4th January 2018

NEWSLETTER N°38

MARCH –  APRIL 2020

Editorial

Dear OIEC friends,

Today, Tuesday April 7, 2020, Holy Tuesday, we are told that more than 70,000 have already died from COVID 19 and that more than 4 billion people are confined all over the world …

On the eve of this beautiful Easter celebration, which we are going to celebrate in the desert, but with the same conviction that the Hope of Easter morning is the most gift that the Lord Jesus gives us, I come to bring you a message of support and of affection. I sincerely hope that you are well and that your families, friends, colleagues are doing well too. If some of you are sick, may we assure you of our fervent prayers.

I also wanted to thank you for the immense work that everyone in the world is doing to ensure what is called pedagogical continuity, but which we could better call the educational service in degraded mode. How much effort, what work, what imagination is being put in place by the Catholic schools of the world to render this service, sometimes without means and in total destitution … These efforts will not be in vain. We will try to locate and share them, as an offering to the world.

We also hope that this crisis will have the consequence of further developing solidarity between countries and continents. As luck would have it, we will sign the Global Educational Pact at the end of this global crisis. This commitment will only be stronger. It will be the end of the crisis. He will be life after death! No longer a global educational pact, but a real global Easter for education!

So, hold on, take care of yourself, your loved ones, the young people in your care, and feel so strong about this saying: Hallelujah! He came out of the Tomb, With Him we come out of darkness and we enter the Light!

Philippe Richard
Secretary general of the OIEC

Distance learning in our days

By Mgr Vincenzo Zani, secretary of Congregation for Catholic Education

In these days of isolation, an unprecedented fact in our contemporary history has been the application of the technology of social platforms to didactics. Without a doubt something has changed in our teaching and in communication with students; We must admit that with this experience the course of our educational practice and the investigation of education as a whole are being modified.
It is a duty, therefore, to reflect on the principles and values that we have to protect and on the advantages and disadvantages that will appear in this new horizon.

The use of technological means in contemporary didactics

The great challenges that today prevent attending school normally have been overcome for the most part with the online educational modality. Today, our students have been able to access social platforms to continue developing the educational program from where they reside. Especially in Italy, social platforms have been an excellent tool to improve the continued academic and relational development of our student community. In addition, distance education has allowed us, not only to complete studies postponed in teaching, but also to help children and young people to live better this health emergency. It is clear that, for the moment, distance education has proven to be something more than just a tool. I show some positive characteristics of distance education these days:

The flexibility of schedules, on the part of teachers and students, have facilitated the organization of student time, respecting family life and the work obligations of teachers.
The personalized attention that the teachers have managed to have with the students has been enhanced especially in the chat made up of small groups, where the teacher is a tutor who accompanies, supervises and corrects, almost individually, the work of their students.
Digital creativity has been presented as a method that teaches the student to learn and not just waste time. The student is taught that the computer is also a means for learning and for self-learning and self-training, since it is he himself who has to create his own digital work to present the teacher and be qualified and not just to play. Personal creativity reinforced with technology have allowed a more complete use in terms of content.

At the same time, it is necessary to reflect on the need for education in the use of digital media, since the disadvantages in digital education have also been relevant.
The difficulty of clearly transmitting and preserving certain quality social and relational values, such as personal and direct relationships, was previously a challenge in making students understand that the other side of the screen is not the only propitious place to establish relationships quality.
A certain distrust has been created in aspects such as the learning process and the academic evaluation of the student, which has seen parents intervene to object to the teaching method of teachers.
An academic training different from the traditional one, requires a certain level of adaptation, in fact, many teachers, in the first days of distance learning, have expressed their difficulty in using social networks.

All this, advantages and disadvantages, invite us to reflect on what we teach and how we teach it, in addition to making ourselves present to who we accompany and the figure of who accompanies, and without a doubt, the purpose of why it is accompanied. In this sense, the objective is not to overburden teachers who interact in the classroom with more responsibilities, who have been doing it day by day for a long time, simply, you have to be realistic and show that times have changed, and as the Holy Father would say, “We were surprised by an unexpected and furious storm” not only because of the epidemic, but also because the curriculum and the responsibilities with the educational community itself and, also, with our obligation to society, have continued. The need for teacher training and improvement is real, just as there is a real need for them to have suitable and sufficient instrumental resources; Thanks to Dio, the love for education and for each one of the students, moves us to overcome difficulties.

