The MOVE-ON project aims at designing, developing and validating new vocational education possibilities ready to be offered in short episodes (max 10 minutes each) during 'non-place' events with the goal to increase the overall volume of participation of adults in vocational education.
Adult learners' re-entry into the learning environment, in many instances, requires a leap of courage, and yet their learning success is integral to the health of communities and the economy. These learners, whether busy parents, young adults or seniors who would like to stay professionally active, will only be able to (re-)enter or stay in the workforce if they become life-long learners.
Learning on-the-move holds a promise for providing opportunities for adults to stay in-line with their career, personal and educational goals, to keep pace with professional and societal changes and with the new formal requirements in the modern labour market.
Mobile Devices penetration has exceeded 100% in many European countries. At the same time, device manufacturers have raised the bar with the introduction and success of sophisticated portable devices like iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Google Nexus, tablets, etc. who have already demonstrated good potentials for mobile learning (e.g. ITunesU). At the same time, these modern learning tools which have the potential to alter the educational experience seem to be entirely separated from pedagogy since they simply do not fit with existing pedagogies. This gap from modern learning tools to state-of-the-art pedagogy should be bridged.
From the societal point of view, as society becomes increasingly hectic and knowledge-based, adult employees of all levels are obliged to adopt more vocational education activities to renew, update or certify knowledge and skills in order to remain competitive in the workplace and to accommodate to an increasingly technological environment. On top of that, as documented by the 'New Skills for New Jobs' priority (launched in 2008 by the European Commission): Skills upgrading is critically important for Europe's short-term recovery from the crisis and longer term growth and productivity, for its jobs and its capacity to adapt to change, for equity, gender equality and social cohesion. It is also stated: Too little is done to increase and adapt the skills of an ageing workforce.
Having identified these facts (technological, pedagogical and societal), the main challenge of the MOVE-ON project is to increase the overall volume of participation of adult professionals in learning and vocational education by focusing on the possibilities offered by the portable devices widely adopted lately as the new access medium to learning. MOVE-ON’s expectation is to motivate, enable and support busy adult professionals in learning on-the-move or at 'non-places'.
More specifically MOVE-ON aims at:
- Designing, developing and valorizing a novel mLearning pedagogical approach based on the recent developments in pedagogy which move away from the transmissive, behavioral models and more toward the constructivist models (learning from experience) while place the active learner at the heart of activities.
- Developing and valorizing an innovative and attractive all inclusive mlearning system that will support acquisition of knowledge while on-the-move or at the 'non-place' and offer self-directed personal development in new contexts.
- Targeting adult professionals from all over Europe, users of mobile & other portable devices (tablets) with multimedia reproduction capabilities, who lack free-time and are conscious about their educational needs.
- Designing and developing learning material (courses) that cover a selection of subjects and skills that according to studies demonstrate growing demand from employers across all levels of employees. This material will be easily adaptable for different portable devices and organized into smaller learning units (max. 10 min duration) that fit the transient context of mobile use and the MOVE-ON pedagogy.
- Offering a multilingual service where the system itself and the educational material will be available in several languages (initially all of the partners’ languages expandable to other languages later).
Feedback from pilot testing will provide insight into the appropriate educational approaches that suit the mobile context and motivate mobile users to engage with the MOVE-ON service.
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Should everybody have an ePortfolio? How do ePortfolios contribute to the identity construction process? How do ePortfolios support the acquisition of 21st century skills? How do ePortfolios support lifelong learning, orientation and employability? How can we make ePortfolios fully interoperable? To find the answers to these questions, and more, join us at ePIC 2012, the 10th ePortfolio and Identity Conference.
The worldwide emergence of ePortfolios is an indicator of the need to review our approach to education and lifelong learning, at the same time demonstrating that it is possible to make learning and assessment more authentic and integrated. ePortfolios are at the source of a new generation of tools dedicated to valuing and celebrating the achievements of the individual, from nursery school to lifelong and life-wide learning. It is also a technology reinforcing the link between individual, organisational and community learning.
Over the last ten years, considerable effort has been invested in the development of ePortfolio technologies and practice. To further developments in this field, the main goal of the 10th international ePortfolio and Identity Conference is to offer a forum where researchers and practitioners can discuss theoretical aspects, open issues, and innovative approaches and share the latest advances in the state of the art and practices in:
- development of lifelong learner / professional / citizen identity;
- individual / community ePortfolios and identities;
- recognition of informal, lifelong and life-wide learning;
- accreditation of prior experience and learning (APEL), curriculum design and assessment;
- integrative learning and holistic development;
- continuing professional development and sustainable employability;
- development of distributed ‘communities of practice’, community and organisational development.
SVEA Final Conference: "Next Generation Learning - How to Integrate Social Media in Vocational and Adult Training"
The use of web 2.0 social platforms such as wiki’s, blogs and podcasts offers new possibilities for networking and project management. Users are able to publish their own texts, images or videos, and can share them with others. A European partner consortium, including MFG Baden-Württemberg in Germany, CSP Innovazioni nelle ICT in Italy, EuroPACE ivzw in Belgium, FUNDECYT in Spain, and Coleg sir Gâr in Wales, aimed to realize the organizational and educational development potential of web 2.0, through an innovative EU-funded project called SVEA.
The Next Generation Learning Conference was organised on the 23rd of November 2011 as the final event of the SVEA project and as pre-conference event of the Media & Learning 2011 Conference.
The Next Generation Learning Conference was open to all learning practitioners, trainers, curriculum designers, directors and managers of training institutions and offered a unique opportunity to discuss the benefits arising from the growing use of social media in vocational and adult training.
The participants of the conference were welcomed by Dr. Nicola Schelling, Director of the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU. After the warm welcome the programme kicked off with the three keynote speakers of the day.
First, Dr. Godelieve Van den Brande, Senior Policy Officer responsible for 'ICT and education' from Directorate General Education and Culture of the European Commission talked about the ‘Future Challenges for the EU in the Field of e‐Education’. She focused on a few of the problems when using ICT in an educational environment:
- ICT is still embedded in a traditional learning paradigm
- The real potential of ICT to make learning more innovative, creative, relevant and interesting is not being realised within formal Education and Training.
- A lot of innovative ICT projects in Europe do not reach beyond the “early adopter stage”
Still the main issue concerning ICT in an educational environment remains implementation. To overcome these problems the European Commission already implemented a lot of initiatives and programmes like Socrates Minerva, e-Learning, Lifelong Learning Programme... To obtain even better results Europe outlined a number of targets to be reached by 2020, e.g.:
- Decreasing the ‘Early School Leaving’ from 14,4% (in 2009) to 10% at the most (in 2020)
- Increasing the ‘Higher Education Attainment (age 30-34) from 32,3% (in 2009) to 40% at least (in 2020)
The European Commission is convinced Education and Training have a unique role to play in enhancing the use of ICT for learning and should take up a leadership role. The actions set up under ET 2020 are oriented around three objectives to be tackled simultaneously:
- Increasing digital competences
- ICT and an enhancer of innovation of Education and Training
- Improving the e-skills of the professionals
In her presentation Dr. Van den Brande outlined the key factors to success for these three objectives. For example a key factor to increase the digital competences can be the implementation of an ICT skills supplement to the European Skills Passport. Therefore the development of a better measurability system for the use and impact of ICT in education is critical.
Support to Member States to reach the objectives of ET2020 and to mainstream ICT in educational policies and practices will be given through the ‘Creative Classrooms for an innovative Europe’ initiative. This scheme will be launched mid-2012, initially only for compulsory education, later on lifelong learning will also be included.
The second keynote speaker at the SVEA Final Conference was professor Gráinne Conole, professor of Learning Innovation at the University of Leicester (UK). Title of her presentation was “Pandora’s Box – the Implications of New Social and Participatory Media”. Professor Conole highlighted the changing educational context of today:
- The rapidly changing technological environment
- The new digital literacy skills needed for learners and teachers
- The new emerging open practices
- The new forms of online community and interactivity
Adopting new so-called e-pedagogies in education gives the learner a new experience but also leads to new paradoxes concerning the teachers:
- New technologies are not extensively used
- There is a lack of uptake of OER
- There is little use beyond the early adopted
- Despite the rhetoric and funding there is little evidence of transformation.
