Mon 4th September 2017 - 09:40

Catch up on our tools for digitising educational institutions discussion

On 26 September 2017 Open Education Europa hosted an online discussion on tools for digitising education institutions.

The live chat session was organised as part of OEE’s September focus on digitising education institutions and was moderated by Dr Riina Vuorikari from the Joint Research Centre. Riina contributes to research and policy support in the field of "ICT for Learning and Skilling". Her work focuses on Digital Competence for citizens and on an exploratory project of Open Science 2.0.

Check out this short presentation prepared by Dr Riina Vuorikari

During the live chat participants discussed topics such as the benefits of using tools for digitising educational institutions, the restrictions and challenges and shared their thoughts around the Commission-developed SELFIE tool?

The live discussion is now closed but you can take a look at the comments and see what the OEE community had to say on these issues. Don't forget to visit OEE and keep an eye out for our upcoming discussions.

** Comments are now closed


All Comments

Tue 26th September 2017 - 10:56

Welcome everyone to this online chat! I’m your host Riina to help moderate this discussion on various aspects related to the topic of digitalisation of educational institutions.

It’s a very big topic and it has many aspects, so I would like to start by hearing your own experiences and thoughts around it. But first, let’s introduce everyone! Please write something about yourselves ☺

Tue 26th September 2017 - 10:58

Hello Riina, thank you very much for agreeing to host this discussion. My name is Rumen and work as an editor for Open Education Europa.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 10:59

Hello :) My name is Riina, I’m from Finland and for the last 4 years I’ve worked as a research fellow in JRC, one of the European Commission's in-house research centers.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 10:59

Hi Riina, my name is Sanjeet and I'm part of the Open Education Europa team. Looking forward to the discussion.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:02

Good morning. Welcome to you. I'am Michela Tramonti and my background and my job is in the field of ICT application in the education environment. It is very interesting to study how the use of digital tools can effectively reinforce both learning and teaching processes.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:03

Great to hear, welcome Michela and Sanjeet!

My work deals with the skills' acquisition but also the use of new technologies to support and enhance learning and teaching. So many topics that are important when we talk about the digitalization of education and educational institutions like schools, universities, adult learning centres, etc.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:04

Michaela, can you think of an example from your work of the use of digital tools that reinforce both learning and teaching processes? What do you use?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:07

Yes of course...currently I am a part of a research and development association in Italy, EU-Track (If you wish, you can visit the website One of our main topic is to engage students of different age in the STEM subjects.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:08

Usually I use 3D virtual objects...students are expected to design, produce and manipulate 3D objects with different software.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:08

@Michaela, STEM and digitalisation of education go hand in hand! You talk about students, do you work with schools or universities?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:10

I am researcher and on the base of the topic to be investigated I work with students from primary, secondary and university

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:12

@vuorikari Riina, what are your observations about digitising tools in schools and universities? Any particular examples you may have come across?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:13

People often hope to use digital tools in learning and teaching to "make things better" and "to make better things" (In my slides, on p. 5), in STEM, for example, digital laboratories that can be operated in distance by students could be an example.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:14

@Michaela, do you have examples of that in your project?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:15

Thank you for your slide presentation. Are they available also after the discussion?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:16

@rumen.h: Following the idea of STEM, I remember observing a project where probes like the ones to take a temperate from outside or sensors were linked to a school computer and students were able to make observations and report results in a rigorous way, they learned to work like scientists!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:17

@MTramonti The presentation is uploaded as a resource on OEE so you can refer to it whenever you wish.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:17

Yes, the slides are also on my slideshare, so no problem for getting them later, I've put many links there to our reports and website.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:17

It seems interesting to organise laboratories in distance . I don't have project in this topic.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:21

Concerning to the sensors, we developed one project titled Tinkering...we use Arduino and recycled materials to construct mini robots. It is very fine because we show also how to use the mobile to give commands or instructions.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:22

@Michaela. It's a great topic to check out! I know of schools who, with the help of distance online labs, can do experiments that they would not be able to do otherwise because their school does not have such equipment. But, of course it needs some planning by the part of teacher!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:22

@vuorikari Riina that sounds like a great way to get students to gain almost 'on the field' experience through ICT. What do you think are the challenges of introducing digitisation to institutions, though?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:23

Great. How can I collect more information about these laboratories?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:23

@Michaela: Arduino and recycled materials, right on! I am a big fan of everything with "tinkering"!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:24

Good to hear!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:26

How can we use the Selfie tool in our practice?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:28

So thinking of that kind of a model, hardware is only one part of the equation. Upskilling teachers play a big role, but so does the overall vision of the educational institution. Here, the question is how does the school organisation or vision support digitalisation as a whole!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:28

@vuorikari how can we use the Selfie tool in our practice? Could you give me some examples? Thank you in advance.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:30

@Michaela: for the moment, SELFIE, which is based on the above-mentioned DigCompOrg model is only in pilot, so as such, the tool is not available yet to all. But you can of course use the ideas of it, and start thinking of all those different areas, what needs to be done.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:31

@vuorikari For those who don't know, could you give a brief explanation about what the SELFIE tool is?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:31

Regarding SELFIE and the whole idea of digitalisation of education, there is a new MOOC that is run in English and Spanish by INTEF, it's part of the Spanish Ministry of Education who support open learning through MOOCs. Anyone can sign up, even if it just started!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:31

