"The Digital Future," possibly with the assistance of the German Embassy in Bucharest

English Section / 13 septembrie 2023

Photo: Peer Gebauer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Romania (left), Ioan-Florian Lixandru, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education (right).

Photo: Peer Gebauer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Romania (left), Ioan-Florian Lixandru, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education (right).

Versiunea în limba română

Digitizing education represents a major challenge for authorities. Help is also coming from abroad. Hundreds of children from kindergarten have attended the "Colorful School" as part of the "Digital Future" pilot project. The project was implemented with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Romania and with the help of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) by Art Klett Publishing, which developed the educational set "Colorful School" in partnership with National Geographic. In addition to the printed component written by Romanian authors and the educational content from specialized multimedia providers such as National Geographic, Twig, and Lifelique, comprehensive training was provided for kindergarten teachers. A pilot project to develop the digital skills of kindergarten teachers in order to create a dynamic learning environment by incorporating digital resources, supported by the municipalities of Buzău, Oradea, and Reşiţa, revealed the benefits of modern, integrated educational services for students at the beginning of their school activities. Entitled "Digital Future," the project was carried out throughout the 2022-2023 school year in schools in the three municipalities.

Peer Gebauer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Romania, stated: "We are pleased that our initiative has found support from local authorities, educational institutions, and teachers. We all believe in the adoption of a digital, interactive, and engaging education for children, and we are delighted that this initiative has received favorable responses locally, allowing us to thank mayors, school directors, and teachers for their openness and vision. This effort contributes to the development of digital education in Romania, supporting the development of a society and a country adapted to the demands of the future." Ilinca Pandele, Member of the AHK Executive Committee, emphasized: "AHK Romania has always been an active promoter of digitization and innovation. These are essential for the healthy development of society and the well-being of cities and their citizens. With the pandemic, digitization has transformed from a desire into an imperative, and the most effective means of implementing a large-scale concept change is certainly the school. We congratulate Art Klett for their initiative and the mayors of the municipalities involved in the project for their vision and lasting decision to invest in the future of the community and its children."

Ioan-Florian Lixandru, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education, also noted: "This event demonstrates the concern for the digitization of education. If the pandemic brought anything good, it was the acceleration of digitization. Steps in this direction have been taken even before the new Education Law came into effect. For the ministry, digitization is a priority."

According to Rok Kvaternik, Director of Ernst Klett Publishers for Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, "The Digital Future pilot project had a clear and ambitious goal, namely to develop and establish a comprehensive model for digitizing education in various educational settings in Romania, in order to set a general reference point for any future digitization initiatives throughout the country, ultimately benefiting all Romanian teachers and students." The pilot program also included five webinars - each with demonstration lessons - one for each module, training for participants in the use of electronic devices in classrooms and integrated teaching methods, two training sessions for mentors, and three workshops organized by them. The "Colorful School" concept provides all the resources needed for classroom activities, both in printed and digital versions, including classroom and homework activity books, a self-assessment workbook, an illustrated calendar, illustrative cards, motivational stickers, videos, games, songs, and digital exercises. "Colorful School" ensures attractive and efficient learning by integrating printed resources with digital ones. The digital platform offers intuitive videos, exercises, and games that keep students' attention and interest. The "Digital Future" project will run as a pilot project throughout the current school year to allow for improvements and prepare for expansion into other areas in the future. The approach to integrating digital content into the educational process has varied over time and from one country to another. In practice, the so-called integrated learning model, widely accepted by teachers, students, and parents, has ultimately proven to be the most effective model for digitizing education. In this model, printed learning materials and corresponding digital learning materials coexist, combining traditional approaches with the benefits of modern technology. This happens on multiple levels: through tools that facilitate learning, as well as through multimedia and interactive content that engages and motivates students even more, providing easily understandable visualizations of phenomena and allowing children to manipulate objects or even visit distant places virtually without leaving the classroom.

Unlike printed editions, thanks to technology, students using digital editions can continuously check and reinforce their knowledge by solving interactive tasks and tests, immediately see if their answers and solutions are correct, and receive useful guidance that printed materials do not provide, especially when consolidating their knowledge at home.