Category Archives: Training Resources

Getting ready for the holiday break – Looking forward to next year

In my recent posts I have summarised the results that have been achieved for the EU-funded project TACCLE 4 CPD from the perspective of vocational education and training (VET). In addition I have provided insights into the work with Open Educational Resources (OER) as support for vocational teaching/learning arrangements. Altogether I have been relatively pleased when wrapping up the achievements by the end of the year. As I see it, I have completed my tasks for the project and thus I can enjoy the holiday break.

Before going on holiday I would like to make one point concerning the contribution of our project to the field of adult education. At the end of October I was invited to visit the kick-off meeting of a new EU-funded project “Artificial intelligence (AI) and vocational education and training (VET)”. In my guest presentation I had the chance to inform the participants of the initiative of the Finnish Government to provide online training for the whole population in matters related to AI. By that time the course “The Elements of AI“ had already reached one fifth of the population and it was gaining wider popularity. The partners of the new project were very interested of this course. In November I wrote a blog post of this working visit.

Later on I was informed that the Finnish government has promoted this course as n initiative of the Finnish EU-presidency. In this context the course will be made available in all EU languages and the goal is to educate 1% of the European citizens in the basics of AI.

I cannot claim that I would be an expert in AI or in organising such online courses. But I would assume that this particular pilot case is interesting for our project and in particular for its contribution to the field of adult education. I leave this idea at this point and let us see if we can get further in the beginning of next year.

I wish all my partners and contributors in the project and all readers of this blog a merry Christmas break and a good slide to the New Year 2020!

Highlights in the TACCLE 4 CPD project – Working with the theme “Open Educational Resources (OER)”

In my previous posts I have presented results that have been achieved in the EU-funded project TACCLE 4 CPD. I have drawn attention to the reports that have focused on promoting digital competences of teachers and trainers in the field of vocational education and training (VET). With this post I want to shift the emphasis from the final products to the process of work that has led to results. Here I want to highlight the collaborative process that has made it possible to achieve genuine results with the theme “Using Open Educational Resources (OER) in the field of VET”.

Before I go any further I need to make the point that I couldn’t have brought such results on my own – as a research in VET with researcher’s view on practice. To me it has been a highlight in this project to work together with my colleague Jan Naumann. Jan has a background in apprentice training for two technical occupations and then a long experience as trainer and as vocational teacher. Having completed his studies in pedagogics of VET he has joined us as a researcher in ITB. With his manifold experience in ‘training teachers and trainers’ projects we could focus on real use cases and teaching/learning arrangements. But we could also bring the documentation and promotion of OER further with our join efforts.

Preparing the report on uses of OER in the field of VET

When we started working with the report for the TACCLE 4 CPD project we made a decision that we will not try to give an encyclopedic overview on different kinds of OER. Instead, we tried to outline an innovation path (or learning journey) in using OER to shape and enrich vocational taeching/learning arrangements. From this perspective we presented exemplary cases – starting from simple ones and heading to more complex ones.

In the first exemplary case the use of digital tools was not highlighted. Instead – with the process in which apprentices were making their own tools – the pedagogic point was that the learners were producing tools for themselves. Thus, they were invited to think of the use of the tools and of the quality requirements. In the second example a learning path in robotics was enriched with the use of Open Resources (OR) into an integrative project that brought together different areas of vocational knowledge. In the third example the use of OR in a nodal point of hitherto separate learning path helped to link them into an integrated set of learning paths. In the fourth example the use of OER and OR helped to bring parallel learners’ teams (technical, administrative and catering) into a joint learning project – planning and organising go-kart races with self-planned project administration, self-made vehicles and self-organised catering services.

Preparing the supporting power point presentation on two exemplary cases

Whilst the report could provide rather lively summaries of cases that have been implemented in practice, it was necessary to give closer insights into the educational designs. Therefore, we prepared a power point presentation as an annex to the said report. In this presentation we could visualise the development, enrichment and integration of the learning designs in the second and third exemplary case. To us, this provided a basis for discussions, how to build upon such cases.

path1 path2

Preparing the ePoster  to share knowledge on the report and the exemplary cases

However, we didn’t stop working when we had finalised the report and the annexed power point presentation. We wanted to take a further step in using digital tools to promote knowledge sharing on such innovations. Therefore, we prepared an ePoster by using Learning Toolbox (LTB) – the digital toolset that had been developed in the earlier EU-funded project Learning Layers (LL). For this purpose we created an LTB-stack that consisted of three screens (as they appear on the mobile app of LTB). The first screen presents an opening message and then provides access to the report, power point presentation and to a relevant web page for accessing OR. The second screen presents the exemplary case of the single integrative project with additional information and detailed presentation. In a similar way the third screen presents the integrated set of learning paths. Finally we prepared the stack poster that can be used as a mini-poster in conferences.

