Faville Project has successfully been concluded in November 2021 addressing effectively its aim, which was to enhance the quality standards of facilitation in virtual learning environments and to provide skills and competences that facilitators of virtual learning need to develop or improve. The partnership produced:

  • A modular e-learning programme for virtual learning facilitators that provides the technical and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and competences for effective facilitation.
  • The FAVILLE application that includes individual facilitation methods and examples of their use and an easy-to-use function to select appropriate methods according to the end user’s needs (accessible at https://favilleapp.ht-apps.eu/ )
  • A framework for validating skills and competences for obtaining professional qualifications for those facilitators who have acquired their skills, knowledge and competences outside the formal learning process in non-formal and informal learning.

All the above results were tested by over 150 participants, who evaluated positively the outputs. Check some testimonials from the participants in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjUwRqMvIkk&t=3s.

The project Promoting creativity microbusiness though web tools in rural area (MicroHUB)  was created as a response to the current economic and social crisis caused by COVID - 19. Although the crisis has undoubtedly affected all areas, one of the sectors most affected has been craft and the arts. The MicroHUB project aims to help entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople to take full advantage of today's technology while teaching them business creative thinking. It aims to help existing micro-businesses or build new ones to be competitive and efficient in both national and foreign markets, while helping to reduce unemployment and revitalise the economy.

In the first phase of the project, an analysis will be made of the competences and skills that are needed for craftsmen and artists to set up or run a successful business. In particular, the focus will be on digital skills and creative entrepreneurial thinking. Digital skills are a prerequisite needed in the current Industry 4.0 era. Creative entrepreneurial thinking will be promoted on the basis of the EntreComp, the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, a tool for improving the entrepreneurial capacities of European citizens and organisations developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. The final product of the analysis will be a Competence Matrix for Digital entrepreneurship and business creative thinking for crafters. On the basis of the Competence Matrix, training modules for educational staff will be developed. The training modules will be designed to enable educators to work with the challenges posed by digitalisation and to teach in a project-oriented way. A digital platform will be created on which micro-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from rural areas can collaborate, network or promote their products. At the end of the project, crafters and artisans will have mentors to guide them and help them improve their business skills or adapt their business model.

Capacity building will be supported through the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills and competences of craftspeople and artists. They will acquire new skills and competences that will enrich their professional lives, help them in the labour market and provide new opportunities. The creation of new businesses will be encouraged, helping to revitalise the economy in the post-Covida era.

The project is a collaboration between partners from Slovakia (Technical University of Košice), Malta (IIF), Ireland (I&F), Poland (CWEP), Bulgaria (OECOM), Sweden (Sensus) and Greece (Fix in Art).

For more information see: https://microhub.erasmus.site/

 

The European Digital Learning Network – DLEARN – is a non-profit association aiming to embrace the challenges brought by the digital transformation in terms of digital skills mismatch and digital learning opportunities. The 47% of Europeans is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. We believe in the value of SHARING, CONNECTING, MULTIPLYING and ENHANCING the potential of our members, local territories, and people. 

As part of our activities, at DLEARN we undertake research, surveys, studies, and more, with the aim of continuously boosting European education and enhancing the awareness of European citizens towards the impact of digitalisation in their daily life.


In a fast changing world, where digital technologies are becoming an important driver for the disruption of education, the need for capacity building of adult educators in digital skills become apparent. A large number of course providers now offer online trainings for educators, who want to upgrade their digital skills. However, this massive increase of online courses of different forms has made it hard for the potential learners to select the most appropriate course that will support them develop the competences they need and progress in their learning paths. In this context, SkillsMatch comes to support adult educators develop digital skills and support course providers to develop new e-learning courses covering the demand for skills.

The European Digital Learning Network – DLEARN – is a non-profit association aiming to embrace the challenges brought by the digital transformation in terms of digital skills mismatch and digital learning opportunities. The 47% of Europeans is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. We believe in the value of SHARING, CONNECTING, MULTIPLYING and ENHANCING the potential of our members, local territories and people.

As part of our activities, at DLEARN we undertake research, surveys, studies, and more, with the aim of continuously boosting European education and enhancing the awareness of European citizens towards the impact of digitalisation in their daily life.

Currently, DLEARN is conducting European research aiming to investigate the barriers that persons with disabilities face to enter or stay in the labour market and whether digitalisation could contribute to reducing the gap between the employment of persons with and without disabilities. This research is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition  (DSJC).

Today’s global trends have brought new challenges to all communities, regardless of the size, geographical location, or position within the settlement hierarchy. This is especially true for rural cities and small settlements at the level of local society and economy, as well as at the level of individuals. In both the international and domestic literature, research on “smartness” has so far focused on big cities. Smartness was primarily tied to size, minimum population, urban functions, and the existence of a massive “hard,” i.e., physical infrastructure. The main goal of “getting smart” was accordingly focused on efficiency and technology.

 

The project Smart Communities 2.0 - How to be smart in the countryside? (SKHU/1902/4.1/027) aims to answer the “How to” question now, based on the experience of the previous project (Smart Communities - Virtual Education and Research and Development and Innovation Network in the Slovakian - Hungarian border region), to provide products and services and apply good practices to disadvantaged municipalities that: they help them become ‘smart’ by guiding development. As an experienced and locally embedded NGO, the project consortium leader will act as a bridge to local communities, and the consortium member higher education institutions will provide knowledge and development capacities on both sides of the border.

 

The project is realized in consortium with partners from Hungary and Slovakia.

 

The project is supported by European Union, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of INTERREG V-A Slovakia-Hungary Programme (www.skhu.eu).

 

For more information visit: http://smartcommunities.eu/en

 

The project "Promoting innovative approaches and developing entrepreneurial skills among university students by creating favourable conditions for graduate employability in Central Asia (TRIGGER)" aims to support higher education in three Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Although these countries have undergone major positive socio-economic changes in recent years, they still face a number of serious challenges.

A total of 125 projects were submitted under the European Commission's call for projects (CBHE-Capacity Building of Universities), of which only 15 projects from the Central Asia region received funding, representing a 12% success rate. The project is also the only project coordinated by a Slovak university, namely the Technical University of Košice - Faculty of Economics, within the CBHE 2020 call. The project will run from 2021 -2024 and has received EC support of €999,573.

The TRIGGER project focuses on the field of tertiary education in cooperation with enterprises in different fields of activity. It aims to improve conditions at universities so that they can apply the necessary changes and educate young people in new, innovative ways. The result should be a generation of students whose entrepreneurial skills and thinking will open up new horizons and enable them to get a job.

In the first phase of the project, 11 Central Asian universities will gain insight into the current readiness of their institutions to face future challenges and implement the required changes. The universities will use the HEInnovative tool, an initiative of the European Commission, for a self-assessment. The second stage output will be an entrepreneurship education scheme for each of the participating HEIs. This will support the vision of entrepreneurship education and will prepare selected subjects that will be enriched with entrepreneurial competencies. The aim of the last stage is to promote the employability of graduates in cooperation with employers. The intention is to create a structure of internships where not only specific skills related to the field of study are promoted, but also entrepreneurial thinking, which will increase their chances on the labour market.  New services will be introduced to support students both during and after their studies, ensuring continuity of continuous improvement of these services. 

The TRIGGER project - "Triggering innovative approaches, entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in HEI learners through creating the favourable conditions for graduate's employability in Central Asia" (617309-EPP-1-2020-1-EN-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) is implemented in the framework of the European-Asian partnership, a collaboration of eleven universities from Central Asia and partners from Austria (UAS BFI, Vienna), France (Université Côte d'Azur, Nice), Greece (IDEC, Athens) and Slovakia (TU Košice and ASTRA).

In January 2021, the first online project meetings were held with the participation of all project partners as well as representatives of the Erasmus+ National Offices in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

 

We live in an era when a very specific phenomenon is occuring. People from the so-called Baby Boomer generation (or post-war generation) are still actively participating in the labor market and at same time Generation Y is already reaching its most productive age. Thus, up to four generations can meet at the same workplace at the same time. Each of these generations experienced a different period, was influenced by different events in the world, different technological progress, shaped by different social influences. As a result, each generation has different characteristics and values. This is an unprecedented situation that brings many unexpected challenges, potential conflicts or clashes. If such a situation is not managed, an unpleasant work environment can be created, employees may experience more stress or in the worst cases termination of an employment.

