For 5 days, at the first edition of the Predau Viitor Digital Festival (online, October 24-28), 3.850 (from the 6.348 enrolled) teachers and future teachers from Romania and the Republic of Moldova learned about digital pedagogy, STEAM and digital citizenship from Romanian and international guests, education experts, teachers and students. Participation in the festival was free of charge.
Predau Viitor Digital Festival in a nutshell
The Festival day by day
On each day of the festival, the participants were invited to choose between the sessions held on the 3 virtual stages, depending on their interest in the session's theme, the discipline or the level at which they teach.
In between content sessions, teachers were greeted at virtual networking and socializing tables by #TechsoupForEducation teachers and ambassadors, ready to share directly from their vast classroom experiences or encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Each day also brought many contexts for reflection on one's own learning and what the teachers want to take forward in the classroom.
1st day // October 24
The first day brought sessions focused on STEAM education (science technology engineering art mathematics) with Romanian and international teachers: we reflected on what skills we built in school for careers of the future and how Product Development can be done in a computer science class.
International guest Pauline Maas, computer science teacher at the Royal Dutch Visio School (Netherlands) for visually impaired students, presented creative and fun ideas with simple tools on how to program in the classroom with Scratch or micro:bit.
2nd day // October 25
Tuesday was pedagogy and educational psychology day in which we talked about Myths about the brain, mind and learning, found out from recent research in education how we can improve learning conversations with students and we presented socio-emotional learning resources and guides already developed by other non-governmental organizations.
We ended the day with an exclusive masterclass by Dr. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, professor at Harvard University Extension School, on how we can bring neuroscience and learning science research to support teachers.
3rd day // October 26
Wednesday was the day dedicated to digital citizenship. We talked about ethics, values and virtues in creating technology, we presented many resources from other non-governmental organizations about how we can raise socially engaged students with healthy values: student public speaking, service learning, media education. We also found out ideas ready to take to the classroom from primary school teachers and teachers with experience in digital citizenship and service learning activities.
4th day // October 27
Thursday was Teacher Development Programs and Professional Learning Communities Day. We discussed how we prepare future primary school teachers for a digital world, presented impactful classroom professional development programs for teachers, and last but not least, discovered other teacher learning communities in which we feel heard and encouraged to contribute and that make us better teachers.
The last day // October 28
With a promise to return next year, Friday was the day in which we presented the Asociatia Techsoup's vision for teacher professional development and celebrate with many more ideas to take to the classroom. We discovered together that the development of teachers' skills and a warm-hearted team can transform a school even in rural areas, we celebrated 6 years of Meet and Code Romania and Moldova together with the organizers of the Meet and Code technology events, we listened to the students' voice in a session about product development in the classroom.
We could only end on a high note with our guest, Michele Eaton, author of The Perfect Blend. A Practical Guide to Designing Student-Centered Learning Experience, in a session with practical ideas and strategies on student-centered blended learning
Testimonials from teachers who attended
Thank you for creating a vibrant community with lively, intense and sincere concerns to support the process of adapting the 3rd millennium teacher to the needs and demands of today's society. (Teacher participating in the Festival)
It was very interesting, I didn't know which of the scenes to be present on, the topics covered being one more interesting than the other. As usual, what you do involves dedication, it shows, you are a five star team and for all that you generously give us I want to thank you with gratitude! (Teacher participating in the Festival)
The participating teachers also appreciated the presence of the younger speakers, the 7 12th grade students who spoke about their experience with product development activities carried out together with the graduate teachers of the Predau Viitor Accelerator program.
There can be no professional development without moments of reflection and without professional discussion communities, even more so when it comes to digital pedagogies and the use of technology in the classroom, fields of pedagogy that are so new.
We were impressed by the willingness of all participating colleagues to share and reflect on what quality digital education means and how we ensure access to real learning for all students. At the socializing virtual tables, there was a lot of talk about real pedagogical situations, where teachers shared their possible solutions or ideas - and we felt this need to listen and help us professionally. (Elena Coman, Director of Programs Asociatia Techsoup)
We launched the Predau Viitor free online courses platform
Starting with the end of October 2022, teachers can find our free courses from both Predau Viitor (EN: Teaching the Future) and Indreptar Digital (EN: Digital Handbook) Programs on a singular unique online learning platform, developed and customized to support the needs of a community of more than 20,000 teachers, which is growing exponentially. The online courses platform can be accessed at https://cursuri.predauviitor.ro/.
Predau Viitor - The course platform already hosts for pre-registration both courses already established and appreciated by computer science and primary school teachers: Programming with Scratch or Python, STEAM at middle school, Introduction to Product Development (the Predau Viitor Accelerator), etc. in a format to support teachers to complete them anytime, on their own calendar, and other first-ever online courses: Myths about the Brain, Mind and Learning.
In the last 2 years, 4.290 teachers, teachers and future teachers graduated from the Predau Viitor and Indreptar Digital courses, bringing new digital activities to the classroom for more than 109.267 students.
Festival supporters and partners, 2022 edition
The supporters of the Festival are the Romanian-American Foundation and Enel Romania.
The event's technical partner is the Romanian startup Eventmix.live and the Wordly AI-powered translation tool.
The content partners of the Festival are: the Research Center in Applied Ethics, the Association of Young Pedagogues Sibiu, Aspire Teachers, Noi Orizonturi Foundation, Expert Forum, ANPCDEFP, Genially, the Center for Independent Journalism, the Intercultural Institute Timișoara and Indreptar Digital and Predau Viitor teachers and from partner NGOs, from all levels of education. The presence of all speakers was pro bono.
Branding and design by Bogdan Moga.
About Asociația Techsoup
Since 2010, Asociația Techsoup is a premier capacity-building organization for nonprofits, educators in the public-school system, and youth in Romania and Moldova — having served to date over 4,200 NGOs and 20,000 teachers. To date, an estimated number of 923,600 K-12 students have benefited from our work with their teachers. Asociatia Techsoup is the only organization in Romania to have received the Digital Skills in Education Award of the EU Commission's European Digital Skills Awards, in 2017. More about our mission and programs on https://en.asociatiatechsoup.ro/