RETHINKING SCHOOL-FAMILY COMMUNICATION AFTER PANDEMIC: NEW PROTOCOLS, COMPETENCES, AND ALLIANCES?
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Educazione "Giovanni Maria Bertin", Italia
School-family communication is an extremely delicate issue, especially in times like the one we are currently experiencing due to the pandemic, which is strongly marked by the need to necessarily rely on technology to allow teachers and parents to exchange information or simply to communicate.
Although in Italian schools there are formal communication protocols that provide for the use of official digital channels, there is an 'underground' of communication situations that rely on unofficial channels and involve both parents and teachers. In many cases, school regulations do not norm the above-mentioned cases and this causes some parents and teachers to be very wary of forms of communication that use unofficial channels. It is therefore more necessary than ever to reflect on this phenomenon, which is difficult to investigate precisely because it takes place in borderline areas that often escape regulations and scientific debate.
The research hereby presented, which has been in development for 18 months in a school institute in the metropolitan city of Bologna and is currently being extended to twenty other schools throughout Italy, aims to investigate how teachers consider the issue of school-family communication, trying to answer the following questions:
- Are teachers' digital competences enough to guarantee a good level of technology-mediated school-family communication?
- Are the communication protocols used by the schools effective?
- How can school-family communication processes be improved?
The research methodology chosen to conduct this study is Professional Development Research (PDR) (Asquini, 2018) combined with a convergent mixed-method approach (Creswell & Clark, 2018) involving the collection of quantitative and qualitative data in order to have a more careful interpretation of the specificities of the context.
What emerges is an extremely complex and delicate picture in which school-family communication runs on two parallel tracks: one official and one unofficial. The first one is considered by teachers as an efficient, fast and functional tool, but at the same time ineffective to reach the most problematic families, not very inclusive and more impersonal in the relationship with parents and among colleagues; the second one is seen with more diffidence and concerns more the communication dynamics among parents, even if sometimes it can be a vector to contact more easily some parents.
In this context, further accentuated by the situation caused by COVID, the teachers' need for training on the subject of technology-mediated communication has emerged strongly. There was also a need for a general rethink of communication protocols between schools and families, with greater involvement of parents in the post-pandemic period.
Asquini, G. (Ed.) (2018). La Ricerca-Formazione. Temi, esperienze, prospettive. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
Creswell, J.W., & Clark, V.L.P. (2018). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (Third Edit). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
INDIRE (2020). Indagine tra i docenti italiani. Pratiche didattiche durante il lockdown. Report integrativo, dicembre 2020.
OECD (2019). TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners. Paris: OECD Publishing.
REDEFINING AND RECONSTRUCTING TEACHER EDUCATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA: INDIAN PERSPECTIVE
Partap College of Education,Ludhiana
The Covid-19 pandemic has visible impact on all the citizens around the globe and bluntly forces us to stop (Bank et al, 2020). Apart from impacting the future of 320 million young Indian citizens, this has also pushed all Indian teachers (around one million) to reshape their techniques of teaching and shift to the new mechanism of teaching-learning (Hodges, 2020). Now, Teachers and teacher educators both are transitioning through a particularly uncertain time in terms of their professional lives and work.
This study aims at examining digital and blended teaching-learning modes adopted by the various teacher education institutions in India for teacher preparation. This research also seeks to examine the various elements and address the required essentialities of digitalization of teaching-learning in teacher education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Study further explores that how can existing resources of a developing nation like India effectively transform formal and face to face teacher education into blended/ digital education with the help of virtual classes and other pivotal online tools in this continually shifting educational landscape.
Focal research questions probe into the new trends of teaching-learning adopted in teacher education during and post COVID-19 pandemic, enquire challenges faced by the stakeholders for teacher preparations and find out the impact of blended learning on teacher preparation.
