1,700 teachers from all over Greece and from Greek schools abroad attended and actively participated in the second National Documentation Centre (EKT) webinar entitled 'Discover the digital skills of your school with a ... SELFIE ' which was held on Tuesday 16 June in collaboration with the Hellenic eTwinning Support Service and the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC).
During the seminar, the participants had the opportunity not only to obtain valid practical information about the development of the digital capacity of schools in general, but also distance education particularly through the innovative European SELFIE tool. The innovative feature of SELFIE is that it involves school principals, teachers and students, while schools have complete control over the whole process and exclusive access to their results, and can configure the tool by adding their own questions. SELFIE has already been used by more than 650,000 school principals, teachers and students, from 7,200 schools in 57 countries, and is one of the actions of the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan.
From Munich and Brussels, to Prostosani, Drama, Lamia, Chania, Corfu and Mytilene, participants tested the SELFIE and the possibilities it offers. As part of the webinar, the audience took part in surveys and questions to the speakers, most of which were answered live. The interest from the public was intense and this is evidenced by the approximately 600 comments and questions asked. It is worth mentioning that while before the online seminar 90% of the participants had stated that they had no or insufficient knowledge about SELFIE, during a poll that took place, the participating teachers (83.1%) stated their intention. to suggest to their school teachers' association testing the tool.
In her opening address, EKT Director Dr. Evi Sachini said: "Having a co-ordinating role with the Ministry of Digital Governance on Digital Skills, we are trying to find communities of users who are in need or very interested in these issues and to meet their requirements.We are interested in the teachers' point of view in order to expand these discussions on digital skills so as to meet the needs of the educational community. "
Nikos Tzimopoulos, a member of the National eTwinning Support Service, noted: “SELFIE is a tool for recording digital skills in a school and eTwinning is a tool for action that helps us improve the indicators recorded by SELFIE. So we are trying to combine these two emblematic actions of the European Union to improve the digital skills of Greek teachers and students. Today, the eTwinning community includes 28,300 teachers and is located in 8,660 schools and since 2005 when it started in Greece, 13,000 projects have been created. "
The representatives of the Human Capital and Employment Unit of JRC, Panagiotis Kampilis and Nikoleta Giannoutsou presented their insiders view of the tool that has been developed by the Joint Research Centre, as well as best practices of digital skills development in general and distance education in particular.
Panagiotis Kampilis stated: "SELFIE is a free online tool created by the European Commission, it is available in at least 32 languages including Greek and can be used by junior and high schools-general and vocational- to understand where they are at the moment in terms of using new technologies in teaching and learning. At SELFIE, we have the opportunity to bring together the perspectives of school principals, teachers and students, and I am particularly pleased that students are attending this seminar as students are at the centre of all this effort. ”
Nikoleta Giannoutsou added during her presentation: “In the context of the pandemic, digital technologies are not only a tool to teach but become a vehicle for participation in the educational process. When we talked to the group, we found that when students were in the classroom, access to the educational process was a given, but when students are in their homes, technology is what connects them to school and the educational process. So what needs to change is the way we see the integration of equipment and how we support students and teachers first technically and then - and most importantly - how we support the pedagogical use of technology. "
The series of presentations was completed by Antonis Besios, Director of the 152nd Junior School of Athens, who presented the experience of various Greek schools, primary and secondary education, that had used the tool. Specifically, he stated: “The SELFIE pilot was begun in Greek schools in September 2017. Despite a number of difficulties, 22 schools initially agreed to test the tool in order to discover the digital skills of their educational organisation and improve their skills through the feedback from the tool, in this way fostering a culture of reflection. SELFIE can be a lever in the hands of the educational community to improve teaching and learning and, by extension, the situation in Greek schools.'
The very interesting discussion was moderated by Dimitris Maragos, head of the'Knowledge and Partnership Bridges of Cooperation' initiative, which is implemented by EKT. The speakers' presentations are available here.
The webinar, which was conducted in collaboration with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the National eTwinning National Support Service, is part of the series of webinars on digital skills from EKT . The series, launched about a month ago with the webinar on the Digital Skills of individuals and organisations, is expected to continue in the near future.
Series of webinars on digital skills from EKT
This online seminar was an opportunity for the National Documentation Centre (EKT), in collaboration with leading national and European bodies, to strengthen the debate on the development and practice of digital skills by gathering ideas and suggestions for improving state response to the digital challenge. The debate on digital skills will continue in the near future, with speakers from Greece and around the world. The next seminar will be announced soon on ΕΚΤ’swebsite, www.ekt.gr.
Joint Research Centre
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's scientific service, which contributes to the formation of European Union policies. Among the Centre's responsibilities is the exchange of know-how between EU countries, the scientific community and international partners. JRC has developed a series of theoretical models and tools for self-assessment and reflection on the digital capacity of citizens (DigComp), teachers (DigCompEdu) and educational organisations (DigCompOrg & SELFIE), which are used as reference frameworks for the development of policies and action plans at national and European level.
National eTwinning Support Service
eTwinning is a community of schools in Europe. It provides a secure platform for staff working in schools in participating European countries to communicate, collaborate, develop projects, share and, in short, feel part of the most exciting learning community in Europe. eTwinning is co-funded by Erasmus +, the European Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sports. About 800,000 teachers and 205,000 schools are participating in the programme and about 106,000 collaborative projects have been implemented. In Greece, 28,366 teachers from 8,674 primary and secondary schools are enrolled in eTwinning, and 16,889 collaborative projects have been implemented to date.
National documentation centre (EKT)
EKT, a supervisory body of the Ministry of Digital Governance, has a co-ordinating role in the 'National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs'. In collaboration with reputable organisations and in constant dialogue with the educational, research and academic community, EKT develops infrastructure and services, promoting knowledge, research and innovation in the digital space. It is also the co-ordinator of the 'Knowledge and Partnership Bridges' initiative for the networking and collaboration of Greek scientists and researchers around the world.