Erasmus+ “Adult Education – It’s Never too Late to Learn”, our AdELe, as we call it, has finally come to an end. Three years, full of events, work, fun and joy have brought us to a quite different ending than we were thinking, once, we were planning the project. We are really happy and proud that the circumstances, that ruined the travelling part of the last meetings, didn’t pull us down and we took the bull by the horns and kept going with online meetings. Continue reading “The final Meeting – Is AdELe really over?”
The Greece meeting was supposed to happen in 2020 spring. We were all ready to go when everything changed and AdELe had to move online. Our fantastic team of adult educators didn’t give up and the very important topic “Improving and extending the supply of high quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of individual low-skilled or low-qualified adults” took place a little bit later. The aim of this LTT was to emphasize the importance how to reach, keep and educate the vulnerable part of the students. The educators of all the partner countries gave presentations on the same topics that we agreed before the meeting. It gave us a good chance to see how the partners are acting in similar situations.
The web-meetings usually need different approach and very well done preparations. When you are communicating through zoom you cannot feel, touch and perceive the same when you are together and having a meeting in the same room. Very often, you are dependent on the speed of you Internet, the language skills of each participant and the tasks that everyone has besides the meeting. That is why we are so very pleased with the online seminar arranged by our Greece partner on the topic, how to take into account the differences of adult learners and deal with it during the learning process with the focus on low-skilled and low-educated adult students.
After the two workshops, where in a short time, we were given the basics of how to teach the adult students, we were ready to make the lesson plans. Every country had to prepare the lesson scenario and on the next day present it to the others. The key points that we learned from the workshops were how important is the target group, learning environment, inclusive and positive feedback during the whole lesson. We also reminded the tips for the good scenario – think systematically before planning your whole lesson and use different and inclusive methodologies. Offer some dessert and tie it to your topic.
It was interesting to see how the participants had put it all into practice. We all liked the Croatian lesson plan with using different digital environments, especially Nearpod, what the Croatian team had taught to all of us in our last online seminar “How to be Creative in Adult Education?”. And we really liked the Netherlands approach – help the students to express their feelings – it’s not only a language learning process. I guess the Netherlands team has taught it to all of us during all of our meetings and I hope that we all are better in inclusive lessons and active participation.
Workshop 1 – ROLE OF THE ADULT EDUCATOR IN THE VULNERABLE GROUPS
The online meeting of AdELe “Extending and developing educators’ competences through the effective use of ICT”, caught the eye of the Teachers Newspaper (“Õpetajate Leht”) of Estonia and they wrote a long article about our project as a good example of online teaching and sharing the knowledge internationally. AdELe is really proud As the paper is the official media channel for Estonian teachers, it is written in Estonian.
Have a look and test your Estonian 🙂 Haapsalu VET shared their digital experiences.
On the last day of the online project meeting of AdELe, HKHK asked some guests to join us. The previous adult student of Haapsalu Kutsehariduskeskus (Haapsalu Vocational Education and Training Centre) Kaja Aaliste, who graduated as a Nature Guide this autumn, gave an overview of the Läänemaa Loodusfestival (Nature Festival of Lääne County), which was supposed to take place in May 2020 but had to be moved online with quite a short time. The Festival was organized from scratch by the adult students’ group as a part of their studies. It was a good example of how to be creative in adult education and put your studies into practice in quite a different way.
After that Tiina Alasoo from Tallinna Ülikooli Haapsalu kolledž, the cooperation partner of HKHK presented their specialities and the ways they had to re-organize and digitalize their studies during the spring period. They also pointed out the pros and cons of online studies based on the survey they carried out a week ago. The survey was carried out among both, teachers and students. Some pros that were mentioned were the possibility to record and better overall time management. The cons that were pointed out were mostly the lack of real human connection and passivity.
All the 4 days online and dealing with practical tasks were much more exciting than we could expect. Why couldn’t we expect that? It was our first time to do it online and we are also missing the real contact with our great, smart and wonderful project partners
During the third day of the meeting, after everyone had got so many creative ideas from the last previous days, it was time to go creative and start to put it all into practice. Every team worked on their own and tried the gained knowledge.
The result of this day is a Padlet full of AdELe Digi Grains – different micro-teaching objects to use straight in your classroom. The Padlet is still growing and all the materials of the teachers are also found in AdELe TOOLBOX.
The online seminar “How to be Creative in Adult Education?” brought together five countries to share their best practices about different online tools and environments. During the day every country carried out training in Zoom and introduced the digital tools their school has used and appreciated during their distance learning period. As the goal of the Erasmus+ project “Adult Learning – It’s Never too Late to Learn (AdELe)” is to gather together all the best practices in different areas of adult education, the participants can now share the gained knowledge with their colleagues and add the international value to their teaching process.
The topics of the seminar handled the interactive presentation tools, integrating your content with different online environments, creating student-paced activities online, practical online activities with Moodle and activating teaching methods for online learning to bring more energy, connection, theatre and humour to your online and real-life lessons. All the presentations were recorded and are available to re-watch and use in your lessons. Now the project is going on with putting it all into practice.
AdELe project started today in Estonia :) Sounds great, but not exactly like that. Correction – the new meeting of Erasmus+ project “Adult Education – It’s Never too Late to Learn” (AdELe) started today online and will be continued during the next three days. The topic of the current meeting is “Extending and developing educators’ competences through the effective use of ICT” The participants of 5 countries shared their experiences during the distance learning period in spring. Every school pointed out their difficulties and challenges, showed their most-used online environments and talked about the gained skills and how their teaching-learning process is going on at the moment. Tomorrow we will continue with an online seminar “How to be Creative in Adult Education.”
