V-UPGRATES: VALIDATING AND UPGRADING VET TRAINERS’ AND TEACHERS’ DIGITAL SKILLS
The necessity to equip the “potentially lost generation” with the adequate skills in order to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (EU 2020 Strategy) has been reaffirmed by the various strategies, initiatives and recommendations at the EU level.
Research has shown that “teachers are the most important in-school factor affecting students’ outcomes” (TALIS’13). This has been emphasised in the EC 2012 Com. titled “Rethinking Education” in which trainers and teachers are set as one of its priorities, since they have an important influence on ensuring that students develop the skills and competences demanded by a rapidly changing labour market.
Trainers and teachers’ urge for the provision of CPD focusing on ‘developing ICT skills for teaching’ (18%) and the use ‘new technologies in the workplace’ (16%) (TALIS, OECD 2013) as teachers do not feel ‘digital competent’ to meet the needs and demands the opening up of education and digital learning has been a motive for this project. The need to keep their teaching under constant, critical review and adjust it according to needs of the labour market thus achieving a better skills match for their students and bridging the gap between the education and the world of work is evident.
The V-UPGRATeS project aims to strengthen the digital competences of VET trainers and teachers, increase their capacity and professional development thus achieving a systemic impact on the quality of teaching and students’ learning outcomes. The V-UPGRATeS projects aims to remove the greatest barriers of engaging in CPD that refer to conflicts with trainers’ and teachers’ work schedule, lack of incentives and the costs involved (OECD, 2013) and comply with the current budgetary conditions in utilising all opportunities provided by the opening up of education.
The project proposes to introduce a transparent, multi-regulated, multi-assessed but self-directed process, based on an OER platform to be developed, for teachers in order to individually upgrade their digital skills to meet the needs of the current trends.
The V-UPGRATeS project is based on the principles of a research cycle project and is panned to be completed in 30 months. The project supports highly the openness and accessibility of resources and promotes the paperless idea.
CPD (Continuous Professional Development)is the key to success! The challenge for all is to create the challenging, motivational and approachable learning opportunities and to encourage VET trainers and teachers to keep up to date will all technological and educational advancements. Well-equipped, trained and supported educators will support the efforts of all MS to improve the quality of education, increase learning outcomes in an attempt to fight early school leaving, youth unemployment, reduce disparities, achieve better career guidance and skills match with the labour market.
It is expected that the results of the project will not only influence the profiles of the teaching profession, but will introduce a new ideology in the upgrade of Trainers and Teachers with evidence based data generated from the dynamic tool. In this way CPD is oriented to the needs of each individual teacher while creating synergies with stakeholders to offer validation, recognition and incentives for further training.
In addition a dynamic dissemination strategy is planned with on-line debates, petition, info days, creation of ambassadors groups, open consultation with stakeholders etc. The setting up a DIGITAL ADVISORY GROUP from the initial stages of the project is regarded essential, as well as the PEER REVIEW and the OPEN CONSULATION between stakeholders.
– BENCHMARK SURVEY ON THE NEEDS OF LABOUR MARKET IN THE DIGITAL FIELD, THE PROVISION & VALIDATION OF CPD FOR VET TRAINERS IN ICT, EFFORTS TO PROMOTE THE OPENING OF EDUCATION AND COLLECTION OF e-TOOLS – SET UP OF ADVISORY GROUP (EXPERTS/STAKEHOLDERS).
– DESIGN BENCHMARKS AND INDICATORS FOR THE VET TRAINERS’ AND TEACHERS’ DIGITAL COMPETENCE REFERENCE FRAMEWORK –TEDIGCOREF.
– DESIGN THE VET TRAINERS AND TEACHERS’ DIGITAL SKILLS AUDIT e-TOOL TO ACCOMPANY THE DIGITAL COMPETENCE REFERENCE FRAMEWORK (TEDIGCOREF) – (ON-LINE AND ON-PAPER FOR SELF-ASSESSMENT AND PROFESSIONAL-ASSESSMENT).
– DESIGN OF THE “V-UPGRATeS DIGITAL VET TRAINERS’ AND TEACHERS’ PLATFORM”- MOOCs, ONLINE COURSES, WEBINARS, DATABANK, ICT TOOLS FOR EDUCATORS, VALIDATION OPTIONS.
– DIGITAL PROFILES’ PORTOFOLIO AND EVALUATION REPORT OF THE COMPREHENSIVE V-UPGRATeS TRAINING AND VALIDATION PROGRAMME AND e-TOOL FOR VET TRAINERS AND TEACHERS.
– DESIGN OF BLUE PRINT STRATEGY KIT FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE V-UPGRATes PROJECT AND SETTING UP OF THE DIGITAL VET TRAINERS’ AND TEACHERS’ FORUM-NETWORK-DECLARATION FOR DIGITAL SKILLS.
Website of the proyect: https://vupgrates.eu/
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany)- coordinator
Cyprus Computer Society (Cyprus)
Fundatia Centrul pentru Dezvoltarea Intreprinderilor Mici si Mijlocii Maramures (Romania)
Emphasys Interactive Solutions Ltd (Cyprus)
Ingenious Knowledge GmbH (Germany)
Epal Peiraia (Greece)
Instituto de Formacion y Estudios Sociales – IFES (Spain)
Project lifetime: October 2015 – March 2018
The project is co-funded by the European Commission within the frames of the Erasmus+ Program – Strategic Partnerships