Due to the current pandemic, we cannot organise youth exchange programmes or other on-site events in Krzyżowa. This is why we started to conduct educational projects in the virtual space. While we are aware that remote education might be a subject to criticism, especially if it substitutes for on-site education, we are also convinced it can bring new chances and innovation.
The advantages of remote education
We understand that remote education is not equal to on-site education. Still, it can be very valuable, effective and bring the following benefits:
- remote education is accessible to people who could not take part in on-site programmes for various reasons, e.g. disability making travelling impossible, too long distance or too high travel costs. So from this point of view, remote education is inclusive;
- less burden to the environment, because there are no carbon dioxide emissions related to transport or accommodation;
- time savings, because one does not have to plan time for travelling or spending some days away from home – it is an advantage particularly in case of short activities;
- an innovative education space and new learning chances, especially for topics related to digitalisation;
- in times of the pandemic, remote education activities are innovative and necessary.
We have been trained and continue to develop our skills
Since the beginning of adapting some of our activities to remote modus, and while planning new ones, we have strived after the following goal: we want our remote activities to be dynamic, innovative, and of high added value for participants. So, we attended training courses, tried new possibilities and tool, and have curiously followed ways of providing education in a remote environment. What in March 2020 was unknown territory to us, is now a well-explored field we move with confidence in and can to lead others – this is why we believe remote education can be successful.
This is how our remote education activities look
Our remote education activities are dynamic and diverse. We use various platforms for videoconferencing. Like in on-site projects, we apply non-formal education methods, in addition to which we fall back on many useful digital tools. In the case of international inclusive activities, we provide professional remote simultaneous interpreting.
We share experiences
In 2020, we organised remotely circa 30 international events for youngsters and people working with youth.
Some of our experiences we collected in handbooks. For instance, those from the BarCamp ”(Hi)Storytelling: My History, Your History, Our History“ for people working with youth in Poland, Germany, and Ukraine. In terms of content, we reflected on the meaning of the current situation for historical and civic education. In terms of teaching methods, we gathered tips on organising an online BarCamp and included a collection of warm-ups for remote activities. You can download the handbook for free here.
„The Course of (Hi)Stories Experiences from a German-Polish online seminar on narratives about Judaism and a manual on how to work with podcasts in non-formal education” is another handbook with similar content. You can download it for free here.
More often than not, we are amazed by the opportunities for exchange and learning possible in a remote environment. However, we cannot wait to organise on-site events in Krzyżowa and other places again!