 

The financial crisis of the last decade, along with the current COVID-19 pandemic have turned job find to a challenging riddle by constantly creating new obstacles. At the same, the ever increasing qualification of the candidates, generates high competition that demands, especially from the youth, constant alert and update: The best ally of young people amidst this situation, is not other than the development of their soft skills.

 

Soft vs Hard Skills

At this point, we should clarify the difference between “hard” and “soft” skills.

  • Hard skills derive from highly specialised knowledge which is acquired through academic courses. Such skills may include medical and legal practices, mechanics, informatics, architecture and practically anything that requires a degree. Therefore, a person with no official certification on such skill, is automatically put out of competition in comparison to those who do.
  • Soft skills on the other hand refer to inherent human capabilities which are whether inherited or developed through practice, instead of being acquired in an academic setting. Such skills may include communication, problem solving, teamwork, negotiation, decision making etc. For these skills, no official certification is required and practically everyone can “get into the game” and develop them.

 

Overview of the project

The See First project aims at the development of soft skills focusing on people aged mainly 18 to 28  who are recent graduates and seek their first employment. Through this upskilling, the aspiring job seekers are expected to significantly increase their competitiveness in the job market and stand out both during an interview, as well as in their future work environment. Of course, the project can also benefit people who already have a job but still want to upgrade their soft skills in order to evolve professionally. Finally, it recommended for adult educators who can incorporate the project’s methodology and learning tools into their curricula.

 

Transversal Skills Genie

The project’s main output will be an online learning platform through which learners will be able to:

  • Discover through a targeted assessment quiz their current soft skills level and the skills that they need to improve the most.
  • Access a free e-learning programme which, based on the results of the assessment quiz, offers a tailor made curriculum.
  • Benefit from the practical and fun activities of the material which through targeted gamification methods will offer a successful job find thanks to the learner’s upgraded soft skills.

The Transversal Skills Genie will be completely free of charge for all interested parties and will also be accompanied by a research on the most popular soft skills jn today’s job market.

 

The training material

After the project’s consortium conducted a survey on more than 150 job seeking graduates and more than 200 company representatives, it was found out that 9 soft skills stood out clearly as the most important ones, according to the aspect of both sides. The SEE FIRST project will therefore will focus on the upgrade of these 9 soft skills which are:

1) Verbal Communication
2) Active Listening
3) Negotiation
4) Collaboration
5) Reliability
6) Respectfulness
7) Decision Making
8) Logical Thinking
9) Attention to Detail

 

The project’s training material will be more focused on practice than theory, and will consist of activities, called Goal Cards, which through fun and original practical games will train the learner’s soft skills, providing a first hand experience on how it feels to control them to your advantage. Goal Cards will cover a wide range of activities such as:

 

  • Choose your own adventure scenarios
  • Role Playing games
  • Challenge based tasks
  • Dialogue based interactions
  • Self-reflection missions for everyday life
  • Daily tasks
  • Team games
  • Ethical dilemmas

Each Goal Card will be whether for one or multiple learners and ideal both for an official classroom setting as well as for unofficial learning with friends. You can find more details about the learning material by checking the project’s latest newsletter here.

 

The pilot testing

In order for the consortium to ensure the highest possible quality level for the project’s material before it officially comes out, it will conduct a pilot testing first. During this testing, the participants will try all the Goal Cards and will provide their feedback on their strong and weak points, after which the consortium will proceed into necessary adjustments to the Cards for maximising their impact for the learner.

The participants will be selected through an open call on the basis of a questionnaire which candidates will fill.
Through this, the consortium will spot the ones that fit best into the specifications of the project’s target group, and therefoer will possess the following traits:

  • Aged between 18 and 28
  • Recent high school or university graduates
  • First time job seekers

There will also be given extra priority to vulnerable social groups such as migrants, disadvantaged and disabled individuals. The Pilot phase is expected to begin during May and will take place entirely online due to the pandemic’s restrictions. If you wish to take part or learn more, please contact the partner of your country.

 

The Consortium

The projects is a part of the Erasmus+ initiative and is co-funded by the European Union. Its consortium consists of 6 partner organisations coming from 5 EU countries, namely:

 

 

In Conclusion

If hard skills are regarded the basis of job inclusion, then soft skills are without doubt the passport for standing out in your professional sector and skyrocketing your potentials into the highest possible levels. If you want to discover more about the project, visit its website and Facebook page in order to.. see first what it has to offer you!

 

The present connected society is full of promises but the online world also brings dangers related to cyberbullying, social exclusion, fraud, false information, and many other potential problems. In general population is aware of these risks, as outlined but a recent study from European Parliament on Cybersecurity, where an 86 % of Europeans feel increasingly exposed to the risk of falling victim to cybercrime. The same document states that, in some Member States, 50% of all committed crimes are cybercrimes.

To bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a key competence – powerful driver – to increase the competitiveness and economic growth of EU economies. A number of tools have been created to support the development of an entrepreneurial mindset among EU citizens, among which HEInnovate for higher education institutions. The European Commission and the OECD have joined forces in the development of HEInnovate. HEInnovate is a self-assessment tool for Higher Education Institutions who wish to explore their innovative potential. It is free, confidential and open to anyone to use. The Council of the European Union invites the Member States to enhance the entrepreneurial and innovative capabilities of higher education institutions through the use of the HEInnovate self-assessment tool.

The INCOBOTICS: Ready for Industry 5.0 project (2019-2021) unites four EU partners from France, Italy, Greece and Spain in the development of innovative didactic materials in cobotics.


ASTRE (Automatic System for Tracking E-Learners) è un progetto finanziato dalla Commissione Europea nell'ambito del programma Erasmus + KEY Action 2, avviato da 6 partner provenienti da Spagna, Germania, Grecia, Cipro e Italia, inclusa l'Associazione Europea dei Coordinatori Erasmus in al fine di affrontare la mancanza di dati e informazioni sugli studenti MOOC.

Più in dettaglio negli ultimi anni, l'Europa ha assistito a una rapida e massiccia espansione dei corsi e-learning poiché un numero crescente di adulti sceglie di registrarsi a corsi e-learning e MOOC, con motivazioni diverse. Tuttavia, diverse ricerche dimostrano che l'apprendimento online attrae principalmente studenti provenienti da un contesto socioeconomico e scolastico medio e superiore, quindi una sfida che dobbiamo affrontare è aprire l'e-learning e i MOOC a persone che tradizionalmente non partecipano all'apprendimento permanente.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020 10:11

Tracking VET graduates - On Track methodology

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The tracking of graduates from vocational education and training has recently become a policy priority in European Union. New skills agenda for Europe (2016) emphasized the need for EU member states to have a better understanding of performance of graduates. Similarly, the Council Recommendation on tracking graduates (2017) underlined the necessity to improve the availability of qualitative and quantitative information about graduates from vocational education and training in Europe. The recommendation proposes a new initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labor market.

According to a recent study of European Commission (2017), only a few  EU member states have established graduate tracking systems at national or original level, and only few measures for tracking graduates at the level of VET institute were identified, often ad hoc and non-systematic measures .

The project On Track proposed a systematic methodology for introducing VET graduates tracking system at the level of VET institute. The main features of the tracking VET graduates methodology, developed in On Track project are :

  • Tracking is based on an online survey addressed to the whole population of graduates. The methodology consist of a short questionnaire, measuring basic indicators, plus a complementary set of questions, measuring additional information. The respondents can reply to the survey questionnaire anonymously, but they can also fill the contact details and participate in second round of qualitative research through interviews or focus groups.
  • There are two different time points for running the survey, one within one year of graduation and the second after two years of graduation. With the first survey we can record the short term impact of VET studies on employment and further progression to studies as well as immediate feedback of the graduate for the quality of the studies. With the second survey we can record the impact of the studies in the medium term and the progression of the graduate in career or further studies as well as the consolidated perception of the quality of the studies.
  • There are three different questionnaires for different levels of vocational education and training. One questionnaire for VET level 2-3, one questionnaire for levels 4-5 and one for levels 6-7, corresponding to higher education studies
  • On track project has developed standardized tools covering the three different levels of vocational education training seven different languages using two different online surveys software, Google form and limesurvey .

