DigiLEAD - desk research outcomes and what's next
The DigiLEAD Second Project Management Team Meeting took place on Monday, 4th Apr 2022. A key part of the agenda was the desk research that was presented by all partner countries. The expected differences and specificities of the research are a basis for conclusions and findings to serve for effective and fruitful future activities. The digital transformation in each country – Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and the Netherlands – has its own specific steps, sequences and obstacles, which are a main subject of the desk researches, but the common project effort should lead to the desired outcome everywhere.
The four partner countries have common goals to achieve, mainly in enhancement of the digital competencies and skills in school leaders and teachers, which is the key to improving teaching practices and incorporating innovative and new methods in pedagogy. And not the least, a change in educational policies regarding the digital transformation of the teaching and learning process.
In terms of strategy, Portugal has made significant progress, as even before the pandemic they adopted a wide strategy “Portugal Digital” for the entire country, which included a digital transformation programme for schools. The recent Digital Transformation Strategy of Greece presents a framework and actions aimed at enhancing the technological infrastructure and the educational structures in order to create a high-performance digital ecosystem. Similarly, in Bulgaria a strategic approach aligned with Digital Strategy Bulgaria 2020-2030 takes place, as well as a digitalization agenda of the government in Netherlands. In Cyprus there is still no clear digital education strategy but the focus is on the digital literacy, self-assessment and evaluation and pedagogically oriented use of digital tools.
The state institutions are willing to support the digital transformation process, although not with the same readiness in allcountries. It is also important to consider that financial support, as well as new education policies, must be met and assimilated by prepared and qualified school principals, technical staff, teachers and teacher trainers, able to deliver the desired benefits and results.
Most of the countries need more awareness raising, higher proactivity of school leaders and building a vision. A greater autonomy and own decision-making are also of major necessity and in this respect the Netherlands leads the other partners.
Оverall it can be considered that despite the progress in the digital transformation of schools there are still many gaps and the DigiLEAD project will make a significant contribution to overcome them.
With the Covid-19 pandemic impacting all aspects of life and more than 90% of the student population learning partially or fully from home, a strong need emerges: to reform EU schools by upskilling the competences of school leadership teams to develop and implement digital strategies in their schools, while also supporting teachers and students to enhance their digital skills and competences. This is the main aim of the DigiLEAD project, the first funded project that focuses on supporting school leaders.