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Dialogic Learning in The Time of Crisis

Dialogic approaches to pedagogy can be incorporated in the development and use of digital learning resources

Photo of Jessica White
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Senior Consultant at EDUvation GmBH

Tell us about your idea

Connecting Analogue with Digital: How can we connect the wealth of digital learning resources with analogue lessons? How do we support teachers through this transition to online? In these times parents and teachers are challenged to find the analogue to digital link. Many have not been prepared for the full shift to digital and online. How can the EdTech eco-system support them through this transition? One way is to share mini analogue lessons that create the bridge between analogue and digital. This means that EdTech companies and publishers make a shift from just providing products and instead of seeing themselves as facilitators and supporting teachers with professional development and training that provides possibilities for reflexive practice. Technology can help us to access education that in turn enables us to cope. Whereas education can expand our imagination and hope for an alternative future, leaving behind everything that was broken and harming our humanity. It is this combination that could contribute to our saving grace. By bridging this gap with TAAS: Training as a service, we can bridge this gap between digital learning technologies and teaching. We want to empower teachers rather disempower them or worse lose them to automation. Usually companies/publishers that can offer training as an offering and solution for the teachers would be seen as more valuable than publishing companies or startups that are only offering products/learning materials, however often they do not have the bandwidth. This project would be supporting EdTech Companies, Startups and Publishers with that training service. Teachers and students not only need smart and EdTech learning platforms and Digital Learning materials, but teachers, parents and also students need training. Not on technical aspects but how to integrate materials into the curriculum and the pedagogical aspects. So by leading with training as a service (TAAS) would be more beneficial and valuable, than just throwing resources at teachers, parents and students. This is still a relatively new paradigm of how we can create dialogic approaches to pedagogy that can be incorporated into the development and use of the digital learning resources, nevertheless this project aims to do this.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Whilst there has been a lot of criticism about tech in education, I have seen that the lack of tech can also lead to teachers subjectively awarding the students that think like them. As a student if you do not fit into the ideological framework of the teacher at any level including work life, find themselves being rejected due to subjective marking, based on the ideological orientation of the teacher and later committee that is often politically orientated by the systemic framework of the organisation. If the student or worker does not agree with their manager or their teacher, but nevertheless has brought valuable or groundbreaking contributions, they may be unfairly rejected based on subjective, structural or political priorities. Technology can mitigate this bias. It is also true that technology can contribute to these human biases and that is the challenge of building these platforms of just replicating human bias. The dialogic element can mitigate this.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

 I have always been passionate about Education having grown up in a family of educators. I spent the first ten years of my professional life teaching and founding a charity that gained funding from the Austrian state governments to fund projects on education reform through technology, creativity and education. It helped refugees and second generation immigrants to explore the wider aspects of their identity whilst connecting with education and learning goals, so they were able to gain agency of their own learning journey. I am passionate about teaching as well as new technology, but I am cautious of digital learning being seen as a panacea when in fact it can be harmful. I believe that teaching and giving teachers, facilitators, students and parents an understanding of the technology that they are accessing would be beneficial for the future of humanity and indeed for keeping education human.

What region are you located in?

  • Europe

Where are you located?

Munich, Germany, however, I am British. I have worked in Japan, Austria, UK and France and travelled across UK, US, Asia and Europe for education.


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Photo of Arie Marlantis

I enjoyed hearing your point of view although I disagree with your take that lack of tech affects how students are graded. In a class like math you are assessed on accuracy, the same as during regular school, whereas in a class like English is more subjective which is also the same as in regular school.

Photo of Jessica White

Arie Marlantis thank you for your comment. My point is not that the lack of tech affects how students are graded, only that Technology *can* mitigate this bias (but not always). As mentioned in the text **It is also true that technology can contribute to these human biases and that is the challenge of building these platforms that may just be replicating human bias. The dialogic element can mitigate this**. Tech is not a panacea, however, too often I have seen that students have been marked down, especially in humanities subjects because of the opinion of their peers influencing teachers/professors particularly in project work. One way of mitigating this is by providing portfolio learning, so that students can show evidence of their efforts, that can contribute to the final mark, rather than just strict assessment on one small area. This can also show a diversity of their work that can be evidenced over a longer period of time that may not be evident in a single platform or assessment in one day. It is this mixed combination of technology that can support teachers/professors in understanding a more holistic view of the student rather than just relying on their own subjective ideological bias or at worst others in the students peer group that I have seen happen.