Check out the project website http://www.ontrack-project.eu/en/ for more information.


discuss erasmus plus


Con le recenti disposizioni inerenti la chiusura di attività produttive, uffici, università e scuole, formazione a distanza - nota anche come apprendimento online, apprendimento digitale o e-learning - è divenuto passato un metodo comune per seguire corsi e rafforzare le competenze a ogni livello : le aziende la formazione per la formazione dei dipendenti, i professionisti per gli aggiornamenti, gli studenti di tutte le età per approfondire la disciplina scolastica, conseguire master o imparare le lingue.

Risulta evidente che crea di formazione nell'e-learning. Notiamo certamente di creare una conoscenza condivisa su temi specifici che interessano diverse competenze e quindi, quindi, un volano valido per il conseguimento di concreti obiettivi di innovazione sul piano organizzativo e sul piano tecnologico. Secondo uno studio di Technavio Research ("Mercato globale dell'apprendimento a distanza per tipologia e geografia") il mercato crescerà del 9% annuo nel periodo 2019-2023, aggiungendo un valore di 90 miliardi di dollari per fornitore tecnologico e fornitori di corsi grazie alle attività di apprendimento in rete e formazione a distanza di università e apprendimento pubblico e privato.

In quest'ottica, il monitoraggio dei risultati delle strutture di e-learning è divenuto un elemento indispensabile da cui partire per esaltare il concetto di apprendimento centrato sullo studente, ovvero l'idea che con l'e-learning la formazione sia incentrata sul discente , con l'aiuto di trasformarlo da semplice "fruitore" ad artefice (almeno in parte) del percorso di apprendimento; focalizzando l'attenzione su di esso.

Un'ottica di questo tipo intende aiutare i discenti a gestire i corsi in base alle proprie esigenze migliorando la qualità della formazione, nel rispetto dei diversi tempi di apprendimento. Tuttavia, in questi ultimi anni numerosi studi hanno evidenziato come la raccolta di dati e informazioni riguardanti la ricaduta ei benefici di tali attività hanno avuto su chi le ha frequentato non corrispondente alla costante espansione dei corsi di e-learning, avvenuta anche attraverso la diffusione di piattaforme MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses).

Per ovviare a tale mancanza, attraverso il progetto "ASTRE - Sistema automatico di tracciamento dell' e-learning", finanziato dalla Commissione Europea sul capitolo dedicato all'internazionalizzazione delle competenze; ERASMUS PLUS KA2: Cooperazione per l'innovazione e lo scambio di buone pratiche - Partenariati strategici per l'educazione degli adulti, ci si propone di realizzare un sistema di monitoraggio degli stessi, con l'aggiornamento del pubblico e migliorare la loro rilevanza e qualità.

I partner del progetto sono l'Università Politecnica di Valencia - Spagna, Università dell'Egeo Panepistimio Aigaiou - Grecia, Associazione europea dei coordinatori Erasmus - Cipro, l'Aintek Symvouloi Epicheiriseon Efarmoges Ypsilis Technologias Ekpaidefsi Anonymi Etaireia - Grecia, la Friedrich- Alexander- Universitaet Erlangen Nuernberg - Germania e Università Telematica Pegaso - Italia che si avvarrà della collaborazione dell'Associazione “NOI-Napoli Open Innovation”.

Per l'Italia il referente scientifico del progetto è il Prof. Costantino Formica - docente di Economia degli intermediari finanziari, Presidente del Presidio di Qualità, Delegato del Rettore per il Job Placement & Career, Presidente dell'Associazione NOI - affiancato dal Prof. Eugenio D'Angelo, docente di Economia e Gestione delle Imprese e dal dott. Rino Prota, esperto di formazione, in rappresentanza dell'Associazione NOI.


Pegaso Online University has created the School of Urban and Environmental Regeneration, with the aim of training professionals in the field of planning and management actions related to the intervention on the city, the environment and the territory, with particular attention to the issues of sustainability and regeneration. The development of today's cities, with their problems of degraded neighborhoods, under-utilized areas and abandoned buildings, is closely linked to the ability to reinvent the use of space, connecting different interests and opportunities but also involving specialized and diversified skills. There is an increasing demand of these skills, both in the field of professions and in public and private organisations.


The benefits of the use of digital technology for operations are enormous but also come with new and increased risks. There is a real threat to companies production security, safety and capacity, as well as data privacy, when companies connect to operational technology networks. InCyS 4.0 project (https://incybersecurity.eu/)  offers free access materials to improve competences in cyber security for operational technicians in industrial companies.


A major outcome of the EnterMode project is a Virtual Community of Practice that allows to widen views on entrepreneurship education, share good practice and build a common stock of knowledge based on practical experience with entrepreneurship education.

According to Wenger “communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly“ (Wenger 2010). They build a common stock of knowledge, accumulate expertise in their domain, and develop their shared practice by interacting around problems, solutions, and insights. A Community of Practice (CoP) is a learning partnership among people who have learned to do something over time and have developed a shared practice, whereas practice is a historically developed way to do something (Wenger 2019).

Dopo l'esperienza a Sofia 2 anni fa, durante la mia prima mobilità Erasmus con Unipegaso, ho deciso che ogni occasione come questa non poteva essere persa. Quindi, dopo alcune scartoffie e classifiche, ero di nuovo su un aereo, questa volta diretta a Praga, chiedendomi cosa mi riservasse questa nuova avventura.

Ancora una volta cultura diversa, modi diversi di recitare e pensare si sono mescolati davanti a me per creare un'esperienza più unica che rara.

La mia avventura è stata più che soddisfacente. Praga è un mix di fascino e mistero, è quella tela bianca dove tutti vedono i loro sogni. È ben collegato, pieno di attività, musei, monumenti e parchi. È una città da scoprire e vivere.

Al lavoro sono stati accolti con grande entusiasmo e anche l'esperienza è stata breve, la mia squadra è diventata presto la mia famiglia. Tra alti e bassi abbiamo ottenuto i risultati prefissati e ho acquisito molte abilità che porterò nel mio bagaglio personale.

Se mi chiedessero come l'esperienza Erasmus potrebbe essere un'opportunità per la vita, potrei fare un elenco infinito: ho incontrato persone, fatto amicizia, sono sentito come uno di loro, ho conosciuto la storia della Repubblica Ceca nel mio caso e ho mangiato cibi tipici. Le azioni sono state rese semplici ma sono state rese un uomo più consapevoli, sono state aperte la mente e soprattutto sono state fatte su quanto sia bello e vario il mondo. Viaggiare non ti arricchisce economicamente ma fa di più, ti arricchisce dentro.

Gli studenti che sono preoccupati di non essere in grado di affrontare questa esperienza. Erasmus si sta mettendo in gioco, è un'opportunità di crescita, una sfida continua con se stessi, infatti, è solo conoscersi e superare le difficoltà in un passo alla volta e meravigliarsi del proprio potenziale.

È quel treno che passa una sola volta, è proprio quella possibilità che ti rende più cittadino del mondo.

Since 2008, Europe has been suffering from the effects of the economic crisis. Most effected by the crisis, are SMEs that have not yet been able to return to their pre-crisis level (Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan). At the same time, “Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy” (Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission). They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU. Thus, in order to ensure economic prosperity, innovation, job creation and social integrations, it is essential to ensure SMEs growth and to enhance entrepreneurship mindset and competences.

There is no doubt that the society of the future will be a learning society. Citizens are required to constantly update their competences, not only with regard to the world of work but in an encompassing approach to participate in contemporary societies. Moreover, modern societies face a rapid differentiation of educational pathways, opportunities and biographies. This increase in complexity from learners requires great effort into initiative taking, creativity, problem solving, risk assessment and decision taking, all of which requires learners to become stakeholders of their own learning process.

However, learner populations with a disadvantaged background or those remote from learning have great difficulties to take ownership of their learning, without being empowered. Empowerment is a term frequently found in formal and informal policy documents and expert discourses about adult education. But, although a great deal of rhetoric about learner empowerment, adult education practice too often remains caught in traditional instruction methods, fixed curricula and pre-defined learning outcomes. It's in particular low achievers who suffer from this situation, because they in the formal education system usually have made the experience that major parameters of their learning is out of their control, and thus never had the chance to develop a sense of ownership for their own learning.