Let us take advantage of the generalized taste of the students for the media, so that it is an advantage in our favor. Distance learning can be a pleasant experience for them, as well as a way to better understand the things that can be useful for their personal and professional development. Let’s focus on the development of valid criteria to develop in our students the critical feeling before so much communicative and informative maelstrom. In other words, let’s give our educated community quality means against the quantity proposal that is spreading throughout society with respect to digital communication media.
Today it is necessary to set the point that is needed to prepare ourselves and use social media with art, that is, with virtue, disposition and skill; sowing in the hearts of our students the inalienable value of the direct relationship, of the encounter.
It is arduous and complicated for teachers to encourage a quality change in society regarding the use of digital media. There is a strong commercial stamp that enhances excessive consumption and a low clarity of the contemporary man’s personality. Now, the challenge is to prepare them and prepare for these new communication challenges and thus resume an optimistic and optimized curriculum.
It is here that the accompanying role of the Catholic educator will shine. Not because it will be the protagonist, but because it will give the means for others to be. Ours must be, above all, a quality proposal. In all this context of changes, Catholic schools and universities, and ultimately the entire socio-educational community, should not be left out of the contemporary; They must be aware and have evangelical lucidity for the new times, to accompany maternally and to learn with and from the new generations. The interesting thing must be to contribute, to the current consumption of digital media, with an intelligent and humanized education, so that our passive receiver becomes an active and critical emitter and becomes a little more responsible, more humane, and happier.

Digital technology to ensure educational continuity

Digital technology represents a powerful lever for transformation for education policy in all its dimensions: data policy, pedagogical transformation in the service of learning and its evaluation, and training for teachers.
The compliance of all actors with the rules governing the use of data is one of the essential conditions for the trust that must prevail within each educational community.

French websites for education

The conditions of use are specified on each site.

I. The offer of the French Ministry of Education: Disciplinary portals and expert sites and its operator Canopé
The resources listed below are intended for use by teachers or students provided their source is quoted, and may not be used for commercial purposes under any circumstances.

The éduscol website is intended for education professionals, and offers many resources for teachers.

These portals portails d’éduscol offer pedagogical and educational resources in several disciplines. These disciplinary portals are freely accessible from anywhere.

In addition to these portals, there are two thematic portals: Odysseum dedicated to the languages, cultures and civilizations of Antiquity; and Prim’abord is dedicated to the primary level (primary school) https://primabord.eduscol.education.fr/ .

For secondary school teachers; the Ministry has developed with the Écoles Normales Supérieures of Lyon, Paris and Paris-Saclay some expert websites which contribute to the updating of teachers’ knowledge, and their training on subjects such as : modern languages, physics, chemistry, mathematics, SVT, geography, SES, engineering sciences. Here is the access : https://eduscol.education.fr/pid34304/les-sites-pour-formation-eduscol.html

Canopé Network: Placed under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education, the Canopé Network publishes transmedia educational resources (print, web, mobile, TV), responding to the needs of the educational community, in particular:

Les fondamentaux https://www.reseau-canope.fr/lesfondamentaux/accueil.html: more than 400 animated films to learn, in a playful way, the basics of elementary school in French, mathematics, science, technology…

CLEMI https://www.clemi.fr/: Resources for media and information education (unrestricted access) Media and information education enables students to learn how to read, decipher information and images, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and make an opinion, all of which are essential skills for informed and responsible citizenship in a democracy.

Mathador https://france-edu-num.projets.app/projects/s7SKA5Vs/summary : Doing mental math in a playful way. The game, by the change of framework it implies, enhances and remotivates pupils. The notion of challenge adds a social dimension to the practice of mathematics. (Open access during the crisis period).
I. France EduNum : plateform for the french digital offer
France EduNum https://france-edu-num.projets.app/ is an initiative for cataloging the French educational digital offer, public and private. Developed by FEI (France education international), it is adapted from a platform imagined by the CRI (interdisciplinary research centre), as a veritable hive of ideas that are born and develop among the community of French actors in educational digital.

Each resource specifies in its descriptive file, accessible online, its access conditions (throughout the French education system for professionals, or fully accessible without condition). Open educational resources are also specified, when relevant.

II. Partnership initiatives
The learning nation, https://www.education.gouv.fr/: responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the Minister of Education, in partnership with medias, launched the “Learning Nation” initiative on the 18th of March in view to facilitate access for the pupils and their family to contents on line related to the national curricula.

LUMNI http:// https://www.lumni.fr/ is a public audiovisual educational platform accessible to all and developed in partnership with the French Ministry of Education, and Educ’Arte, Arte’s educational platform accessible to teachers and their classes, have joined this “Learning Nation” operation.

Book “The Global Educational Pact”

OIEC invites you to participate in the co-creation of a book that collects contributions from various education officials, agents and recipients. The title of the book would be “THE GLOBAL EDUCATIONAL PACT – An education of, with and for all. Towards a more fraternal, united and sustainable society.”
OIEC would be very grateful if you could send your contributions by email until April 30, 2020. More information can be found here:

ETR Newsletter

The Transversal Representation Team (ETR), which represents the OIEC with international organizations, has published the 9th edition of its newsletter (only in French available):