Critical Thinking as a competence for 21st century

In May, I had the pleasure to provide a workshop on “Critical Thinking as a competence for 21st century” for the ErasmusPlus project “TeDiCom – Teaching Digital Competences in Adult Education”.

I started with a comprehensive overview of the topic of critical thinking by embedding it in a larger framework of important competencies for the 21st century.
Next clarifying the term with examples and at the same time explaining what critical thinking is not. Finally, I gave a number of practical tips on how to promote critical thinking skills in everyday educational work with adults.

Here is the recording of my input.

And here you can find my presentation and other really recommendable workshops from the project: .

The “Digital Education Initiative”: Boost or Barrier to Adult Learning?

This article was first published on EPALE in German:

On February 22, 2021, the “Initiative Digital Education” was presented. The pandemic has shown that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the design and development of digital education, which is why the initiative wants to give digital education a boost. To this end, a national education platform and a digital education space are to be created as an “open overall architecture for digital learning,” according to Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek 1.

The national education platform is to create secure access to a digital education space that contains a wide range of learning opportunities 2. Much remained unclear, but the platform and education space are to be combined:

  • include existing and new learning platforms and offerings
  • Provide learners with a single point of access to these offerings and platforms
  • Provide learners with individual learning paths
  • Make educational materials available
  • Store certificates centrally
  • Provide networking opportunities
  • Ensure quality of learning offerings through seals of approval and standardization
  • Regulating data security for all areas of education

Digital education: adult education also addressed

Right at the start, Minister Karliczek spoke of “learning in all phases of education,” and Chancellor Merkel, patron of the initiative, also made it clear “that digital education is not just for schools, not just for universities, but that we also want to address people of all ages.” So adult learning is explicitly addresses, and that’s very gratifying, because it’s not always part of education discussions. But was adult learning thought of, was it meant to be included?

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Lifelong learning – the end of adult education?

This article was first published on EPALE in German:

The report “Embracing a culture of lifelong learning” by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning from August 2020 describes a future-oriented perspective for education. Against the backdrop of global challenges such as the climate crisis, technological change and the Covid 19 pandemic, twelve international experts call for a fundamental shift towards a culture of lifelong learning.

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Putting down roots: establishing e-learning opportunities in informal adult education

This article was published on EPALE (en): and you may read it there. Here is a short excerpt with reference to the main contents:

It had to be done and it was done quickly: as educational establishments closed due to COVID-19, digital modes of education were set up at short notice. It was a major achievement by all involved, some of whom were rewarded by large numbers of participants.  However, even in cases where the response was low, many learning providers are considering adding more e-learning opportunities to their programmes in the long term.
To do this, it is helpful to address the particulars of planning, structuring and providing e-learning opportunities in informal education and training.

First I give an overview on fundamental features of e-learning opportunities. The article goes into more detail on these aspects:

  • Target group analysis: who do I want to reach and who can I reach?
    • Learning support and structural guidelines
    • Learning time
    • Media access
    • Language skills, writing and reading ability
  • Structuring the learning process
    • Fundamental educational setting
    • Time budget
  • Designing e-learning opportunities: success factors
    • Organizing communication and collaboration
    • Using the shared time
    • Webinars
    • Visualisation
    • Assignments
    • Designing the environment
  • Online education also means online marketing
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