PARTICIPATE is a new European project, which aims to promote participatory methods in adult education. It starts from the assumption that the impact on disadvantaged target groups can be greatly increased if education providers manage to adopt participatory approaches and methods, and this way support their learners to develop a sense of ownership of their learning and become lifelong learners. The specific objective of the PARTICIPATE project is to build a model for participatory design of learning outcomes.

VINCE is European funded project that aims at promoting validation of learning in higher education and provide support to HEI staff in order to validate migrants‘ and refugees‘ prior learning.

VINCE so far has developed

  • Country reports about the implementation of validation in various European countries,
  • Case studies about the impact of validation on inclusion,
  • Guidelines and a prototype training course for university staff involved in validation processes to be better prepared when working with newcomer candidates.

Furthermore, policy recommendations are being developed, targeted at EU, national decision makers and institutional learners.

 

On 4th July 2019 a workshop took place at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, which brought together experts, stakeholders, HEI staff and students in order to discuss the European model of validation of competences in the field of refugees.

In a first step the participants were presented the major pillars of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, which sets out the standards that shall govern validation. While recognition of prior learning refers to the recognition of formal qualifications (prerequisites for entering a higher level of a hierarchical, formal system), validation goes beyond, and also refers to the assessment of competences acquired outside the formal education system. The aim is

  • to determine which competences are certifiable at all and, where this is feasible (Information)
  • to identify the goals against which competences shall be validated (Identification)
  • to create portfolios of supporting documents relevant for validation, such as certificates, test results, work results (Documentation)
  • to evaluate the person’s skills and competences (Assessment)


In the second section of the workshop the participants jointly with practitioners from in- and outside HEI discussed the practical implications of the Convention with a view to

  • identify changes in current practice necessary to meet the standards of the Lisbon Recognition Convention,
  • identify constraints in the recognition of informal learning, such as competences hardly to prove or testify,
  • consequences recognition practice in Germany has or can have for universities, students and in the context of the wider society.

 

Learn more about the project from the VINCE website

 

 

It is almost impossible to imagine our world today without the thousands of images that reach us daily. From an advertising spot to ad on the street, or even a photo on Facebook or Instagram, audiovisual communication invades us in different formats and through all kinds of channels. Every day we receive memes on our mobile phones, download videos or use podcasts, without even being aware that we are using a new language that has entered fully into our lives and that, most importantly, is here to stay.

But are we able of generating our own audiovisual content? Do we know how to create, share or understand how these messages work? Are we trained to extract all their potential?

Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, computers… are tools that can provide and support people to live their lives better, but there are skills and competences needed to really seize all their potential. There are some illustrative statistics, outlining that:

  • 80% of Internet traffic is video consume,
  • 10 million videos are watched in Snapchat every day,
  • more and more companies, public bodies and other institutions are basing their communication and marketing actions on audiovisual elements (videos, infographics, images, illustrations…),
  • but not only them, but also people make their own creations (videos, gifs, memes….) to express their ideas, enjoy or even ask for a job (e.g. through video curriculums or infographicCVs).


Empowering European adults to understand, create and share audiovisual messages and stories

The Com ON project seeks to provide a training programme to empower European adults to unleash their potential and be active part of this reality. The Com ON training will make them able to understand, create and share audiovisual messages and stories by:

  • offering an integrated and innovative programme that boosts adult collective digital socialization and inclusion,
  • favouring the developement of a social competence (communication as basic soft-skill), but also creativity and critical thinking,
  • promoting digital literacy skills, corresponding to the EC DIGCOMP framework for digital competences. More precisely, the project results take into account this reference on the area of Digital Content Creation (Area 3), and 2 of the key competences included in this area: to create and edit digital content in different formats, to express oneself through digital means; Integrating and re-elaborating digital content: to modify, refine, improve and integrate information and content into an existing body of knowledge to create new, original and relevant content and knowledge,
  • reducing the existing inequalities for this target group to access and actively participate from the new technologies in non-formal education.


The ability to understand, in a critical and informed way, as well as to express oneself and share audiovisual messages, is directly related to media literacy and the ability to actively participate in the digital world. And Com ON partners want to support adult learners in Europe to do so.

 

Com ON is an ERASMUS PLUS KA2 action, supported by the European Commission.

More information about the project can be found at www.comon-project.eu

Follow us in social media to support our initiative.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectComON

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comonedu

 

The Enter.Mode project aims to take European entrepreneurship education a big step further by developing and testing a state-of-the-art model to entrepreneurship education, that invites different levels of learning. It will stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of higher education teaching staff and company staff and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and related skills to higher education students.

A major policy and social challenge in the European Union is the ageing of the population, and the need to ensure quality Long Term Care for the increasing numbers of dependent young and older citizens. A family caregiver is “anyone, women or men, who is not a professional caregiver but, by default or choice, cares for a dependent person in his/her immediate circle” (European Charter for Family Carers). Family carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care, often at the expense of their own personal, family and/or work life (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, 2010).

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 17:33

Cities of Learning

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Pontydysgu’s Spanish organisation is part of the EU CONNECT project. Funded under the Erasmus Plus programme, the CONNECT project aims to leverage the impact of Learning Cities through building urban ecosystems of lifelong learning that harness the assets of European cities and transform them into a network of seamless pathways of learning experience for adult learners. The project application says: “In a society where existing educational pathways no longer guarantee opportunity, and with a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, connected learning for all citizens can open up new entry points and pathways to opportunity; in particular when integrating both the potential of ubiquitous learning technology and learning opportunities created by European cities.”

The project On Track is an European Commission funded project which aims to develop a tracking system for VET graduates of initial vocational education and training schools and institutes. The tracking system will gather qualitative and quantitative data from VET graduates, related to further education, employment, career paths, skills and competences required in the labour market.

The CONNECT project aims to leverage the impact of Learning Cities through building urban ecosystems of lifelong learning that harness the assets of European cities and transform them into a network of seamless pathways of learning experience for adult learners. In a society where existing educational pathways no longer guarantee opportunity, and with a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, connected learning for all citizens can open up new entry points and pathways to opportunity; in particular when integrating both the potential of ubiquitious learning technology and learning opportunities created by European cities.

“Adult learning: it is never too late to learn” communication from the EC outlined that adult learning is a key issue to handle as the “essential contribution of adult learning, through the acquisition of key competences by all, to employability and mobility. Aligned with this idea, Eurostat recent data1 on “Adult Learning Statistics” remarks the fact that “adults with a low level of educational attainment and a lack of skills are more likely to earn lower than average wages and are more vulnerable to the precarious nature of the labour market. These individuals often suffer from a lack of basic skills that are increasingly considered as essential for a modern-day economy: literacy, numeracy and technological skills (‘digital literacy’).”

Within this context, the App4Skills project was designed to contribute to the development of adult learners´ basic skills (mainly numeracy, literacy and digital skills) through the implementation of a set of proposed activities. The core approach of App4Skills has to do with the use of a webapp that offers adult learners the opportunity to engage on leisure activities in three specific areas: cooking, gardening and environment protection, and DIY – “do it yourself” and handcraft.

More than 60 activities on those areas are published, based on 3 levels of difficulty. Each activity is explained in a step-by-step format, and includes reference to the specific area, competence(s) addressed, language, difficulty level, additional examples and estimated implementation time. Users can select the preferred area, language and activity, and respond to the proposed challenges to gain points in an international competition. The best performers are listed in the leaderboard section. But App4Skills counts on also with some interesting features. Users can rate activities, share them through the social media, take the challenge or add their own activities. The webapp is a very versatile tool that can be used both by the professionals that work in adult education, who can use it to reinforce in a playful way the knowledge and competences they work with in their classes; as well as for those adults who wish to improve their basic skills on their own. App4Skills webapp contributes to:

  • Improve creativity, solve real problems in different contexts and develop in students the ability to create new activities and share relevant ideas.
  • Improve the perception of adults towards the learning of math, improve their literacy skills and promote their digital skills.
  • Prepare adults for continuous and autonomous learning, developing critical thinking, and promoting equity, social cohesion and an active citizenship.

