Track “Lessons Learned from Covid-19” includes a panel, three workshops, and six lightning talks.

Panel 4LESSONS: Lessons learned from Covid-19

8 October, 9:00 – 10:00

The recording of the panel can be found here  (Day 2)

Workshop: Social media network environment as a frame for creative approach in mathematics lessons.

7 October, 15:10 – 16:40

Natalija Budinski, teacher of mathematics at Petro Kuzmjak school, Serbia

The workshop will present the experience from the distance learning period as a possible common practice in the classroom or in online environment. The idea for this kind of activities is a result of cooperation of teacher of mathematics Natalija Budinski and Center for Science Promotion representatives, Jelena Joksimovic and Danijela Vucicevic.

The workshop will present creative approach based on dance and use of social media network as a tool for learning basic geometry. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about creative approach in mathematical and science education, which is known as STE(A)M. Participants will learn how to use social media in education, how to teach basic geometry using social media, particularly TikTok by presenting basic geometry tasks with authentic dance. At the end participants will make their own examples of creative dance-movement content related to geometry in the form of video, ready to be posted on TikTok.

Such activities contribute to learning mathematical content, but also raise attention to beneficial use of social media among teenagers. It is suitable for teachers and educators who would like to find out more about practical use of STE(A)M activities in the digital environment and distance learning.

Workshop: Supporting Experiential Learning in Distance Education/Training.

8 October, 10:00 – 11:30

During the emergency all the classrooms moved to online platform, bringing the declarative approach in the online lessons. The lecturers had the feeling to talk to a wall, or to a mirror, while for learners it was very static and sometimes complicated to follow. An approach is to include in the online lessons or MOOCs new ways for learners to interact with the teachers and to test themselves harmonizing procedural learning and experience and laboratorial activities. In the last years, new tools have emerged to support it, such as the Tangible User Interfaces empowered by artificial tutoring systems.

The Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) allows the user to interact with tangible and multisensorial object, then objects that exploits the physical component of the environment and could be recognized by a digital component. The objects recognized by the digital side, could include experiences mediated by the senses, including the sense of touch, smell and even taste. In this context the workshop claims to an open discussion on different opportunities to boost and integrate the experiential learning, in different trajectories and for different targets, promoting new solutions starting from 4 best practices.

Upskilling for the role of digital assistant – Digital SkillShift workshop

8 October, 10:00 – 11:30

  • Ian Clifford, consultant for ALL DIGITAL (Presentation)
  • Nenja Wolbers, Stiftung Digitale Chancen

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, online working was becoming vital. Now it is essential, and ALL DIGITAL, with its partners SDC, Simplon and FPP have been developing a curriculum that goes to the heart of the issues. At the workshop you will learn about the Digital Skillshift model, concept and approach. You will find out about the curriculum and how it was created and the Digital Assistant job role which the project targets. This will be an Interactive workshop with audience involvement to explore other job roles and will look at how you can be involved.

Workshop: Augmented learning

8 October, 11:40 – 13:10

Fiona von Pronay and Jennifer Nicolay, Joblinge, Germany (Presentation)

How can young people not only be introduced to topics such as the future of work and digital learning, but how can they be motivated in the long term and continuously further qualified in the field of digital skills?

The workshop will present best practices as well as directly develop approaches together, which are based on the contexts of the workshop participants. Working with young people have confirmed the preventive and sustainable effectiveness of our approaches, especially as a reaction to the pandemic and the fast transition to a 100% digital.

Lightning Talks

The recording of lightning talks can be found here (Day 1) 

07 October, 10:55 – 11:35

  • The use of the digital backgrounds in the distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Presentation)

Nicola Barbuti, Department of Humanities DISUM – University of Bari Aldo Moro; Isabel de Maurrisens, National Institute for Documentation, Innovation, Educational Research (INDIRE)

The lightning talk will present the first findings of the research entitled “Ontology of backgrounds in the Distance Learning”, carried out by a team from INDIRE and DISUM. The objective was to evaluate the impact of the digital setting on educational quality and on teacher-student interactions in distance learning, and to analyze it for rethinking the function of environments in face-to-face teaching.

The research started in June proposing two online questionnaires, in order to address some first-rate issues related to distant learning, among them: whether the digital backgrounds reflect in some way the cultural and social character of the participants in the lessons; if and how much they can affect the motivation of the teachers and the attention of the students; if they can positively influence the educational activity, and so on.

