Education: The Digital Dilemma – To Use or to Be Used
Christopher Clouder, Director research SEE, Botin Foundation, Ed.
Christopher Clouder FRSA is a freelance speaker and consultant and is the founding director of the Botin Platform for Innovation in Education. From 1989 to 2012 he was the founder and CEO of the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education. Before this he was a Steiner high school teacher for about 20 years. He is co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood, a Fellow of the Learning for Well-being Community, member of the International Forum for Steiner Education, a visiting lecturer on many teacher education seminars around Europe and the supervisor or of the Steiner school in Florence. He has lectured globally at international conferences, not only on Steiner education but also on other educational and cultural subjects, written and compiled books and articles. His sees his educational work as serving to build bridges between educational cultures, be they political, social, cultural or academic and creating a sense of solidarity, renewal and understanding for the benefit of children worldwide.
Clara Aerts, Coordinator International Association for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education;
Georg Juergens, Executive & Administrative Officer, European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education
When the European Commission launched its New Skills Agenda in June, it became clear that media literacy and the provision of digital skills are one of its core elements. This confirms a common trend in the educational debate at EU level. The current narrative highlights the rapid digital transformation of both the economy and society at large and in consequence demands that Europe’s educational systems adapt to this challenge.
While ELIANT shares the intention of offering an education that prepares learners for this rapid societal transformation, we feel that too little is being said about how a truly age-appropriate and holistic approach to teaching IT and Media Literacy could look.
The debate is driven by economic arguments and sees the main role of educational systems in delivering the skilled users of IT and communication technology demanded by the labour market.
From our perspective, a shift of focus is overdue. How to ensure that the well-being of children is placed at the centre of the debate, how to best promote an understanding of IT and Media literacy that encompasses and emphasises critical thinking and how to transform that into age-appropriate IT and media curricula? And what could be the contribution of Steiner Waldorf education to reach these goals?
Prof. Paula Bleckmann (Alanus University of Arts and Sciences)
Paula Bleckmann was born in Munich in 1972. She has a Diploma in Biology from the University of Konstanz. Then she trained to become a Steiner School class teacher and taught at an inclusive Steiner School. She wrote her PhD thesis on media education at the University of Bremen, based on interviews with parents. Since 2010, she worked as reasearcher in a nationwide interdisciplinary project on video game addiction at the Criminological Research Institute in Lower Saxony, Hannover. She wrote her habilitation thesis on the socio-scientific understanding of video game addiction and on prevention strategies for screen media risks. In the latter context, she co-founded the MEDIA PROTECT project. Parents, kindergarten and elementary school teachers are the target group of this intervention to prevent problematic screen media use. She was appointed professor of media education in 2016 at the Alanus University Alfter. Paula Bleckmann is married and has three children.
Hannah Grainger-Clemson, Coordinator ET 2020 Working Group Schools, DG Education and Culture, European Commission
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Nóra Milotay, Research Department, European Parliament
Nóra Milotay is a policy analyst at the European Parliamentary Research Service, working on issues of European social policy at the Economic Policies Unit. After graduating from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, she taught History and German at a secondary grammar school in Budapest for several years. She then received her PhD in modern European history at the University of Cambridge. After having worked on several aspects of education policy, particularly in relation to schools, in Hungary and the for many years at the European Commission, from 2010 onwards she has built up European policy cooperation within the field of early childhood education and care that has gained an increasingly important role within the Europe 2020 Strategy. This work has involved leading and managing the thematic working group of member states policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners on early childhood education and care within the Open Method of Coordination. This group has prepared a proposal for a Quality Framework in ECEC in 2014, which has been used since in several Member States for shaping national policies in the field. With a background in both research and practice, Ms Milotay's focus is on the intersection of research, policy, and practice.
Prof. Dr. Els Laenens, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Antwerp
Prof. Dr. Els Laenens is a mathematician, computer scientist and educator. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Antwerp (department of Mathematics and Computer Science), cloud coordinator of EAPRIL (European Association for practitioner research on improving learning), and vice-chairperson of CNO, Center for continuing professional teacher development, Antwerp School of Education. Her main interests include improving learning and individual, collective and global well-being through profound innovation in education in a way that allows every human being to genuinely connect to their own sources of humanity and creativity. Her action research studies at the University of Antwerp illustrate the positive effects that may result from competence based and student centred learning environments in which students get the opportunity to co-create part of their learning environment.