The tool, which is free, was tested by more than 30 adult trainers and more than 120 adult learners in the project partners´ countries. This testing phase provided very useful feedback, so improvements are implemented in the final version. App4skills final webapp is available in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Finish, Turkish and Polish) at http://app4skills.fundacionjuandelostoyos.org from August 2019.

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App.Mod.E is a project conceived by a consortium of European agencies and companies. It offers support to upper secondary and higher VET students in transition from schools to employment. The overall aim of the project is to help students to acquire entrepreneurial mind-set and skills during their apprenticeship in a company.

Migration in the EU has been rapidly growing in recent times, especially in light of the troubled political situation in the Middle East and Asia. Thus, it is of great importance to provide tools to support the integration of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe. Language learning is one of the key priorities of successful integration. Mobile applications are an effective educational source that can be specifically targeted at migrants and refugees, as a considerable percentage of them are digitally literate, own smartphones and are looking for new opportunities online in their host countries.

The German Institute for Adult Education is organising a European conference in Bonn on 25 September 2018. The conference is titled "Course planning and course evaluation - two unjustly neglected key competences for teachers and trainers in adult education". It is organised in the framework of the project DEMAL.

The conference addresses two professional tasks of adult teachers which tend to attract less attention than the “actual teaching”. However, planning and evaluation of adult learning activities are of equal importance for the quality and the success of these activities. At the conference new European approaches to define and develop these two key competences will be presented and further development needs will be discussed. Besides a general introduction to the topic, three aspects will be explored in greater depth in parallel workshops:

  • digital media as a tool for developing professional competences
  • the role of competence standards and validation frameworks
  • the potential of European training courses

The conference targets practitioners and researchers in the field of adult learning and education. No conference fees will be charged. Travel grants are available to a limited number of participants from Europe. If you are interested, please contact the organisers.

For more information

“Employment Perspective for Migrants and Refugees” is a new community of practice, that is addressed mainly to persons who provide support to migrants and refugees in relation to employment, education and training, as well as to stakeholders active in the topics of education and employment for migrants and refugees.

Get awarded and win precious prizes. The LISTEN Award is a competition that aims to promote intercultural storytelling with refugees and migrants. The LISTEN project is looking for stories – fictional or real ones – told by refugees and migrants. The story can be a memory, a self-created story, a fairytale, legend or myth. The idea of LISTEN is that stories can build bridges between refugees and migrants and their receiving societies. These stories give migrants and refugees a voice and raise the awareness for their perspectives, wishes, visions, challenges and problems. By using intercultural storytelling the LISTEN project aims to support the integration of refugees and migrants in their receiving societies.

Thursday, 05 July 2018 12:47

Call for Lifelong Learning Awards 2018

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The call for LifeLong Learning Awards 2018 has been launched. In 2016, the Lifelong Learning Platform launched the LifeLong Learning Awards to celebrate creative and inclusive practices. The aim of the Lifelong Learning Award is to give visibility to innovative practices taking place all over Europe in order to attract public attention on lifelong learning as well as to inspire new practices and policies. The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) will select each year its annual specific priority that can be linked to the European year if the theme is relevant.

The LLL Platform and its InnoVal partners in September 2018 will organize a European Conference on Innovative Assessment Methods for Validation. The event will take stock of recent policy developments in line with the 2012 Council Recommendation on Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning (VNFIL), and discuss the next steps forward.

VINCE is an ERASMUS+ project that is developing training materials for university staff working in processes of Validation of Prior Learning (VPL) and Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (VNIL) with migrant and/or refugee students. The objective is to provide university staff with tools to be better equipped when working with newcomers who want to access Higher Education (HE) and want to be more aware and integrated in European society.

The VINCE open call for case studies and VINCE Validation Prize 2019 have just been launched! The VINCE Validation Prize 2019 is an award given to the most innovative and transferable initiatives in the area of the Validation of Prior Learning (VPL) and/or Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (VNIL) in all sectors of education in Europe. The 2019 prize follows the initiative of the OBSERVAL and OBSERVAL-Net projects, which awarded a total of 5 Validation Prizes in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

The Erasmus+ project "OpenITup" aims to extend and develop educators' competences in the effective teaching of literacy, digital and entrepreneurial skills to vulnerable groups of adult learners, by making use of effective new tools and technologies. The learners will strengthen their language competences (B1-B2 levels) and their entrepreneurial skills and will feel confident to turn their business ideas into successful start-ups. The e-course "Start your own business" will be soon available in English, Bulgarian, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Turkish.

For more information you can visit the website: www.openitup.eu

 

Friday, 25 May 2018 14:47

Aristotle and Diversity

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Democracy and education have been linked as far as Ancient Greece in the writings of Aristotle (384-322 bc.) (Fraser, 1996). Democratic theories of education have been central to the institution of public schooling in the United States and Canada since the inception of free, compulsory, public education. Horace Mann (1796-1859), W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) and John Dewey (1859-1952), were early advocates for public education in the United States. More recent scholars have built on the early writings of these important thinkers to push the notions of the democratic education and equal education opportunity. In this book, Understanding equal educational opportunity: Social justice and democracy in schooling, Howe (1997) expands on the thesis presented by Amy Gutmann (1987) in her book, Democratic education. Gutmann’s central idea is as follows:

A democratic theory of education recognizes the importance of empowering citizens to make educational policy and also of constraining their choices among policies in accordance with those principles- of nonrepression and nondiscrimination – that reserve the intellectual and social foundations of democratic deliberations. A society that empowers citizens to make educational policy, moderated by these two principled constraints, realizes the democratic ideal of education (Gutmann, 1987).

Gutmann (1987) states that the principle of non-repression prevents any group from “using education to restrict rational deliberation of competing conceptions of the good life and the good society” and that non-discrimination can be understood as “a principle of non-exclusion” (pp.44-45). However, Howe charges that Gutmann’s “general principle of ‘non-repression’ (of which ‘nondicrimination’ is a derivative) is too weak to adequately protect marginalized and oppressed groups in negotiating the participatory ideal” (1977, p.66). Nonoppressions is offered in its place, for Howe believes that a “stronger principle – a principle of nonoppression- is required in order to protect groups that are threatened with marginalization and exclusion from meaningful democratic participation” (1997, p. 67).

Nonoppression is a more powerful concept that Gutman’s non-repression. There are many non-discrimination in schools, businesses and government designed to protect minorities from unjust exclusion. These policies make it illegal to refuse admission or hiring to people based on race, gender, religion and other factors. If a business or a school is forced to admit a woman or a person of color due to these policies, it is likely that the work climate will not be conductive to the success of that minority member. Incidents that display covert racism and sexual harassment may impede the ability of that individual to work to his/her best capability. The same holds true for students in a school settings. If the climate is not supportive of every child in the school, then true educational opportunities “worth wanting” (Howe, 1997) do not exist. It is not enough to legally remove the barriers preventing their entrance, but we must also go a step further and begin to remove the oppressive language and structures that create a hostile climate for minority students.

Read more in Meyer, E. (2010). Explorations of Educational Purpose 10: Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schools, Springer.

Monday, 26 March 2018 13:17

Design of adult learning courses

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IDEC participates as partner in the project DEMAL that developed two e-learning courses for staff in adult education sector:

  • Design of adult learning
  • Evaluation of adult learning

The first course on Design has been launched and will run until the 20th of May 2018. The course consists of six units of learning outcomes, plus a closing and requires approximately 24 hours of self-learning, spread over a period of eight weeks. The participants that will complete the course and pass all assignments successfully will get a certificate of attendance. If you are interested to register and attend the course, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Thalys course program
  2. Go to Create a new account, fill-in the form and create your account. Remember to keep your username and password, as you will need them to access the e-learning
  3. An e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address, with instructions to validate your account. Click on the link.
  4. You will access the course as student. The enrolement key for student is Demal_design_student
  5. You can now access the course and start your learning journey.

The course is structured in units. Each unit includes an introductory presentation, the core learning material, additional learning material, a closing presentation and one of more assignments. Some assignments are compulsory and you have to complete them, before the end of the course, before 20 of May. After that, you will still have access to the course material, without the option to do the assignments and get a certificate.

The course language is English and it will be attended at the same time by participants from five countries. It will give you the opportunity not only to access the learning resources, but also to discuss with other participants and exchange your experiences in adult learning. The second e-learning course on Evaluation is expected to start in April and there will be a separate invitation.