About 1300 teachers and 1100 students participated in the survey, and the responses clearly indicate the need to rethink the teaching and education of youth.

From the beginning, the research has found significant interest and was the subject of a scientific paper.

  • Social media and artistic approach in learning basic geometry

Natalija Budinski, teacher of mathematics at Petro Kuzmjak school, Serbia

The talk will present our experience from distance learning period caused by global pandemic. The workshop will share the gained experience as a possible common practice in the classroom or in online environment. The idea for this kind of activities is a result of cooperation of teacher of mathematics Natalija Budinski and Jelena Joksimovic and Danijela Vucicevic, both Center for Science Promotion representatives. The talk will present creative approach based on dance and use of social media as a tool for learning basic geometry. Participants will have an opportunity to learn creative approach in mathematical and science education. They will learn methods how to apply creative approach, particularly dance in teaching geometry. They will be informed of use of social media in education and they will learn our experience of distance learning where students learned basic geometry using social media, particularly TikTok by presenting basic geometry tasks with authentic dance.

Cristina Cavallotti, Open Group, Italy

Open Group’s disability sector has been working on a process of social inclusion for years, which is supported with digital technology. Every day-care centre that OG operates is provided with Digital Classrooms where new devices can be used for specific activities. The Team of Digital Coaches has worked to reduce the relational gap among people with serious language problems or who do not speak at all or suffer from other types of limitations.

During the long period of restrictions due to Covid-19, the team has decided to turn difficulties into opportunities. The talk will present what measures have been taken by the team to support people with disabilities and their families and what activities were offered to them.

Currently, there are many restrictions in the physical attendance of the day-care centres as well. This is why it was decided to organise permanent and diversified “digital classrooms”. The talk will share how these classrooms allow everyone (even those who are still at home or in residential care facilities) to participate in the activities, to avoid social isolation, to continue to experience positive relationships in spite of the overall situation.

07 October, 16:50 – 17:30

  • A changed world: the new landscape of digital inclusion. (Presentation)

Dr Alice Mathers, head of Research, Good Things Foundation, UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19) changed the world. Digital instantly became a universal need, and those without it were the hardest hit. Lockdowns exposed the cost of digital exclusion more clearly than ever before, but what have we learnt as a result?

This talk from Good Things Foundation tells the story of what has happened to people and the frontline digital inclusion support across the UK during the first wave of COVID-19 and lockdown. It describes the emergency response taken by Good Things Foundation and their network of community and strategic partners. It reflects on the need for digital inclusion in a post Covid world, the new audiences for digital skills emerging, and how grassroots adaptation and innovation has ensured support for those who need it the most. Finally, it identifies priorities and challenges for collective action.

  •  Resilient smart cities. Do we have the skills?

Panos Fitsilis, Full Professor at the University of Thessaly

Covid-19 epidemic has created new challenges for the development of Smart and Sustainable Cities. It has proven that it is not anymore sufficient just to focus on providing services for quality of life or for a better business ecosystems, but we need to prepare cities to manage, adapt, maintain and ensure city services and enhance quality of life in the face of hazards, shocks and stresses, and those including high unemployment  and   health epidemics.

Up to now little emphasis has been given to the way municipalities are organized for addressing hazards and even less on training their personnel to the new skills required. Currently, these new required job profiles do not exist, they are overlooked, or they are partially described.

“Smart DevOps competencies for smart cities” (devops.uth.gr) project attempts to define the required skills and job profiles needed for Smart and Sustainable Cities professionals. The talk presents the results of a survey that attempts to define the required skills for a “Smart and Resilience City Officers”.

  •  Insights on digital technology during COVID-19 from Steiner Waldorf schools. (Presentation)

Robert Neumann, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart

The talk will share lessons learned from educational challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the viewpoint of independent schools based on Waldorf pedagogy. Due to unstable funding in the time of crisis, many independent schools were under threat of shutting down, but some of them came up with various innovative teaching solutions. And while the vast majority of the solutions were made possible using digital technology, the crisis also revealed flaws of digital learning that were not visible before.

The Steiner Waldorf schools’ community, while tackling the daily challenges of delivering classes in the digital space, made sure to pay attention to observing change in values and needs of their students and their families. European Council of Steiner Waldorf Schools facilitated discussions, ran interviews and gathered the insights from schools all around Europe. A few valuable lessons resulted from these activities will be presented during the talk.