Go, Polish Digital Schools!

Happy news for Polish OER movement – today Polish Council of Ministers announced the implementation of “Digital School” programme aimed at raising ICT competences in Polish schools and.  380 schools will be equipped with hardware, including tablets, computers for students and any additional equipment. It is not just about hardware, though, as the outputs of the project will include the creation of Creative Commons-licensed (or compatible) open textbooks for grades 4-6 (K4-K6) in primary schools. The project is the first major government initiative of this kind and scale, as 45 million Polish zloty – approximately 14 million US dollars has been assigned for the creation of the textbooks. This is quite an exciting development for DeFT for a number of reasons – first of all, we happen to be in the business of creating an open textbook focusing on digital literacy and so are keen to learn about similar initiatives; secondly, I have a personal interest in any digital literacy development taking place further east, especially when they take place in my home country. It would be fascinating to exchange our experiences and the DeFT team is not afraid to venture further afield, as evidenced by our recent forays into Belgium.

Furthermore, the DeFT project is aiming to offer a framework for digital literacy, which incorporates the socio-cultural aspect of digital practices and takes into account current debates focusing on issues of ICT/digital literacy in the curriculum. We will be following with a keen interest what happens with our Polish colleagues and whether they experience similar tensions between understandings of digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies as opposed to understandings that focus more on socio-cultural and communicative practices.

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