Category Archives: Materials + resources (IO3)

We will develop a web based collection of materials, resources, ideas and activities for staff development facilitators and trainers developing competence in digital technologies in the classroom.

The materials will include strategic staff development trajectories for different staff such as teachers, managers, teaching assistants etc. (These are the Diets.) We will also include specimen programmes for school based CPD and for courses of different duration and delivery modes (Menus). We will develop modules which can be mixed and matched to suit the needs of the teachers (Dishes) together with suggestions and /or detailed instructions on how they can be delivered (Recipes ) Finally there will be the multimedia resources trainers will need and which are so time consuming to produce available on line and downloadable as texts, images, exercises, videos etc (Ingredients).

We run over a hundred courses for teachers on topics such as e-learning methods, Integrating Technology Enhanced Learning in the Classroom, Introducing Coding, Creating Content in the Classroom and so on. A quick discussion revealed that we have always designed and developed our materials and resources ourselves. Not one of us had ever used teacher training materials in this context produced by someone else – we always created resources from scratch. We then established that the reason for this was that we simply couldn’t find any but would have welcomed a resource bank we could have used to save time, energy or just to get new ideas. We then tried several search engines with a variety of keywords and although we found isolated articles, we could not find a collection of resources.

There is a huge demand for teacher training in this field across member states and making trainers more efficient through access to resources should increase their capacity.

Presenting my contributions to TACCLE4 CPD project – Part Three: Reflections on using Open Educational Resources in Vocational Education and Training

In my previous post I have given an overview of the reports for our ongoing TACCLE4 CPD projects that I had completed so far. At the end I mentioned that the next one to be completed would be Report3 on the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). This week I have worked on this report. I have had the great pleasure to have my ITB colleague Jan Naumann with me as an expert in this matter and as a co-author. So, the best thing for me to do was to explore with him different contexts of vocational education and training in which he has been working with OER. Below I present the conclusions of our report.

Conclusions: Using Open Educational Resources in Vocational Education and Training

Here it is worthwhile to note that this report has not the aim to give a comprehensive overview on Open Educational Resources (OER) that may have relevance for vocational education and training (VET). Such a task would no longer be manageable. Currently there is such a richness of OER – also ones that address explicitly the field of VET. As a contrast, this report has provided insights into exemplary cases of using OER to enhance vocational teaching/learning arrangements and to empower vocational learners.

Also, concerning the range of occupational fields that these cases cover, the report is far from comprehensive. Yet, when looking more closely at the cases, there is a pattern variance and a gradual shift from rather simple cases to more complex vocational teaching/learning arrangements. In a similar way the degree of using OER grows from elementary engagement to specific interventions and to more complex incorporation of OER into vocational learning culture.

In a nutshell the key messages of the above-presented cases can be summarised in the following way:

  • Rather simple and elementary vocational learning exercises can be transformed into creative learning projects. This is the case, when the learners are challenged to think, what they can achieve with the results (products) they produce. The first case in which the learners produce their own tools underlines this point. Individual teachers who create such learning projects can become producers of OER.
  • Hitherto separate subject areas and learning projects can be linked to each other with the help of OER. This may happen with the help of hands-on exercises using Open Resources and quiz exercises using OER. The second case of integrated learning paths underlines this point.
  • Neighbouring occupations can be brought together with the help of OER to work with a joint learning project if it is sufficiently challenging and interesting to all parties involved. The third case with an integrated working and learning project with robotics serves as a demonstration.
  • Vocational learning arrangements can be made attractive to apprentices and to trainees in pre-vocational education (also with socially disadvantaged background). The fourth case with the complex teaching-learning arrangement around organising a series of Go-kart races provides an example of this. Here, by organising learners as occupational teams and bringing the contributions of teams to a common effort the learners worked for a common goal. This was facilitated by manifold use of OER and by documenting the whole concept as OER.

Altogether, the cases are selected examples and they do not provide evidence that the use of OER as such would guarantee successful learning. Yet, they have given insights into the prospect of shaping of vocational teaching/learning arrangements as creative learning spaces.

Brush bots

Brush Bots

Brush Bots

You will need:

  • A tooth brush with the handle cut off
  • A pager motor– these are the tiny motors you find in mobile phones
  • A watch battery
  • Masking tape


Maybe you will need these

  • sticky pads
  • cotton wool buds
  • google eyes


What you have to do

  1. Stick the foam pad to the top of the brush.
  2. Stick the motor on the end of the brush furthest away from the handle end
  3. Make sure that the spindle with the weight (the bit that sticks out) is hanging over the end and not touching the foam and the wires are pointing to what was the handle end.
  4. Stick the watch battery + side up on the handle end with the blue wire underneath the battery.
  5. Check to see if you brushbot actually stands up
  6. Finally, stick the red wire to the top of the battery using blu-tak or masking tape or another bit of sticky foam. You decide.
  7. Let it go on a smooth surface


It will work first time – but never as you want it to.  Finding a way of making the motor stick tighter or looser (freezer bag ties, wire, pipe cleaners, string etc) will increase the pressure on the motor and alter the vibration.

  • You can also fiddle with bits of blu-tak to weight the Brushbot in different places.
  • Or try reversing the positions of the battery and motor
  • Or stick the battery vertically



Doing stuff

Make a track for your brushbot

  • Take a sheet of paper
  • Fold it in half lengthways
  • Bend the paper outwards about 2-3 cm from the centre fold
  • Bend each edge up about 2-3 cm in to make two tracks

  • Have races using a folded paper track
  • Make simple mazes out of anything that comes to hand and see if you can get your bot through it in shortest time.
  • Can you make the bot that goes in the straightest line?
  • What happens if you trim the legs shorter?
  • How many can you get going at once?
  • Can you make them prettier? (You could stick tissue paper butterfly wings on the top)
  • Can you make them look nastier?
  • Join two bots together with sticky tape or wire
  • Fight to the death – put two bots in a small flat tin. See who gets ‘killed’ first. Do the same in a china dish.
  • Have another fight but add wire ‘legs’ like a spider and see what happens.
  • Make your phone vibrate and put that in the dish too.