EMPOWERING SCHOOLS’ DIGITAL CAPACITY: A PEDAGOGICAL INNOVATION TOOLKIT FOR DEVISING EFFECTIVE INNOVATION ACTION PLANS
1 Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ITALY)
2 Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CYPRUS)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Faced with the current COVID-19 pandemic, schools worldwide have increasingly turned to digital technologies in the effort to maximise the continuity, reach, and effectiveness of their educational provision. Indeed, the number one priority in the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 is “making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning”, an objective that is of paramount importance now more than ever before. A central pillar of the Commission’s strategy towards that objective is SELFIE, an online self-reflection tool “to help schools review how they use digital technologies for teaching and learning and to plan for improvements.” So far, SELFIE has been used in over 9,000 schools located in 64 countries around the world.
To encourage and support the efforts of individual schools to formulate an informed action plan for digital innovation that capitalises on their SELFIE-driven self-reflection process, the EC co-funded SHERPA project (sherpa4selfie.eu) is currently developing and testing the Pedagogical Innovation Assistant Toolkit (PTK). The aim is to help each school gain better understanding of its particular digital competence needs emerging from SELFIE self-reflection and, on that basis, devise its own digital innovation action plan to address specifically identified needs. Currently under development, the PTK will ultimately take the form of a multilingual online package that, in the first instance, supports the Coordinating Team responsible for the school’s overall digital development. By fostering the team’s informed awareness and prioritisation of the critical areas to address, the PTK should aid their efforts to plan, impart, and support the implementation of tangible innovation strategies and actions throughout the school’s learning community.
The present contribution outlines the background behind the PTK and its theoretical grounding in similar initiatives in Europe, both past and present. Like the PTK, these draw on digital competency frameworks to support schools’ digital innovation via the design, implementation and evaluation of structured digital action plans. This contribution goes on to describe the three constituent dimensions (Conceptual, Procedural and Scaffolding) of the PTK, as well as the phases in its iterative development from a paper-based draft design to a fully-fledged digital artefact due for pilot testing in 2021-2022 in SHERPA-partner Member States: Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece and Italy.
Keywords: Digital competence, digital education, educational innovation, pedagogical innovation action plan, SELFIE, SHERPA, Digital Education Action Plan.