The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting many students in all European Union and it has presented unique challenges to all types and levels of learning.
Despite the efforts put in place to ensure “anyone-anywhere-anytime learning”, the pandemic has demonstrated the weakness of a still unfinished process, highlighting inhomogeneity between territories, problems of connectivity (digital divide) and technological equipment and aggravating social inequalities.
The current crisis has shown that there is no digital inclusion without social inclusion and students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds (migrants, asylum seekers, learners with disabilities and special educational need) were and still are, the target most affected by the pandemic.
Considering this context, DIGITEACH aims to ensure learning continuity for all schools’ learners – with particular attention for those with special education need (SEN) and on who suffer of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by deploying digital tools and methods to deliver quality and inclusive education.
DIGITEACH will use an innovative pedagogy approach on the use of new technological tools not only technology-oriented but teacher oriented involving about 210 school teachers / educators among each country partner (30 participants per country).
Even before the crisis, teachers reported a strong need for training for digital pedagogical skills, with 18% on average across EU countries identifying this as a high training need (OECD, 2019). This is the second commonest training need teachers identified, just after teaching special needs students. However, not only are teachers reporting a need for digital skills training, they are also not relying on distance learning for their own professional development (THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON EDUCATIONINSIGHTS FROM EDUCATION AT A GLANCE 2020 (OECD), – just before the crisis, the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) conducted an analysis of the readiness for digital learning of education systems across the EU.
The picture that emerged was not very encouraging: for 2/3 of the respondents e-teaching was a new experience but the majority think online learning came to stay.
DIGITEACH wants then to respond to the need to develop further digital competences of teachers, promoting their participation in continuous professional development,, involving them in future policy design and fostering their wellbeing.