Practice Invited Speech


Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou

R&D Director, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Greece

"Large Scale School-based Technology Supported Education Innovation"

Too many very promising school-based innovation efforts disappear after the end of the initial funding period, either at national or international level. The financial crisis seems to have a severe impact on numerous national initiatives and reforms that were designed considering a constant flux of funding to the proposed initiatives. As a result, interest in the problem of sustainability of technology supported educational innovations has increased significantly in the recent years. This talk will discuss the problem by focusing on systemic change and by presenting a series of innovation models. Lessons learnt related to planning, piloting, implementation efforts and scale up of school-based technology supported education innovation will be explored and discussed in detail. A particular emphasis will be given to efforts designed to enhance how schools address issues related with barriers to the introduction of innovative teaching and learning approaches. The discussion will be framed around the hypothesis that the likelihood of sustaining any innovation is increased if it is integrated into the fabric of existing school improvement reforms.
Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou is the Head of R&D Department of Ellinogermaniki Agogi, since 1998, the first research department that operates within a private K12 school in Greece. Previously, he has worked at European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), the National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" and the Physics Laboratory of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He holds a PhD in Astrophysics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece and a PhD in Technology Enhanced Science Education from Bayreuth University, Germany. Since 1998, he has been active in the design, implementation and co-ordination of more than 100 research and development European Projects in the field of Technology Supported Science Education and Teachers’ Training.  Since 2001 he is the Director of the Ellinogermaniki Agogi Center for Science Teachers Training. His main research field is the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments that aim to bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences (since 2003), member of the board of the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (ECSITE) (2004 - 2009) and member of the Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP) Executive Committee of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN). He has be appointed by the European Physical Society (EPS) to lead the design and development of the European Science Education Academy, which will support the effective integration of Inquiry Based and Problem Based approaches in the teaching, through the development of effective Professional Development Programmes. He is author of numerous articles, publications and teachers guides on the use of ICT in science education. He is also co-author of the Science Textbooks that are used in all primary Greek schools since 2003.