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The Digital School

05/25/2016 - 04:00 PM

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Over the last few years, the rising popularity of new IT technology, the availability of increasingly fast and evolved transmission networks and the inception of social networks have enabled individuals to communicate with one another and access information globally. This fast evolution, coupled with an adjustment of the EU rules and regulations on the matter, has sparked a process of digitalisation within schools.

Italy does not currently occupy a prime position in the process of repurposing its educational tools, given its precarious current cultural and political landscape: it has only completed 6% of the European School 2.0 scheme, according to a survey run by OCSE.

The current situation in our country enables TIM to intervene in a direct and broad manner, as potentially one of the key active agents in the national digitalisation scheme of schools’ educational resources. School is where it all begins: the place where children learn the foundations of their education and of civil values, to count, to write and to deal with the world at large. Beyond family members, teachers are a child’s main role models, providing essential guidance. This means that schools, as places devoted to learning, cannot afford to stay still in a world that is moving at an ever-faster rate; they must embrace the digital revolution that is changing the face of our era. To simply keep a PC connected to the internet in each classroom isn’t enough: the whole teaching and learning system must evolve, educating tutors and students to employ technology at best and to make use of the internet in a responsible manner.

In placing the accent on bringing technology into the classroom TIM wishes to acknowledge the key role played by schools, today, in shaping tomorrow’s society.

In 2014 our company signed a three-year protocol agreement with MIUR, endeavouring to promote the diffusion of digital solutions with a view to support innovative educational methodologies. TIM offers its expertise to the ministry in a bid to disseminate broadband and ultrabroadband in schools, organizing communications events tailored to the new technological needs of students and their teachers.

TIM was also the first company to launch a student-dedicated offer on the market: TIM COLLEGE.

EducaTI

EducaTI sums up Telecom Italia Corporate’s promise to Italian schools. 2015 was an important year, in which TIM contributed to the ‘Buona Scuola’ (‘The Good School’) scheme through four connected projects. Such initiatives are part of TIM’s Corporate Shared Value scheme #ilfuturoèditutti (the future belongs to all): a series of interventions aimed at creating value that is shared with the communities in which Telecom Group Italia operates.

DO IT YOURSELF – Technical Applications 2.0

DO IT YOURSELF kicked off in twenty Turinese ‘scuola media’ (secondary schools) on December 11th, 2015. The event, organised by TIM, introduced basic electronics/making/DIY skills to 1,000 students between the ages of 10 and 14, stimulating them to engage with new technologies through a tailored problem-solving, creative technology-based experience. Schools were provided with hardware kits and kids were guided through a practical lesson by a team of specialised tutors, who aided them to bring their final project to completion.

‘Programming the future’

Digital natives’ engagement with technology has determined a new way of learning which should be reflected in the educational pathways chosen to promote learning. If we want to build a future in which the infinite potential of digital technology is exploited at best, planning carefully for children’s digital literacy, promoting a responsible use of the Internet and involving kids, parents, teachers, tutors and public administrators in every step of process are all essential tasks. As leading partner of ‘Program the Future’, TIM organized two special promotional days on October 9th and December 11th, to coincide with the European and International days of coding. 230 schools participated, in over 30 cities and across the entire Italian territory, for 750 classes and 19,000 students, simultaneously engaging in one hour of coding training.

YOUTEACH

Youteach is a creative contest organized by TIM in collaboration with MIUR. It entailed the making of a role-reversal video in which students taught their teachers about the use of social networks. Participating classes were asked to prepare and film a 5-minute long lesson on a smartphone, focusing on the responsible use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube. The contest awarded prizes to those videos that best succeeded in explaining the learning processes of using social media tools, and their value in teaching digital culture in schools.

TIMWebRULEZ

TIMWebRULEZ fosters a responsible use of the web through 10 rules outlined by as many Web Stars. The project is promoted by TIM in collaboration with State Police and Istituto Minotauro in Milan. A recent research presented last September at the international ‘Global Trends in Online Safety’ conference run by FOSI (Family Online Safety Instititute) highlighted that only 55% of parents educate their children to safeguard their privacy online, while only 33% of teachers discuss online security with their students. Promoting an awareness of good practices and behaviours online is a crucial task in making the most of the opportunities offered by the Web.

TIM COLLEGE

TIM College reinforces TIM’s dedication to bringing technology into Italian schools. Dedicated to students under the age of 30, the offers advances the notion of a ‘digital school’ by offering valid tools that can help young people who are studying or training. Currently, the offer includes a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 97” tablet, with 4G connectivity, a 5GB monthly data bundle and a range of digital educational content aimed at teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18, including a 30-months long DeAgostini language course (English, French, Spanish and German are the languages on offer), and a mathematics course. The following extras are also included in the offer: 21 Italian classics books, 3 manuals, a 50 euro bonus to purchase school books in a digital format on scuolabook.it, and access to the learning platform Oilproject.

New technologies must necessarily become an essential tool in improving teaching (e-teaching) or offer further curricular and extracurricular learning opportunities (e-learning). We subscribe to the definition of e-learning as outlined by the European Union: ‘employing new multimedia and online technologies to improve the quality of teaching, by facilitating access to resources and services, as well as remote exchange and collaboration.’