We wish you a nice e-learning and we expect to meet you online.

 

On 25th January the first EU Education Summit with 18 Education Ministers and 450 Experts took place in Brussels. The Education Summit is another step on the road to a European education space, which the Commission intends to create by 2025. In the future, European education summits will take place regularly - the second is scheduled for autumn 2019.

EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: "We must harness the full potential of education to build stable societies, to empower citizens, to experience European identity in all its diversity. To achieve this, we want to promote language learning and ensure that degrees are recognized throughout the EU, that European higher education institutions can work together optimally and that studying in other EU Member States is even easier. These are factors that make up real European education space, and the Summit is a concrete step in that direction. "

The aim of the summit was to create: »the Foundation for a European Educational Space: Realizing Innovative, Inclusive and Value-Based Education«. Accordingly, the following questions are in the center of attention: How can high-quality, inclusive and value-based education contribute to the success of Europe? What skills will be needed in the coming decades? And how can the acquisition of basic skills as well as digital and entrepreneurial skills be advanced?

Linguistic adaptation is a central theme in the different stages of education, but especially in secondary education and initial vocational training. Improving the linguistic adaptation process of immigrant students can contribute to improving not only academic outcomes but also social inclusion, both within and outside the center. However, it requires the design of suitable environments and teachers prepared to face the challenges of multilingualism, which are summarized in:

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 15:54

DQ-SKILLS for Digital Citizenship

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In the last decades we have seen a transformation of our reality, each day more and more influenced and linked to the digital world. No one doubts that we are experiencing a profound change that, supported by new technologies in a massive way, offers us great opportunities and challenges.

We could say that mobile devices and the internet have been the two key elements that - as the printing appearance caused, or later other mass media, such as radio or television - reaches absolutely all the spheres of our lives: communication, information, entertainment, commerce, the provision of education, health and government services, and the production systems themselves. These elements not only provide new tools, but also influence our position in the world, in our role as citizens.

Thus, although the concept of "digital citizen" was initially created to define those people who were active on the Internet and who used it to interact with their public administrations or collaborate with social and political entities, this idea become obsolete, and it is now clear that digital citizenship is no longer a matter of choice, but there is a digital space in which all citizens must be present.

The 2nd partner meeting took place in Munich, from 9th to 10th October 2017. The event was hosted by the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Germany). The partner organisations discussed VNIL (validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes) in Higher Education from different ankles, such as with regard to its meaning for

The CV Plus project aims to build a bridge between the world of business and education through Corporate Volunteering initiatives. It was designed to train managers from companies and educational centers, employees and teachers, in the development and management of this type of programs. CV PLUS is a Strategic Partnership, funded by the European Commission in the framework of the ERASMUS + Program.

One of the priorities of ET2020 is the professional development of staff working in the adult education sector, with a view to improve the quality and efficiency of adult learning. Following this priority in 2010 a framework for “Key Competences for Adult Learning Staff” has been launched, which defines the generic and specific competency profile for professional staff working in adult education.

Starting from the Education and Training 2020 strategy whose objective is the improvement of quality and efficiency in education and training among professional staffs, five organizations with valuable experience in the field of adult education from five different countries (Germany, Greece, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria), representing both private and public as also profit and non-profit sectors, have created a partnership to launch DEMAL project.

The “Designing, monitoring and evaluating adult learning classes – Supporting quality in adult learning” (acronym DEMAL) project is funded by the European Commission through the ERASMUS+ K2 Programme which enhances and promotes cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices. DEMAL intends to implement two key competences which, according to the 2010 “Key Competences for Adult Learning Professionals” framework, should advance adult training staffs and improve quality in adult learning. These two competences are:

  • be able to design the learning process
  • be able to monitor and evaluate the learning process

SIM Europe's most recent european-wide expert survey reveals lack of reform towards establishing lifelong learning in several EU countries. According to the experts, in ten countries, no reforms have been undertaken aimed at improving financial or human resources for lifelong learning. Moreover, the researchers see a great need for reform in many countries regarding the strong influence of social origin on educational success. Six countries were not active in this regard: Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain.

This year, the EAEA Grundtvig Award will be given to a project successful in engaging new groups of learners.

One of the key challenges in adult education is often described as the “Matthew effect” – those who have will be given more and those who don’t will have less. This means that those who already have higher levels of education are more likely to participate in adult education. Partly this is due to the fact that they are more likely to be in the kinds of jobs where their employers offer training through their companies, but also because they more likely have positive experiences with learning and are therefore more likely to participate voluntarily.

InnoVal aims at identifying innovative and reliable assessment methods that can allow all learners to have a chance at validation, with a special focus on the needs of disadvantaged groups such as refugees and early school leavers.

The European Digital City Index 2016 (EDCi) describes how well different European cities support digital entrepreneurship. It aims to provide a holistic and local view of what matters to digital startups. According to the developers (Nesta), it is the most complete description of what impacts digital entrepreneurs on a local level, and how different digital startup ecosystems compare within Europe.

The new 2 years Erasmus+ project Walk & Talk promotes non-formal learning of Europeans 65+, along with physical activities taking place outside the classroom. While the seniors are walking, they will learn about the interrelation between physical activity and active and healthy aging. They might learn a new language, discuss local culture and history, traditions, use apps etc. Senior learners can meet outside the centre of their home towns, in nature, or within their own surrounding or neighbourhood, which will be easier for the seniors living in big cities.

AGROPOLY is a new online game, a virtual place which reunites the fun of playing with games and usefulness of learning entrepreneurial skills and competences for students in the agricultural sector. Those who are planning to start their own business, can play the game to get an idea about real life situations and competences to be developed.

Rural regions not only offer natural and healthy life! They can also provide opportunities to develop innovative and successful business ideas where e-commerce can play a decisive role, bringing services and products where before could not come. TransForm@ is a Transnational project aimed at encouraging the digital transformation of commerce sector in rural areas, by enhancing people’s digital and e-business related skills through a game-based training.

To help cities better address challenges such as Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, Poverty, and to make the most out of EU funding opportunities, the European Commission has launched a new web portal during the European Week of Regions and Cities.

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 14:08

Was kommt nach der hierarchischen Organisation?

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Wenn Unternehmen "umstellen" auf Selbstorganisation, wenn schwerfällige Modelle von formaler Hierarchie durch autonome Netzwerk-Stukturen ersetzt werden sollen (Stichwort "holacracy"), dann folgen frustrierende Erfahrungen meist auf den Fuß.

There are two objects taken as an exasperating and unavoidable duty by the vast majority of people outside my bubble: to study and to job. Therefore and amongst others, two vital and increasing societal movements alarm this vast majority: the so-called „lifelong learning“ and „to job up to your seventies“. The liquidation of former accepted age limits causes deep uncertainty.

The number of refugees and new migrants who reach Europe, escaping from wars or critical life conditions and looking for new life opportunities, has increased dramatically in recent years and is likely to continue growing in the coming years. These newcomers face many challenges in settling into Europe and among these are the obstacles to accessing the labour market or continuing their studies.

Erasmus + project SG4Adults developed a serious game to learn entrepreneurial skills: BIZ-E-BEE. In the Netherlands the game has been tested with students at a bachelor's degree Social Work because entrepreneurship is a relevant topic for their future study and work.

Most definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have focused on actions related to managing the relationship with stakeholders; however, more recently the concept has evolved to include a deeper approach, which recognizes CSR and sustainability as a core part of the business model and strategy.

The "TOI TOI TOI" project in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme has developed a range of web tools, which shall allow project coordinators to evaluate themselves, partner organisations and whole project consortia with a view to their capacity towards ensuring sustainable impact of projects.

The tools have been developed based on in-depth analysis of past LdV-ToI projects, and by project coordinators can be used to evaluate their own and other partners' organisational and professional capacities, including a range of basic competences needed in order to  effectively contribute to the creation of impact and sustainability of education development projects. The tools can be used for both, self- and team-evaluation.

Website: Toi Toi Toi Project

 

 

 

On 30. May 2016 an informal meeting of EU Ministers with responsibility for urban affairs took place in Amsterdam, at the initiative of the Dutch Presidency. During this meeting an "Urban Agenda for the EU", also called "Pact of Amsterdam", has been established. The goal is networking and knowledge sharing of city authorities at European level, also to achieve better regulation and the promotion at EU level.

