Since 2016 the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been compiling an empirical database through its study ‘Monitor Digitale Bildung’, which comprehensively and representatively illustrates the status of digital learning in a range of education fields in Germany. The study’s third report was published in 2017, and focuses on digital education in schools.
With the aid of a 360 degree survey, quantitative data was gathered from1,235 pupils, 143 teachers and 242 head teachers by means of an online questionnaire. In addition 20 regional and 10 trans-regional decision makers as well as experts from a range of institutions and functions were asked in structured interviews about the subject of digitisation in schools. Qualitative group discussions also took place in 12 primary schools in five federal states, involving a total of 98 pupils (Fig. 1).
Based on this data, the study has drawn the following conclusions:
‘1. Schools misjudge the potential of digitisation [...]
2. There is a lack of strategy and concept to digitisation […]
3. Poor wireless LAN connection, a lack of IT support, insufficient training […]
4. For pupils, videos are the preferred teaching medium used […]
5. Digital teaching materials: should preferably be free, tested and well-regulated […]‘ (p. 6f)
A general finding was that digitisation tends to be regarded as a challenge for teachers and head teachers, which is both explained and confirmed by the observation that digitisation is not treated as a strategic concept.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung has included a number of recommendations in the report that are based on the problem areas highlighted by the findings. These recommendations are aimed at reducing the obstacles to digitation for educational policy makers and stakeholders in schools. Among these is the call for universities to train student teachers in digital competences by introducing compulsory programmes to teacher training courses. Furthermore it calls for financial support for collective training programmes and for schools to be offered support, by coaches and through networking, which could also provide an external impetus. In addition there were suggestions to make reviewed digital teaching materials available through a national platform with a collective seal of approval. Finally the Bertelsmann Stiftung would like to see minimum technical standards introduced and professional IT experts working directly in schools in order to improve infrastructure.
Editorial staff (alb, vs)