New international project to enhance digital learning

New international project to enhance digital learning

Education experts at the University of Aberdeen are contributing to a new international project to harness and further develop the advancements in digital education brought into focus by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The collaborative team – made up of partner universities and schools in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Hungary – will pool together new research and insight from each country to collectively strengthen the inclusivity of the education systems across Europe through digital learning opportunities.

The team will collaborate with young people, parents and teachers across Europe to find out what has been working, and not working for them, in terms of digital learning.

COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on education worldwide and the use of digital technology has expanded across all sectors. The project will allow the pooling of knowledge across sectors and countries to help improve education for all children and young people.

The key aims of the project are:

  • To increase educators’ abilities and confidence in providing effective and inclusive digital learning opportunities;
  • To support educators’ abilities to manage change in their working practices – through developing their co-coaching skills and attitudes;
  • To help the wider community – including parents, carers and other family members – to understand and support educators and young people in digital learning contexts.

Sarah Cornelius, team lead for the University of Aberdeen said: “We will be drawing on our expertise in digital learning and further education to contribute to the exchange of knowledge between countries and sectors to ensure that all stakeholders and their experiences are considered. The resources produced by the project will empower educators in all sectors, including vocational and Further Education, helping them make changes to practice to support inclusive and flexible learning”

“We are looking forward to helping to surface and share innovative practices that have developed in Further Education to support learners during the pandemic, and to developing new ways to support educators to address challenges they continue to face. In Further Education these include issues of access and support as well as appropriate pedagogical practices which need to be addressed to ensure all learners can be successful now and into the future”

The team will produce a series of free, practical resources for all educational sectors, and all career stages, across national boundaries.

The resources will all be available online and will include:

  • An interactive learning resource for teachers to develop their skills in teaching in the digital environment;
  • An online toolbox to develop educators’ coaching skills – to guide them through creating new co-coaching communities to support future change;
  • An interactive digital resource for families and the wider community to learn how to support young people in the ‘what and how’ of creating a suitable digital learning environment – from digital security to methods of learning and teaching.

The two-year project – entitled Reimagining A Positive Direction for Education (RAPIDE) - has received funding of €292,882 from Erasmus+.

Members of the School of Education  contributing to the project are Sarah Cornelius, Stephanie Thomson, Mary Stephen and Aloyise Mulligan.

Other partners include: Leeds Beckett University (UK), PLATO Research Institute at University of Leiden (Netherlands), Fontys University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), National Education Institute of Slovenia, Seminar für Ausbildung und Fortbildung der Lehrkräfte (Gymnasien) Tübingen (Germany), Universidade Aberta (Portugal), Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen (Belgium) and Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary).