49 Amoah et al., 2020). This is what the teachers themselves also reported in all partner countries as a main issue in online education (discussed in Chapter 3.3). Based on the above, we can safely conclude that teachers need preparation & training not only in the technicalities of online teaching. Training in new pedagogical practices and tools related to distance learning and the use of virtual experimentation is necessary, especially for STEM courses that require different types of interaction, often including experimentation, group work and participation in inquiry-based activities (Evagorou et al., 2020). Teachers need to develop virtual strategies, use a combination of audio, video and text for promoting teacher-students’ communication, peer interaction and collaboration, real-time engagement, in this way providing a sense of community and a human touch to their lessons (Sofianidis et al., 2021; Devitt et al., 2020). The lack of social interaction should be filled with education toward emotion (Katić et al., 2021) that can be promoted via art and the aesthetic elements of handicraft. The curricula should be reviewed and adapted to accommodate the needs of distance education, the assessment practices should be modified and new technologies must be incorporated to offer the teachers new options which are online friendly. Cooperation between teachers should be promoted to support each other and exchange practices. The pandemic and the consequent shift to the online education is an opportunity for teachers to enrich the media they are using to represent learning (Nisiforou et al., 2021; Sofianidis et al., 2021 & Devitt et al., 2020). 3.3 COUNTRY–WISE COMPARISON. THE OTA NEEDS ANALYSIS (IO1) At this point, it could be useful to compare the above literature review, which mostly covers the national, but also the European context, with the report on the learning needs of target groups, developed as part of the IO1 of the OTA project. This report includes the experiences, challenges and needs of science teachers from Cyprus, Finland, Slovenia and Italy, particularly in regards to online teaching and learning, as shared via an online questionnaire and national focus groups. This needs analysis highlighted some major challenges of teachers and pupils in online education, also identified in the literature review. One of them is the time limit. Teachers from all countries seem to struggle with time management, when teaching online. They all mentioned the excessively broad nature of national curricula and the huge workload needed, which does not allow them to combine theory with practice, to be more autonomous, innovative, creative and really try to invest in their pupils’ experiences and skills within the short time slots.