The Award will celebrate educational practices from all over Europe that can demonstrate the use of creative and inclusive learning methods with outstanding results and the potential to be replicated and/or of inspiring others. The Award is not limited to a particular sector; lifelong learning covers education and training across all ages and in all areas of life be it formal, non-formal or informal.

The German Federal Institute for Education and Training (BIBB) just published the results of a national monitoring on validation of informal and non-formal learning in Germany. The results are based upon a national survey, conducted in 2015. More than 850 stakeholders in Vocational Education and Training on this occasion have been asked about the future of validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning in Germany.

EILEEN stands for Enhancing Intercultural Learning in European Enterprises. EILEEN is a 2-year project funded by ERASMUS+, which seeks to promote intercultural competences and a welcome culture in enterprises. The EU is making significant efforts to eliminate the barriers to labour mobility. However, most of the enterprises in European countries do not necessarily have the essential intercultural know-how for receiving employers with a different cultural background. At the same time, often the foreign employees are not ready to face the challenge of working in a different country, and encounter difficulties in identifying the new cultural paradigms, accepting the differences and acquiring cultural knowledge.

An interesting webinar on Family Learning and Digital Citizenship took place on 26 April 2016. More than twenty participants joined the webinar under the lead of Susannah Chambers, expert in Family Learning.

This webinar, organised by School Education Gateway, explored and presented the links between digital communication technologies, Family Learning and digital citizenship. The webinar highlighted examples of how the power of digital communication tools are used by schools to maximise the positive impact on teaching and learning, enhance home-school communication and increase community engagement.

The Erasmus+ partnership ON THE MOVE just released a best practice guide on how to reach out to and include persons from vulnerable groups in the world of Lifelong Learning. The publication is based on reviews of more than 100 European projects, providing outreach educational guidance and low-threshold learning opportunities.

A major aim of the project is to make staff in counselling and educational institutions in Europe aware of "alternative approaches (predominantly of the outreach kind) bringing educationally remote and low-qualified people to further education and will implement these in their countries".

Urban populations have been growing more rapidly than ever in recent years: more than half of the world’s population nowadays lives in cities, and the number is expected to rise to 60 percent by 2030. Cities become increasingly influential in national and world affairs as they expand. However, this expansion is also presenting municipal governments with multiple challenges relating to social cohesion, economic development and sustainability.

PROMOTE is a EU-funded project that started in 2014 and will be completed in October 2016. The project aims at promoting and validating social, personal and organisational key competences such as entrepreneurship, civic competences and learning to learn with the help of an innovative, self-directed learning approach at the interface of higher education and business.

EduTeach is an international, interdisciplinary and collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program. The aim of the EduTeach project is to design, test and implement a modular training program adapted to the needs and interests of those responsible in education and care for young children (0-6 years) across Europe. To allow both flexible and individual learning, the training offers will be based on ICT and incorporate a fair balance between interactive and self-study learning activities. Using results from a user needs analysis and evaluations of the implementation of trainings, EduTeach further tends to forward research and development on models, methods, and didactic strategies for effective online training to educators, preschool teachers and education directors.

Partners from the UK, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Sweden are developing a new innovative method of training that will empower young unemployed individuals and/or NEETs. They will prepare participants to not only adapt to potentially stressful events and successfully assimilate these, but also to use these potential stressors as opportunities for positive growth based on identification and utilisation of key Positive Psychology constructs and processes. This will be accomplished by the development of a training curriculum "Be Positive". The end result is that organisations will have a resource that will address the psychological issues that are relevant to this group in a positive way.

The “Combat Bullying: A Whole School Program” (ComBuS) project aims to promote learning (face-to-face plus online and mobile methodologies, tools and activities) on how to combat bullying and create healthy and safe school communities for students, teachers, school staff, school leaders and parents.

Rooms to VET aims to maintain and increase the competitiveness of the European tourism industry through the development of an e-learning platform of 6 Modules to support the upskilling and professionalisation of tourism services provided by owners of private accommodations, small residences and family arrangements. This platform aims to become the ultimate guide for making use of all opportunities and tools available at national and European level in this respect.

Rooms to VET - Upskilling and Professionalisation of private tourism accommodation services is a 24-month (September 2015-2017) EU co-funded project under the Erasmus+ programme, implemented by 9 partners from 5 EU countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Spain), experts in the fields of tourism and VET.

The eFinLit project (Developing Financial Competencies for EU Citizens Utilizing Online Learning and Digital Literacy) aims to promote the financial literacy of disadvantaged young EU adults (18-35), covering numeracy, language, reading, collaboration and communication skills.

USR-NET promotes the incorporation of University Social Responsibility (USR) in University curricula and synergies among the Universities community and other stakeholders. The project is developing a learning guide of transversal contents for USR along with awareness raising actions.

The Life Online project is a project that is being developed to improve employability through an online learning platform. Through the development of a new employability and entrepreneurship course unit of e-learning materials for use before, during and after mobility, participants will develop their international and soft skills such as team work and intercultural understanding to improve their employability.

Intrapreneurship and the intrapreneur have entered the business vocabulary quite recently, but in a short time they have managed to attract interest, especially in the leading sector and industry of ICT. Competition, the need for the development of new ideas, the ever changing business and corporate environment, leave no options to simply overlook creativity wherever it comes from. Companies and businesses need all too often to rely on the innovative entrepreneurial potential of their human resources. What organisations have to do is allow intrapreneurship to flourish, stimulating and supporting potential intrapreneurs.

The rapid adoption of internet-enabled phone and tablets has revolutionised the way we live and work, but not yet in too many cases the way students are taught in vocational training or higher education. Although digital and mobile resources are proven to increase adult learner engagement and information retention, yet only 1 in 5 students are taught by digitally confident and supportive teachers. This absence of integration of digital learning tools is mainly caused by lack of confidence and training and as a result, very few students across Europe are taught material aided and supported by digital supports.

Globalisation dictates that EU2020 will only succeed if member states bring out the best of people and their potential and extend education opportunities for all people. TANDEM is designed to contribute to the debate on reform by drawing lessons from already existing good practices of consortiums' partners and strengthening the connection between policymakers and practitioners, business and educational community. The title, TANDEM, intends to emphasize the synchrony and efficiency of business, VET and HE actors by acting together for high quality VET aligned with regional and global labour market demands to proactively respond to emerging skills shortages.

LOCATE aims at building platforms of local community learning, media and participation to help develop community capacity and stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and capacity for change by encouraging the discovery and use of untapped potential from within communities and territories.

The European Map of Intergenerational Learning (EMIL) is a collaborative network of members working together to support intergenerational learning taking place across Europe. Established in 2009, the network uses the existing expertise of partner organisations already working in the field to create a learning network for others involved in bottom-up as well as top-down intergenerational programmes and initiatives and across Europe.

VALERU aims to establish mechanisms and human resources for the validation of non-formal/informal learning in Russian Higher Education in order to ensure sustainable development of Russian HE.

The AAL Association needs independent experts for the AAL Programme, the renewed € 700 million applied research and innovation programme in the field of ICT-based solutions for ageing well jointly undertaken by several Member States with the participation of the Union. The call for interest is launched now and will remain open until 2020. As well as attracting the best specialists of business in the field of ICT for ageing well, the AAL Association wants to boost the number of experts in the area of end-users integration in the context of AAL.  

Apart from evaluating proposals for funding, experts are needed for reviewing funded AAL projects. A broad range of fields are covered including ICT technology, social innovation, business and more, as set out in full in the published call. The objective is to ensure that AAL grants are awarded only to the best-applied research and innovation proposals, based on a rigorous peer-review process.   Interested candidates are invited to send their application (Europass CV with a specific section on AAL expertise + one-page motivation) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The call will remain open for the entire duration of the AAL Programme (2014-2020). The applicants will be contacted according to the needs of the proposed expertise. Please do not hesitate to send us any updates to your applications. Experts who collaborated with the AAL Association under the AAL Programme (AAL Programme, 2007-13) are already in the AAL Programme experts database.   For any information or support you may address your queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Details at:

http://www.aal-europe.eu/get-involved/register-as-expert/ 

All too often projects fail to prove sustainable. Quite simply without external funding the products and practices developed do not survive. But sometimes they take off and resonate in new ways even without a financial stimulus. So it is with RadioActive. RadioActive was a project funded under the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning project to develop the use of internet radio with unemployed people and socially disadvantaged groups. And although the funding finished over a year ago, projects partners in three countries – Germany, Portugal and the Uk are still producing radio programmes.

