Irish-led team secure EU funding to develop digital resources for second-level teachers
13 April 2021 | 0
An Irish-led team has secured €300,000 in funding to develop a series of resources for second-level teachers to help them deliver learning in a digital age.
The project – Blended Learning in Schools: A Universal Design Approach – is a partnership between The Learnovate Centre, the School of Education and Trinity Access at Trinity College Dublin along with European partners in Spain, Belgium and Greece.
The Irish team will be working with international partners from Greece, Belgium and Spain representing a mix of second-level teachers and education researchers. A related professional development module will also be developed and made openly accessible across the wider networks of educators in Europe.
The project is co-funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, will focus on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, created by CAST, a US-based non-profit education, research and development organisation. UDL is a recognised framework to improve teaching and learning for all by taking an inclusive approach to offer all students equal opportunities.
The project will be led by Deirdre Green, programme manager at The Learnovate Centre.
“The tools and resources we will develop aim to support teachers and schools to develop inclusive strategies for the digital provision of teaching and learning in their own educational context, with an overarching goal of ensuring high levels of student engagement no matter what the mode of content delivery,” said Green.
“The potential for digital delivery to help avoid an interruption in teaching and learning was shown during the lockdowns but we also saw the need for flexibility going forward to deal with the variety of contexts teachers and students face.”
The team from Trinity College Dublin includes Dr Aibhín Bray, Dr Joanne Banks and Learnovate academic director Dr Ann Devitt (pictured) from the School of Education and Dr Jane O’Hara from Trinity Access.
Dr Devitt said: “In terms of education, all learners are not on an equal playing field. Some face barriers, for a range of reasons, to their learning. A truly inclusive educational environment aims to remove barriers to learning. UDL aims to make learning fully inclusive by design rather than by retrofitting. In this project, we will build on the UDL framework for the digital context, recognising that all learners will benefit from a flexible and inclusive approach.”