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Digital education at elementary school level: German-Australian cooperation

How can digital media be used in elementary schools to support the children’s learning process? This question is approached by the project “Kids go digital”, initiated by the Chair of Elementary Education at the KU and led by Prof. Dr. Klaudia Schultheis and Dr. Petra Hiebl. The project was inspired by the Australian “Kids’ Conference” held in 2012 at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. Professor Schultheis participated in this year’s conference in order to be able to present the results to a conference held in Eichstätt, for which 50 KU teaching degree students had tested using digital media in nine elementary school classes in the region during the summer semester to enable schoolchildren to work on different topics autonomously and present their learning outcomes.

Meeting of cooperating partners at the ACU campus in Sydney. (Photo: Schultheis)

In the context of the project, the children recorded an audio drama reenacting the ancient legend of Europa, prepared a presentation showing the architecture of the Jurahäuser and approached the topic “water” by creating a movie. In addition to the conference at the ACU in Melbourne, also its Sydney campus hosted talks with further partners in the context of “Kids go digital”, in which Australian and German teacher training programs were compared. The chair was also able to establish new contacts for the international teaching project “IPC” which was founded several years ago and which enables teaching degree students from Japan, Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, the USA and Germany to work on school-related projects and compare the results from different countries via an online platform.