29 editions with over 10,000 participants, along with 144 presenters, from over 30 partner institutions, in over 60 hours broadcast live on Zoom, Facebook, and Youtube platforms. #onlinetogether – the series of practical webinars dedicated to online education during the pandemic celebrates one year since its debut on April 15, 2020.
In March 2020, the closure of educational institutions hastened both the transition to the integrated use of online tools in education and the transition from traditional to online education. In a time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face educational activities have been moved online, using applications, platforms, technologies, and various tools and methods for distance education. While the vast majority of stakeholders in the field of education have only worked in a traditional classroom, the context of the pandemic has suddenly required them to adapt to working and teaching online, to regroup quickly, and to prepare for a longer period of time of educational “social distancing”.
The #impreunaonline #onlinetogether community
In order to support teachers, students, but also all stakeholders involved in the educational process, the Politehnica University of Timișoara, through the e-Learning Centre launched the series of national webinars Online Together. Beyond exchanging valuable information, resources and experiences, with the beginning of the series we set out to build a strong community, in which teachers from universities and schools, students and pupils, people of culture and actors interested in education, technology, and innovation could find support and opportunities for collaboration. We want this community to continue to grow, encouraging collaborative work between institutions and individuals, teachers and students, but also those in the private or cultural environment, in the spirit of open education and free access to knowledge.
The Online Together webinars are organized in collaboration with IEEE Romania, the EDEN Association, and the Politehnica University of Timișoara, with guests from other universities, schools, and institutions in Romania. Launched on 15 April 2020, the #impreunaonline #onlinetogether webinar series took place online weekly, during the last year.
Over 10,000 participants from the higher and secondary education and the private environment
Within the 29 editions organized over the last year, the webinars registered a total of over 10,000 participants, including educators and actors from structures in universities and schools, students, pupils, people of culture, but also interested parties from the private sectors, coming from dozens of national and international localities.
In the Online Together webinars, we aimed to respond to the challenges faced by those who work in education, in a practical way, in the spirit of open education and free access to knowledge. Each webinar was designed interactively, with Q&A sessions through which participants had the opportunity to address hundreds of questions to the presenters. 144 presenters, along with 32 moderators, from over 30 partner institutions joined the #impreunaonline #onlinetogether movement, for over 60 hours of live broadcasts, simultaneously on the Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube platforms.
Topics presented in the national webinars focused on:
● experiences of shifting from in-campus education to online education, at different times of education during the pandemic, both among educators in the academic and school environment, as well as students and pupils;
● challenges and opportunities for stakeholders in schools and universities during the pandemic;
● use of OERs, MOOCs, learning platforms and new technologies in online education, building digital educational ecosystems;
● the impact of new technologies, AR & VR and AI in education, society, and culture;
● innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in a pandemic, but also the promotion of women in STEM.
9917 Online Together Open Badges
Access to the #impreunaonline #onlinetogether webinars is free and granted by accessing the registration links provided each week on the official website of CeL https://elearning.upt.ro/en/. Attendance is certified by an open digital certificate (Open Badge) “Online Together”. During the 29 editions, a total of 9917 Open Badges were issued, of which 9594 were for Participant, 144 for Presenter, and 32 for Moderator. The open badges are certified by Politehnica University of Timisoara and endorsed by international association EDEN and Romanian association IEEE Romania and Romanian Association of Technical Universities (ARUT).
and a promotional video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtRZYuJzwuo
The list of issued open digital certificates is available on https://elearning.upt.ro/en/open-badges-certificate-digitale-deschise-impreuna-online/
The recordings of the Online Together webinars, as well as some presentations of the participants and details about each edition, are available on https://elearning.upt.ro/en/impreuna-online/
“We started the webinars at a critical time for education at the national level, in times when we felt we needed to join forces more than ever, out of a vision to connect people and institutions, to share resources and information in the spirit of open education and free access to knowledge and, above all, out of the desire to collaborate for a better world. Our call had a response that exceeded our expectations and I would like to thank all those who responded to our invitations and joined the #impreunaonline #onlinetogether community, those who contributed with interesting presentations and valuable information, those who participated during the 29 webinars, interacted with us and supported us through thousands of messages, encouraging us to continue, hope and to promote the collaboration between institutions and people in shaping together the future of education! I’m especially grateful to the associations who joined and inspired us for these webinars – EDEN, IEEE Romania, ARUT. On behalf of the CeL team, we acknowledge all the contributions and thank you for being #impreunaonline #onlinetogether for the last year ”
– Dr. Diana Andone – Director of the UPT e-Learning Centre
The Online Together webinars series will continue in May 2021, on Wednesdays, hosted by the e-Learning Centre team, and with guests from the most diverse institutions and fields, cutting-edge topics, as interesting and relevant as possible for those in the field of education, innovation, culture, and the #impreunaonline #onlinetogether community.