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Lesson learnt: the pilot preparation at ITET Caruso (Italy)

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Authors: teachers of ITET Caruso – The recent Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the school system into a new digital dimension and has asked teachers to develop specific digital competencies and skills, which were required to ICT experts not too long ago. Inside this new learning environment, the importance of digital learning and the need for highly-quality teachers’ continuous professional development in ICT are compelling educators to follow a Digital Data Literacy (DDL) programme. 

Taking part in DDL Erasmus+ Programme is giving some teachers from I.T.E.T. G. CARUSO the chance of becoming more aware of the importance of data literacy in the teaching process, to support and increase our students’ social and academic growth, as well as to lead them to critically assess and manage the overload of information that they usually get from the Web every day. Being led by Inova+ and Dataninja, two specialized companies in data-driven learning programs and in managing innovative, educational training projects, and by Vilnius University, the Erasmus+ project coordinator, the four-school partners have been involved since April 2021 in a series of activities aiming at the development of the Capacity Building Plan, the validation of the educators training course contents and the implementation of the training phase through a MOOC. 

As the training course is concerned, it seemed to be very flexible and inclusive since the teachers were able to take it according to their ICT background, as well as their pacing and timing of learning. Moreover, teachers’ work was checked in two online workshops by Inova+ and Dataninja, where teachers were able to share their experiences and had their doubts and misconceptions clarified. 

We have found worthy the school experience by Educare New Orleans Early Childhood School, a network of childhood schools whose education is based on data utilization. According to data literate approach, teachers collect information from students daily via observation. Then, they convert information into measurable data to better understand any aspect of students’ learning process and what they were possibly struggling in. This data-driven approach allows teachers not only to improve the qualitative standards of students’ learning process but also to best inform teachers’ practice. 

Thanks to the online classes, we have known how important is for students to learn to critically assess and use the great amount of information coming from social media and the Web. Furthermore, we have realised how necessary fact-checking and data verification are in a virtual world, where misinformation and fake news run widespread and aim just to mislead and create public consensus around false events. 

Finally, two practical exercises have made us skilled in investigating a phenomenon by questioning, collecting, organizing, visualising, and gaining insights from data. 

And now, we are ready to step into the piloting phase to share our experience with our students!