Spring at LINKgroup: international awards, recognition, new projects and important documents

Clear spring days have brought us fresh energy and enthusiasm. The month behind us delivered new, creative ideas and visionary projects carried out with dedication and fearlessness.  
Our dedication to educational improvement has been recognized by world-renowned experts, so we are stepping into the future inspired to surpass our own high standards. 

We continue with digitization of education in full force

As part of their Digital Education Action Plan (2021–2027), the European Commission proposed the establishment of a digital education hub. Its main goals will be intersectoral cooperation, joint activities and synergy of different parties relevant for the digitization of education on the European continent.  
Recognizing the institutions within the LINK Edu Alliance as important participants in the process of modernization in education, the EU has included our representatives in the discussion on the future hub’s contribution to education.  

We follow the example of the most successful institutions  

The British national institute for data science and artificial intelligence Alan Turing organized a one-of-a-kind online event to present the most influential scientific papers in the field of artificial intelligence applications. The event was a unique opportunity to bring together the most prominent thinkers, decision makers, researchers, entrepreneurs and most distinguished professionals in this field, and employees of LINKgroup were among them.  
In line with the current trends, our educational institutions have started integrating the technology of the future – artificial intelligence and machine learning – into the curriculum , so participating in this event was a chance for us to share the important lessons this process has taught us with the fellow professionals in this field.

We grow minds, we grow hearts 

Primary School Savremena and Savremena Gimnazija, International School, ITHS and Allison Academy were presented at the largest annual gathering of educational leaders World Education Summit 2021 in the category Cool Schools which the organizers describe as “amazing and unique schools whose passion and boldness significantly improve education”. 

Experts assessed our schools as “cool”, but what do students, their parents, and teachers think about them? They agree, and here are 10 values that they like the most about schools within the LINK Edu Alliance: 

  1. Personalized learning,
  2. Dreams and passions,
  3. Creativity and freedom,
  4. Positivity and enthusiasm,
  5. Tight-knit family,
  6. Stress-free and relaxed,
  7. Appreciation and understanding,
  8. Support and devotion,
  9. Connected and happy, and
  10. Sense of belonging and acceptance.
Due to the fact that modern education requires quick, effective and radical changes, education professionals are unified in the opinion that – 2021 will be the main turning point for the acquisition of creative teaching skills. The academic director of the Institute for Contemporary Education, Dr. Svetlana Belić Malinić, talked about the role and importance of metacognitive creativity at the event. Her presentation pointed out the necessity of synthesis between metacognition and creativity, and the necessity of creating a new skill – metacognitive creativity. 
“During the thinking process, we give our thoughts new perspectives through the incubation and illumination of ideas”, explains Dr. Belić Malinić on behalf of the LINK Edu Alliance. “By seeking inspiration in new ideas, our process of “thinking about thinking” gets a new dimension, and this is actually where metacognitive creativity is born“.

We have long been implementing educational standards that the world is currently buzzing about

Lifelong learning and blended teaching have recently become the focus of interest of educational experts. 
Thus, lifelong learning was one of the topics within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. We happily accepted the invitation to join the event side by side with participants from France, Singapore, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Slovakia and Slovenia, and share experiences in this field given that LINKgroup institutions have been guided by the idea that learning should never stop. With that in mind, one of the benefits available to our students and employees is the possibility of lifelong professional development – free of charge. Europe strives to make this model of professional development available to all citizens, regardless of their status in the labor market. 
The current pandemic situation has changed many aspects of our lives, and education hasn’t been spared either. The biggest difference between pre-pandemic education and education during the pandemic concerns a more comprehensive implementation of a hybrid learning model that combines digital and traditional education. Schools within the LINK Edu Alliance have been using the Distance Learning Platform for online learning for decades, so the migration of education into a virtual environment has been that much easier for us. 
For this reason, we were honored with the invitation to have our representatives among the members of the working group at The Future of Blended Learning conference organized by the University of Lincoln, and contribute to the discussions that are extremely important for building modern education for the 21st century.

We bring our own plus to Erasmus+ projects and open new horizons with Horizon Europe

As leaders in the implementation and development of the latest achievements and standards in the field of education, and having agreed on international cooperation with the EU on Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe projects, institutions within the LINKgroup began trailblazing and revolutionary projects to usher in a new era in technology, didactics and teaching methods, and to help improve other aspects of modern society.
As participants in these programs, we seize every opportunity for improvement that comes our way: from Erasmus+ Teacher Academies to a webinar dedicated to successful writing of project proposals, research, and training. 

We are changing the world for the better – in the best company  

We share the guiding idea with the famous American tech giant Microsoft – that every student should achieve better results, both now and in the future. Moreover, we have a common mission that brings us together  – we want to transform education so that it guarantees success and self-realization to all participants. At the Microsoft E2  event organized by Microsoft Education, the world’s best educators taught each other and celebrated their achievements so far. 
In order to help educational institutions overcome tremendous obstacles they’ve encountered due to the current situation, and seize the chance for advancement of teaching in both digital and traditional classrooms, Microsoft E2 gathered them in one place to:
  • Inspire each other,
  • Cooperate on the creation and implementation of innovative teaching practices,
  • Share the results of significant research,
  • Overcome problems by finding adequate solutions.

We readily and actively solve all the challenges that education currently faces

Cambridge University Press organized two important events aimed at achieving metacognitive equity and world readiness. The LINK Edu Alliance did not miss its chance to be a part of them. 
The focus of the first event was on a panel discussion about the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. An interactive workshop presented simple, but effective learning methods based on the principle of cognitive science. Given that schools within the LINK Edu Alliance are truly different, our representative Svetlana Belić Malinić shared how our students build success, develop self-confidence and work on their motivation with her fellow education professionals. This way, we set an example for others on how to help students fall in love with the learning process. 
Pedagogy, support to language development and curriculum improvement were just some of the topics discussed at this event in the form of online sessions.  

We are strategically oriented toward the highest educational standards 

Although we are not lacking in international recognition and fame, the most important achievement of the LINK Edu Alliance in the previous period was certainly the adoption of official standards, procedures and the employee handbook to ensure that all institutions within the Alliance are committed to achieving the highest teaching standards. 
The standards adopted at LINK are the result of a comprehensive and professional analysis of the best modern teaching methods, experience in the implementation of educational technology, a desire for a more effective teaching process, and the need to comply with the prescribed legal standards and regulations. 
Thanks to these high standards, the implementation of which will be regularly monitored and updated, students from all over the world can be sure that, whichever LINK institution or service they choose, they will get the same, recognizable and unparalleled quality.
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