On 28th Jan was London’s turn. At 1400 UK time, 1500 CET the University of East London presented a show entitled “DJ showdown: older DJs and today’s crop of Turntablists trade blows.” Is DJing an art form? With digital tech so easily available and virtually unlimited access to MP3s via a laptop, is everyone now a DJ? And if so does that mean older people who learnt their craft through hard graft have wasted their time? Don’t all the years of physically carrying lbs of vinyl to clubs and then actually mixing records live amount to something? We examine what does it mean to be a DJ in 2016 and how it has changed over the last three decades.

We compared the different styles of mixing music ranging from Geoff Humphries who DJ’d in the house music scene of Ibiza, Rhythm Vandals (mostly playing the clubs in Leeds in the 90s) right up to newest wave of teenage Turntablists where Abrakadaniel beat mixes for us. Tracks include the Sex Pistols, Madonna/Abba, the late Lemmy from Motörhead through to Soulwax. What influence have new techniques and digital accuracy that take account of key and time signatures actually had on mixing? We hear the likes of Titancube, RiFF RAFF, Skrillex, Datsik, Brillz & LAXX and more.

You can listen to the recording of this and other programmes at

Source: Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning

Thanks to Graham Attwell for sharing with us!

 

MENTORING is the tool of staff improvement in which the experienced worker agrees to take the responsibility and agrees to help to build a relationship and to facilitate the professional growth of one or more colleagues. The idea behind the MENTOR project is to adapt and use this tool for induction and development of a specific group of workers – the teachers.

“We encountered the benefits of mentoring in adult education with other projects that the members of our consortium implemented” explained a representative of the MENTOR project. “Also, we are aware that in the countries like the USA or New Zealand there are well-developed programs of teachers mentoring that can be good practice for us to deliver a model adjusted to national and European contexts”.

The MENTOR project is designed to prepare teachers experienced in their profession to become mentors for beginning teachers. Moreover, school leaders, other teachers and personnel in secondary and high schools, and last but not least – students - can also benefit from the mentoring program, which is supposed to result in improvements in efficiency of teaching, students’ achievement and teachers’ job satisfaction.

This new Erasmus+ project seeks to improve, monitor and evaluate the quality of validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) through means of peer review.

Peer Review – the external evaluation of VNFIL institutions/providers by Peers – is a promising instrument for quality assurance and development. It builds on quality activities already in place at a VNFIL institution/provider, it is cost-effective and it fosters networking and exchange between providers of validation of non-formal and informal learning.

The Peer Review VNFIL Extended project works with the Peer Review methodology and instruments as they have been developed in previous programmes. Most recently, in the Europeerguid RVC project, the Manual, Toolbox, and Quality Areas for Peer Review have been adapted to use in 3 countries. VNFIL providers and stakeholders in other countries have expressed a strong interest in adapting and implementing the Peer Review framework and its instruments. This project takes up further fine-tuning and transfer of the methodology to new countries through a number of capacity building activities directed at professional development of more VNFIL practitioners.

Programme: Erasmus+

Source: www.peer-review-network.eu

WISE develops a comprehensive training and development programme for female entrepreneurs who wish to launch social enterprises. The training and business-development plan envisions the creation of Europe's first virtual network of female social entrepreneurs.

The aim of this project is to open university studies for virtual mobility (VM) by training teachers and academic staff on how to design master study program curricula, using OER and applying correct licensing, how to establish collaborative trusted relationships in curriculum design for multicultural exchange and how to integrate these opening education innovations in everyday practices. In order to reach this aim, the following objectives will be met in the project:

CRUCIAL is an ERASMUS+ supported project, designed to better inform all the different stakeholders who can potentially benefit from crowdfunding as innovative means of funding business ventures. The project will gather information on the current market conditions regarding the almost exponential growth of CrowdFunding in certain countries and amalgamate this into a pan-European vision of CrowdFunding. This will include all the key areas on both the demand and supply side of this funding mechanism.

The key groups are those seeking financial support, primarily SME's, but including start-ups and social enterprises and on the supply side entrepreneurs looking to support business investment. In addition those support agencies such as Innovation Centres, Cluster managers, and organizations, both public and private that look to support business and economic development, locally, Regionally and Nationally will be able learn more about how to use and promote CrowdFunding.

The project is aimed to define an European pathway on rural women entrepreneurs that improves entrepreneurial skills and competences empowering women of rural areas.

Europe has achieved gender parity in education attainment, but women still remain under-represented in key, growth-enhancing fields of education such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Labour markets also exhibit many “gender gaps”. Women are less likely to work for pay, and are more likely to have lower hourly earnings, do more unpaid housework than men. The proportion of female entrepreneurs, at 33% (Labour Survey 2013) (30% in start-ups), is some way short of optimum and most women still do not consider entrepreneurship as a relevant career option. The implementation of European directive on self-employed women should remove a major barrier to female entrepreneurship. But the difference still.

While digital divide and digital literacy have entered into common use the term digital inclusion is still quite new. The term describes a number of interrelated concepts, such as widening access to digital technology and services, the acquisition of digital competencies and literacies necessary to make smart use of technologies and services, empowering people in using technology for both, self-determined life and as means to participate in society.

The Erasmus+ strategic partnership UPTAKE ICT is promoting actions, at national and international scale with the purpose of strengthening digital inclusion through building contents, digital instruments and analyzing the impact of ICT in a global world.

LLWINGS aims at promoting a new vision of school as the bridge to lifelong learning and active citizenship, through a focus on learning-to-learn competences and joy to learn as the very WINGS for lifelong learning.

LLWings in particular aims to support teachers as the leading actors of bottom-up school innovation in translating the "learning to Learn" goal into practice and daily enhance joy and motivation to learn among their students. This was done by identifying and promoting those teacher competences which are key to transform school in a learning environment built around the learner and open to the territory and its non-formal and informal learning opportunities, so to make the learning process meaningful and relevant, and its sense "owned" by the student.

Big Foot is set out to tackle key issues at European level: marginalization of the rural mountain areas and their ageing population - by focusing on the valorization and maintenance of the elderly population, traditional knowledge and specific local culture. The Big Foot approach is implemented in three rural municipalities: Berkovitsa, Bulgaria; Trikala, Greece and Gubbio, Italy.

This project aimed at organisations from the Employability sector and the Adult Education/Training sectors. The project provided information on how to engage with and support Ethnic Minority groups and Migrants into employment through job shadowing, work placement, employer engagement and vocational language training and employability skills development. The results included a Research Report from each partner country detailing target groups and employment sectors; examples of the transferred materials from the project (Skills Audit Toolkit, Vocational Language Course, Study Skills Course, Empowerment Course and Equipped For the Future Course);feedback from beneficiaries and trainers. The products from the project will be integrated into core activities of partner organisations.

RISE aims to remove the gaps in key competencies that create barriers to employment for refugees, by developing the focussed curriculum and accompanying learning materials, including interactive desktop and mobile games based learning resources, which are engaging and accessible to the target groups.

The RISE partner organisations worked with refugees and employers to identify the gaps in key skills that create barriers to employment for refugees. Workshops were held with groups of refugees from the three partner countries, to establish their support needs. There then followed a process of co-design with our end users, which confirmed the RISE project end products.

Young people acquire competencies not only at school, vocational education and training and other formal learning settings. They also acquire competencies when they take up responsibilities within their family, when they are meeting their friends, when they work in jobs, when they engage in sports or music, when they do volunteer work.

This project aims at developing an awareness raising campaign for the validation of learning outcomes of non-formal and informal learning as a tool to further improve adults’ career perspectives and stimulate their further education and training.

The SiQuCAE partnership has developed and tested quality assurance systems in order to: increase the quality of and access to validation of non-formal and informal learning, qualify the training and work systems in partner countries, improve the effectiveness of investment in validation of non-formal and informal learning.

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