eTwinning in Vocational and Educational Training
Development and progress involve changes which permit us to grow as a society and enlarge our knowledge but which also force us, from an occupational point of view, to adapt to the new demands of the market. Vocational and Educational Training constitutes an essential educational stage in this adaptation task, allowing the student to achieve the necessary qualifications to occupy a quality job and increase competitiveness and productivity which are so necessary in the present circumstances.
From the National Support Service, we are working towards a greater presence of Vocational and Educational Training in eTwinning projects as we consider that as a programme it possesses a series of characteristics which make it ideal for working and collaborating with other centres at the European level:
- eTwinning supports the development of ICT projects which permit the students to acquire and apply in practice different digital competencies. Forums, wikis, chats and video conferences constitute the most usual form of communication for our participants. Work in eTwinning also encourages experimentation and the search for multimedia editing tools, contents managers, interactive evaluation systems, as well as the search for supports for innovative presentations. This enthusiasm for implementing new information and communication tools in the development of projects means that our user participants are familiar with the latest innovations in the ICT sector and are people who are capable of effectively adapting to ever increasing technological progress.
- eTwinning permits the students to work in collaborative environments where the participants are active elements in their own learning, discuss and decide on the objectives and aims of the projects, reformulate working methods, evaluate results and, above all, perfect and enlarge their knowledge on the basis of their collaborative group work. This work method is one of the ones which is most appreciated in the current business world, especially in the development of international projects between the headquarters and the different branch offices of the same company. We should also think about the enormous possibilities for the exchange of working rubrics and techniques among teaches and students to thus update processes and increase the possibilities of surviving in a competitive labour market where there is a multitude of offers and great demand.
- eTwinning encourages contact with foreign cultures and provides participants with the experience of getting to know new ways of thinking and different ways of life. The eTwinning programme provides the ideal framework for putting language skills into practice in a real context of communication and collaboration. Knowing how to manage these experiences and language skills is essential in the internationalized and globalized labour market.
Currently, the eTwinning project has 10,600 registered teachers who are working in vocational training, and are developing 1,420 projects related with the spheres of catering and tourism, business and market techniques, the food industry, electronics and electricity.
To illustrate this article we have taken as examples some outstanding projects by some of our participants.
Trade & Logistics between countries of the European Union, simulation methodology (2010).
This is a project which has been developed in the context of the occupational sector of International Trade and Commercial Management and Marketing with the participation of the Navarre school IES María Ana Sanz together with another two schools of Vocational and Educational Training in Germany and the Netherlands. In this project the students had the opportunity to lean about different economic contents simulating buying and selling operations through the exchange of experiences with their foreign partners. You can get more information on the project in the following link.
PEK, the traveller flea, 1 (2011)
This is a project which has been developed by students and teachers of the Middle Grade Cycle of Vocational and Educational Training in Microcomputer Systems and Networks with the participation of the IES San Clemente in Santiago de Compostela, the Teachers' Centre in Nájera (La Rioja) and another four centres from Greece, Rumania, Turkey and France. They have created a collaborative comic, which was well planned and had a suitable distribution fo tasks, developed with the help of different ICT drawing and design tools. You can find more information on the project in the following link.
The hole puncher (2011)
This project tackled the design, analysis and construction of a hole puncher and was developed with the participation of students from the CIP Virgen del Camino school in Pamplona, who were in the first year of the Higher Cycle of Mechanical Manufacturing Production Programming, together with two partners from Italy and Germany. Link to the project TwinSpace.
We recommend you visit the link to the following article where we include an eTwinning project kit for the management, coordination and evaluation of a Leonardo da Vinci IVT mobility project, in which two or more European centres exchange students for training in foreign company work places.
From the National Support Service we encourage you to participate in new eTwinning projects in the Vocational and Educational Training sphere which contribute to train the students in an occupation which teaches them the importance of learning and starting work in a business, developing one's own initiatives, effectively communicating in another language and looking for collaborative solutions to be able to develop quality professional work.
Original source of images: Foter, Morgue Files,Stock.xchng, Deviant Art and photo compositions from the images of the eTwinning projects selected.
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