Mentoring Model

Work package 3 aims to provide the initial version of the mentoring model based on the partners experiences, existing models and approaches in collaboration with co-creation teams and the National Stakeholder Networks.

Rationale:

Today’s educational landscape is expected to address several challenges:

a) schools are more equipped with new technologies, which should improve the pedagogical practices;

b) students should be prepared for the future by developing their so-called 21. century skills as part of the formal education and

c) teachers’ and students’ digital competences need to be shaped because lack of such skills may increase the digital divide between different groups and harm some students’ ability to cope in a knowledge-intensive technology-enriched environment (EU, 2010).

In schools, investments in the technologies have increased rapidly to promote technology-based school innovations, but it is not clear if the change at the system level is happening (OECD, 2010). Policy level decisions have been made and investments in the ICT and professional development programs have been done, but it does not seem to be enough to force the widespread educational change and innovation needed to transform the majority of schools and teachers (Langworthy et al, 2010).

Therefore there is a strong need for the approach which emphasizes the mentoring and peer-learning to foster the school level change for more scalable and evidence-informed implementations of digital innovation by the teachers. Lafuente et al. (2018) concluded that successful teaching depends precisely on how teachers integrate technology into their daily relations with students.

iHub4Schools whole-school mentoring model to foster the adoption of digital innovation, consists of:

a) a conceptual model, which aims to target researchers, school leaders and policy makers to conceptualize digitally innovative school that fosters whole-school level peer-learning and mentoring and

b) a dynamic process model targeting school leaders teachers, mentors and teacher trainers to provide practical tools and methods to implement and adopt digital innovation in their organisation.

Both the conceptual model and the dynamic process model are built on the research of the iHub4Schools consortium partners.

For sustainable adoption of whole-school level digital innovation, both frameworks emphasize the importance of school-level vision, leadership, collaborative culture (including knowledge sharing and knowledge practices), digital infrastructure and pedagogical practices (see Figure).

Initial methods for enhancing whole-school level peer learning

Method is defined in iHub4Schools as any tool, framework, program, or workshop format that supports the mentoring of schools to implement whole-school level digital innovation through peer learning. Choice of any of the methods is a joint activity of the mentors and school staff, as presented in the Dynamic process model. Methods can be used as toolbox tools from which school chooses the appropriate approaches based on their needs and goals.

The first three methods for initial model are proposed from three different angles on school level to teacher level: Future School – a program for supporting evidence-informed whole- school level improvement designed for the school teams; Digipeda – a workshop format for schools to reflect on their practices to use digital technology in teaching; Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning (TISL) – a program for the teachers to improve awareness of teachers’ professional development through systematic, intentional, self-critical, planned investigations of own teaching practice.