26. January 2021, Miscellaneous

EdTech Austria: fit for the future with digital education

Digitalisation is influencing all areas of life. Above all, automation and artificial intelligence are changing everyday working life and professional requirements. But how can we prepare learners in school and at work for jobs that do not yet exist? How can we enable them to cope with societal challenges that are not yet foreseeable and to use technologies that do not yet exist?

In order to prepare learners for this future, they increasingly need not only subject-specific competences, but also supra-subject-specific competences. A good example are the so-called 4Cs: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. In addition, digital literacy is becoming an essential requirement for all.

As a teacher in a school, you will need to be able to teach the digital literacy skills of the future.

As a teacher at a secondary school in Vienna, I myself have tried to impart these skills to my students and prepare them in the best possible way for their future. Not an easy undertaking. But one experience has stuck in my mind: The joy, enthusiasm and learning success when my students were able to explore virtual worlds from ancient Egypt with VR glasses they had built themselves and when their first attempts at building robots not only promoted technical skills, but also curiosity and teamwork.

Hannes Aichmayr, Photo: WKS/ Probst Photographie

My interest in the transformative power of digital media was aroused and is now continuing on another level: with EdTech Austria, we are launching an initiative to promote the use of Educational Technology (EdTech for short) in education, training and lifelong learning.

When the topic of digital media comes up in education, the basic question is usually asked: What added value do digital media provide? However, this question misses the point of the discussion. One thing is certain: the world is changing. We can no longer imagine life without digital media. The relevant question must be: How do we design optimal digital teaching and learning settings?

With EdTech Austria, we want to contribute to solving this question. We support exciting companies in the EdTech sector with networking offers to interested companies as well as educational and research institutions. In this way, we enable the development, testing, validation and application of innovative EdTech approaches. In the long term, we want to make Salzburg and the whole of Austria a centre for EdTech with our offers.

If we manage to answer the question of suitable digital teaching and learning settings and implement them on a large scale, digital media can help us to make learning more exciting, to individualise it, to improve success and to promote new competences – from school to the world of work. In this way, we make Austria fit for the future and ensure that we can all look forward to our future with optimism.

Hannes Aichmayr, Portrait, 29.1.2021

Hannes war von November 2020 bis Dezember 2021 Projektleiter von EdTech Austria. Als Lehrer hat er am eigenen Leib erfahren, wie positiv sich der Einsatz von neuen Medien im Unterricht auf den Lernerfolg von Kindern auswirken kann. Er möchte den Einsatz von EdTech-Lösungen in der Aus-, Fort- und Weiterbildung in ganz Österreich fördern.

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