@vuorikari in my country, you can find several situations. We have very good teachers who are ready to test new tools and other too traditional ones. And of course the situation changes according to the headmaster.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:34

The SELFIE tool aims to support digital technologies in schools. It an online questionnaire that asks a series of questions to teachers, school leaders and students to provide a snapshot of the use of digital technologies for learning at a given school.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:35

@Manuela, that situation is very known to researchers! We are surprised to know that often times, you find more variation of teaching practices within a school than across the schools (average)!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:38

A tool like SELFIE asks a number of teachers to fill in the questionnaire, so this helps the school to get an overall picture of the situation, a kind of a selfie, if you wish ;) That allows the whole school together to plan what to do, for example, organise peer learning within the school from colleagues who have ideas for ICT use. When the "SELFIE" questionnaire is taken a year later, the differences could be visible.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:41

sorry I'm late! will take a look back at the messages...

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:41

Hello Riina and all,

sorry for joining late.

I'm here in Köszeg and we have just finished the morning session of our European Conference.

It is organized by LELLE and focuses on the key competence "Learning how to Learn".

Warm regards from Hungary


Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:42

Thanks, Rumen, for the link! As I mentioned, it is a free MOOC and worth participating if the topic is of interest for you. The INTEF staff has a great track record for organising open learning opportunities for teachers!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:43

Hello "teresamac" and Christian, nice to "see" you here!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:45

@Christian, good to hear from your project! "Learning how to Learn" must be a very crucial part of the whole discussion on Digitalising education and educational institutions. What is your porject's take on it?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:45

@vuorikari That sounds like a very valuable tool! And it reminds me on the e-maturity tool developed by the European consortium Open Discovery Space for the introduction of e-Learning into schools. It was also used to assess the readiness and e-maturity of schools and now it is used by the European Commission as mandatory questionnaire for schools applying to Erasmus+ funding schemes. More on:

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:46

@"teresamac": would you have an example or experience to share about digitalising education? Or the whole school? Or do you work in HE?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:48

@vuorikari thanks for sharing these resources. We have so many frameworks for skills development and an important need to develop digital capability in teaching. Do you think more could be done to recognise the skills of those who are already very engaged in professional development online?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:48

@Christian: in order to construct the SELFIE model, tens of similar tools were looked at. I think the one that you mention were among them. Thus, the SELFIE tool really draws on previous successful work like yours! (I almost want to say something about "standing on the shoulder of a giant... ;)

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:48

@vuorikari We believe that Learning how to Learn requires three core skills: "critical thinking", "problem solving" and "managing own learning path". LELLE has developed a so-called LELLE kit with a curriculum, lesson plans and further tools for teachers. We think that it is crucial to train the teachers and therefore they are our main target group. During the last two years we have developed a teacher training programme and organized several workshops in several countries to make teachers aware of the importance of learning how to learn and the three skills.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:50

@vuorikari That is great to hear! And I fully agree with you that we need a harmonization and common model: Therefore I really appreciate your work that you are doing at JRC in Seville!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:50

@"teresamac": I agree, starting from taking stock of what we already have is important! Recognising the prior learning and knowledge is important in order to aim for the right things. That is also the idea of SELFIE tool, you first start by "diagnostics", what do we have, and then create now aims. Importantly, you alse keep tracking them to know if you are successful!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:51

And I'm happy that we were selected to run and coordinate a new project on key competences in STEM learning and teaching in primary and secondary schools together with partners from all over Europe. We would appreciate our collaboration on this in the future!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:52

@Christian: that sounds really important and interesting! I will look at it, I'm very interested in teacher PD, formal, non-formal and informal ones. The things you mention seem imporant!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:54

I would like to make a comment about many models and harmonising them - the power sometimes lies in having a common language and understanding of what is important. I like to talk about reference models or frameworks for that matter, as it allows more room for local adaptions :)

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:55

All, we are getting really to the end. Would you have some last lines to conclude our discussion on digitalisation of educational institutions?

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:56

Fully agree with you, Riina! It is most important to get a common understanding and terminology and discussion can facilitate it. And adaptation is always a must.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:57

Digitalisation of educational institutions requires a careful strategy and more innovative pedagogies and (self-)reflection than technologies.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:57

From my part, I think it is important to know whether you are successful in what you are doing, for example, in the process of digitalisation. For that purpose, tools like SELFIE can help you to take toll, to know where you are, and then later, redoing the "SELFIE" allows you to know your progress!

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:59

Strategy must give the underlying roadmap and thus is important! In our models, that is also present, both for SELFIE, but also for Opening up education, which is the other model that we didn't discuss that much here, but also part of the slides that I shared.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 11:59

@MTramonti establishing a supportive ethos is so important. Also accepting that people need the space to progress at their own rate and choose those they wish to work with. Using moocs and open spaces such as G+ communities or twitter chats can be really helpful. Here's an example of CPD in Uk HEI for those on twitter

Tue 26th September 2017 - 12:00

Great discussion today, thanks all for sharing your links and experiences! They will stay online here, so people can come back to them.

Tue 26th September 2017 - 12:00

pace of change is a major challenge, approach to skill building needs to be flexible and open - use of video, sharing, communities of practice etc

Tue 26th September 2017 - 12:01

And stay tuned for a our MOOC on the quality of MOOCs to be launched next spring 2018

Tue 26th September 2017 - 12:01

Thank you for interesting dicussion, Riina!

See you all again soon!

Ayuda lingüística