The digiUP project aims to improve the digital competence among disadvantage groups in Europe by implementing a successful education method called “interactive group” in ICT courses. The first training course in Sweden has been concluded.
What is Interactive groups?
A short answer is;
it´s a pedagogical idea for adult learners used in a group where there is great diversity regarding age, culture, ability and other capacities.
The method can promote inclusion and success of vulnerable minority ethnic populations. Empirical data obtained from three case studies in schools in Spain indicate that Interactive Groups are one of the most successful inclusive actions implemented in schools.
The first training course for teachers from Swedish folk-highschools was conducted at the Hagabergs folk-highschool on the 11th of October.
There were 13 expectant teachers from folk-highschools in Sweden that for a day gathered in a classroom eager to hear more about the method. Under the guidance of Ulrika Knutsson and Lars-Göran Karlsson from the FSO the group started with a discussion on the topic of Digital inclusion. What does it mean to be digitally included and why is it neccessary to be just that in today´s society?
The discussions clearly showed an unity that this is a very important question for the whole of our society, to be a active and fully included citizen you need to be digitally included.
An interesting question for pedagogs is how we arrange the classroom. In many cases the situation is:
– many students
– the teacher has everybodys attention and is expected to have time for all.
This is a hard task for a teacher and not an enviroment that benefit the student to learn. Trying to solve this problem there are those who tries to create more homogenical groups where the students are more like each other; in skills, culture, age and so on.
This could be better for some students but it narrows the students spectrum – sure they can learn some skills and pass a test, but they probably haven´t strengthen their capacity to cooperate with others solving problems. And that is important today.
The method of Interactive groups trains just this – the participants work in small groups and train their social skills as well as they learn a topic. Here diversity and different levels of knowledge is an assett, not a problem.
In the training course at Hagaberg the participating teachers discussed and tried the method and gave useful feedback to Ulrika and Lars-Göran in their ongoing work with sharpen the method. Their belief is that it can be used in all kinds of courses although they aim at ICT-courses. In groups with migrants, elder and disabled people this method is well worth a try!
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