How will next year’s school be next year? A look at the 4.0 school curriculum

“Dear friend, I write to you,” said an old and beautiful song by Lucio Dalla, who tried to imagine the many things that would change in the new year, but which never change.
We want to say “dear school, I write to you …” and try to imagine and, why not, also dream about what will become of after Covid school. The pandemic caused by Covid-19 forced the school to renew itself quickly to give everyone the opportunity to continue with education and training activities even during the period of shutdown. To not
interrupt the teaching all the schools have organized themselves with distance learning, some have even provided devices to allow students to follow the courses online and thus continue the enjoyment of the lessons. This end has been a mixed year in between DID and face-to-face lessons with mask and pillows as desired.

The new plan for the digital school

The Minister white is the first to believe in a new school model so that it becomes an interactive, updated and varied place, a school open to experiments, a spacious and listening place. A path that goes through the digitization of the school. The MI minister recently signed School plan 4.0 which will actually replace “National Digital School Plan“With an investment plan of over 2.1 billion euros. In a recently published interview by the Minister, the desire emerges to provide an important acceleration to didactic innovation, first and foremost methodologically, to teacher education and the digitalisation of the school also for administrative aspects (source Digital Agenda).

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A little story about digital transformation in schools

What should be School 4.0? To understand where the school is going and what goals it is going to set itself, it is first and foremost necessary to briefly rediscover a little in the history of the digital path that this institution has been facing for some time now. The process of digitization of the school goes back to the introduction of interactive multimedia boards in about 30,000 schools and to fund 400 2.0 classes for experimenting with innovative digital teaching. In parallel with these initiatives, the training courses for teachers started. The next step was, in 2015, the approval of National Digital School Plan (PNSD) supported by the European Structural Funds under the National Operational Program 2014-2020. This actually marked a basic step for digitization of the Italian school thanks to the development (not always applied in the same way) of 35 actions outlined in the plan.

“These are the years when the electronic register becomes normal in 99% of the institutions, despite strong initial resistance, where the IWBs and screens will cover almost all classrooms, and mobile devices will start to be used as work tools in percentages. significant; new learning environments are being experimented with through the use of the first platforms “. The underlying feature of the path to digitization of this period isheterogeneity: PNSD spreads like a patch, favoring some territories over others.

Then Covid 19 arrived as a tsunami accelerating this path, forcing even the most skeptical to cling to digital devices so as not to have to stop teaching. These two years were also crucial in raising the average level of digital competencies of our teachers. During these years, digital animators were born, they are the reference points for all professionals, and also the school secretariats began to digitize processes and documents.

“With the resources of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan integrated with the European Structural Funds in the 2021-2027 programming, the objectives of the National Digital School Plan have now been completed and a further crucial relaunch, which, however, requires an update to the current digital art of school and the technological development, an update that must be fully included in the School 4.0 plan “. A relaunch that goes through European funding, for European Digital Education Action Plan and Digcomp Framework 2.2.

What will school 4.0 be like?

These are the cornerstones of this new ambitious project. Development of an efficient ecosystem of digital educationconsisting of broadband connectivity, digital teaching content and learning platforms to be transformed into integrated, online learning environments.

The second basic aspect is skills: the digital transformation of the school necessarily passes through digital proficiency and the introduction from the early years of the study of computer science. But the real challenge, according to Gabriella Benassi, is an integrated digital education, not to be confused with DAD (distance learning), but “conceived, designed and implemented in daily onlife and with a view to developing the digital skills of the future”.

As can be seen from the ministry’s website, the conversion of at least 100,000 classrooms into innovative environments learning with a planning phase that also involves the student component. The massive investment of 2.1 billion euros is also earmarked digitization of the administrative sector, wiring 40,000 school buildings and setting up laboratories for digital industries in the second cycle. These workshops will be aimed at the digital industries of today and the future (robotics, automation, digital communication services, data analysis as an example).

A complex challenge, but such a massive investment is a last and rare opportunity to close the circle.

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