The main goal of the project is to provide teachers with tools to create positive views, emotions and atmospheres when transforming school education and recovering from the crisis. We address the key emotional challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by applying a positive computational/psychological approach that goes beyond technological/digital solutions. We aim to develop teachers’ competences and provide ready-to-use solutions (learning scenarios and materials) across subjects.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in schools. However, the use of technology in schools will have a lasting effect. However, increased dependency on and exposure to the use of technology for distance learning can jeopardize individual well-being as school-life boundaries become harder to maintain and negatively associated outcomes and side effects of technology use can occur, such as stress from technology use Technostress (Tarafdar et al 2015). In order to increase the willingness and skills to avert such negative aspects of distance learning, new skills need to be created and well-designed learning objects combined with appropriate pedagogical methods to relevant learning activities. Ensuring continuity of learning during the pandemic goes beyond the mere introduction of distance learning modalities. In addition, increasing concerns are being raised about students’ social-emotional needs and overall psychological well-being, the challenges of isolated learning, and technology stress. It is therefore becoming imperative to go beyond the traditional, transactional understanding of the teacher-learner relationship, to design digital learning experiences towards motivation, engagement, positive emotions and well-being, to reduce mental illness (e.g. stress, depression and anxiety) and To help students and teachers reach their full potential.
Current challenges for teachers
Our preliminary study on the experiences of the COVID-19 crisis has shown a variety of aspects that lead to a successful management of the crisis. Some of the aspects are organizational in nature, such as B.: willingness to change; technological infrastructure and support; and a healthy and active use of digital technologies.
Even more important is the role of the teacher. It is important that teachers have the motivation and skills to seamlessly transition to digital solutions. However, in this unusual situation, a variety of challenges arise:
• Dealing with different technical equipment of students/families;
• Dealing with stress and uncertainties;
• Creating motivation and positive atmosphere with new interaction channels;
• Dealing with depression and despair.
The key insight is that new skills are required in this situation.
We see competencies as knowledge, skills and attitudes to solve problems in specific contexts (Holtkamp & Pawlowski, 2015). In times of change, attitudes and emotional aspects in particular seem to be critical, for example to develop positive attitudes towards technology use situations and to acquire new skills to mitigate technostress (Pirkkalainen et al. 2019).