The seminar ‘Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning’ will take place on the 9th and 10th of April, 2013 in Mechelen, Belgium, and is open to 120 participants.
The event is hosted by the European Commission and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), in association with the Irish Presidency of the European Union.
European countries are increasingly recognising the need to acknowledge the types of learning that take place outside formal training institutions. There are still obstacles, however, to implementing policy objectives and practical solutions for validating the learning that happens in the workplace, at home, or in leisure activities.
This ‘Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning’ seminar will convene 120 participants interested in and involved with the challenges and solutions this topic presents.
Registration is currently open. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DEVELOPING A STRATEGY TO ESTABLISH A EURO-VET-C@MPUS RELATED TO ELEARNING IN VARIOUS SHAPES IN EUROPE
The project "Developing a strategy to establish a EURO-VET-C@mpus related to eLearning in various shaps in Europe" aims at analysing basic issues on the way towards a European VET (Vocational and Education Training) online campus.
The main 5 steps before shaping the structure are:
- analysis of the partners´ systems how to attract/acquire apprentices for the construction sector due to increasing shortages in the work force numbers in the near future
- theory/practice of networking in general among different stakeholders
- market analysis of current eLearning products and services as well as anticipating future demands of different target groups in offering new forms of cross-linked learning in Europe
- implementing eLearning products and services of importance by realizing European priorities e.g. energy saving and energy efficiency
- coping with the results of the LdV-project partnership "InterCom-e-SWOT", which currently aims at the pro´s and con´s of eLearning for target groups on levels 2 up to 6 of the EQF/SQF (Sectorial Qualification Framework) related to the reference of achieving Intercultural Competences.
As every partner stands as an outrider of one of the the five steps summarized above, the input for each topic will be given by this partner based on experiences, considering in which ways there will be a mutual learn effect and why there could be restraints to adapt a certain structure/product or service.
The overall target then is to fix a common point of reference from which these (or more) partners initialize a cross-linked eLearning-VET-C@mpus, where the competences of VET-centres can be used throughout with a immediate market effect.
Target groups are VET-centres and service providers for eLearning in Europe and learners on all levels in construction.
European Conference on Quality in VET Practices and lessons learnt from successful EQAVET implementation at national level
In 2010, the EACEA issued a call for proposals “to support national projects for the development of a national approach to improve the quality assurance of vocational education and training systems by promoting and developing the use of the European quality assurance reference framework in vocational education and training (EACEA/09/2010). ”Five pilot projects were selected. These projects tested EQAVET as an instrument to promote a shared culture of quality assurance.
For their testing, the projects chose to target different systemic levels:. The projects mostly focused on national contexts of initial VET and continuous professional development. The projects were expected to develop original approaches to Quality Assurance by adopting the EQAVET framework. Consequently, they had to do stocktaking and description of existing practices and current initiatives, design, develop and implement Quality Assurance at the chosen level, use, implement and maintain of tools and methodologies, design a broad and specific communication campaign and establish lasting stakeholders relations.
Making an inventory of results and outcomes
The projects approached EQAVET from a wide perspective. They have prepared stocktaking and inventory reports, manuals for quality assurance, curricula and certification process for quality managers, communication strategy for involving stakeholders in Quality assurance and Guidelines. These documents contribute to a growing of the amount of needed information, innovative examples and guidelines on the implementation of EQAVET at different systemic levels (institutional, VET providers and schools).
The projects also tested their approach and tools towards developments and combinations of the existing quality cultures . The work of the pilot projects was a crucial opportunity to get stakeholders on board on quality issues at a larger scale.
Aims of the conference
The conference will host 150 persons bringing together representatives of the national ministries, stakeholders (social partners, VET providers, sectoral representatives, industries VET learners and chambers) and multipliers (Lifelong learning programme National Agencies).
The main aims of the conference are to
- Offer an overview of the results of the work of the EQAVET projects;
- Share methods and tools elaborated by the projects;
- Take stock of the common challenges;
- Reflect on the needs for further development of EQAVET.
The outcomes of the conference will be presented in detail in the next issue of the EQAVET projects Newsletter in February 2013
Each year the Ministry of Children and Education organises an R&D conference in order to spread and utilize the experience and results of research and development projects and other development work in training.
Participants in the conference are institutions for training, production schools, technical committees, Metropolitan University College (NCE) research network and others.
Institutions bring proposals for concrete, completed or ongoing development projects and present them in workshops at the conference, which acts as mutual inspiration.
Expérience de travail en réseau au sein du système d’EFTP en vue de l’amélioration des compétences professionnelles
Le présent article propose un cadre conceptuel pouvant faire office de point de départ pour des analyses théoriques et pratiques du rôle des systèmes d’EF(T)P, dans l’optique de mettre en évidence les facteurs qui contribuent au changement social, économique, politique et culturel.
Dans ce cadre, plusieurs pratiques sont encouragées, parmi lesquelles : le partage des concepts clés pour mettre en œuvre une modélisation commune ; le soutien des processus fondamentaux dans le but de garantir la mobilité ; le développement d’une approche d’assurance-qualité pour mettre en place des normes exigeantes en matière de formation ; et la création de structures axées sur le travail en réseau facilitant le partage de savoir ainsi que les processus d’évaluation et de validation.
La souplesse de ce cadre vise à améliorer l’employabilité et la mobilité des travailleurs grâce à un système dans lequel les compétences professionnelles requises par le marché du travail – et décrites en termes d’acquis – peuvent être évaluées et validées dans différents contextes (formel, non formel et informel) ainsi que renforcées conformément à des normes de qualité.
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.
L’éducation sur l’énergie est indispensable à notre évolution vers une économie européenne sobre en carbone. Dans le Coin de la formation professionnelle, vous trouverez: links to courses, job profiles, projects and supporting information on Vocational Training - connecting apprentices, builders, electricians, plumbers, architects, engineers, trade organisations and other sustainable energy and building professionals with providers of training opportunities across Europe.
European Conference “Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training” (COME-HR)
This European Conference "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) is focusing new ways and approaches for the vocational training by competence models, ELearning and social communities.
UPDATE: Paper submission deadline: September 25, 2011 (prolonged!) ‐ Notification of acceptance: September 30, 2011
‐ Camera‐Ready copy due: October 7, 2011
The "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) 2011 continues the discussion developed at the first four related European conferences in Vilnius (Lithuania), Budapest (Hungary), Bucharest (Romania) and the planned European conference "Innovations in the Environmental Sector" (INES) which will take place in Brussels (Belgium) in September 2011. The eCOTOOL consortium has organized and utilised these previous opportunities, along with national workshops in each of the eCOTOOL partner countries, to raise the awareness of the stakeholders in the agricultural sector, human resource development, and vocational education and training concerning the benefits and implementations of competence modelling in relation with Europass and qualification standards.
The conference is organized together with an experience session on the 10th of November which gives all participants the opportunity to exchange their experiences face-to-face. On the 09th of November 2011, next to the key note speeches, the results of the eCOTOOL project will be presented: The Europass CS eco-tools and the Competence Model supporting a better description and recognition of competences and their online representation which will contribute to European competence standardisation and improve vocational education and training and the mobility within Europe.
Attendance at the European conference "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) is free of charge and requires online registration as places are limited.