A new school is born. In presence and at a distance: some proposals for the restart.

Publish date 19-10-2020

by Carlo Degiacomi

What have we learned from the period we have gone through? The school begins the year 2020/21 with great uncertainties. My thesis is that we must not miss the opportunity to quickly and well practice an intelligent mix capable of favoring face-to-face and distance education at every school level, to disseminate topical issues and to be more present in an area open to young people. Online teaching needs rules, methods and ideas like the rest of teaching.

A list of points to think about:

- Are the training of teachers and students on computer languages, platforms, applications, digital laboratories current topics? Should or will it be possible to maintain forms of contact between school and students and families with forms to be defined?

- Is the strong difference in IT equipment (tools and connections) a hole to be filled both at school (presence of IWB and equipped classrooms) and at home? Is it possible to develop ad hoc training?

- Is it possible to use new teaching tools for comparison and research, for discussion and eventually also for the evaluation of teachers? How is it possible to ensure coordination between teachers in these activities?

- Is the autonomy of students to be cultivated as a self-employed activity with the guidance of teachers? The possibility of working in groups even outside the classroom? Can computers and social media also be social relationships? Do these activities require greater commitment on the part of teachers who have to produce documents, dispen¬se, video, audio, material, elaborate, effective?

-Is it possible to resort to experts and external people always with the guidance and choice of teachers, useful as a support for teaching activities, especially to bring out contemporary environmental issues?

- Is it possible to schedule knowledge and information visits (companies, museums, service bodies, companies, innovative places) in presence and virtual visits to spaces and places in the area?

- Interact ¬ ludic and didactic systems of conversation and confrontation are important, where there are also works done by students such as story board texts, drawings, graphics, poems, stories, multimedia products…?

- The concept of distance education cannot be reduced only to video, monitor / computer, connections. All languages ​​are needed: reading, drawings, audio, video, manipulation of objects, manual and scientific laboratories, artifacts related to study, small theatrical actions, commercials, problem solving in the form of games, diaries, graphics…?

- In dealing with environmental issues, advice on behavior, common sense, not extreme can be proposed, giving importance to the link that can exist with social activities at home: care of people, domestic spaces, participation in life family, animals, help for younger siblings, various aspects of citizenship ...?


The task of those who have always worked with the school, even from the outside, is to help it transform with conscious, shared and reasoned choices, with the ultimate aim that young people can develop their autonomy also consisting of a critical and new technologies (toolboxes) at their disposal.

In summary, three ingredients of the education mix: school in the classroom, school in the distance, school in places in the area (we'll talk about the latter again). Meanwhile, an immediately practicable way: companies, private and public entities can offer not only funds, but also services, tools and places starting from the objective of a widespread culture of environmental sustainability.

Carlo DeGiacomi

NP Agosto/Settembre 2020


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