A hybrid learning programme

#1 The First Version of our Learning Programme

Developing a hybrid learning programme for teacher educators

This result comprises the development of a hybrid and transnational programme for the professional development of teacher educators that enhances their digital skills, competences and creativity, as well as promotes their readiness to use digital tools in their teaching.

The project result emphasises the necessity of providing practical training and support to teacher educators in their digital professional development, as highlighted by the OECD in 2018. In the programme, we aim at providing teacher educators with practical experiences and opportunities to actively engage with digital tools and technologies. This type of professional development allows teacher educators to build their confidence, competence, and understanding of how to effectively incorporate digital tools into their teaching practices.

Moreover, the project result responds to the need for teacher educators to develop digital creativity and become agents of their own professional learning, as well as democratic digital citizens (Council of Europe 2020). We further intend to help connect and coordinate professional learning opportunities for teacher educators across borders and disciplines, inside and outside institutions (European Commission 2019). The programme aims at bringing together a diverse group of teacher educators. It will be tested three times in the form of so-called Innovation Weeks, involving three cohorts of teacher educators from the partner institutions.

Objectives

Enhance teacher educators’ digital skills, competences and creativity, as well as promotes their readiness to use digital tools in their teaching

Digital Skills: The programme offers workshops, hands-on training sessions, and online resources to teacher educators, helping them develop practical digital skills. For instance, they might learn how to create interactive videos or augmented reality material, and use educational software or apps.

Competence Building: The programme further aims at building teacher educators’ competences in implementing digital tools. They are introduced to pedagogical strategies and good practices for integrating technology into different subject areas. This helps them understand how digital tools can enhance teaching and learning.

Fostering Creativity: The programme intends teacher educators to explore innovative ways of incorporating digital tools in their own teaching practices. They are encouraged to think creatively and experiment with different tools and platforms. For instance, they might explore video creation, gamification, or virtual reality experiences to make their teaching more interactive and dynamic.

Readiness for Digital Tools: The programme focuses on building the educators’ readiness and confidence to use and try out digital tools in their own context. They are provided with resources, such as inspirational videos of good practices, a practical toolkit, and peer support networks, to help them effectively integrate technology into their courses. Additionally, they might be introduced to emerging technologies and trends in education, keeping them up-to-date with the latest advancements. During the programme, the participants are further encouraged to try out various tools and software.

Train and support teacher educators more hands-on in their digital professional development

As part of the programme, we intend to provide our participants with practical, experiential learning opportunities and ongoing assistance to enhance their digital skills and competences for their own teaching purposes. The goal is to equip them with the necessary knowledge and confidence to effectively integrate digital tools and technologies into their professional practices.

Practical Workshops: During the Innovation Weeks, workshops and training sessions are offered that provide hands-on experiences with various digital tools, platforms, and pedagogical approaches. These workshops are designed to be interactive and engaging, allowing the teacher educators to actively explore and experiment with the technologies. 

Transnational Group Work: The programme encourages teacher educators to collaborate with their other colleagues, not only from their own instiuttion, but from other universities. As part of the programme, transnational groups are formed across across institutions. These communities provide a platform for teacher educators to share ideas, exchange best practices, and support each other’s professional development in digital teaching. This group work is supported by the implmenentation of a virtual makerspace.

Application and Reflection: The programme emphasises the application of digital tools in actual teaching settings. Therefore, the participants are encouraged to implement their newly acquired digital skills in their seminars and reflect on the outcomes at the end of the programme.

Substainable networks: To ensure sustained development, the programme aims at establishing partnerships and a professional network beyond the duration of the project.

Support teacher educators to become agents of their own professional learning, in regard to using digital tools

Personalised Professional Learning: The programme provides teacher educators with opportunities for personalised professional learning based on their interests, needs, and goals. This is achieved by having chosen the format of an educational hackathon. This provides a highly flexible and adaptable environment that respond to the unique needs and interests of individual participants, i.a. their choice and autonomy, collaborative learning, and hands-on experience.

Showcasing Exemplary Digital Practices: The programme provides platforms and opportunities for teacher educators to showcase their exemplary digital practices. They are encouraged to share practices and effective strategies with their colleagues and the wider education community.

Help teacher educators to connect and coordinate professional learning opportunities across borders and disciplines, inside and outside institutions

As part of a transnational project between five partner institutions, the programme of the digiTED project aims at facilitating the establishment of substainlabe networks and partnerships among teacher educators from different subject areas and disciplines, both within and outside their own institutions. In order to do so, the programme includes the following:

(Virtual) Learning Spaces: Establishing local and virtual spaces for learning and exchange offers the opportunity for teacher educators to share ideas and resources, engage in discussions, as well as to become a part of shaping future learning environment in regard to the implementation of digital tools and technologies. On a local level, this might include collaboration and space-making during regular meetings and the development of institutional frameworks for the digitalisation of teacher education. On a European level, this entails the creation of a virtual learning space for teacher educators, in which they can share and interact.

Hybrid Conferences: Organising hybrid conferences provides opportunities for teacher educators to come together in real-time, present research, share innovative practices, and participate in discussions, allowing for rich cross-border and interdisciplinary learning experiences.

Staff Mobility: Facilitating staff mobility as part of this programme encourages teacher educators to immerse themselves in different educational contexts, gain new perspectives, and build professional networks.

Transnational Project Work: As part of this programme, different other projects and initiatives are introduced, either online or during the educational hackathon. Encouraging transnational project work is an important issue of this programme and might lead to future initiatives.

Underlying frameworks

Challenge-based learning (CBL) is an educational approach that focuses on engaging learners in solving real-world, complex, and authentic challenges. It involves posing meaningful questions or problems that require students to investigate, analyse, collaborate, and develop innovative solutions. CBL integrates multiple disciplines and encourages learners to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical context.

Design-Based Thinking: Design thinking is a human-centered approach that focuses on solving problems through empathy, ideation, prototyping, and testing. Incorporating design-based thinking principles into an educational hackathon can foster innovative solutions and encourage participants to approach challenges with a user-centered mindset.

Project-Based Learning: This framework involves organising learning around the completion of projects. An educational hackathon can be structured as a project-based learning experience where participants work collaboratively on a specific challenge, allowing them to apply their knowledge, skills, and creativity to develop practical solutions.

Technology Integration: Given the focus on digital tools and technologies in the programme, frameworks related to technology integration in education were considered. This includes approaches such as the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) or the TPACK framework (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge).