Brussels, 28 April 2020

ECSWE contributes to consultation on Digital Education Action Plan
Waldorf movement insists: healthy development of children and holistic educational approach should be core priorities of the update.

On 30th of March 2020, the stake­hold­er con­sul­ta­tions on the Euro­pean Commission’s update of the Dig­i­tal Edu­ca­tion Action Plan have been con­clud­ed. ECSWE has con­tributed by giv­ing an input into the Euro­pean Commission’s pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the online stake­hold­er work­shop on 30th March 2020. At the work­shop, ECSWE was sup­port­ed by Prof. Dr. Paula Bleck­mann from the Alanus Uni­ver­si­ty, Alfter, Ger­many who joined our col­league Dora Šimonović for this spe­cif­ic task.

In both, the con­sul­ta­tion and the online work­shop we pre­sent­ed key argu­ments in favour of a devel­op­ment-ori­ent­ed and age-appro­pri­ate media edu­ca­tion and called for bet­ter research in the field:

  • Aware­ness of pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive influ­ences of dig­i­tal media usage in edu­ca­tion: Mak­ing good use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy implies that the ben­e­fits of choos­ing dig­i­tal over ana­logue media for a con­crete les­son, age-group or learn­ing con­text out­weigh the risks and neg­a­tive side effects for each learner;
  • Impor­tance of devel­op­ing social com­pe­tences ahead of dig­i­tal com­pe­tences: a holis­tic approach to media edu­ca­tion that encom­pass­es media con­tent (mes­sage), media form (text, image, sound) and media car­ri­ers (ana­logue and dig­i­tal) is need­ed more than ever. This includes the con­scious and col­lab­o­ra­tive use of ana­logue tools allow­ing to teach com­pu­ta­tion­al think­ing and pro­gram­ming skills unplugged before apply­ing the lessons learned on dig­i­tal devices;
  • Lack of lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies on health, well­be­ing and per­for­mance of stu­dents in high-tech and screen-free edu­ca­tion set­tings: Only prop­er sci­en­tif­ic research on pros and cons of both ana­log and dig­i­tal teach­ing tools, in an envi­ron­ment with equal­ly well-trained staff and com­pa­ra­ble fund­ing can pro­vide the nec­es­sary evi­dence base for respon­si­ble deci­sion-mak­ing and cre­ate the ground for informed use of tech­nol­o­gy by teach­ers and par­ents. Tak­ing all aspects of child devel­op­ment into the equa­tion, it is impor­tant to know when the ana­logue tool has com­pet­i­tive advan­tage over the dig­i­tal tool, and vice versa.

Author: Dora Šimunović

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Georg Jürgens