On 9 July 2020, DEL4ALL hosted its first online workshop and 32 digital education experts from all around Europe participated. The aim of the DEL4ALL workshop was to engage digital education experts to discuss how to meet the challenges for education imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The workshop kicked-off with a short introduction of the DEL4ALL project held by Kai Zhang from DEL4ALL project coordinator Martel Innovate. After that, Dr Alex Grech, DEL4ALL partner from the Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning, highlighted main challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought about for higher education institutions. Hereafter, a selected panel of digital education experts exchanged lessons learned from institutional responses to COVID-19 and discussed activities that can guide future teaching and learning endeavours in the post-COVID-19 educational world. Part of this experts’ panel were Dr Anne Bajart, European Commission, Dr Rosa Doran, NUCLIO, Portugal, Eva Poxleitner, Fraunhofer Academy, Germany, Anthony Camilleri, Knowledge Innovation Centre, Malta, and Dr Filippo Zatti, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy.

The lively discussion between panellists and workshop participants highlighted that mimicking what teachers do in classrooms in front of the computer cannot be the solution to education during COVID-19. “Talking to slides is not the way to go. We need to turn teaching to project based learning”, said one workshop participant. Moreover, experts and participants agreed that digital skills of teaching staff need to be improved to get the best from the available education technology out there. “Teachers need to stop fearing technology and learn how to embrace technologies that offer students a personalised learning experience,” said one of the panellists. The discussion was wrapped-up by Dr Monique Calisti, DEL4ALL project coordinator from Martel Innovate, who concluded saying: “Our society needs digitally enhanced infrastructures to keep functioning, especially during COVID-19”.

This workshop was one of a series of activities DEL4ALL is currently organising in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on education. This summer, DEL4ALL already organised a webinar and conducted an Experts Survey to understand how COVID-19 affects the digital enhanced learning environment. Moreover, DEL4ALL is currently conducting a second survey among higher education stakeholders and working on another webinar that will take place in September. Stay tuned!

In case you could not attend the workshop on 9 July 2020, you can watch it here.

DEL4ALL aims to transform current European research and innovation initiatives in the area of digital enhanced learning into an increasingly cohesive, dynamic, participatory and sustainable ecosystem, capable of effectively stimulating collaboration among all key players in an inclusive and impactful way. We are here to support the digital enhanced learning community in these difficult times.

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