The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted social and economic life on an unparalleled scale, and it has resulted in a significant increase in the demand for online learning opportunities. There has been a lot of discussion about the promise of digital education to increase access and quality of higher education, yet there is still much work to be done to demonstrate the impact of these improvements at local and regional levels, beyond the hype of the emergency response.
Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, universities have demonstrated an unknown and unpredictable ability to reinvent their ways of working at unprecedented scale and speed. Most universities have already accepted an acceleration of the digital transformation, and they have demonstrated that they have the ability, the power and flexibility to manage significant transformations.
What we need to avoid is that these quick fixes and emergency solutions become the new norm. Although the sector might have surprised itself, universities are now in an exceptional position to act as a catalyst for change exploring sustainable and inclusive approaches to complement and reinforce traditional forms of teaching and learning by making a meaningful use of educational technology.
During 2021 the UNIMED SubNetwork in eLearning and Open Education will host a series of conversations around key aspects of digital education. During each online meeting, an expert will introduce the theme presenting some innovative ideas and working practices, and a discussion will be held where participants will be invited to briefly present their developments and challenges in the specific theme.
The calendar for the 2021 online conversations is:
- 6 April, 11:00-12:30 CET, Learning communities and Social Networking – Alastair Creemlan, Linnaeus University
- 4 May, 11:00-12:30 CET, Open licencing and Open Educational Resources – Fawzi Baroud, Notre Dame University-Louaize
- 1 June, 11:00-12:30 CET, E-assessment – Saida Affouneh, An-Najah National University
- 6 July, 11:00-12:30 CET, Blended mobility and virtual exchange – Francesca Helm, University of Padova – Registration link
- 3 August, 11:00-12:30 CET, Digital literacy and digital habits of students and teachers – Maha Bali, American University in Cairo
- 7 September, 11:00-12:30 CET, Inclusive online pedagogies – Katherine Wimpenny, Coventry University
If you would like to participate in one or more conversations, please let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org