More than teaching in the digital space

More than teaching in the digital space

On 7. March is the sixth anniversary of digital learning day in germany. It was initiated to draw attention to the importance of digital education. According to the pisa study, germany ranks last among the oecd countries in the use of computers at school. Meanwhile, new tools are increasingly being used in teaching in this country.

The clavius grammar school in bamberg has been teaching its students the right way to use technology for several years now: it is one of 90 schools participating in the "reference school for media education" project participating in an initiative of the state ministry for education and culture. The teachers and schoolchildren are testing the internet portal "mebis – landesmedienzentrum bavaria".

State secretary for education and cultural affairs bernd sibler and state secretary for the environment melanie huml were on site to find out about the first experiences with the portal in the classroom – and to get some suggestions for further development. Mebis is more than teaching in virtual space. It is for many the entrance to a self-understanding handling of the laptop. In class 8 a of the clavius grammar school, at least, there is no doubt about it. Every schoolchild has a small 11-inch macbook air lying on the desk in front of them in german class.

As soon as the discussion round on the topic of violence and prejudice is over, teacher roman eberth, who is also the media pedagogical information technology advisor for the gymnasien oberfranken, asks the class to answer questions on the internet portal. Everyone logs into the system, and after a few minutes the first students have answered the questions. Then it’s time to close the laptop. And the teacher evaluates at the front of the "virtual blackboard – a beamer throws the internet page on the wall – the result of the answers from. He now knows how many students have selected which answer. And can decide: this has to be discussed again or not. And also the homework that he assigns can be found on the net.

In history, two students present their self-designed crossword puzzle. Your classmates can answer the questions in the virtual room – according to their own pace and learning progress. It is never long to wait for results. "Each individual school receives immediate feedback on his or her level of knowledge", emphasizes secretary of state sibler. Even with exercises, they know whether they need to learn more.

But not every subject is as suitable for virtual instruction as history or languages, says sibler, who himself taught history and german at a grammar school. "It is one method among many." In parallel we continue to work with pen and paper. Carrying heavy school bags could soon be a thing of the past, however, because "soon there will be digital textbooks, too", says sibler.

In addition to a media library with 7,000 films, interactive maps, simulations and images, the portal also offers teachers advice and information on how to promote media competence. They also appreciate the system: "we would be happy if the offer was expanded and more materials were available, says astrid van essenberg. "It is important that the technology is easy to use, because this is the hurdle that every teacher has to take." There was a need for improvement. The macbook was purchased by the parents themselves. An investment that pays off according to the 8a students.

"Learning is easier and more fun with the computer", says ivan dzyurich (14). If someone gets sick, they don’t have to copy out their notebook entries. He finds everything online. This is an advantage especially when you can not read the writing of your classmates.

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