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Integration of emerging new technologies into education and training

Proposals should support the purposeful and pedagogical use of emerging technologies, including applications of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and robotics in education and training, in order to foster 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, digital literacy, critical as well as design thinking and creativity. This in turn should allow for more personalized and flexible ways of learning, including online and blended delivery. Proposals should also examine the link with big data, learning analytics and artificial intelligence, to efficiently support distance learning. Research should focus on how different learners experience and benefit, or are excluded from, digitally enhanced learning (e.g. male and female students, students of a migrant background, students with disabilities, and/or learning difficulties, gifted and talented students, urban and rural populations, young and adult learners, etc.). Proposals should tackle as well the potential negative effects of using technologies in schools, such as cyber bullying, while also looking at the positive effects of using such technologies to increase students’ learning opportunities. In addition, the research should explore the effects of digital technologies on the learning of basic skills. It should also examine the resilience and the capacity for effective mass-deployment of e-learning capabilities in cases of crises, major emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptive events as well as man-made or natural disasters, which can undermine the human and social dimension of learning. Finally, it should also explore multi-stakeholder involvement and cooperation patterns in this context. The perspectives of educators, parents, and students should inform this analysis.

The action should identify barriers, enablers and framework conditions for successfully embedding emerging technologies in educational practices, including necessary innovation skills for teachers. It should also look at the positive and negative effects of digital technologies on learning, educational outcomes and basic skills. This should be done in sustainable and ecologically responsible ways, addressing accessibility in an inclusive manner, and providing for the gradual move from small-scale projects and pilots to mainstream implementation and adoption. The ethical use of data generated by digital learning platforms and tools should equally be a particular focus. Finally, the proposals should also assess potential vulnerabilities and negative unforeseen consequences, which might arise from the use of new technologies.

Proposals should analyse the shifting role of teachers, trainers and educational leaders in the digital transition affecting education and training as well as their training needs, including digital and leadership skills, required in an emerging society of permanent and quick technological change. The action should address the active involvement of educators in shaping and co-designing education and training technological products and tools. The proposals should also examine the support necessary for Initial Teacher Education institutions for the development of innovative training programmes for pre-service teachers, fostering their future digital competence and confidence.