The challenge for 21st century education

by admin on 22. April 2010

Humanity is living a historical period of rapid technological changes, particularly in information and communications technologies (ICTs), with consequent threats, opportunities and challenges emerging from the widespread transformation of products, services, organizations and generally of the ways in which we have lived and worked so far. Education and schools find themselves at the core of this societal process both as service organizations undergoing changes themselves and as fundamental providers in the massive social learning resulting from it. The challenge is complex since it is a well-known fact that simply installing computers in schools is not enough to lead to effective transformation of pedagogical processes with improved educational attainment. Indeed, installation of technology is not the same as innovation and implementation and research on innovation has long shown that successful change involves complex human-organisational processes in which technical aspects blend deeply with other dimensions such as new ways of working, governance and organization. Lack of this understanding in current processes of ICT-based (e-learning) change is likely to be very costly in funds, time and human resources, often, with little to show but frustration. There is therefore a strong need to research, learn and disseminate lessons in order to do better and this is the reason for this learning environment.

Users and tools

The learning environment described underneath has to be understood as a mix between physical and virtual components. It is mainly addressed to innovators as well as teachers and headmasters willing to acquire action-oriented knowledge to foster innovation processes in schools and didactics. Virtual facilities provide the learner with a full set of knowledge, interaction and action tools embedded into each field of the online learning environment. The physical environment is realized through highly structured seminars and workshops focused on specific cases of ICT-based innovation in school. The physical learning is intended to generate further knowledge about strategies on how to tackle the challenge of ICT for the 21st Century education.

The physical learning experience will be linked to the virtual one though specific community tasks using chats, forums and instant messaging inside the Virtual Campus.