30 Million Euros for Digital Education – The University of Potsdam Leads Networking and Transfer Office
Over the next three years, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will provide 30 million euros in funding for the networking and transfer of “Competence Centers for Digital and Digitally Supported Teaching in Schools and Continuing Education.” This cross-state network, with twelve locations throughout Germany, will be coordinated from the University of Potsdam by Katharina Scheiter, Professor of Digital Education, and Dirk Richter, Professor of Educational Research. The university will receive 12.9 million euros for the project, which starts today, February 1. In Potsdam alone, 28 staff members in educational sciences and subject didactics, computer science, information technology and media management will take care of networking the centers, transfer to education, accompanying research and communication. Nationwide, the new institution employs 60 specialists.
“We have closely intertwined our teacher training with educational research in order to rapidly transfer current research findings, especially on the digitization of the classroom, into teaching and practice. As one of the most successful transfer universities in Germany, we also have expertise and experience that we will bring to this challenging task,” says University of Potsdam President Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D.
The new networking and transfer office serves as the umbrella organization for a total of four competence centers that are currently being established. The first will deal with mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology; the second with languages, economics and social sciences; the third with music, art and sports; and the fourth with school development. The task of the centers is to develop innovative and effective methods for the digitization-related professionalization of teachers and for digital transformation at schools.
The networking and transfer office, which is managed from Potsdam and unique in Germany, will support the competence centers in their work, bring them into exchange with each other, and bundle their results for transfer to educational practice. “This requires close cooperation with school authorities and state institutes, educational policy and administration. In order to make scientific results sustainably useful for practice, they must be discussed with the various stakeholders,” says Professor Scheiter, emphasizing that the concrete conditions of schools and teaching must always be taken into account for application. “We will be looking very carefully at when such a transfer succeeds and which groups of actors play a key role here,” says Scheiter.
Partners in the transnational network of the Networking and Transfer Office are the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, the Technical Universities of Dortmund and Munich, and the Universities of Duisburg-Essen and Kassel. The DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Human Development and Educational Information, the German Institute for Adult Education - Leibniz Center for Lifelong Learning, the Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media, and the IPN - Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education with the German Center for Teacher Education Mathematics are among the non-university partners. Last but not least, the Forum Bildung Digitalisierung strengthens the network as a partner for shaping the dialog between science and practice as well as for networking different actors.
The first competence center for the MINT subjects (mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology) will be launched on April 1. It will consist of six collaborative projects at multiple sites, one of which will coordinated by Professor Scheiter. Various Potsdam researchers from the fields of didactics and educational sciences are also involved in the other three lines of proposals, which are expected to be approved in the spring.
Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter, Professor for Digital Education
Telephone 0331 977-213824
Prof. Dr. Dirk Richter, Professor for Educational Research in the Educational Sciences
Telephone 0331 977-2133
Media Information 01-02-2023 / No. 012