DML Initiatives, Part 1: Poland
Three initiatives around digital media in Poland are a revamp of the K-12 curriculum, the Information Society Development Foundation which funds DML projects, and E-Strong: Digital Skills, Real Benefits, which offers DML for disabled people. Full information along with the requested verbatim summaries are included in the attached spreadsheet.
Core Curriculum 2018/2019 (Podstawa programowa 2018/2019)
- As opposed to many other DML initiatives in other countries, Poland is moving away from integrating DML into all subjects and moving toward replacement of the idea of subject integration by subject correlation (within humanities and science subjects). It is unclear if DML fits into those categories.
- As an example, instead of integrating DML skills into regular subjects (in History class students would use DML to research) they will correlate it (in computer class they will use History examples).
The most likely reason is the history teacher isn't computer-literate and doesn't want to be.
- "The concept of education adopted in the document, expressed in particular in the school's tasks and learning objectives — general requirements, reflects the key objectives and assumptions of the education reform, including developing entrepreneurship and creativity among students, as well as developing skills in the efficient use of information and communication technologies not only in the education process but also in everyday life, which will be supported by a broader inclusion in the curriculum of all subjects of information and communication technologies and the introduction of universal programming science."
- There are no statistics about the number of teachers using the curriculum. However, because it is mandatory, all teachers should be using it unless there are extenuating circumstances. In 2017 there were 184,893 primary school teachers and 98,217 secondary school teachers.
- DML is not separated from the ICT (Information Computer Technology)
- "On January 30, 2018, the Minister of National Education Anna Zalewska signed a regulation on the new core curriculum for general education for a four-year general high school, a five-year technical secondary school, and a two-year secondary school."
- "Practically all primary schools in Poland have access to the Internet and enable teachers and pupils to use it. Thus, schools are required by law to install special Internet safety software in computers used for teaching and learning purposes. The software should protect pupils, in particular, against pornography, brutal and aggressive contents, and contents breaking social norms and promoting hatred and discrimination."
Information Society Development Foundation
- The mission statement below outlines their goals and drives the selection of the projects they fund.
"We operate comprehensively and in the long term." "We are introducing lasting and real changes in local communities." "We diligently examine the impact of actions taken and reflect on how they are implemented."
"We specify goals and look for the best ways to achieve them.
"We're continually looking for new ways of doing things." "We analyze national, global needs, challenges, and trends."
"We believe that the basis of innovation is mutual trust and willingness to cooperate."
"We create opportunities to combine different environments and exchange experiences." "We share our knowledge and experience in national and international cooperation networks."
- Some programs include "Click, Check, Understand" which was piloted in 10 libraries.
- Another program is "New Technologies Locally." The program aims to increase knowledge and skills by representatives of local organizations for the use of DML and new technologies. It has served 800 people in 10 cities.
- "The foundation was created in 2008 by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF) based in the USA — one of the largest grant organizations operating in Poland, with capital of over USD 250 million. The first task of FRSI was the implementation of the nationwide Library Development Program — a joint undertaking of the PAFF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the "Global Libraries" international initiative. Thanks to this, they acquired unique work experience in thousands of local communities throughout Poland, in the area of social change, using new technologies. They built on this experience the further development of the organization in accordance with their values, which are quality, innovation, and partnership."
- From that beginning, the foundation moved into supporting DML in 2016.
- A review of the history of the organization and the initiatives it is currently funding in DML show few pitfalls. The initiatives are based on successful DML work from the EU and other countries.
- "Information Society Development Foundation has extensive experience in the implementation of nationwide projects regarding the role of technology in local development. The foundation also funds other DML initiatives, including the initiative in row 8. "
E-Strong: Digital Skills, Real Benefits
- Formed in December 2016, this program is a cross-sector collaboration to serve multiple audiences from different offerings, including deaf, blind, and visually impaired, trainers, and the general public.
- "The goal of the "e-Mocni" project is to increase Internet (DML) literacy throughout Poland."
- "We train people who have not yet used the opportunities offered by new technologies. We offer stationary and online training as well as webinars. Thanks to this, they have the chance to learn how to use technology daily and how to use them in taking care of their health, finance or education, professional development, and even spiritual life, relationships with loved ones or hobbies."
- The program has developed 160 Local trainers in 126 Municipalities for 14,000 Residents. It is funded by multiple non-profits and provides DML training for disabled people.
- The program appears to be well-funded, and the educators are trained by the project to work with disabled students and software.