cloud computing, learning, teaching

The Future of Learning and Teaching in the Cloud

School on the Cloud (SoC) is a network project exploring the impact of Cloud computing on different aspects of education. Project partners interested at the ways the Cloud transforms learning and teaching meet in Porto between 7-10 November 2014 to share experiences and expertise in learning and teaching with the Cloud. The project has produced a ‘state-of-the-art’ assessment. The goal is now to develop and provide recommendations for European education authorities.Cloud computing, education, Digital Agenda

European policy like the Digital Agenda, Europe 2020 and the European Innovation Plan are committed to innovation and change. There are many drivers for this, notably with a forecasted European ICT skills gap of 15% between 2012 and 2020 which needs urgently to be closed. Europe must encourage innovative uses of technology to drive business and industry forward for ensuring the longer-term economic success in Europe. In order to do this innovation in learning and collaboration is vital, enabled by Cloud Computing.

Access to Cloud-based technologies is recognized as having mutual benefits for companies and public sector activities, they need a well-trained workforce able to cope with these developments. If they are to be well prepared to compete for the higher-skilled jobs demanded by today’s knowledge economy, young people must be able to tackle the use of 21st century Cloud Computing tools head on. Access to the Cloud in education will also provide the impetus to modernise educational institutions and strengthen their reputations, helping to improve quality and drive greater competitiveness. School on the Cloud is a new European ICT project that assesses the state of the art of Cloud Computing in education in different European countries. The network examines the potential of Cloud for schools, colleges, universities and other education agencies.

The 2011 European Commission ICT Cluster report “Learning, Innovation and ICT” commented on lessons learned through the Lifelong Learning Programme. They identified i) digital leadership, ii) placing the learner at the centre; iii) a change of mindset in teacher training and iv) reinforcing the evidence base and research on use and impact of ICT for learning as most important features.

Six future actions for the future of learning in Europe were recommended:

  • Leadership and institutional change for a renewed strategy on learning
  • Digital competences and new transversal skills as core life and employability skills
  • Towards a new learning paradigm
  • Professional development – the teacher as learner at the centre
  • Research on learning in a digital society
  • Envisioning the future of learning in a digital society

The four working groups organised under the School on Cloud network embrace all these areas. The meeting in Porto will concentrate on the innovative teacher (iTeacher) and the independent learner (iLearner). Outcomes include a state-of-the-art assessment as well as guidance and advice for those looking to use the Cloud for learning and teaching.

About School on the Cloud

School on the Cloud – Connecting Education to the Cloud for Digital Citizenship (SoC) is an ICT network. It explores new dynamic ways in education that align with the way we think, share, learn and collaborate, across various sectors, by exploiting the opportunities arising from the Cloud.

School on the Cloud has created a learning network consisting of 57 European partners from 18 countries, distributed widely across Europe and includes most types of educational stakeholder and all sectors of education. More specifically, there are 21 Universities and teacher training departments, 9 NGOs, 8 schools, SMEs, research institutes, adult education and VET providers, a European professional association and a library.

The coordinating organization is The Doukas School in Athens Greece The Network is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, Key Activity 3 – ICT Networks, with a duration of 3 years (01/01/2014 – 31/12/2016).

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