Where to for online learning in a post-pandemic world?

Where to for online learning in a post-pandemic world?

UOW researcher to lead international working group on the future of edtech at UNESCO-supported summit

A University of Wollongong (UOW) researcher and visiting academic from Vrije Universiteit Brussel will share their insights into post-pandemic online learning at a UNESCO-supported international education summit this week.

Associate Professor Sarah Howard from the School of Education at UOW and Associate Professor Jo Tondeur from Vrije Universiteit Brussel are taking part in EDUsummIT 2022, joining a global community of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to share research into the use of technology in education.

The summit is a hybrid meeting being held today and tomorrow (25 and 26 August), hosted by Kyoto University in Japan. Attendees are divided into thematic working groups and will meet in person and online.

Associate Professor Howard said the summit is an important opportunity to discuss the overall conference theme of moving forward to new educational realities in the digital era.

“The use of new online spaces in teaching and learning isn’t going away,” Associate Professor Howard said.

“EDUsummIT provides an important platform for leaders in the field to come together to share new insights into new technologies and how they are impacting education around the world.”

Associate Professors Howard and Tondeur will lead one of nine working groups. They will specifically focus on post-pandemic online learning spaces, and share lessons learned for future education.

“Schools’ use of online technologies grew exponentially at the height of COVID lockdowns,” Associate Professor Howard said.

“The lockdowns have ended but significant questions remain about how to carry on with opportunities afforded through online learning, in ways that support student autonomy and flexibility in learning.’

Associate Professor Tondeur elaborates that, “The pandemic has brought a great opportunity to not only consider the online space, but to also reconsider physical learning spaces and to better understand the impact of learning environments.”

Associate Professors Howard and Tondeur will meet face-to-face at UOW with other academics from universities in Australia and New Zealand. Online colleagues will be participating from all continents.

“Connecting with colleagues from different universities is invaluable and I’m looking forward to sharing our research about digital technology use and how we can best support our teachers to make the most of it in the classroom,” Associate Professor Howard said.

“The hybrid meeting gives us the opportunity to work across physical and digital spaces, as we evaluate the research and identify good practice,” said Associate Professor Tondeur. The EDUsummIT group will meet in Japan in May 2023 for a face to face working meeting.”

Associate Professor Howard’s research focuses on the use of new technologies and data science to explore classroom practice and teacher change, specifically related to technology adoption and integration in learning.

Associate Professor Tondeur’s current research focuses on the interplay between (ICT) innovations and pre/in-service training and how this can be associated with teacher and school characteristics.