To overcome this paradox professor Conole stressed the importance of implementing open practices in all steps of education, not only for students but also for teachers.
In her concluding remarks she focused on the way to evolve from ‘closed practices’ to ‘open practices’ and the advantages from these open practices:
- Open, participatory and social media enable new forms of communication and collaboration
- Communities in these spaces are complex and distributed
- Learners and teachers need to develop new digital literacy skills to harness their potential
- We need to rethink how we design, support and assess learning
- Open, participatory and social media can provide mechanisms for us to share and discuss teaching and research ideas in new ways
- We are seeing a blurring of boundaries: teachers/learners, teaching/research, real/virtual spaces, formal/informal modes of communication and publication
Third and last keynote speaker of the day was Ms. Helen Keegan, Senior Lecturer at the University of Salford (UK). In her enthusiastic talk she used a lot of examples from her own experience as a lecturer and programme leader on Interactive Media and Social Technologies.
She talked about processes, challenges and tensions in implementing Web 2.0 including how the distinction between the public and private person tends to disappear when using technologies like Twitter and Facebook for educational purposes. Experiences with her students showed that sometimes the border between public and private life becomes very thin.
In another example she demonstrated ‘the power of the hashtag’ (Twitter), using a hashtag to inform her students in real time while attending a conference in Seattle (U.S.). By using this technology her students were part of/participating in the conference. Via her they could ask questions, make remarks. These were just a few of the examples Helen Keegan gave on how she uses new technologies to make education more driven by learner interests and less by a strict curriculum.
But she not only highlighted all the advantages new technologies can bring to education. She also pointed out that things can go wrong, e.g. inappropriate behaviour online. People who use social networking a lot do not automatically have digital citizenship, which means they do not always talk open and honest, do not respect other opinions, ....
The third part of her presentation focused on the blurring boundaries new technologies brings to the relationships between teachers, learners and mentors.
To conclude, she focused on opening up the processes of knowledge creation. While these new processes can cause confusion, mistakes made should also be seen as opportunities for further learning.
After these interesting keynote speakers it was time for three members of the SVEA-team to take the floor. Ms. Petra Newrly (MFG), Ms. Lara Marcellin (CSP) and Dr. Tony Toole (CSG) gave a quick roundup what the SVEA-project was all about, how it was conducted and what were the main lessons learned. All this information can be found on the SVEA project website.
After a short break it was time for some workshops on this SVEA Final Conference. The participants could chose between two parallel workshops, one targeting the managers of training institutions, the other one targeting the trainers.
The first group, moderated by Dr. Tony Toole, talked about what Vocational and Adult Training Institutions will have to change to optimize their organisational processes when using social media.
Professor Mark Stiles (University of Staffordshire, UK) focused on the organisational policies, governance and processes as barriers to the use of social media. He gave the participants the following messages:
- “Social media use” in education is an innovation
- Many organisations – especially educational ones – struggle to maintain innovations
- “Social media use” challenges organisational structures and cultures
- Learners and practitioners will lose heart if things are made difficult and fail to meet their expectations
These messages should be taken into account when ‘fighting’ policies, governance and bureaucracy in an educational institution. Most important for professor Stiles was showing and proving innovation works!
Ms. Francesca Carmagnola (ENGIM Piemonte, Italy) talked about ‘Participatory learning and working in Vocational and Educational Training’ and explained how they used new social media to provide a greater support for innovation at her institution. Although they already focused on forms of collaborative working between co-workers, trainers and students, new tools made it much easier to adapt to this new way of working together. The main outcomes being:
- Behavioural change: thanks to the easiness of the participating tools every member of the ‘Community of Practice’ participates in the creation of content
- Reduction of the digital divide
- A continued and growing enthusiasm for collaboration
- Many self-organised networks
The second group, moderated by Professor Wim Van Petegem (K.U.Leuven), focused on how trainers can overcome resistance and benefit from the integration of social media in vocational and training institutions.
