The weekend science ticket. After the pandemic, will we be able to revitalize digital education?

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How to revitalize the education system through digital technology after the pandemic? Millions of young people are currently out of school around the world. Drawing
How to revitalize the education system through digital technology after the pandemic? Millions of young people are currently out of school around the world. Illustration (SOLSTOCK / E + / GETTY IMAGES)

For this third International Day of Education, UNESCO and the United Nations are turning to innovation with the theme “Relaunch and revitalize education for the Covid-19 generation”.

The stakes are high, since the health crisis is also an educational crisis for 12 million students in France. Around the world, 260 million young people are currently out of school, a situation made worse by the pandemic. UNESCO is organizing this Monday, January 25, the #LearningPlanetFestival, or Festival of Learning, intended to share and finance new distance education tools.

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Since March 2020, digital technology has become a central tool in education. While it has ensured pedagogical continuity, “all-distancing” also has its disadvantages. Many teachers and students were not prepared for such a digital acceleration in school.

Those who were already teaching digitally innovated and adapted to the situation. But in the urgency of a climate of precipitation, developing distance learning methods from scratch was a big challenge for others.

Many schools remain closed during the pandemic. & Nbsp;
Many schools remain closed during the pandemic. (CHARLI BANDIT / E + / GETTY IMAGES)

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Opposite, students oscillate between the risk of dropping out of school and psychological isolation, and 70% of students are now worried about their mental health.

After the attraction to tools phase, the students became a bit disillusioned and showed some fatigue, a sort of exhaustion. The students were also deprived of social relations.

Pascal Huguet, research director at CNRS

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Directed by Pascal Huguet, director of the Clermont-Ferrand social and cognitive psychology laboratory, the “e.P3C” study (Plurality of learning contexts) on the effects of digital technology in student learning was finalized just before the start of the health crisis, to review the use of digital tools at ‘school.

Over two years, 8,000 middle and high school students experimented with intelligent tutorial systems, which complement the learning process, in eight subjects. “For learning you need at least two things: attention and feedback, in order to retain what works, and eliminate what does not work”, emphasizes the researcher.

Teachers should not be excluded from building this technology. It allows students to access content, while sending them feedback, i.e. the student knows if he made a mistake, if he was wrong, if he must go back.

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Pascal Huguet, research director at CNRS

And add: “For students with more difficulty, the software offers more fun paths. The goal is to bring them to the same level of learning as others, but through different paths.”

Ensuring that the digital divide does not widen the social divide is also the educational issue after the pandemic. Drawing
Ensuring that the digital divide does not widen the social divide is also the educational issue after the pandemic. Illustration (IZUSEK / E + / GETTY IMAGES)

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Yet the digital divide, a consequence of the social divide, occurs through lack of electronic equipment, or a reliable Internet connection. Pascal Huguet highlights another social role of digital technology. According to him, with equal equipment, technological tools make it possible to reduce inequalities between social levels: “When we make students from less advantaged social backgrounds work with these intelligent tutorials, they climb to the same level as students from more advantaged backgrounds in traditional education. “

One thing is certain: technology will never completely replace the human presence, especially in education. Many teachers are also alarming the young generation’s dependence on technologies and wish to return to learning without screens.

The full interview with Pascal Huguet, research director at CNRS

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