Needs and Objectives
The Enable project establishes a strategic partnership that addresses pressing needs in Europe:
Need 1: Train young people with ICT skills required by the labour market. ICT is an area with great job potential for the future, but Europe is still not educating enough ICT skilled professionals. Mobile learning and the use of mobile ICT is considered a key focal point in future education by the UNESCO. Teachers’ lack of IT experience is often the bottleneck when new ICT-based teaching material shall be integrated in education.
Need 2: Involve all authorities and stakeholders across Europe to develop a mutual vision for future education of ICT and spatial competencies and foster cooperation between the stakeholders at all levels. It is a long procedure to include new technologies into school curricula. There is a need to support governmental decision-makers to ensure integration of geospatial technologies in an appropriate and targeted manner.
Need 3: Allow for formal and informal learning: Gamified and collaborative apps engage pupils and motivate them to play educative games with friends in their leisure time. Our toolbox requires only technologies usually available and accessible by youth.
ICT and spatial literacy is essential in many professional and everyday activities. Spatial literacy, learning about and improving interaction with one’s surroundings, is an inherently trans-disciplinary competency transcending from STEM to social sciences and arts. Many tasks in the most recent PISA study on general problem-solving referred to spatial problems. The study reveals great backlog demand in OECD countries such as Spain and Portugal. Already in 2006, the US National Research Council stressed the great importance of spatial literacy for STEM fields. ICT and spatial literacy is a focus topic in Europe 2020. The required technologies have now become widely available at reasonable cost. Young people are very eager to use emerging geospatial technologies (e.g. GPS, tagging technologies, and other sensors on smartphones). Despite their omnipresence, these technologies are still insufficiently integrated into current teaching practices. The key reason for this discrepancy is the lack of “out-of-the-box” solutions for teachers, which provide an engaging experience to pupils, and can be easily integrated into standard curricula.
This project will develop an out-of-the-box solution for training spatial and ICT competencies in secondary school education. This includes the following objectives and target groups:
Objective 1: Development of educational software for secondary school pupils and teachers (intellectual output 1 and 2). The publicly available IT toolset consists of apps that can be used in class or in the field. The resources aim to actively promote pupil involvement and collaboration, and engagement techniques such as gamification.
Objective 2: Development of freely available teaching material to enable teachers to teach pupils and to enable teachers to teach other teachers in ICT and spatial literacy education (intellectual output 3). As teachers are often the bottleneck to the use of ICT in classrooms, it is important to include their perspective and take teacher education into account. This project develops an educational concept for supporting spatial and ICT literacy through project-based and collaborative learning, seamlessly integrated into the subject matter of different courses of current curricula.
Objective 3: Propose recommendations for future national/federal curricula to decision-makers based on the project experiences. Governmental stakeholders are actively involved in the development process of IT tools and educational materials at all stages of this project.
Objective 4: Foster a strategic partnership for sustainable cooperation in ICT education. Deepening existing cooperations among experienced ERASMUS Mundus partners, exfoliating its focus by including partners of the educational sector of secondary education as associative in three countries and one industry partner.
Objective 5: Disseminate project outcomes addressing stakeholders at all levels, in particular teachers, pupils, governmental stakeholders and the scientific community. Actively involved teachers are the most important multipliers. Long term success and sustainable results can only be reached when curricula developers are involved.