OER in VET 1 OER in VET 2OER in VET 3

With this process of work we have tried to demonstrate, what we mean with the concept ‘innovation path’ in the context of promoting uses of OER in vocational teaching/learning contexts. And with using LTB as means to share knowledge we have tried to work with our own tools to deliver our message.

Presenting my contributions to TACCLE4 CPD project – Part Four: Shaping a new Theme Room Training framework

In my previous posts I have given an overview of the reports for our ongoing TACCLE4 CPD projects that I had completed so far. At the end I have mentioned that all the reports so far provide contributions to a new framework for developing training for teachers and trainers – with emphasis on promoting digital competences in the context of vocational learning. Already in the previous reports I had made the point that this should be based on the Theme Room training concept that was initiated and implemented in the Learning Layers project. During last week I have written a draft report to outline such a framework.  Below I will present some background information and the concluding section of the report. I think that they will give an idea, what kind of framework is taking shape.

The idea of Theme Room Training – oringins and new perspectives

This framework is being prepared as a final product of the EU-funded project TACCLE4-CPD. The project has continued the work of earlier TACCLE projects in promoting digital competences of school teachers. However, concerning the field of VET, this project drawn upon the experiences of the EU-funded project Learning Layers (LL). The LL project developed digital tools and training concepts to support workplace-based and vocational learning. The concept of “Theme Rooms” was developed as a part of the LL project to promote digital competences of vocational trainers.

The training in ‘Theme Rooms’ was initiated by the above-mentioned trainers who wanted to develop a more systematic training arrangement. With this approach they wanted to reach all training staff in their organisation. In this way they wanted to promote the use of digital tools in all areas of apprentice training.

The idea of Theme Rooms was based on the following pedagogic principles:

  • Combination of real and virtual learning spaces for focused thematic blocks for promoting digital competences;
  • Signing in into ‘theme rooms’ for completing the learning sessions with exercises and then signing out (with a flexible tempo);
  • Working together in teams in terms of peer learning and peer tutoring;
  • Rotating between different themes in order to reach common awareness of the subject matter and to develop a common competence base.

The concept of Theme Room training was put into practice as a staff training campaign during one month. This training campaign based on the Theme Room concept helped the trainers to become users of the LTB in their own training. Now, in the current situation, it is possible to identify many parallel approaches to introduce digital tools and new media into vocational learning. At the same time there are new qustions concerning the significance of digital technologies in the context of vocational education and training (VET). These are taken up in the new framework.

What does the new framework stand for?

The main elements of the framework are thematic blocks that can be used as a basis for the Theme Rooms of the updated training concept. The following set of thematic blocks is presented in the further sections below:

In the first thematic block the framework draws attention to digital transformation (as a major socio-cultural challenge) and to digitization (as a more specific development). This block invites to think, how VET provisions can prepare for such processes and/or provide co-shaping contributions.

The second thematic block discusses the readiness of older and younger learners to use digital media and tools in the context of vocational learning. This block invites to think, how older teachers, trainers and workplace mentors can find their own ways to use such tools to promote vocational learning. Also, it invites to think, how younger learners can best familiarise themselves with work processes, uses of traditional tools and digital tools in their own learning.

The third thematic block presents a set of parallel “Innovation paths” for introducing digital tools into vocational learning contexts and to enhance the digital competences of teachers, trainers and learners. Four of these paths have been named on the basis of specific projects or their final products – the Kompetenzwerkstatt, Learning Toolbox, Brofessio and CARO paths. The fifth path refers to smart uses of Open Educational Resources (OER). This block invites to think, what kind of vocational learning contexts are relevant for the user and what can be learned from the exemplary cases.

The fourth thematic block presents insights into the TACCLE4 CPD Routemap tool and its uses for organisational planning (of the use of ICT resources) and development of training (with focus on promoting digital competences). For both purposes the Routemap outlines levels of proficiency with corresponding criteria. In this way the tool invites to think, at what stage is the organisation regarding its use of ICT resources and what kind of steps can be taken with the help of training.

Altogether, the framework invites the readers to think of their own solutions and to find their own ways to promote digital competences in their field. Thus, the framework provides starting points and gives further impulses and references for further developmental work.

I guess that this is enough of the idea of the Theme room Training 2020 framework. I need to emphasise that it is still under construction. As I see it, the texts for the thematic blocks have already been shaped. Yet, each block needs a further layer for comments, questions, resources and impulses. So, there is still some more work to be done.

Teaching Control Technologies to younger children

These resources are designed to be used by teacher trainers or for teacher CPD courses. We have tried and tested all of the Taccle workshops with teachers across Europe as part of the Taccle projects.

Here we share our aims, objectives, and resources. You are free to use and repurpose the materials under the cc license at the bottom of the site.

 

Robotics / control technology for younger children

At the end of the session, teachers will be able to:

 

Use cubelets to solve simple programming problems

Programme a Beebot and demonstrate some examples of how the can use it in the classroom

List the advantages and disadvantages of each, their value for money and their applicability to the age range.

