Digital education: an author calls for continuous teacher training

Stronger.Together: “Need Digitally Enthusiastic Teachers”: Author Calls for Schools to Change Now

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 5:38 p.m.

The fact that education in Germany is hardly digitized is partly due to the teachers. Book author Isabelle Liegl therefore calls for digital continuing education. She says: We need more flagship projects. And the school must be changed today – not tomorrow.

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Apart from the fact that – or precisely because – our teachers are still of the opinion that digital teaching can motivate students, but cannot really contribute to individualized learning and learning success, they have little or no of knowledge on the didactically meaningful use of digital technology in the classroom.

This is an excerpt from “School – Maybe something more? New solutions for all types of schools”.

Why? Because in our federalist state, digital technology is not yet systematically integrated into education and training, which also differs considerably depending on the federal state and the field of education.

In Bavaria, 120,000 teachers would have received digital training by the end of the year, and 90% of the 1,700 teachers surveyed by the online training institute Fobizz see the current situation at least as an opportunity for their digital education.

About the Author

Isabelle Liegl holds a doctorate in business administration and is the mother of two sons. After working for an international IT company, Liegl went freelance as a personnel consultant. In 2001, she founded an interior design company which she still runs today. With his first book, Stanford, please, the author launched a passionate debate on equal opportunities and the responsibility of students and parents.

Book recommendation (announcement)

“School – Can it be something more? New solutions for all types of school” by Isabelle Liegl

Teachers need to open children’s living worlds

When teachers learn to choose why and when which digital method or which digital tool suits their students and encourages and challenges them in their particularity, then they must be involved in the life world of their students, they are often the first to be discovered. It’s not that easy for many, as 12.4% of our teachers are 60 or older.

We also have training fairs with a large number of offers for teachers and school principals from private and public sources. Offers that schools and teachers unfortunately almost never use voluntarily, whether due to lack of teachers, because free time has to be sacrificed, lack of material, disinterest or because of bureaucratic obstacles.

The professional association Bitkom therefore calls for teachers to be trained immediately and above all continuously nationwide – and not outside the school, but integrated into everyday school life if possible in the form of multiple micro-trainings , because digital training and further education is a permanent task.

In addition, the members of the Bundestag Schön, Schipanski and Kemmer call for the setting up of a continuing education platform for teachers, the development of a national education platform which brings together teaching materials from all providers and licensing of digital learning materials.

Stronger.Together – What are we learning for the education system?

Countries are responsible for teacher training

While access to Wi-Fi, school clouds and laptops is a matter for the Confederation, it is the Länder that are responsible for the digital continuing education of teachers – and they do little! The president of the German Association of Philologists, Susanne Lin-Klitzing, is awaiting further education offers for 200,000 secondary school teachers.

But when speaking with state higher education officials, one gets, unsurprisingly, concerns rather than positive feedback on an updated and dynamic introduction of the most important workshops, if possible on-site.

Teachers would be shy, stand alone, teacher training was complicated, and analog-oriented teachers would not be reached. What is completely ignored in this avoidance strategy: how many good digital tools and documents were released at the start of the Corona crisis, also because they were already there!

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Even if private initiatives do not make it possible to ensure that all teachers are really encouraged or compelled to follow in-service training, even if they do not make it possible to verify whether teachers remain alone and avoid contact with business and research , they make a significant contribution to the future development of our schools.

In March and April 2020, hundreds of volunteers compiled “a knowledge base for contemporary online education” and the Media Library of the Federal States Media Institute FWU contains thousands of instructional films, worksheets and of image galleries according to the programs of the federal states. .

Many offers for digital teaching and learning

Media educator Frederik Wittmann also made digital tools and materials available for all subjects at the start of the pandemic. Three teachers have teamed up to form the DIY Digital Network and are teaching other teachers why it makes sense to split the class into different digital rooms so they can accurately train strong and weak students.

And the ALP (Academy for Teacher Training and Staff Management) online module “Learning at Home” draws on the practical experience of teachers from all types of schools and conveys relational work, learning and feedback with digital media. Fobizz is also a private online training platform for teachers, which allows flexible, fast and convenient training directly at school and, above all, with other teachers.

Under the motto “school at home”, Google offers many applications for education and links related to digital education. Microsoft also offers continuing education series for teachers. And the BG3000 Smart Camps also help with teacher training.

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This innovative educational offensive offers training for all teaching staff in a school, individually adapted to the needs of the school system and the requirements of teachers. The focus is on prevention, cyberbullying, data protection and digital learning and teaching. The technical and pedagogical-didactic aspects of digital education are conveyed and their implementation is illustrated with the help of examples and reports from the field.

Smart Camps for teachers and students want to impart new skills, enable modern teaching and learning impulses for contemporary teaching and a professional view of digital reality.

We need more flagship projects

The industry association Bitkom rewards schools for their digital concept as “Smart Schools”, so far 41 schools in 14 federal states. These schools are called beacons because they provide the digital educational concepts and have the didactic know-how that any school should have.

Like international schools, they are a model for backward schools and teachers, as nothing is easier than to look at what others are doing demonstrably well and successfully, then adapt and copy it. That too is continuing education. Then there are the digital tutoring formats #Molol, WES4.0, Eduswabia or “Digitale Schule Bayern” for educators.

The further training of the mobile school Oldenburg (Molol) is the source of all basics of further training concepts by teachers for teachers and as such extremely successful. It reaches more teachers in Germany than any other public or private initiative. There are workshops for beginners (how to use a tablet) and advanced (feedback apps or flipped classroom method).

Learning takes place in short one-minute sequences, then questions are asked and practiced. But above all, the newly acquired knowledge is taken to their schools by teachers, who implement the necessary micro-training there as “learning snacks” for their colleagues. Upper Bavaria has started to send such a mobile training team to schools, which organize workshops and working groups there.

The driving force is digitally-enthusiastic teachers who “know that schools don’t just have to change tomorrow, they have to change today.”

stronger together

The corona pandemic has made great demands on all of us and has changed the country. It makes a difference if, in addition to all the difficulties and challenges, we also make room for encouraging examples and positive developments. This is why FOCUS Online and the other BurdaForward portals have launched the “Stronger.Together” initiative to accompany people during this period of recovery from the crisis. Learn more here.

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