Covid-19 pandemic, which rapidly increased its impact all over the world and became a pandemic, affected many areas from education to health, from trade to industry, and therefore a mandatory digital transformation was encountered in many areas. With the pandemic, the rapid developments in the digital world have changed the direction of the education sector.
Schools all over the world had to make the transition to distance education, whether they were prepared or not. It is predicted that the distance education that has been passed in this process will continue after a while, even if the conditions return to normal. So how ready are schools, education systems, teachers and students for this transition? With digitalization, access to information has become very easy today. This changed the teacher’s role between teacher and learner. Physically, teachers and students are not in the same place. This shows that students will receive education independently from place in every aspect of their life. In summary, the transition to distance or online education in the Covid-19 pandemic creates the need to adapt existing training processes in this direction. It is necessary to add unique training objectives, learning-teaching strategies, understanding of skills and competences, and new interpretations of the relationship between teacher and student in distance or online education processes.
Raising the quality and inclusiveness of education and training systems and the provision of digital skills for all during the digital transitions is of strategic importance for the EU as to Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2017)(DEAP). It is also stated that the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey in 2018 showed that only 39% of educators in the EU, on teacher preparedness, felt well or very well prepared for using digital technologies in their daily work, with significant differences in EU countries.
According to survey applied by the Commission, students in primary and lower secondary schools (and students who depend more on the physical presence of a tutor or teacher) were particularly affected during this period. That is why grade 1 in middle schools (age 11-14) was decided to be focused to develop the curricula and digital training content.
Regarding them all, It was necessary to take an action and reset education at EU Level as responsible institutions in the digital age. The project addresses key inadequacies and inequities in the educational system in partner countries, and provides the supportive environment and resources to maintain learning continuity and improve the quality of learning activities.
With the different products to be developed in the project, it is aimed to contribute to the effective provision of distance education and to the efficient use of distance education.
The Digitools project aims to develop the competencies and capacities of all stakeholders in education, students, parents, teachers and school leaders. Education leaders play a key role in digital education. They need to understand how and where digital technologies can enhance education; provide appropriate resources and investment; empower educators;
learn from best practice and support relevant organisational change and a culture that values and rewards innovation and experimentation. Education and training systems need to evolve and adapt and this requires all players, including institutional leadership and decision makers in policy, to lead this change.
With these purposes, we will develop 4 intellectual outputs:
1) My Digital Class
2) Assessment and Evaluation Compass
3) Teachers As Mentors Guidebook
4) White Paper: Recommendations for Capacity Building in Digital Education
With the products developed in the Digitools project:
-Skills and competences of teachers to design and deliver digital training who teach Science, Mathematics and English at middle level will be developed. They will be provided readymade digital training materials, digital assessment tools for the selected classes.
-Digital mentoring skills of teachers will be developed to motivate their students to learn in digital education.
-Students studying at grade 1 in middle schools (age 11-14) will be provided digital training for Science, Mathematics and English classes and a platform based on gamification and that they can reach their classes everywhere. Their skills to learn digitally will be improved.
-Training organisations, institutions, and decision makers will be provided recommendations on how to promote digitalization in their organisations.
-Parents will be provided a roadmap on how to contribute to the learning of their children.