Empowering Educators for Creative Learning: A European View. Results from the DG EAC workshop in OEB
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Once more DG Education and Culture and the Agency were present at the ONLINE EDUCA conference in Berlin. This is the largest yearly event on technology supported learning & training at an international level. The theme of this 17th edition was "New Learning Cultures". The conference included more than 100 sessions (workshops, demos, labs work, etc.) organised between the 1st and 2nd December, attracting more than 2000 participants from approximately 100 countries.
At the conference, DG EAC and the Agency organised a workshop titled "Empowering Educators for Creative Learning: A European View" chaired by Brian Holmes.
Lieve van den Brande, from Directorate General Education and Culture underlined the need for a wide mobilisation of stakeholders to facilitate the integration and use of ICT in education and training. There is a gap between the potential of ICT, the evidence coming from research, the policy objectives and the reality of use of ICT in formal and non-formal education. To fill in this gap the European Commission is launching a new initiative called "Creative classrooms" which will help mainstream innovation in learning and teaching, providing systemic impact.
Orchestrating technologies: Empowering teachers in creative classrooms
Pierre Dillenbourg, professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne made a presentation on "Orchestrating technologies: Empowering teachers in creative classrooms" which emphasised the benefits of keeping teachers and educators at the centre of the educational process. There is a need to focus on solving problems rather than simply running after innovation and sometimes rather simple technology can greatly assist educators in their work.
Presentation (available soon)
These interventions were followedbypresentations from 3 EU funded projects two of which are co-funded by the Lifelong learning programme Key Activity 3-ICT. The projects illustrated various strategies to engage and empower educators with innovative pedagogies:
Teaching to Teach with Technology
Teaching to Teach with Technology ("T3" project): Maria Luisa Nigrelli from the Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR (Italy) showed how pupils can effectively use ICT and how teachers can support their learning through technology. The project also developed a framework matching different technologies with various pedagogical strategies. Maria Luisa Nigrelli emphasised that ownership of the process if fundamental and embracing ICT in education is a challenge for today and not for tomorrow.
Fostering Teacher's creativity through Game-based learning
Fostering Teacher's creativity through Game-based learning ("ProActive" project): Mario Barajas from the University of Barcelona (Spain) introduced some of the challenges faced by game-based learning approaches being perceived as entertainment whereas research has shown that they can result in very effective learning. Teachers can have a central role in using these tools, and putting creativity at the centre of the learning experience.
Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom
Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom ("ITEC " project): Will Ellis presented possible scenarios for future classrooms and introduced some of the key challenges in this context: visions versus pragmatism; innovation versus mainstreaming, conservatism versus popular educational philosophy and secure versus open learning systems.
The workshop, attended by approximately 100 participants, concluded on the need to involve a wide range of actors including school leaders, public authorities, and practitioners at large to provide educators with the necessary support to effectively implement ICT in education.