International use of digital education to be examined

Education experts at Leeds Beckett University are leading a new international project to harness and further develop the advancements in digital education that have been seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The collaborative team – made up of partner universities and schools in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Hungary – will pool together new research and insight from each country to collectively strengthen the inclusivity of the education systems across Europe through digital learning opportunities.

Professor Mhairi Beaton, of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett, and one of the leaders of the project, explained: “It is extremely important that we make sure that all children are included in an excellent education. COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on education worldwide - and the use of digital technology has expanded vastly across all stages of education.

“It is very exciting to be working with our partners across Europe – whilst we are geographically different and have differing educational policies, we are facing many of the same challenges. By working together and pooling our knowledge, we can improve education here in the UK and make it a truly 21st century education for all children.”

The team will collaborate with young people, parents and teachers across Europe to find out what has been working, and not working, for them, in terms of digital learning.

Rachel Lofthouse, Professor of Teacher Education at Leeds Beckett, and co-leader of the project, said: “We have seen many instances of creative digital education developed by teachers during the pandemic. Rather than starting with a blank slate, we want to acknowledge this innovative practice and develop them further - providing not just guidance for digital practice, but resources to support changes in thinking, understanding of dilemmas and possible ways to develop solutions within digital practice.”

The key aims of the project are to increase educators’ abilities and confidence in providing effective and inclusive digital learning opportunities and to support educators’ abilities to manage change in their working practices. It also aims to help the wider community – including parents, carers and other family members – to understand and support educators and young people in digital learning contexts.

Read more