Imagine students that read the content of the lesson the day before. Professors that explain without books using videos and pictures. And the classwork too done on a screen and when the time is up the marks can already be given. Italian schools too are changing in their own small way. And also the much insulted Italian teachers. To quote Chiara Burberi, CEO of Redooc, digital teaching platform specifically for scientific subjects – starting with mathematics – which offers a new way to teach and learn.
«Young people don’t like books anymore. Books are something now remote from their daily lives», according to Burberi. «We need to capture their attention online and offline». Redooc provides support to professors with video lessons and interactive exercises explained and organised as a great game online. A world in which Italian teachers are increasingly interested. «Four years ago when the platform was set up they thought I was mad but now teachers contact me to find out how they can adjust their teaching to the students’ preferences», said Burberi.
The Italian schools that bought the Redooc “packet” now number 100 out of a total of 8,300. «Obviously, like all hyper-regulated markets, change is slow but it is noticeable», said Burberi. The lessons online, point-winning games and quizzes are used not only for remedial study and revision, but also for organising daily lessons and even classwork. With gamification, the work is done on a screen with a time limit. When the time is up the system is blocked. And after a few minutes the marks are given. Point. The teachers do not have to waste time correcting work and can spend their time better on teaching.
Young people don’t like books any more. Books are something now remote from their daily lives. We need to capture their attention online and offline.
«Even the teachers who are a reluctant towards technology are now becoming more open to it», explained Burberi. «Just think that compared to the past most of them now subscribe to our platform using their smartphones. The class Whatsapp group in certain sense has cleared the technology even with people in the 40-50 age group!».
During the course of the updates there is a great deal of unrest regarding teaching and the Ministry of Education offers a number of investments and tender announcements aimed at this area. «The teacher who wants to get up to date has many resources available, including the famous 500 euro bonus», said Burberi. «Of course a lot depends on the schools and the teachers. There are good schools, headmasters and teachers who feel like giving it a try, others do not. Italy runs at two speeds even in the school system». However, this does not coincide with a division between north and south, according to Redooc; the one hundred schools that have started using the platform are located all over the country.
«After great scepticism concerning the use of technology in the classroom, interactive multimedia blackboards are being used increasingly», said Chiara Burberi. «Teachers are beginning to understand that technology has great value and it needs to be used. Then of course the number of teachers in Italy is 850 thousand, but of course not all of them are the same. It is a slow process but we are going in the right direction».