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The new MediaLab in Teacher Training
The MediaLab Lehramt at the Teacher Training Center of RWTH Aachen University develops sustainable measures to integrate the reflected use of digital media firmly across all subjects in teacher training. This includes the development of a modular cross-sectional curriculum of media-related workshops, the establishment of a learning lab for guided and explorative on-site examination of new media, the expansion of equipment and license rental, and last but not least, the development of a strong network of subject didactics as well as strong media partners within and outside the university.
Mission of the MediaLab
The areas of responsibility of the MediaLab Lehramt can be roughly divided into four categories, whereby these are not to be considered independent, but often show overlaps and intersections. Nevertheless, it helps to classify them accordingly when formulating goals. The overarching and primary goal is to make digital media accessible to the next generations of young teachers and to embed them in a didactically meaningful way in subject-related didactics and educational contexts.
In the area of "Curriculum Digital Education", a module portfolio is being designed that provides self-learning components in hybrid learning units with which students can independently explore media-related subject areas. In the subsequent practical phases, they apply what they have learned and produce their own podcasts or learning videos, for example. The MediaLab team provides advice and support, both in terms of how to use the appropriate tools and the provision of professional equipment. The students' results are then usually reflected upon in the context of the respective didactics or educational science courses. Upon request, the MediaLab also accompanies this process step. In addition to concrete, media-specific modules, our portfolio also covers cross-cutting topics such as Open Educational Resources or an introduction to the legal basis for the use of media in schools. The range of modules is growing continuously, and certification is in preparation.
The "Forum Digital Learning" is the working title of a university-wide network of all those involved in teacher training. The goal in this area is to network players, create synergies and actively promote the use of digital media in didactical courses. The aim here is to establish a structure for the systematic exchange of experience, but also to provide media-related advice and the opportunity to give one's own developments a little more scope. In addition to internal university networking, networking beyond the university is also on the agenda in this area: active exchange with similar projects at other universities, but also with technology drivers and content developers, independent educational institutions, and public agencies are important and must be included in further development.
One core area is the "MediaLab Learning Center". In our premises in the old Couvengymnasium, there is plenty of space for exploring modern digital media. In addition to our flexible LabSpace, which can be a VR area, collaborative workspace, podcast studio, or streaming station as needed, several workstations with powerful hardware are available to create and edit digital media at a professional level. In addition to software licenses from the professional segment, similarly powerful open-source alternatives are also available. Bring-your-own-device workstations are available for those who like to work on their own notebook but want to benefit from the possibilities of the MediaLab. Our vocal booth can be used for professional sound recordings for learning videos or podcasts. In addition to the physical learning space in the heart of Aachen, the MediaLab also offers a digital contact point: In addition to our Moodle with the range of modules, platforms for building a media-related knowledge database, digital consulting services and a central database of media-related services in the training region of Aachen are also in preparation.
The fourth area of work is the cooperation with schools and ZfsL: Here we are in close exchange in order to create practice-oriented offers for the first phase of teacher training and to be able to optimally support students in the practical semester, for example. In addition, we are happy to help pilot projects involving podcasts, learning videos, and similar formats in the schools in the training region, insofar as our capacity permits.