Reimagine Distance Learning – Επαναπροσδιορίζοντας την Εκπαίδευση

Reimagine Distance Learning – Redefining Education

Access to education for all has always been an amaranthine demand and a virtue of the countries that have achieved it. And even though European research results suggest that most indeed, have access to all levels of education, we still have a lot of way to go in order to achieve the ultimate; educational procedures that is, not only based on inclusion and respect of oneself, both basic values of education, but one that is also on track with the era’s massive changes. Education that is able to adapt and overcome.

The last years have been life altering. And even if the “it’s Covid’s fault” excuse is rapidly turning into a dangerous cliché, it is partially true. Yes, partially, as during this period problems were created, but also revealed and exposed. Problems that were able to be swiped under a blanket of a society that was thirsty for change on one hand, but hesitant and too busy to change on the other.

Education was of course hit. Hard. Schools, Universities and Educational centers closing down one after another all around the world, with most being unable to proceed with their curriculum via distant practices. The absence of core digital tools, educational platforms, class communication channels, and a digitized registry of the respective materials, all played their part on decomposing one of the most valuable processes in human life. Learning. But above all it was the absence of a general digital educational culture, a necessary element to develop appropriate didactic practices, that will lead to innovative and inclusive teaching and learning methodologies.

Treating The Wound

Problems will be problems, and they’ll keep being, until action is taken. With that in mind, and considering that education cannot wait, “Reimagine Distance Learning” (Reimagine) came to life. An Erasmus+ project focusing on the introduction of innovative teaching methods, practices, and tools in the educational process, as a way to tackle the many challenges that call for action. The project aims at managing an effective shift towards digital education by introducing innovative distant teaching methods and tools based on the Instructional Design Methodology, thus increasing the competences and readiness of adult education institutions and their educators alike.

Instructional Design is a field that marries education, psychology, and communication methods, in order to develop the most effective and efficient curriculum for the respective group of students. This ensures that students acquire knowledge in a way that is specifically effective and meaningful to them, helping them better understand and connect with, the subjects and principles being taught.

With the above in mind, we can state that Reimagine Distance Learning is not just a matter of training educators on specific digital tools, a mindset that could on one hand upgrade their skills and competences on certain aspects of digital teaching, but on the other, it would miss the gist of the concept. The development that is, of distant educational methodologies and a general culture of student approach, to be applied on the curriculum.

Results Do The Talking

Reforming adult education is not an easy task. Through the “Reimagine Distance Learning” project, a number of results shall be produced, towards that cause. From the project’s web platform and a Toolkit which gathers valuable information, methodologies and tools, to an online training course focused on adult educators, these are the results to be produced through-out the project:

  • Web App Platform

Development of a Web App Platform dedicated to Distance Learning and the related tools and methodologies that are based on Instructional Design. The main focus of the Platform are professionals from the field of adult education, and will be designed in a manner so as to strengthen the network, increase cooperation of the partners, and make the materials and general results produced through the project available to the target groups. An online training environment with relevant materials for educators  will be included, as well as a data collection platform which will provide insight on Distance Learning matters via questionnaires. The Web App Platform will be maintained for 5 years after the completion of the project, and it will be translated in all partners’ languages.

  • Toolkit

Even though there is an abundance of e-learning tools and technologies, attention must be paid to implementing them on different educational scenarios and contexts. At this stage of the project, a Toolkit will be developed as a mean to equip users with concrete information, tools, and methodologies, in order for them to effectively develop a training curricula based on the Instructional Design Methodology. Among others, the toolkit will offer a vast number of best practices utilized across the EU in adult Distance Learning for users to reflect on. The Toolkit will take into account the cultural and sectoral variety and will organize its content accordingly.

  • Online Training Course

The main objective of the “Online Training Course” is to bring adult educators in contact with the Instruction Design approach ethics and methods, thus allowing them to apply it in class. Through the training course, participants will be equipped with all the essential information and tools in order to be able to design creative and inclusive curricula on Distance Learning. The “Online Training Course” will consist of modules with 30 hours of total duration and will be translated in English and in all partners’ languages.

Target Groups

Education and its matters are subjects, the interest of which, are as universal and global as it gets. It is considered to be the beginning of everything, and that is the reason why experts always seek innovation. With that in mind, there are certainly several individuals, as well as groups of people that are touched by the project’s scope. The following list is formed by the direct target groups:

  • adult trainers and educators.
  • other professionals from the adult learning sector.
  • researchers and experts.
  • data and statistic analysts.
  • policy makers at local, regional, national (Ministries of Education and Youth Policies, Trade Unions in all Partners Countries).
  • EU level (European Commission, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Committee of the Regions, Assembly of the Region).
  • general public.

The Partnership

Behind every major transformation, there are people with common dreams and beliefs, who come together, create a connection, and effectively seek evolution. Reimagine Distance Learning consists of 5 organizations from 4 different European countries:

  1. The Regional Trade Union Training Center Craiova – Romania
  2. p-consulting.gr – Greece
  3. Solaris – Germany
  4. Cooperativa DENSA – Italy
  5. UN-LAB – Italy

The Beginning!

Right, so there is the problem, the plan to solve it, and the people willing to take action: Off we go!

Don’t go far! More soon!

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