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V-UPGRATES

Posted on the 4th of Oct, 2019
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BEST PRACTICE PROJECT

About

The V-UPGRATeS project aims to strengthen the digital competences 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 projects aims 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 projects aims and objectives in mind the V-UPGRAtES Platform was introduced. It is an OER platform developed for teachers in order to individually upgrade their digital skills to meet the needs of the current trends.  The platform was designed to function as a transparent, multi-regulated, multi-assessed but self-directed process.
CPD is the key to success! The challenge for all is to create the challenging, motivational and approachable learning opportunities and to encourage VET trainers and teachers to keep up to date will all technological and educational advancements. Well-equipped, trained and supported educators will 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 labor market.
It is expected that the results of the project will not only influence the profiles of the teaching profession, but will introduce a new ideology in the upgrade of VTTs  with evidence based data generated from the dynamic tool. In this way CPD is 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 contributes 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 practicing 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 labor market thus achieving a better skills match for students and bridging the gap between education and the world of work.

  • Topics of the quiz and online courses are:
    • Internet security
    • ​Virtual learning platforms
    • Online communication tools
    • Media editing
    • Web publishing
    • Interactive technologies in the classroom

These topics are 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 safeguarding of personal data, they are able to discuss with their pupils and e.g. to contribute to protect 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 .

By the development and implementation of a self-regulated training process, the project consortium refers to findings of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) of the OECD (2013). According to this survey professionals in Vocational Education and Training have a significant need for more fully developed ICT skills (18%) and more effective incorporation of new technologies in the workplace (16%). Moreover TALIS shows that most VET teachers and trainers do not consider themselves digitally confident or able to teach digital skills effectively, with as many as 70% of respondents stating that they need more training.

Project aims in a nutshell:
• Improving the digital competences of VET professionals
• Furthering the professional development of VET trainers and teachers, thus achieving a systemic impact on teaching quality and learning outcomes
• Removing the most significant barriers to continuous professional development – namely schedule conflicts, a lack of incentives and prohibitive costs

V-UPRATES was developed within 30 months by an international consortium consisting of seven partners (IT enterprises, schools, further training institutions, universities) from Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Romania and Germany. Coordinator is the Institute of Civic Education, Leibniz University Hannover in Germany. 14 multiplier events took place for VET professionals, decision makers on regional and national policy level and coordinators for continuous professional development. 

Consortium:

  • Project Coordinator
    • Leibniz University Hannover, Germany
  • Project Partners:
    • Cyprus Computer Society, Cyprus
    • CDIMM Maramures Foundation, Romania
    • A & A Emphasys Interactive Solutions Ltd, Cyprus
    • Ingenious Knowledge, Germany
    • 1 Epal Peiraia, Greece
    • Instituto De Formacion Y Estudios Sociales (IFES), Spain

Budget Information:

  • 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 Start: 01-10-2015 - End: 31-03-2018
  • EU Grant: 363 851.50 EUR