PADUCATION – CHALLENGE BASED EDUCATION IN A DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT A PROGRESS REPORT FROM A NEWLY STARTED COMENIUS PROJECT
, A. Rehner2
1Rudbeck High School (SWEDEN)
Our project addresses the digital divide that now prevails in many schools in Europe. Teachers are often the digital immigrants trying to keep up with the students who are the digital natives. Searching and gathering information is a natural process in their everyday lives. Our project intends to utilize this strong interest and channel it into innovative methods to transform the way we teach courses in mutual subjects as History, English, Geography, Religion, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Media Literacy.
“New media” that can be used for teaching purposes are not mere prolonging of “old media technologies” (typing, searching for references, publishing), they also bring in new ways of learning. Thus technologies such as iPads must be connected to a continuous development of
didactics and pedagogies. This puts the role of the teacher and interaction with the pupils and their prerequisites at core; both in working with majors and “classical classroom style”, as well as in other assignments or ubiquitous learning processes.
This changes previous ideas of the presentation, documentation, representation, examination and evaluation of knowledge. It challenges our thinking of when and where learning is supposed to take place and issues of power and the role of the teacher as expert. No area or aspect of learning is secluded from this ongoing technological and cultural change. Still much is to be developed and in need to have research. One dimension concerns implementation and usage of new technologies in schools and the altered role for teachers and new ways to design learning. There is a strong need for systematic monitoring the implementation of the use of “smart and digital” teaching tools in actual school situations.
Kassel Germany and Sollentuna Sweden are the two regions in this cooperation. Eight teachers from each partnership will explore the implications of using digital tablets i.e. iPADs as a pedagogic instrument in classroom situations. Each year there will be a workshop in both countries where all participants gather together with guest lecturers.Between the workshops each teacher will have assignments to practice in their respective classrooms. By creating a blog every participant will continuously communicate the results of their implementation of methods taken up in the workshops.
Germany and Sweden are similar as social societies yet different in educational structures. This dynamic should contribute to strengthen the European perspective in the project.