| Erfurt School of Education, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Philosophy, Education, School, and Behaviour, Studies

UniSchulPlattform: New impulses for teacher education in the Corona pandemic

With the start of the summer semester 2021, the new "UniSchulPlattform" will also be launched at the University of Erfurt. It offers students and teachers the opportunity to develop digital teaching and learning in close exchange with researchers and practitioners and to test it with internship schools at the University of Erfurt. The "UniSchulPlattform" thus builds a bridge between theory and practice in teacher training. In addition, the "UniSchulPlattform" supports the development of digital teaching at Thuringian schools.

Startseite der UniSchulPlattform
Startseite der UniSchulPlattform

The summer semester 2021 will again start with great challenges for all students and teachers at the University of Erfurt - especially in the teacher training programme with its high proportion of practical phases. On-site school placements have hardly been possible for two semesters due to the Corona pandemic. And so the prospective teachers are missing an important building block of their studies. In addition, the demands on the teaching profession have expanded to include competences in digital teaching and learning. In order to be able to deal with all of this appropriately, a team led by Professor Petra Kirchhoff has now developed a moodle-based learning platform in the project "Research Campus Digital Teacher Education", which can be used, for example, to carry out the subject-specific didactic school internships of student teachers digitally. With the help of the "UniSchulPlattform", students can undergo high-quality and practice-oriented teacher training under the sign of digitality.

Various didactic scenarios are tested with the "UniSchulPlattform", e.g. virtual classroom observation via livestream or the creation of interactive teaching-learning materials. For this purpose, plug-ins such as H5P, a tool for creating interactive teaching-learning content, or the mathematics tool Geogebra invite students to try out virtual elements in school practice. In trial phases, students can then use the learning offers of the students anonymously and also give feedback. In addition, students, moderated by a (university) teaching staff, support the students as virtual learning guides in the sense of intensive 1:1 support during distance learning. The "UniSchulPlattform" team is currently planning a pilot project for this.

But there are also research projects on the question of what constitutes a good digital teaching offer, and students can use the "UniSchulPlattform" as part of their Master's thesis to research education in the digital world. Specifically, they design digital learning spaces on the platform and examine their effects on student learning.

The "UniSchulPlattform" thus differs from other learning platforms such as the Thuringian School Cloud, whose main task is to provide digital services to schools. It is clear that the issue of data protection also played an important role in the development: The platform has been checked under data protection law and is secured by a privacy policy. The server is located in Germany and the website is hosted by the University of Erfurt. "With the UniSchulPlattform, the University of Erfurt is now providing a learning platform for research projects and the training of teachers for digitally supported teaching," explains Stefanie Schettler-Schlag from the project team. "In this way, we are networking the learning locations of university and school and, above all, improving the transfer of new findings from digital teaching and learning research to teacher training."

For more information, please contact unischulplattform@uni-erfurt.de.


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