Mr Emmanuel Zammit from the Ministry for Education and Employment delivered a presentation on the Commission Staff Working Document in relation to the Digital Education Action Plan during a consultation session organised on March 20, 2018 by MEUSAC in conjunction with the Ministry.
The European Commission adopted new initiatives to improve key and digital competences of European citizens, to promote common values and inclusion and pupils’ awareness of the functioning of the European Union.
One of the measures proposed is a Digital Education Action Plan which outlines how the EU can help people, educational institutions and education systems better adapt to life and work in an age of rapid digital change by:
– making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning;
– developing the digital competences and skills needed for living and working in an age of digital transformation; and
– improving education through better data analysis and foresight.
Initiatives include supporting schools with high-speed broadband connections, scaling up a new self-assessment tool for schools on the use of technology for teaching and learning.
Although technology has been brought into the classrooms, the challenge of bandwidth speeds of those connected is quite achallenge.
According to Mr Zammit, it transpires that there is a dire need to re-examine the basic infrastructure in the education sector as a good number of teachers are claiming that wi-fi and internet access is turning out to be quite challenging.
Mr Zammit said that we need to re-examine how teachers are delivering lessons and whether technology is being used to the full. However, he added that in Malta, teachers are not satisfied with the connectivity.
“Digital technology enriches education and offers new learning opportunities, besides the fact that the dossier states that digital technology improves results in education.
“Therefore, it is of pertinent importance that schools should be ‘connected’ properly,” he emphasised.
He also said that the dossier speaks of the power of blockchain technology in the education sector.
“Malta is one of the first member states to use blockchain in its education sector,” Mr Zammit said.
He also asked whether teachers are being disheartened with the technology challenge and whether they are prepared to look at technology as a tool that brings us opportunities. He added that we need to see our students move from passive consumers to creators of value.