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Scaling Up Educational Innovations in Schools

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SEIS (Scaling Up Educational Innovations in Schools)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-03-31

To scale up innovation in schools educational research needs to be re-conceptualised targeting Responsible Research and Innovation principles, shortening the feedback loops between research and practice in real settings, and raising overall research quality and its impact on practice. Taking the aforementioned challenges as a basis for the Twinning project SEIS (Scaling up Educational Innovation in Schools), the underpinning concept of the project is capacity building of Center of Excellence in Educational Innovation, Tallinn University (TLU), Estonia in partnership with Tampere Research Centre for Information and Media, University of Tampere, Finland (TAU) and Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology, University of Bergen, Norway (UiB) through joint scientific activities. These facilitate the reinforcement of Tallinn University by taking educational research to a fundamentally new level -- from linear knowledge transmission model to research-innovation-practice model -- while addressing current research challenges in scaling up school innovation, thereby supporting TLU to become a competitive and leading research centre.

The Twinning project SEIS aims at supporting the vision of Centre of Excellence in Educational Innovation, Tallinn University, Estonia to become the leading and competitive research centre with the potential to influence educational research, development and innovation among stakeholders in Estonia, Baltic States and in wider Europe. The overall objectives of the SEIS project are:
● to strengthen TLU research and innovation capacity,
● to promote the centre into the competitive institution in Estonia and wider Europe, and
● to form the basis for integrating its research activities further into international collaboration.

The project establishes a Virtual Research Lab on educational innovations, facilitates the inclusion and capacity building of the new actors, and encourages exchange of knowledge and experiences among stakeholders and top research groups.
To facilitate knowledge transfer activities between the SEIS project partners and within institutions and to promote open science by providing seamless access to research assets (data, services, tools, instruments, expertise, etc) to early stage and more senior researchers, a Virtual Research Lab has been developed. The Virtual Research Lab ( has been connected to EDUSPACE ( - a research laboratory for learning and teaching supported by technology - at Tallinn University, being an useful extension to physical space. Such an infrastructure in TLU provides a good basis to strengthen TLU research and innovation capacity in the field of educational innovation and to turn traditional "knowledge transfer" approaches into research- and technology-driven and evidence-based societal innovations through the Living Labs approach.

To strengthen TLU research and innovation capacity and to promote the centre into the competitive institution in Estonia and wider Europe, a number of
1) joint research activities have been initiated:
- a joint literature review study on Model-based Learning Analytics. A conceptual paper was submitted to the European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2021) conference.
- a joint study on the whole-school approach to development of teachers’ digital competences and scaling up digital innovation. The scope of the research studies is currently in the planning stages.
2) joint research and development grants have been prepared:
- iHubs4schools - Accelerating Digital Innovation in Schools through Regional Innovation Hubs and a Whole-School Mentoring Model - is a proposal that was submitted on 12.03.2020 to the call H2020-SC6-TRANSFORMATIONS-2018 and received EU funding.
- Virtual presence in Higher Education Hybrid Learning Delivery (VIE) - which was submitted to an Erasmus+ (Call 2020 Round 1 KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices; KA226 - Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness) call, was successful.
- The EdTech Observatory: Co-creating and evidencing digital transformation in schools (ETO), which was submitted on the call CHANSE-Collaboration of Humanities And Social Sciences in Europe call for proposals for “Transformations: Social and Cultural Dynamics in the Digital Age” theme.
- Building science capital outdoors through open technologies (SCOT) project proposal was submitted to the Horizon 2020 SwafS-2018-2020 (Science with and for Society) call.
3) workshops and seminars have been carried out:
- Winter Camp for early stage researchers on January 29th 2021
- Workshops “Frameworks for conducting user studies” (Tampere University), “Creativity - A Spark for Interdisciplinary Innovation” (Bergen University), “Using Data to Inquiry your Own Practice” (Bergen University) have been organised at online Winter Camp on January 29th 2021
- “Ideal Virtual Research Lab for Learning Analytics” will be organised at LASI Nordic conference in August 2021
- On March 17-18th 2021 a two-day Writing Camp was organized by UiB.

A number of early stage and senior research staff from TLU, TAU and UiB have been participating in the joint initiatives.
For boosting the visibility of TLU’s scientific excellence, the SEIS team is currently organising an mLearn2021 conference, which will take place in Tallinn in October 6-8, 2021.
The early stage and senior research staff of the TLU team, as well as UiB and TAU, have engaged in the knowledge exchange that supports better implementing evidence-based research and development for innovations in schools through the previously mentioned joint activities. The project has already had an impact on the research output in terms of successful international research and development grants. Two out of four jointly prepared research and development applications have been financed contributing to the promotion of TLU into the competitive institution in Estonia and wider Europe, to the integration of TLU research activities further into international collaboration as well as supporting the sustainability of the research. Through a series of workshops and seminars and joint research activities organised by TAU and UiB, the TLU staff together with the early stage researchers as well as UiB and TAU will enhance their domain specific knowledge and soft skills that allow to strengthen all the involved partners research and innovation capacity.