The Politecnico di Milano alongside schools for digital learning
An online course of innovative learning during the emergency and an e-book
During the lockdown, the Politecnico's commitment to the world of schooling did not stop: rather, it was enriched with various innovative initiatives.
Faced with the sudden closure of schools, we immediately wanted to make our skills available to help Italian teachers in planning and implementing the most effective distance learning possible, based on the numerous activities carried out for years by HOC-LAB, our interdisciplinary research laboratory which operates in the field of multimedia communication and technology-supported teaching.
So, in March, the laboratory created a MOOC taken from the DOL - Online Masters Degree in Educational Technology, which alternates the delivery of specific modules with laboratory activities that aim to put the technical and design skills that have been acquired into immediate use.
In view of the success achieved, we are already planning a new edition of MOOC for the next school year.
Nicoletta Di Blas, professor of Special Pedagogy at the Politecnico and head of HOC-LAB, explains:
Many Italian teachers were not prepared to suddenly deal with distance learning. And yet, as the comments collected in the e-book tell us, many of them threw themselves into it, with some difficulties, but also with unexpected results. The success of our course makes us think that this initiative should continue even after the emergency has ended.
From this project the project "Voci dalla scuola ai tempi del coronavirus" [Voices from schools during the Coronavirus], was born; this is our tribute to Italian schools during the lockdown. It is a compendium, a collection of teachers' comments relating to managing distance learning imposed by the pandemic.
The e-book, available free of charge, brings together the voices of some of the 3,660 teachers who took part in the MOOC, and who through the online forum have created a community that learns, interacts and shares knowledge and good practices, to introduce new technologies into their own school environment.
This is not an academic book. Nor is it a methodological reflection on distance learning. It is an interesting, at times moving and entertaining, cross-section of Italian school that have not stopped, that have experimented with new methodologies and tools. Windows onto the "workstations" of teachers who recreate miraculous educational relationships with their distance-learning students. "The words are theirs; we simply collected them".
says Professor Di Blas.
“Their testimonies are organised by strands of discussion: how they organised the learning environment, what tools they experimented with, how their role in the relationship with the students changed, how they managed the class group, which inclusive strategies they were able to implement.