DigiKid project is challenging the implementation of digital pedagogy in pre-school education

Universities of four European countries and their partners from kindergartens launched the DigiKid project this week at a virtual kick-off meeting with the goal of more systematic application of digital pedagogy in pre-primary education. The project partners discussed, specified, and approved the project objectives, content, action plans and deadlines.

Work and study have been pushed into the Internet environment, and our homes have become offices and classrooms, while face-to-face communication has declined significantly. It has been difficult for both teachers and learners of all ages to cope in the new educational situation. Parents often face even greater challenges, having to find balance between their full-time jobs and the new and time-consuming duties as home teachers. The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic inspired four universities and three kindergartens from Estonia, Germany, Slovenia, and Latvia to form a partnership under the umbrella of Erasmus+ to find a solution to the problems.

The digitalisation of education has been conquering the world for a number of years. It is often, if not always, taken for granted by the authorities that students can intuitively develop their digital skills and become active online learners just because they were born in the Internet era. The project DigiKid intends to challenge this assumption.

„We believe that as a result of the project activities we will be able to provide current and future kindergarten teachers with the knowledge and skills to develop children’s digital competences at pre-school. The goal is to improve the communication and critical thinking skills of the youngest generation, prepare them for the more digital future, and turn them from passive consumers of digital entertainment technologies into active users of digital educational opportunities,” said a member of the project team Lehte Tuuling, Junior Lecturer in Early Childhood Pedagogy at the Narva College of the University of Tartu. “In the long run, we expect to considerably reduce the stress that children, teachers, and parents suffer during lockdowns or prolonged illnesses. We believe that the project will also positively affect the social and psychological well-being of the community in general,” she added.

The project “Developing Teachers' Skills to Educate Pre-School Children with and Through Digital Technologies” lasts for two years (1 March 2021–28 February 2023). The activities of the strategic partnership project are funded by the Erasmus +, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport.

Further information: Lehte Tuuling, University of Tartu Narva College Junior Lecturer in Early Childhood Pedagogy, +372 740 1928, lehte.tuuling [ät] ut.ee