Technological Empowerment for VET trainers. An Open Educational Resource (OER) to train VET trainers in the design and use of m-learning methodologies
Erasmus+ – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
In 2012 European Commission presented a new Rethinking Education Strategy. Among other relevant aspects Commission said that the use of ICT and open educational resources (OER) should be scaled-up in all learning contexts and insists on the need of providing trainers with proper training in this regard. Moreover, the Common Framework for Digital Competences for Trainers 2012, published by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport reinforced this argument stating that trainers need to improve their digital competences to normalize the use of technological resources in class. The MOBILE-TECH project wants to contribute to make this a reality.
M-learning is the addition of learning (in any modality), mobile devices (Mobile, tablets, etc.) and wireless network (Pacheco and Robles, 2006). This learning modality has some unique attributes that can enhance education beyond the ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning (Shuler, 2009). There are many other functional advantages: direct interaction student-trainer, collaborative learning, cheaper technology, etc.; m-learning also has pedagogical advantages: allows individual or collaborative learning, trains problem solving skills, allows access to information in the moment of need, etc.
Nevertheless we have detected some barriers for its implementation in VET:
- Most of VET trainers are not aware about the potential of mobile devices as a tool for learning.
- Mobile devices, and specifically smartphones, have a bad reputation “majority of people on Earth believe mobile phones, beyond not being conducive to learning are in fact antithetical to it” (UNESCO Mobile Learning Week Report, 12-16 December 2011, p.11).
- Most of VET trainers do not have the necessary competences/knowledge to use mobile devices for learning (ICT skills, knowledge of the different apps which can be used for learning, how to create/modify their own apps, how and with which purpose to use mobile devices).
The aim of MOBILE-TECH project is to make mobile learning a reality in VET centers by supporting teachers, trainers, educational staff and youth workers in acquiring or improving the use of mobile learning and related digital competences in an Open Collaborative Learning Platform.
MOBILE-TECH project would not only providing the tools but also the skills and competences for VET trainers to increase their capacity to roll out m-learning methodologies which will allow teachers to create new pedagogical contents and teaching materials for m(mobile)-learning apps, and implementing them in their classrooms.
To achieve these objectives, we will carry out several activities which can be gathered in three stages:
- A Trainers´ guide for mobile resources to be used in the classroom. The guide will include National and European good practices about m-learning and different mobile resources which can be used in a VET class and which resources can be used to create own apps.
- A Trainers´ course: How to develop new training resources and teach mobile learning, to provide the VET trainer with training materials to develop the necessary competences and knowledge to implement mobile learning in a VET class. Specifically, the course will be focus on how to develop own contents and how and for what to use different mobile applications. The course will be tasted in the consortium countries: Spain, Finland, Greece, United Kingdom and Germany.
- An Open Collaborative Learning Platform for trainers´ learning multimedia resources, including a section to enable interaction among users. All the project materials will be hosted in this platform. Not only the guide and the course but also different pedagogical materials related to m-learning in the classrooms.
With MOBILE-TECH project we want to contribute to the adaptation and empowerment of the VET trainers to the demands and needs of their students by providing them with the necessary competences to address mobile learning.