Gryffe High School in Scotland is amongst the first schools in Europe to be recognised under the new European Digital Schools Award.
Launched last year, the Digital Schools Awards European pilot programme encourages and recognises innovation, collaboration and skills development in digital technology amongst schools in Europe. It is backed by the European Commissions’ Erasmus+ programme, national government bodies, education agencies and leading technology companies led by HP.
More than 90 secondary schools are taking part in the initiative which is now being piloted in five European countries; Ireland, Lithuania, Scotland, Serbia and Slovenia. It is the first of its kind to be available across the continent.
Using the European Commission’s SELFIE self-reflection tool, schools assess their digital learning and teaching practices and identify areas where improvements can be made. Schools taking part are given access to expert support and resources to help them develop their digital curriculum and ensure pupils are given the skills they need to navigate the modern world.
Importantly, the European Digital Schools Awards programme opens up dialogue across borders and creates a growing community of digitally competent schools, where teachers can share learnings from different education systems.
To achieve European Digital Schools status, schools had to demonstrate strong leadership in digital education and provide sufficient access to resources and infrastructure. Their school culture, professional development strategies and teaching practices were also assessed as part of the submission.
Gryffe High School is being recognised at a time when Europe is facing a major digital skills shortage. The European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index 2020 found a “large part of the EU population” do not have basic digital skills required for modern jobs and concluded that digital skills needed to be strengthened across the school curriculum.
Anna Doody from Digital Schools Awards said: “We know that schools across Europe have taken great strides in recent years to integrate digital practices into their teaching, and one of the most important and valuable aspects of the European Digital Schools Awards is the ability to network with counterparts in other parts of the world.
By connecting schools, we hope to bring attention to innovations happening elsewhere in the continent and encourage collaboration by opening more channels for knowledge sharing across borders.”
To find out more, visit www.awards4selfie.eu.