Contributing to the dissemination of quality and accessible educational tools is not only one of the Group’s business activities: it is the most consistent way with the company mission to adhere to the Sustainable Development Goals identified by the UN (SDG 4: Ensuring inclusive and equal quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all).
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group’s school textbook publishers acted quickly and effectively with a big project to enable and facilitate Distance Learning for everyone.
Attention to the context, adaptability and responsiveness are the elements that marked the work of Mondadori Education and Rizzoli Education, providing students, teachers and families with the entire wealth of digital content of their catalogues to enable and facilitate distance learning. An open digital environment, constantly updated, to use and download freely, with no registration, over 40 gigs of content available for immediate use for Distance Learning. More than 12,000 pieces of content including videos, audios, customizable maps, playlists, inclusive books, and many other multimedia resources. All the content was selected and organized by the editors to make things easier for teachers; they are divided by school level (from primary to secondary schools) and by subject, to be easily identifiable.
Additionally, as a tangible help to teachers, lesson plans were made available on specific topics to spark ideas and provide teaching tips to start off quickly with distance lessons.
In order to better manage the increase in traffic and accesses generated during the DAD (distance teaching), the technological infrastructure of HUB Scuola, the platform for digital education in the Education area, was more than doubled; furthermore, the reading apps HUB Young and HUB Kids were redesigned and republished to ensure better usability and improved user experience, further improving the accessibility of these tools for students with special educational needs.
The digital content appearing on the HUB Scuola platform was then made available free of charge to RAI to enhance the educational offerings on traditional television channels. The RAI project, developed in association with the Ministry of Education, addresses children and young people who are unable to access distance learning either because they lack a device on which to study or live in places and situations where the Internet is unavailable, and to counter the rising trend during the months of lockdown of dropouts.
During the lockdown period, a detailed survey was conducted by the Group’s Education area among the teachers of the three school levels on their experience during the DAD, on their fears and hopes for the future, and cast a spotlight on the one hand on the shortcomings and lack of familiarity of the teaching staff with technology; on the other hand, the awareness of the great potential offered by the integration between digital and traditional education.
Based on these results, with the resumption of the new school year 2020/21, the Group’s school textbook publishers continued their support of teachers and students, offering on their sites and on the HUB Scuola platform a series of new tools designed specifically for teachers from all school levels, from primary to first and second-level secondary schools:
- entry tests, designed to assess the level of preparation of students on their return to school, all in editable format to allow maximum customization; also available are specific tests for students with Special Educational Needs,
- planning insights, to deal with the core foundations of the various subject areas for each school level, instrumental in better preparing the learning paths and setting up flexible planning, even for blended teaching.
- digital lessons, designed to offer tangible support for Integrated Digital Teaching, collect both digital and textbook resources, with specific attention to inclusive teaching.