TU Kaiserslautern cooperates with universities in Singapore

5. November 2020, 8:32

Cooperations, studies and teaching

Virtual exchange and digital collaboration are more important than ever as a means of communication. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is therefore funding a program through the German Academic Exchange Service that aims to anchor the digitalisation boost in international university cooperation. Inken Heldt, junior professor for didactics of political education at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, leads a project under the umbrella of IVAC (International Virtual Academic Collaboration). In the current winter semester, a joint course on the subject of “digital media literacy” with the National University of Singapore and the National Institute of Education Singapore starts.

Singapore is considered a technology mecca and a pioneer of digitization. New technologies are quickly finding their way into everyday life and public life because the Asian city-state can access citizens’ personal information in a wide variety of ways. “Singapore has a different attitude than we do when it comes to surveillance and ‘big data’ – the many surveillance cameras in public spaces are a good example,” explains Inken Heldt. “In the transnational seminar we investigate the question: What should schoolchildren learn here and there about the digital transformation, about social effects and their own role in it? We want to focus on the political aspect of digitization, from the perspective of future social studies teachers. I find joint courses with the universities there exciting in every respect. Engaging in research into the opposing perspective is a valuable professional and cultural experience for both students and teachers. In addition, I am sure that we can take away a lot of impulses for digital teaching at TUK from the cooperation. ”

In Singapore, Heldt is cooperating with three professors from the fields of political didactics, teacher training and media communications: “In the next two semesters, our prospective social studies teachers * will be able to discuss the content of critical- reflect on reflective education and try out digital tools and collaboration opportunities. In 2021, we want to give our students an additional in-depth study trip to the Asian metropolis as part of a summer school on media criticism at the National University of Singapore. In addition, the professors from Singapore will visit us here in Kaiserslautern. ”

The junior professor’s ultimate goal is to permanently transfer the virtual formats developed in the collaboration into teaching practice and to pave the way for further international teaching collaborations in the teaching profession. The TUK eTeaching Service Center will provide appropriate structures for this on the OpenOLAT e-learning platform.

Background to IVAC:
The program offers a wide range of funding opportunities: The focus is on digital collaboration formats for students who work together – often in an interdisciplinary manner – and overcome both professional and cultural boundaries. The expansion of digital skills of university employees and students as well as the cross-university digitization of processes in study, teaching and mobility are also supported. A total of 48 projects at 41 universities will be funded by the end of 2021. The BMBF is providing a total of around 5.5 million euros in funding for this.

Questions answered:
Jun. Prof. Dr. Inken Heldt
Tel.: 0631 205-5380
E-mail: inken.heldt (at) sowi.uni-kl.de

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