Resources

Control Technologies for Younger Children

 

 

 

Implementing The Welsh Digital Competence Framework in the Foundation Phase

Cylchoed Meithrin

What the (Welsh) Digital Competence Framework means for Methrin (Foundation Phase)

 

Introduction

4 strands 

  • Citizenship
  • Interacting and collaborating
  • Producing
  • Data and computational thinking

 

4 main points 

  1. Neither teachers nor children have to become experts in computer programming overnight, it does not mean that the children will be stuck looking at tablets or computer screens more often than they do now and it doesn’t need lots of money spent on technology.

 

  1. Just because a lesson uses technology does NOT mean it is an ICT/DCF lesson. Conversely, most of the activities that contribute directly to delivering the DCF at this age can be delivered without technology

 

  1. Less emphasis on Schemes of Work, more emphasis on integration across curriculum and thematic approach

 

  1. Many of the activities you do already can be enhanced or adapted to deliver DCF.  Remember, all the Meithrin competences are preceded by “…with increasing independence”. You are just setting the foundations for what will be developed further in Derbyn, Dosbarth Un / Dau

 

Suggested CPD activities

20 minutes on trying out some ‘unplugged’ activities, including playground games, which develop a range of digital competences and require  ‘homemade’ kit

 

Unplugged activity DCF strand Sub-strand Competence
Coding cards

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Complete patterns and sequences

 

Emoticon cards Citizenship Online behaviour and cyberbullying Identify emotions of others on a range of digital software, e.g. talk about feelings and begin to recognise emotions;

 

Human robots

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a simple sequence of instructions

 

1 and 2 variable sorting Data and Computational Thinking Data and information literacy

 

recognise that there are different types of data, e.g. sort and/or match objects/photographs/symbols

 

Sticks and stones

 

Data and Computational Thinking Data and information literacy

 

sort familiar objects using set criteria.

 

 

 

15 mins playing with a range of kit e.g. different robots and other non-screen user interfaces so that they can make an informed choice if they are thinking of buying anything

 

Activity DCF strand Sub strand Competence

 

Recognising card / wooden pathways

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Complete patterns and sequences

 

Beebot cards and pockets Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a simple sequence of instructions

Create one step instructions and identify the next step

 

Dash and Dot – gathering snow sheep

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a process making simple adjustments when needed

 

Cozmo Citizenship

 

Identity, image and reputation

 

Identify emotions of others on a range of digital software, e.g. talk about feelings and begin to recognise emotions

 

 

 

 

15 mins playing with some creative apps that develop digital competence and really work well with 3-4 yr olds

 

 

Activity DCF strand Sub strand Competence

 

Quiver Producing Planning, sourcing and searching

 

Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Adding sound to emoticons Producing Creating Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Osmo Producing Planning, sourcing and searching

 

Navigate through a piece of software using an internal menu to find desired item.

 

QR Christmas book Producing Creating

 

Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Chatterpix Producing Evaluating and improving

 

Describe in response to questions some of what has been done in the task, e.g. add comments using recording feature in software.

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Coding and Programming in Primary Schools 

These resources are designed to be used by teacher trainers or for teacher CPD courses. We have tried and tested all of the Taccle workshops with teachers across Europe as part of the Taccle projects.

Here we share our aims, objectives, and resources. You are free to use and repurpose the materials under the cc license at the bottom of the site.

course for Foundation Phase and KS2 teachers

Aims of the workshop

  • To introduce teachers to some of the basic concepts they will have to teach to deliver the new curriculum
  • To provide ideas, materials and activities they can use in the classroom.
  • To reassure teachers that they CAN do this!

 

Workshop Objectives

At the end of the workshop teachers will be able to:

  • Explain any unfamiliar terminology in the computing curriculum in a way that is appropriate for the age they teach.
  • List some key principles for teaching coding /control technologies to children.
  • Discuss some alternative schemes of work and examine issues such as progression, differentiation, assessment.
  • Recognise how things that they do already can be integrated or adapted and used to deliver the computing curriculum.
  • Implement at least 3 entry – level lessons for either Foundation or KS2 on each of the following topics: Logical thinking, Understanding Algorithms, Creating and Debugging Programmes, Controlling Things.
  • List some of the basic equipment they will need or would be useful.
  • Explore and evaluate a range of software.
  • Learn how to use a Makey Makey and use simple robots.

 

Target group

Primary teachers who have little or no experience of coding and programming but who will be delivering the new Computing curriculum.

 

Format

The course will be hands-on and workshop based. There will be no input session longer than 10 minutes and teachers will be guided through the same experiential processes that they can adapt for working with children in their own classroom.  No prior knowledge of programming is necessary and the level of computer literacy required is no more than is required to teach the current ICT curriculum in primary schools to KS2.

 

Resources (click below, redirects to Taccle3 website)

An Introduction to Coding for Younger Children.