Vocational education institutions are currently facing the challenge of seeking innovative ways of conducting their education work (teaching, training, mentoring), especially in light of the recent technological, economic and social changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) published in 2017 describes the digital competencies specific to the teaching profession. However, there appear to be certain competencies (not all of them necessarily digital) that are inevitable for a quality online education delivery. Recent study of the European Commission “Fight against COVID-19” among educators has shown that education systems of the EU member states were unprepared for the crisis of this size. Although there is a vast number of online courses/learning modules available, they are mostly not VET specific. Ready-made material with VET specific content is less developed or missing completely. In most cases, these focus exclusively on theoretical knowledge; in a few cases, demonstrations in ad-hoc videos, or step by step instructions are used to show the more practical skills linked to a specific VET profession. Vocational education and training appears to be strongly disadvantaged.
This gap is most significant in two distinct areas:
1) VET teachers need to upgrade their teaching skills to the requirements of the online, digital or virtual training delivery. While there are still plenty of similarities between teaching online and in the classroom, there are many areas that are qualitatively different. The role of the teacher changes and becomes also a:
- E-learning Designer
- Technology Specialist
- Content Coach
- Social Director
- Managing Correspondent
All these roles need to blend in a new teacher able to deliver engaging lessons.
2) VET teachers need to be equipped by new (digital) tools to design and develop their digital online or virtual training lessons, such as:
- Learning Management Systems
- Learning Experience Platforms
- Video Training Tools
- Microlearning Platforms
- Mobile Tools
- Project Management and Planning Tools
- Content Creation Tools
- Content Management Tools
- Communication Tools
The COVET project intends to design a quality training program for VET teachers and trainers to help them meet current and future requirements on digital training delivery in VET.
This CPD training program will cover both above mentioned areas to make the VET teachers competent for the quality of online training and its overall management.
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