative as we do not see this project as a fusion of activities integrated as lifelong training on digital innovation.