BEST PRACTICE PROJECT
The V-UPGRATeS project aimed to strengthen the digital competencies of VET trainers and teachers (VTTs), increase their capacity and professional development thus achieving a systemic impact on the quality of teaching and students’ learning outcomes. The V-UPGRATeS project aimed to remove the greatest barriers of engaging in CPD that refer to conflicts with trainers’ and teachers’ work schedule, lack of incentives and the costs involved (OECD, 2013) and comply with the current budgetary conditions in utilizing all opportunities provided by the opening up of education.
With the project's aims and objectives in mind, the V-UPGRAtES Platform was introduced. The platform is an OER platform developed for teachers in order to individually upgrade their digital skills to meet the needs of the current trends and it was designed to function as a transparent, multi-regulated, multi-assessed but self-directed process.
The challenge for all was to create the challenging, motivational and approachable learning opportunities and to encourage VET trainers and teachers to keep up to date with all technological and educational advancements. Well-equipped trained and supported educators support the efforts of all MS to improve the quality of education, increase learning outcomes in an attempt to fight early school leaving, youth unemployment, reduce disparities, achieve better career guidance and skills match with the labour market.
The project did not only influence the profiles of the teaching profession but introduced a new ideology in the upgrade of VTTs with evidence-based data generated from the dynamic tool. In this way, CPD was oriented to the needs of each individual teacher while creating synergies with stakeholders to offer validation, recognition and incentives for further training.
The V-UPGRATeS project contributed to the aims of the European Union countries to support and empower VTTs by developing new approaches to strengthen the education and training paths of prospective and practising educators. This comes as a result of the realization that educators across all sectors but most importantly Vet trainers and teachers face many challenges as they deal with increasingly complex and diverse learning situations. Therefore, there is an urgent need for TTs to enhance uptake of ICT in teaching and learning in order to promote stronger coherence between the needs of the labour market thus achieving better skills match for students and bridging the gap between education and the world of work.
- Topics of the quiz and online courses:
- Internet security
- Virtual learning platforms
- Online communication tools
- Media editing
- Web publishing
- Interactive technologies in the classroom
These topics were the results of a V-UPGRATES survey (IO1) among VET teachers. Moreover these empirical findings strongly correspond with Digital Competence Framework of the EU. Both reference systems have a focus on the management of one’s digital identity and reputation. Only if VET trainers and teachers are familiar with the safeguarding of personal data, they are able to discuss with their pupils and e.g. to contribute to protecting them from delicate online situations.
Overview of the autonomous learning process of V-UPGRATES:
- Step 1: Test skills and knowledge with a multiple choice quiz
- Step 2: Improve with V-UPGRATES online courses
- Step 3: Evaluate with hands-on online tasks
Upon successful completion of all steps, each user receives a V-UPGRATES certificate. It validates the non-formal learning results. On top the user can get in touch with other VET teachers and trainers, moreover he/she gets information about face-to-face IT courses in their area, to even deepen the competences acquired in the online procedure.
All mentioned features are included in the V-UPGRATES interactive platform, which is to be found here: https://upgrates.vupgrates.eu.
- Project Website: https://vupgrates.eu
- Project Results European Commission: ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-project-details/#project/2015-1-DE02-KA202-002412
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/vupgrates/
- Related article: NA-BIBB.DE – Strengthening the Digital Competences of VET Educational Staff
- Funding source: Erasmus+ KA2
- Project Title: Validating and Upgrading VET Trainers' and Teachers' Digital Skills
- Project acronym: V-UPGRATeS
- Project Code: 2015-1-DE02-KA202-002412
Duration: 30 months
1 October 2015 - 31 March 2018
Total Budget: € 363 851.50
- Coordinator: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Germany
- Project Partners
- Cyprus Computer Society, Cyprus
- Fundatia Centrul pentru Dezvoltarea Intreprinderilor Mici si Mijlocii Maramures, Romania
- Instituto De Formacion Y Estudios Sociales, Spain
- 1 Epal Peiraia, Greece
- A & A Emphasys Interactive Solutions Ltd, Cyprus
- Ingenious Knowledge GmbH, Germany
- Fundación Pascual Tomás, Spain