The paper employs qualitative approach and data is collected through semi-structured interviews of 20 teacher educators and 20 student teachers from different teacher education institutions of Punjab state of India using purposive sampling design. The results pointed out various challenges of blended mode of teacher preparations activities including lack of motivation, mastery in technical and pedagogical skills among prospective teachers and experience of real practice teaching. This research also identified various issues and innovations shared across the various teacher education institutions of India and responses identifies four themes. Firstly, the disruption of the pandemic lead to innovations in pedagogy of teacher education. Secondly, the role of teacher educators is redefined and need rigorous techno-pedagogical training. Thirdly, school internship models must expand to include the digitalized platforms and specialized apps. Fourthly, a motivated leadership should come forward as a resource in times of crisis.
Overall, teacher education stands at the challenging crossroads. Instead of threatened by the pandemic. A need has arisen to develop the opportunities to reinvent teacher education from the existing paradigm to the appropriate paradigm and take the teacher education to the safer developing zones.
Bonk R., Kefalaki M., Rudolph J., Diamantidaki F., Rekar Munro C., Karanicolas S., Kontoleon P., & Pogner, K. (2020). Pedagogy in the time of pandemic: From localisation to glocalisation. Journal of Education, Innovation, and Communication, 2(1), 17-64.
Hodges C., Moore S., Lockee B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review, 27 March.
A STUDY OF “MISSION HUNDRED PER CENT” SUCCESS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH SELF-DEVELOPED STANDARDISED DIGITAL MODULES IN INDIA
1Partap College of Education, India; 2District Institute of Education and Training, India
Education is the backbone of any society and school is its axis. But the outbreak of pandemic has caused a sudden and shocking shutdown of schools, colleges and universities since March,2020 and robbed the schools from the society. When whole educational world faced a confusing vacuum and to run education system for its survival, the academicians diverted towards digitalisation. Liguori and Winkler (2020) also suggested that innovative technological solutions by academic institutions can only help us deal with this pandemic situation.
In spite of all difficulties and challenges especially in country like India, marvellous work was done by the school teachers. Under the supervision and guidance of administration and policy makers, they created digital module "Punjab Educare app", which is highly cost effective, teachers and students friendly and best suitable for the transaction of prescribed curriculum aiming not only to transmit information but to a greater extent develop certain skills, aptitudes and interest to continue education process in the most distressed times. The technology based digital modules were made available to all concerned in the secondary schools of Punjab state and the public in general, which have given excellent results for the academic achievement of the students and the system as a whole was evaluated and rated at 4.4 out of 5 point scale. These digital modules developed in this state have become a leading path maker and flagship in the country. So, the authors made this study to find the status quo of this innovation and its implementation, techniques of developing these curricular digital modules, the process of this innovative preparation of various teaching lessons and it’s on time transmission.
The records concerned with the administrative part, financial aspect, experts involvement, technological aspects were verified and are made available as part of this study. To verify its effectiveness, authors have conducted semi structured interviews of 20 teachers, 20 secondary school students, 5 administrators and 5 parents. It was inferred that teachers feel comfortable to use as it provides all learning resources at single platform. The dent and damage caused by the shutdown of schools was remarkably substituted to save the academic session of the students in time that too with appreciable level of learning. The administrators were satisfied to bridge the gap suddenly caused by the pandemic. The quoting of evidences and views of various stakeholders were video recorded. It has found that this type of technique and digitalised module innovation for curriculum are also possible for various other classes in the schools as well as in the teacher education institutions. It has already been started in leading institutions and are being followed as part of this investigation.
Liguori E. W., Winkler C. (2020). From offline to online: Challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship education following the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy 10.1177/2515127420916738
SCHOOL AND PANDEMIC. FOR A DIGITAL LITERACY OF TEACHERS IN THE INCOMING TRAINING PHASE
eCampus University, Italy
The contribution proposes a reflection on the new, possible development trajectories of teaching professionalism in the light of the experience with the Covid-19 pandemic. The health emergency soon turned into a didactic emergency and is producing, among other aspects, a rethinking of the relationship between those who teach and new technologies. The current experience can become an important opportunity for professional growth for the teacher if this profession becomes more and more open to the demands of the present time, ready to respond to emergencies that may arise in teaching practice, able to manage and master a conscious relationship and mature with technology (Limone, Simone 2020).
