Russian and Hungarian Innovation Researchers Exchange the Best Educational and Expertise Practices
1825 kilometers, different time zones and borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the study of “Cultural patterns as a factor of successful digital transformation of Russian and Hungarian educational systems” (RFBR grant № 20-513-23002). The Laboratory for Educational Innovation Research (LEIR) and researchers from the Hungarian Eötvös Loránd University have a zoom-meeting every 2 weeks to work on a research project. The teams conduct joint research and develop long-term partnership in expert and educational areas. At the end of 2020, Russian and Hungarian teams had an online meeting to exchange their best educational practices.
We always have something to learn from our foreign colleagues, especially from such a high-level team of researchers with Gábor Halász as a Head. After such meetings, new projects and initiatives are usually born. At the same time, it turned out that practices used in Russia and Hungary are very similar. Read more in this article.
Solving the problem of lack of informal communication in the online events
Nowadays many educational events have been transferred to an online format, and the Summer School for the semifinalists of the Innovation in Education Competition was not an exception. The idea of “Random Coffee” came up - an event in which teams of innovators invited experts and randomly called them for a 10-minute informal conversation. In Hungary, there is a similar practice – “Tea Afternoon” for teachers. The goal is the same – to establish communication. A relaxed atmosphere and a special time for reflection promotes the scaling of the best practices and the emergence of new ideas.
Expert aid to schools in mastering distance format
This summer, the Laboratory for Educational Innovation Research developed recommendations for schools based on the results of the "Single Day of Technological Readiness" (March, 2020). According to the attitude of school employees to technology and the opportunities for innovation implementation, schools were offered recommendations list with specific steps to promote the inclusion of digital innovations in schools’ practices. Recommendations were sent to schools and presented at an open webinar for school Principals. The Hungarian colleagues on a regular basis provide expert support to teachers and advise on the development of educational programs. To help educational organizations cope with the pandemic challenges, our Hungarian colleagues have collected the best practices of distance learning and developed a handbook for university teachers (available in English).
Exchange programs for education and innovation researchers
At the Eötvös Loránd University Hungarian colleagues provide an 8-week internship for researchers and teachers (now online). This program offers advanced training courses for teachers and advice on the research. The Laboratory for Educational Innovation Research also invites researchers from Russian and foreign universities in the frame of the HSE mobility programs: the program of Russian and foreign Postdoc, the program of internships, visiting scholars. It is possible to join the projects of the Laboratory for the implementation of pedagogical and scientific activities for up to 1 year with the possibility of extension.
All in all, we found out that Russian and Hungarian universities are "on the same wavelength". Despite cultural differences, innovation practices of the Eötvös Loránd University and the Higher School of Economics are similar and are aimed at adapting to the pandemic, as well as promoting the development of education systems.