The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the way schools, students, and their families approach education. When schools shut down, teachers and school staff had to reevaluate teaching and start using online platforms through which online classes could be taught, homework assigned and carried out. However, most teachers did not have enough training to use these digital means or were reluctant to adapt their methodologies to online learning.
On the other hand, children needed help from their families to connect online and carry on with the required tasks; however, not all families had the knowledge and time to give the needed support. Many of those experiencing difficult situations did not have access to computers and the Internet.
Furthermore, the confinement meant lack of social interaction and participation in leisure activities, with the consequence that many children spent much more time using smartphones, tablets, and computers, making more evident and urgent the need to address children’s digital safety and cyberbullying. All these issues and challenges are being addressed in the SOPHIE project, implemented in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Slovenia.
SOPHIE project intends to tackle early school leaving and foster digital inclusion, resilience, and safety among primary school students, by promoting inclusive and safe access of primary school students to online learning, and actively involve teachers, educators, and families in ensuring inclusive and safe digital learning of primary school students. Its objectives are to provide to teachers, families, and students of primary schools the adequate guidelines, tools, and strategies to recognize and address safely and critically the risks connected to the use of the Internet, with extra focus on cyber bullying.
More specifically, SOPHIE consortium aims to detect the difficulties that primary school students might be experiencing in terms of access and in online learning environments and to address them adequately. We focus to help students critically engage in digital learning environments and become responsible, healthy, and safe digital citizens. Another aim is to develop students’ skills to recognize and address the risks connected to the use of the Internet and to understand students’ needs and concerns around the online learning and digital life.
SOPHIE at a glance:
- Report of 12 best practices on digital inclusion and safety in Primary education (3 per country)
- Report of 8 best practices on the use of online learning platforms and online learning environments in Primary education (2 per country)
- Activity method sheets to develop blended theater-based workshops for students
- Activity method sheets to develop blended experiential workshop for teachers and school staff
- Activity method sheets to develop blended experiential workshop for families
- Resources and guidelines for families
- Resources and guidelines to improve school-home collaboration
- The activity “Learn to learn in safe digital environments”will be a 20-hour theatre-based workshop for students which will take place in each partner country
- The activity “Safe and inclusive online learning for primary school students” will be a 10-hour training course for teachers and educators which will take place in each partner country
- The activity “Safe and inclusive online learning from home” will be a 10-hour training course for families which will take place in each partner country
- The SOPHIE handbook for schools will respond to two urgent needs in an intersected manner. First, promoting inclusive and safe access of primary school students to online learning and secondly, actively involving teachers, educators, and families in ensuring safe digital learning of primary school students
- A final international conference will be organized, whose goal would be to disseminate project’s results and methodology to primary school staff, primary school students, families of primary school students, organizations and professionals working in the field of education outside the schools, schools’ authorities, and local policymakers and international participants.