The pandemic has brought out, among other aspects, the uncovered nerves of the Italian school system: lack of technological infrastructures and, above all, lack of skills in teachers to advantageously manage distance teaching and learning processes (Censis, 2020). For teachers, adapting to an online learning environment has been stressful and tiring for many of them (Kong, 2020). It was necessary, among other aspects, to re-build the student-teacher relationship online, manage digital tools to support the delivery of content and respond to the changing needs of students (Deblurer, Denton, McKay, Sicily, 2020).
If in-service training remains an unavoidable need, due attention must be paid to teachers who are preparing to enter the world of school or who can still boast a few years of service. A particular pedagogical commitment must be addressed to them so that they can become agents of change of the educational context in which they are inserted. It is necessary to introduce newcomers to the profession by asking them from the beginning high-level techno-pedagogical skills in terms of distance learning planning, conducting mixed (presence and distance), relational and empathic teaching sessions, motivational support and emotional level of students in their online learning paths, distance assessment, willingness to compare with experts and continuous training, etc. as elements able to support their growth process as education professionals.
It should be emphasized, aligning with the reflections of Rivoltella (2010), that it is not "information literacy" that must grow among teachers, but the "technological culture", the one that allows you to rethink the methods of construction, representation and sharing of knowledge because, to manage the media, operational skills are not enough but cultural and critical frames.
In order to understand the specificities, the requests and the training needs of those who are preparing to teach, or who has been teaching for a few years, in a critical time such as the current one, a survey was developed, by means of a questionnaire, addressed to more than 500 teachers in training phase, involved in specialization courses for support activities for students with disabilities, activated in three distinct Italian universities.
The results collected highlight, among other aspects, the need of the respondents for digital literacy and to improve their levels of management of the dynamics of teaching and learning online.
PRODUCING INCLUSIVE DIGITAL LEARNING MATERIALS: A STUDY ON PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digitalized teaching and learning materials became prominent, especially in simpler forms of asynchronous teaching (Daniel, 2020), generating inequalities in opportunities for access (Jæger & Blaabæk, 2020) as well as organizational issues at various levels (Kerres, 2020).
The production of inclusive, digital learning materials became a priority for many teachers, who had to upgrade their digital skills. As a possible way to lower barriers to this process, we propose a simple technique to create “augmented PDF files”. This technique is based on very low technological requirements (i.e., free software that most people already have on their computers) and requires very low levels of multimedia production skills (i.e., it is possible to incorporate various types of content in the same document in a very intuitive way). The teacher can hence concentrate on content selection and teaching strategy (Mangiatordi, 2019).
Initial testing of this technique with a group of in-service teachers (N=114) showed that it was perceived as compatible with a wide array of digital literacy levels, making the application of UDL guidelines and checkpoints (Meyer & Hall, 2006; Rose & Meyer, 2002) easier and more sustainable. Using again the UDL framework, we evaluated the learning materials produced in the context of a university course about educational technology for prospective teachers (N=99) after a specific class about possible inclusive uses of augmented PDF files.
By observing the digital learning materials produced by participants and the short descriptions of their intended use, we were able to confirm that also users with lower levels of perceived self-efficacy in technology use could take advantage of this technique to comply with major UDL principles. The main principle that participants could invest in was that of “providing multiple means of representation”, but also the areas of “engagement” and “action and expression” could be empowered. The main issue we observed, requiring immediate attention especially in distant learning scenarios generated by the pandemic, is the high risk of cognitive overload that could derive from excessive or not focused use of this kind of learning materials.
