Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020): Media and education in the pandemic age of COVID-19
Articles

Home-schooling during the pandemic: A push for digital education in German classrooms?!

Nadine Elstrodt-Wefing
Technische Universität Dortmund
Ute Ritterfeld
Technische Universität Dortmund
Published November 2, 2020
Keywords
  • digital teaching competence,
  • teaching tools,
  • teaching strategies,
  • home-schooling

Abstract

The COVID-19 home-schooling situation has become a catalyst for educational institutions to search for and deploy innovative solutions within a relatively short period of time. Since many teachers have been forced to employ technical or digital approaches with which they have had little to no prior experience, this situation might give rise to a push for digital education. In the present study we employed a two-part interview-survey to investigate how home-schooling affects German teachers’ general technical affinity and their digital teaching competence during home-schooling. Furthermore, the qualitative properties of the implementation of home-schooling were explored. The results of the study revealed that the teachers’ digital teaching competence, but not their technical affinity, changed during the pandemic. An increase in digital teaching competence was only identifiable for the first weeks of the pandemic. Qualitative analyses showed that the teachers used three different types of educational tools: (1) digital tools, (2) analogue tools, and (3) technical tools. Over the course of the pandemic the usage of those tools became more structured. However, structures were mostly built on a micro-level, e.g., by individual teachers for their classes; no macro-structures like class-comprehensive rules or even strategy papers for digital teaching were developed.

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