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