Daniel, S. J. (2020). Education and the COVID-19 pandemic. PROSPECTS, 49(1–2), 91–96. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-020-09464-3
Jæger, M. M., & Blaabæk, E. H. (2020). Inequality in learning opportunities during Covid-19: Evidence from library takeout. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 68, 100524. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.RSSM.2020.100524
Kerres, M. (2020). Against All Odds: Education in Germany Coping with Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education, 2(3), 690–694. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00130-7
Mangiatordi, A. (2019). Costruire inclusione. Progettazione universale e risorse digitali per la didattica. Milano: Guerini.
Meyer, A., & Hall, T. E. (2006). Applying universal design for learning in the classroom. New York: The Guilford Press. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&btnG=Search&q=intitle:Universal+Design+for+Learning+in+the+Classroom#8
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
EFFECT OF ONLINE TRAINING ON TEACHERS 'TECHNOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE. THE CONCEPT OF E-LEARNING
1University of Ferrara, Italy; 2University of Bergamo, Italy; 3eCampus University
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation process of teaching practices. The OECD analysis (Reimers et al., 2020) highlighted how teachers' professional development must involve both technological and instructional-learning design skills. Skills straddling the areas related to digital resources (sourcing, creating and sharing) and teaching and learning (methodologically correct use of technologies).
Context, method, tools
During the professional training Distance teaching: methodological aspects and operational tools (basic level) held at the 'Alberti' Higher Technological School in Benevento, Italy (September-November 2021) a survey was conducted with the aim of know the effects of the training intervention on the knowledge of the teachers involved. The survey involved 49 teachers: women (87.6%), over 50 years of age (73.5%), over 10 years of service (75.5%), with previous professional training in the technological area (60, 7%) and middle-management experience in the technology area (68.5%). Referring to the well-known Kirkpatrick model, adapted to the e-learning delivery environment (Hamtini, 2008), the attention was focused on level 2 of learning, defined on the basis of the modification of focus knowledge and detected through the pre-post administration of an 'ad hoc' questionnaire, articulated in 4 areas: sociometric-professional data; knowledge of distance learning and e-learning environments; knowledge of audio-visual texts and synchronous-asynchronous delivery methods; knowledge on tools (software for conferences, apps for e-tivity; open-courseware, sharing sites).
Analysis and results
The data were statistically analyzed at two levels: a. description of the pre-post average variation, aimed at knowing the effect of the training on knowledge groups; b. correlation between responses with significant variation and four factors - qualification, length of service, previous training and position of middle managers. With respect to the core-knowledge, the following variations were obtained: distance learning and e-learning environments - DAD (+ 7%), e-learning (-3.1%); audio-visual texts and synchronous-asynchronous delivery methods (web conference, +12; video lesson, +25) - and delivery-interactive (web conference, +6; video lesson, +14); tools – web conference software (+ 3.7%), e-tivity apps (+ 5%), management systems (+ 9%), sharing sites (+ 4.8%).
The analysis conducted on the negative variation (X - e-learning) highlighted a low direct correlation (ϱxy = 0.024) with respect to the previous training (Y).
The research activity highlighted increase in the core-knowledge of the teachers involved, especially with regard to distance learning tools. However, misconceptions remain (Pittler et al., 2013) regarding the meaning of e-learning and audiovisual texts in terms of meaningful learning, which would deserve further exploration. The outcome adds an item to the query on the advisability of assuming the increase in knowledge as an indicator of the effect of the training programs and suggests investigating the misconception data as a possible interacting factor.
Hamtini, T.M. (2008). Evaluating E-learning Programs: An Adaptation of Kirkpatrick's Model to Accommodate E-learning Environments. Journal of Computer Science. 4(8), 693-698.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E.R., & Kuhn, M. (2013). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association.
Reimers, F. M., Schleicher, A., Saavedra, J., & Tuominen, S. (2020). OECD. Supporting the continuation of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Annotated resources for online learning.