First Mr. Tom Wambeke (ILO, United Nations, Italy) explored, in a tight scheduled presentation, some of the social media myths. He gave a short re-cap of success factors of major web2.0 learning and training initiatives. Afterwards he demystified social media myths and reflected upon challenges and statements about social media implementation. Lastly he explored jointly quick wins that can be implemented in the organization, and share models, tools and interesting practices. During his dynamic talk he gave a lot of good practises in using web 2.0 in training institutions.
Secondly, Dr. Steven Verjans (Open Universiteit, the Netherlands) talked about the way they introduce new social media in his institution. It comes down to a few basic rules:
- Show and share good examples
- Take small steps, one at time
- Stay close to practice
- Stay close (enough) to comfort zone
- Listen, evaluate, improve
After the workshops it was time for the final part of this SVEA Final Conference. Both groups joined forces again to participate in a discussion session on “Social Media: a new hype or a revolution that will shape the way we learn?”
Using the concept of a ‘Fish Bowl Discussion’ made it possible for all participants in the conference to join this very lively discussion lead by Prof. Tony Toole.
Over 65 participants from 6 countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom) came to the conference to discuss the topic of social media use in vocational and adult training and learning.
Participants were asked for their feedback after the conference and the responses have been very positive. There were also some positive comments on twitter.
icould gives you the inside story of how careers work. The icould storytellers relate, in their own words, their real life career journeys. There are over a thousand easy to search,varied and unique career videos as well as hundreds of written articles. From telecoms engineers to police officers, from landscape gardeners to web designers, from engine drivers to zookeepers; they talk about what they do, what it’s like, how they came to be where are and their hopes for the future.
The SuN. Com(munity) is an European Union, funded, education project for language educators. Sun.Com will build sustainable social communities that will share and support teachers and learners of individual languages. Each community will be devoted to a single language.
What Sun.Com will produce
Sun.Com will build sustainable social communities that will share and support teachers and learners of individual languages. Each community will be devoted to a single language.
The communities will specifically focus on informal learning methodologies
This highly innovative project will build a replicable methodology for sustainable, online social networks for informal language learning. The communities will include:
- A Community of Learning, for learners of foreign languages and native speakers who are learning a foreign language
- A Community of Practice for teachers of foreign language
The social networking communities will utilise peer and tandem informal teaching methods and blended learning.
The first community the project will construct will be for the informal learning of Greek and will include innovative teaching and learning methodologies. This community will be used for piloting the project concepts and ideas and will be tested with students learning Greek, native Greek speakers learning a foreign language and Greek language teachers.
If you are a present or future student or teacher of Greek we invite you to write to us with your interest. As the project develops you can then join the community (see below) and help pilot the resources and contribute to the project.
Later the tested ideas and methodology will be used to build similar communities for Italian, Albanian, Latvian, Russian, Slovenian, Polish, Czech and English.
You can also join the initial Sun.Com community on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/SuNCom/193803417327967 , until the community website is prepared.
GLOSSA is a European Union education project under the LifeLong Learning Program. The project is for language educators and authorities across Europe. It is building methodologies, practices and courses specifically to help develop language learning and teaching for the less widely taught languages of Europe.
This is being completed by:
- Building methodologies for learning in online environments (advanced levels & autonomous)
Developing a Greek e-learning multimedia courses at C1 & C2 (CEFR)
Creating transferability to other European languages
Developing a common European professional profile for language teachers
Adapting an accreditation tool for non-formal and informal language teaching skills
- Creating courses for the less widely taught and learnt languages, including Greek. What courses are available do not utilize the possibilities of today's Internet (multimedia) and often use outdated methodologies
The project has now developed a Greek e-learning multimedia courses at C1 & C2 (CEFR) http://www.actione-learn.eu/glossa/mainHome.php#
You can find much more information on the project website at: http://www.ellinikiglossa.eu/