During the pandemic crisis, the teaching sector exposed its fragilities and its adaptability. Europe is also facing a great challenge to provide sufficient and better-quality education and training to the teachers of tomorrow as the pandemic has come suddenly and brought several impacts on different levels. More than 100 million people who are directly related to education sector globally have been severely affected (Gabriel, 2020) and many of them have been trying to turn their traditional face-to-face (f2f) education into digital one.
The new approaches for teaching during the COVID-19 lockdowns have a huge impact on the education in kindergartens and primary schools, in particular in the range of age 4-7, where children needs to learn by experience, drawing or manipulating things without writing and reading skills. UN, in a worldwide scale says that “the disruptions caused by COVID-19 to everyday life meant that as many as 40 million children worldwide have missed out on early childhood education in their critical pre-school year”. This is problematic because “they thus missed a stimulating and enriching environment, learning opportunities”.


INDIRE developed a survey on Italian Teachers named “Didactic practices during the lockdown”, that represents an exemplar view of the impact of lockdowns in child education. From this preliminary report, it is clear how this impacted to the kindergarten and primary education. For pre-primary schools only the 28,5% of teachers did lessons online. It is important to remark that the questionnaire was on voluntary basis. In the case of pre-primary the most time (4 hours a week for the 17,8%) were dedicated for activity of contact and socialization: this represents the main way the teachers used to maintain in contact with the children, lacking the possibilities and knowledge to reapply the f2f lesson into digital one. Teachers that participated in the survey see a worsening of learning: 53,3% in pre-primary and 44,7% in primary, consider the quality of attention reduced and 43,7% of kindergarten teachers says that the motivation and engagement is worst with the experienced distance learning. Declaratory learning, based on traditional didactical material, is easily to be exported in distance learning: MOOCs and videoconferences are perfect in this case. But in the case of children that are not able to read and write, the procedural learning that refers to experience and laboratorial activities involving the senses is fundamental and is needed a rethinking when schools close and lessons are in front on a screen.


Teacher educators are key players for ensuring the quality of teaching professions and the support of educational innovation (EC, 2013; OECD, 2013). Yet, they are often neglected by policies and are given little opportunities in terms of professional development (European Council, 2009). All told, it seems crucial to improve the quality and relevance of higher education, by attuning teaching practices to current and emerging needs, encouraging teachers’ professional development. This context appears even more relevant after the COVID- 19 pandemic, where teachers needs new methods, tools and competences for distance teaching.
Teachers should be trained with renewed pedagogies, new ways to teach, including strategies for distance learning addressed for child education in kindergarten, in the first years of primary schools and in the transition between these moments. It is important to underline that technology alone cannot guarantee good learning outcomes. More important than training teachers in ICT skills, is ensuring that they have the assessment and pedagogical skills to meet students at their level and to implement the accelerated curricula and differentiated learning strategies likely to emerge in the return to school, able to be addressed for distance learning or for f2f lesson, also when emergency takes over.


Starting from this background, we propose the BLUE ARROW project.
The BLUE ARROW projects aims to create an innovative pedagogical approach for teacher education (ITE and CPD) that involve the development of a MOOC and the implementation of these practices in higher education courses in teacher education programmes for the new challenge of distance learning:
– including new ways to teach applying digital creativity for teachers (pre-service and in-service) in primary and pre-primary,
– proposing user-friendly tools and secure platforms which respect privacy and ethical standards,
– developing new innovative educational methods for pre-primary and primary educators applying Tangible User Interfaces.

The transnational element and EU dimension are decisive for its multilingualism approach and for the development of EU online open course that benefits from the different experiences in facing the learning in distance learning.