Digital educational environment
News The transfer of the school from the new school year to distance education over the past few weeks has been repeatedly relayed by Internet resources. All refer to the draft decree of the Government of the Russian Federation on conducting an experiment in 2020-2022 on introducing a model of a digital educational environment. Education is a fertile ground for speculation, so the townsfolk decided to interpret this document as a direct regulation of the transition to distance learning.
The pilot project involves 14 regions of the country: Astrakhan, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Sakhalin, Tyumen and Chelyabinsk regions, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, as well as Perm and Altai Territories. The event is long: the dates are from September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022. It will be implemented under the auspices of the federal project “Digital educational environment”. In addition to schools, institutions of secondary and additional professional education will take part in the experiment.
The essence of the project is based on creating such conditions in the school so that students can master the program in full regardless of their location. And in the text of the decision in decoding the concept of “Digital educational environment” there is this:
"... a set of conditions for the implementation of educational programs using e-learning, distance learning technologies."
Here lies the main reason for the panic raised on the corresponding resources. If this opportunity is provided, then the Ministry of Education will definitely take advantage of this, and children will never see school desks again! At least in these 14 pilot regions. For some reason, no one thinks that the very idea of a total transition to a remote form is absurd.
In fact, the initiative is designed to solve a serious problem that all levels of education have had to face in recent months: the unwillingness to work under long-term quarantine. In fact, distance education in most regions boiled down to online meetings on platforms such as Zoom and Skype, as well as checking homework from photographs. There is no unified platform for conducting lessons and controlling knowledge, and if it existed, it would be unlikely that any of the teachers would have mastered it in full. Not because there is no desire or opportunity, but because before it was not necessary: no one could think of such a long quarantine.
The Ministry of Education in this situation needed to somehow respond, and the development of this target model was just the answer to the pandemic shock. Does this mean that from September 1, the children will stay at home and again enter the classroom virtually?
Our new school
The beginning of the new school year, children will meet at the school. At least if by September a new wave of coronavirus infection does not unfold. Formally, according to the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor, educational institutions are opened only at the third (last) stage of lifting restrictions. The main factor influencing the transition from stage to stage is the distribution coefficient of coronavirus Rt: the number of registered patients in four days divided by the number of registered patients in the previous four days. If this parameter is equal to or lower than 0,5, then you can open schools, all shops, cafes and hotels. That is, freedom comes, however, in the mask mode. At the same time, Rospotrebnadzor separately mentions that the final decision on the transition to a particular stage of restrictions is made by the governor.
Now in Russia there are a number of regions that, by the formal attribute of Rt, it is too early to leave self-isolation, however, the restrictions are gradually being removed. Such logical reasoning will be at the forefront when choosing the format of instruction in Russian schools with the beginning of the new school year. And no experimental models of digital education are regulatory here.
The second most important objective of the project will be the development of educational content or the content of educational services as close as possible to school curricula. It is more complicated here, because throughout Russia there is a serious desynchronization of the passage of subjects of the school curriculum. Relatively speaking, in the Moscow region, multiplication takes place in an elementary school, and somewhere in Norilsk they have already begun division. What if in this case, if the textbooks are different? But this is not the main problem.
The challenges of distance education
An analysis of the Digital Educational Environment program gives hope that it will nevertheless have an exclusively auxiliary function in a modern school. It is not entirely clear how to organize distance learning of natural sciences. If everything is more or less clear with mathematics and the humanities cycle, then what about physics and chemistry? Practical and laboratory work occupies an important (if not the most important) part of the educational process. No, even the most modern animation does not replace this. Has Russian education moved so long toward a practice-oriented school to jump over to continuous interactive learning overnight? But there is still technology and physical culture, which in principle are impossible in the event of a transition to a distance.
If we hypothetically imagine that in September 2020 all of Russia (and not 14 regions) will switch to Internet training, in a couple of years graduates of the school will slightly differ in level of knowledge from 7-, 8-graders. The bonus will be a complete lack of communication skills and health preservation. We can safely talk about the lost generation, which there is simply no one to replace in the future. To do this, just look at the current demographic situation in the country.
There are still questions for consumers of distance education services, that is, for parents and students. Does everyone have the opportunity to study in a remote format? Will everyone have high speed internet and video? Previously, a parent sent his child to school with the words: "I brought you to him, you teach him how you want!" What will be the reaction of parents now when the educational process will require their full involvement? Here, by the way, the opinion of parents generally comes to the fore. In the regions, education leaders do not have time to reassure "popular riots" about the mythical abolition of full-time schooling. Parents are horrified at what will happen with distance learning if there are two, three or four schoolchildren in the family. To each - a separate computer and a training room ?!
In this context, the emergence of the Digital Educational Environment program is more likely to be welcomed than condemned. A tool will appear in the hands of the school, allowing in case of an epidemiological danger not to rush about at a loss, but to work calmly with students on a "remote site". Temporarily. For a couple of weeks. The main thing here is not to abuse or remotely transfer everything in a row: All-Russian subject Olympiads, the Yunarmiya movement, educational forums and so on. And since distance education is already becoming the norm, let's put this norm into exclusion mode.