With the suggestive name of SELFIE, the European Commission has designed a tool that helps educational centers to “integrate digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment of students”. What works, what needs to be improved, what should be the priorities of the centers… In short. The purpose is integrate educational technologies in the classroom to teach technology and through technology.
Based on anonymous surveys of students, teachers and management team, SELFIE offers a series of questions and short statements with a rating scale from 1 to 5. The questionnaire deals with topics such as leadership, infrastructure, teacher training and digital skills of the student body And it is adapted to each group to which it is directed. In addition, the tool is available in the 24 languages of the European Union. And it only takes 30 minutes to get SELFIE up and running.
SELFIE stands for “personal reflection on effective learning by fostering innovation through educational technologies”. And the name is a play on words with the result of the evaluation: a report or snapshot that lists the strong and weak points of the educational center in relation to the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning.
Technology in the classrooms
The SELFIE tool has been available since 2018. Behind the project is the European Commission and its Action Plan to promote Digital Education. From two points of view. First, educate through technology. And second, to teach these technologies in operation so that today’s schoolchildren have digital skills and can fend for themselves.
SELFIE is free. It can be customized for each center, it is easy to configure, it respects the privacy and confidentiality of the data obtained and it is designed for use in any school of the European Union. In addition, it has already been tested in centers in countries such as Spain, Italy or Ireland.
To use it, you must register the educational center on the platform through this link. The tool, through its platform, allows you to customize the evaluation from the features of the school or institute that will participate in it. In addition, you can define the number of participants and send them an invitation to participate. fill in the questionnaire.
SELFIE will generate a report from the responses. And it will send the results to the contact person who has managed the participation in the same platform. From there, it’s up to the educational center apply the advice and conclusions Of the report. But making it clear that it is an optional query tool.
A map or ‘selfie’ to guide us
To become familiar with SELFIE, you can consult documents such as sample questions, a sample report, a video guide on activating it, and other resources of interest. All of them designed to apply educational technologies and other innovative resources in any educational center.
It’s more. Two years ago, the Spanish Ministry of Education produced a PDF guide to help schools and institutes prepare their Digital Center Plan according to the help offered by SELFIE. And there is also a version of SELFIE specifically targeted at teachers and educators.
A look at the sample report, available in English, can give us an idea of where SELFIE is going. As we said before, it focuses on several areas: leadership, technological infrastructure and equipment, collaboration, professional development, learning support and pedagogy, counseling practices and, finally, students’ digital skills.
In infrastructure and equipment, for instance. They wonder things like, does the school have digital teaching devices? Internet access? Technical support in case something goes wrong? What is the data protection policy? Are the devices shared, owned, provided by the center? In other areas, it is tried to find out if the center analyzes its teaching methods. And if it applies changes or improvements, if it encourages student participation, if there is communication between all the parties involved, if virtual learning environments are used, if online resources are used, etc.
Finally, an important section. Basically it is the basis and the reason for the SELFIE project, it is the one that has to do with the digital skills of students. And it is that one of the objectives of education is and will be to provide students with tools to deal with their day to day in all areas. And in almost all of them they will run into technology. Hence the importance of applying educational technologies not for fashion but with the purpose that the citizens of tomorrow become familiar with them.