What does IT do with higher education? Philologists: The digitization of the school must not be an end in itself

HANNOVER. What does higher education mean for a digitized world? The Lower Saxony Association of Philologists has addressed the fundamental issue and passed a resolution that comes to the conclusion: the digitization of education must not be an end in itself. It only makes sense with accompanying teaching.

Digitization is changing learning, but how? Illustration: Shutterstock

“The last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic have shown that digitization must progress and that in times of distance and alternate teaching we depend on digital media and digital education”, say the philologists. The corona pandemic contributed significantly to speeding up the introduction process in schools. Result: “Digitization has and will continue to have a strong impact on lessons and schools. This cannot be stopped nor would it be desirable, as our students will then have to find their way into an increasingly digitalized world. But it is not at all true that the world is digital. It has never been and never will be ”. Instead, philologists invite us to “look at the world as a whole”.

Only humans have begun to digitize the world. “The dual system based on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is the basis for the digitalization of the world. However, anyone who thinks that the world can only be represented by zeros and ones is wrong. Leibniz’s fundamental thought was that the world should be in harmony and took a holistic approach as a matter of course: “The best of all possible worlds is not the current state, but a world with potential for development.” And that’s exactly what high school education was and always is, “they explain. philologists This is holistic.

“Who uses a digitized world if you don’t develop a vision of art, music and culture? What good is a world of zeros and ones if you can’t express yourself in other languages ​​and communicate in other cultures without Google Translator? What is the use of digital media if orientation in the number range up to 1000 is not possible or it is no longer possible to master traditional mathematical phrases? Who benefits from digitization if human interaction such as assistance in physical education classes, the joy of experimenting in science classes or indivisible experiences that are not made with literature and in the performing arts? Digitization will change the world. However, it is neither the best, as currently seen, nor the panacea for missing skills, abilities and skills.

High school education remains scientifically preparatory and epistemologically guided. “The propaedeutic approach to science is the criterion for high school teaching, because it is made up of much more than zero and one. We need to exploit the possibilities and possibilities of digitization, because we do not teach our students in a parallel society with no media. The media competence of teachers and students will play a much more important role in the future than before. The Association of Philologists has never closed to digitization, on the contrary: our numerous statements about computer science lessons, the use of computer algebra systems in MINT classes and the newly developed core curricula in natural science subjects demonstrate this in awesome way. The Lower Saxony Association of Philologists took a stand and was not stingy with constructive criticism of the concepts presented. Here we are the corrective for developments that digitalization too often sees only as ends in themselves “.

According to the association, digitization can only be successful with reasonable educational implementation. “Digitization is a means to an end, it is above all a means and therefore a method. In order for it to be a real added value for teaching, education and training, it must be subordinated to the primacy of teaching. The first school closures during the Corona pandemic showed that schools were not sufficiently prepared for digital teaching and learning processes. A transfer of analog teaching tasks over the Internet does not represent an improvement in learning and understanding. Mere use of digital media as methodical equipment is not sufficient to design teaching and learning processes and to achieve progress in learning. As the John Hattie study showed, the effectiveness of learning digital media without access to education is extremely low. Furthermore, the statement presented by the KMK Permanent Scientific Commission makes it clear that most teachers are critical of the use of digital media. “

To increase acceptance among teachers, digitally supported teaching concepts should develop high learning effectiveness. “As with any other medium used, didactic content education must take priority so that digital media is not degraded to another element of the method carousel. The use of digital media needs to be evaluated in terms of learning effectiveness.

The demands are: to further expand teacher education and training – and: to use young teachers as digital skills multipliers. “The basis for digitization is the rapid creation and expansion of a digital infrastructure with broadband connections. Democratic participation by all requires that it be maintained in rural as well as urban areas. In addition to equipping teachers with service devices and using them in compliance with the GDPR in a legally flawless manner, teachers must also be enabled to use digital media in schools in an appropriate manner and in the classroom in an educationally justified manner. These skills need to be trained. To do this, the state must develop a concept of “digital education – digital teaching” and then provide further training for teachers. “

He goes on to say: “To accelerate digitization in schools, digital skills multipliers are needed. Without a doubt, they are all preparatory teachers who have grown up in an increasingly digitized world. The skills of this generation of teachers now have to go to schools, as this would mean an important boost to digitization. Therefore, after a successful preparatory service, all teachers must be employed in the school service in Lower Saxony. ” News4 teachers


The representative assembly of the association of philologists of Lower Saxony demands in the formulation:

1. State-wide expansion of a digital broadband infrastructure (including cross-border)

2. Immediate provision of digital devices to teachers such as office computers

3. Develop, test and implement educational concepts for the use of digital media

4. Evaluate the use of digital media in the classroom with regards to learning effectiveness

5. Provide low-threshold vocational training concepts and offers

6. Hire all preparatory service teachers as multipliers for elementary education in an increasingly digitized society

Montessori reloaded: The school of the future is based on the digitization of teaching – and on “Pedagogy 3.0”


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