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Introduction to the Free-ED Course

Welcome to the Free-ED course, aimed at supporting lower secondary school teachers to develop their pedagogical in digital competences towards assuring a more efficient and engaging hybrid education. In the context of the present course, the term “hybrid learning” is generally applied to the practice of combining online and in-person learning experiences in schools in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Some of the lessons in this course, however, use the term “hybrid learning” in a more restricted way, to mean a learning process that implies live teaching events that simultaneously combine the presence of on-site and online participants (learners and teachers). Hybrid learning in educational settings might be the new normal in the coming years when we put together the best of face-to-face and online teaching methods and shift the emphasis from the classroom to a supportive learning environment, wherever this is located.

This collection of short lessons, followed by self-reflective questions and short assignments, brings together today’s experiences from researchers and teachers in different countries to help you think outside the box and inspire you to explore, create new learning methods, and use innovative learning environments. The lessons have been created within the Erasmus+ project entitled “Framework for an Efficient and Engaging Hybrid Education in Lower-Secondary Schools” (Free-ED).

We invite you to follow the lessons in any order you prefer or, if you do not have time for the whole course, choose the topics that you are most interested in. Start the course with the introductory self-assessment tool which will also offer you an overview of the competence areas covered by this course.

We recommend you to do the after-course self-assessment questionnaire too, regardless of the number of lessons you managed to go through. Your responses: Introduce yourself (your teacher profile, your schools, your vision on education/ or (for teacher trainees): your field of studies, what inspires you to become a teacher? Explain your experience with hybrid teaching or hybrid learning (=live teaching event simultaneously combining the presence of on-site and online participant) and blended teaching or blended learning (= combination of face-to-face and distance learning).

Describe shortly your expectations about the course (for this, please browse through the Free-ED MOOC, watch some of the instructional videos and read the assignment. You do not necessarily have to do all the assignments now, but be prepared for similar ones during the training days in Tallinn!) For the purpose of this introductory task we have prepared the MIRO board. (Links to an external site.) Choose one “visiting card” from the board and complete it by the 2nd of September.

Save the link to this MIRO board so that you car return to it before the course in Tallinn starts and meet your colleagues. You can add text, weblinks and upload a recent portrait to your assignment.

Pre-course self assessment

MODULE 1. Fostering wellbeing in hybrid learning environments

MODULE 2. How to engage your learners in Zoom

MODULE 3. How to use interactive flat panel to make your hybrid teaching more engaging

MODULE 4. Collaborative Approach in Educational Leadership and STEAM Integration in Hybrid Learning

MODULE 5. Effective teaching tools to employ in hybrid teaching and learning

MODULE 6. Teaching in the physical and virtual classroom: Using GeoGebra as a hybrid learning environment

MODULE 7. Student cooperation and team-work in online and hybrid context

MODULE 8. Where do teachers find support (co-teaching, educational technologists, student assistants)

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