The impact of COVID-19 has not gone unnoticed in a reality that is committed to social and educational inclusion in Europe (UNESCO, 2020). Spain, Italy and Portugal have been and are one of the main destinations for international migratory flows. Many foreigners have settled in them and are part of educational systems that, designed for the indigenous population (Slee, 2012), are committed to inclusion (Ainscow, 2014; Echeita, 2016; Murillo, 2020). The relationship between migration, technologies and inclusion has been decisive in the context of COVID-19. The effects of this scenario have been very negative for schools with social and geographic disadvantage, in terms of participation, justice and equity (Bonal and González, 2020; Flores and Gago, 2020; Pellegrini and Maltinti, 2020).
Digital technologies in education are important for school success, the proper functioning of schools, the work of professionals, the participation of families, etc. (Balanskat and another, 2006; Bang, Hu and Couture, 2020; Castells, 2016). However, not all schools have the same opportunities or are involved in the same way, either due to sociocultural issues r the dynamics of those schools (Vigo and Dieste, 2019). But, as the digital gap is recognized (Eurydice, 2020; UNESCO, 2020; OECD, 2020; Rodricio et al., 2020; Rogero, 2020; Cabrera, 2020), studies also show that these schools (Blesa, 2004; Vigo and Dieste, 2019) are pioneers in the incorporation of digital media. However, faced with the suspense of face-to-face classes, teachers and families have faced new challenges (Hodges et al. 2020; Kim, Leary and Asbury, 2020; König, Jäger-Biela and Glutsch, 2020).
In this context, PIECIT aims to address different needs in different target groups. In schools, and more specifically in those in difficult situations, it is necessary to recognize genuine educational practices linked to digital media from resources at their disposal and to generate new ones that cover the deficiencies they have experienced in the face of the situation of the COVID-19In the management and teaching teams, the loneliness they have experienced when facing the pandemic makes it necessary to create structures that facilitate cooperation, exchange and joint construction. Families have also found themselves in situations of loneliness when dealing with the continuity in the learning of their sons and daughters due to limitations in access to digital media and intensive and simultaneous use by several family members.
Likewise, educational authorities, in order to plan, need to know in detail what the limitations and potentialities experienced by schools during the pandemic have been. Successful practices with digital media need to be identified and those practices recognized to empower teachers. Added to all of the above is the interest of university researchers and teachers in responding to the needs of generating knowledge and growing in the scientific and academic field. This, in turn, reinforces the value of the training faculties of teachers, pedagogies, educators and social workers. The final recipient is the global education system and society.
Faced with such needs, PIECIT is a strategic partnership of Southern European countries whose main objective is to contribute to the development of knowledge, understanding and the development of innovative inclusion practices, focusing on educational centers whose population is in a disadvantaged situation from the social, cultural and economic point of view. The work of three countries reinforces the transnational character.
The interest of the proposal is twofold:
(1) Expand and disseminate comprehensive knowledge of a pedagogical reality with a disadvantaged population for and from the involvement of both universities and schools;
(2) Recognize this reality as an ideal framework for the development of research, creative educational policies and practices and the development of the empowerment of teachers, students and families of schools. Specifically, the objectives of the project are:
- In the short term: Reinforce the culture of innovation, creativity and inclusion through interaction, self-knowledge and empowerment
- Long-term: Develop and promote innovative continuity projects
- In the short term: Expand and disseminate comprehensive knowledge of a pedagogical reality with a disadvantaged population regarding the use of digital technologies
- Long-term: Consolidate a research and innovation structure of excellence.
- In the short term: dissemination of the Project results
- Long-term: Reinforce the strengths of the R & D & I System and mitigate weaknesses in educational policies and practices