The meeting in Croatia is about Marketing and Sales of Adult Education courses. The most important thing is to reach your possible learners and together with the partners, AdELe is going to find it out.
The first day of AdELe meetings has always been a day to get to know how the same tasks have been put into practice in partner schools. For getting the best results out of that, we have set the questions as landmarks to lean on, and compare the routine how the things have been done in different countries. This time we didn’t perform the real presentations but the Croatians had carried it out as a discussion panel which actually gave the event a different and fresh angle.
The second day the Croatian well-known marketing trainer Siniša Necko gave us a speech about different marketing tricks. To put it all into practice, we had a look at the we-sites of every school and got a lot of feedback what could be changed and developed to help the students to find the relevant information and to come back again.
The third working day faced us with a question asked by Siniša Necko – Is Marketing really a Queen and the Created Content the King? To find that out we had to form International groups and start working. The Workshop involved lots of practical tasks connected with online marketing. We mapped the Key Words of Adult Education Courses in Google Ads and used them in the Headings of our Articles directed to our Clients. We also created some Facebook posts and put everything we had learned into practice. Women were ruling! The great co-operation of the team of Estonian, Dutch and Italian women got ready a great online campaign for Dante Language School’s English Courses. With all that knowledge we had gained, it seemed fun, creative, and easily followed at home.
Besides the days full of workshops and marketing terms, the Croatian school had organized us some interesting trips to show what their country looks like. One of the best features with Erasmus+ projects ist o get the real contact with locals, go to the places where they go and get to know so much about their culture. We visited a small tourism town Rovinj and admired the nice coastline, Yacht Club and the friendly atmosphere. The other excursion that was arranged for us was of course in Rijeka, where The Language School Dante is located. The enthusiastic guide Livio showed us around and told us stories about beautiful women, the times of glory of the Austrian Hungarian historical period and even about the Roman times. Wow, the culture and history of Croatia are full of stories, bright colours and different levels of past.
During September 23 – September 27 2019 the coordinating group of AdELE (Erasmus+ “Adult Education – it’s Never too Late to Learn”) met in The Netherlands The Hague. The meeting was hosted by one of the partners – ROC Mondriaan.
During this meeting of the coordinating group, the following activities took place:
- Evaluation of the project August 2018 till September 2019
- Workshop about activating learning by Lineke Klomp (trainer Dutch as a second language)
- Workshop about 21st century skills and new professions by Sebastiaan Bliemert (project leader House of Innovation)
The coordinating group has the opinion that the project is going on according to the expectations. After the first meeting of the coordinating group in Haapsalu, Estonia (30/10/18 – 3/11/18) the project objectives were made clear and the preparation for the meetings in The Netherlands and Italy could start. Both visits in The Netherlands and Italy were well assessed. The participants were given a good impression of the subjects that were discussed. All the partners were asked to update the information of the webpage as well as Facebook.
In the workshop we looked if it could be interesting to use ‘activating working forms’ in the project. We first experienced some of those exercises ourselves around the topics ‘introduction’ and ‘team-building’. It was good to see how the whole group participated.
After that, the group had some information about ‘activating working forms’ and explored their own ideas with this concept by making a ‘place-mat’ in small groups. When back together all groups named three words or short sentences (see picture). After this some information came about what ‘activating working forms’ specifically can mean in this international project. Special attention is needed for language and the kind of exercises. Finally the time spent together was being evaluated through a last evaluation, by every participant saying one word that summarized for them the meeting. All in all it seemed a good experience.
In the House of Innovation we experienced a lot of initiatives to motivate students of different levels. Secondary schools get the opportunity to send their students to this House of Innovation to join experiments and meet students as well as teachers from the vocational school. Furthermore, students from the University of Applied Science do their assessments here together with students from vocational level. The House of Innovation is an initiative of five Mondriaan schools. School of engineering, building & construction, it, automotive and electronics.
The group agreed on several improvements and future activities and shared the tasks for the upcoming weeks before the next meeting in Croatia. The colleagues of Croatia will send all partners the necessary information for the visit in November. The next visits are planned as following:
- Croatia, Rijeka, November 3rd till November 9th 2019 , theme marketing strategies
- Greece, Patras, March 29th till April 4th 2020 , upgrading education for migrants and unemployed
- Estonia, Haapsalu, Mai 10th till May 16th 2020 , effective use of IT for teachers
It´s time for the next action of AdELe! We have all moved on with this project and in May we had the next study visit to Italy, where our Erasmus + activities continued. The host partner of Adult Education – It’s Never too Late to Learn” (AdELe) was the vocational school For. Ma from Mantova, Italy and the theme of the meeting was In-service training as a service: how to build up adult education courses, curriculums, methodologies and how to aim the right target group.
The director of For.Ma Andrea Scappi indicated the best possible program and allowed the involvement of many realities in the area.
During these five intensive days, all the partners had an opportunity to share their own experiences about Adult Education. For. Ma, our host school, gave us a very informative and practical overview of how the adult learners are trained in Italian schools and companies, what kind of resources and conditions do they have for that. All the partners had a chance to see the vocational training centre For. Ma and the school´s other branches like the Bigattera center specializing in students with disabilities and using the the social farming method.
We got an interesting lecture from the local Unemployed Agency; visited the companies who train their employees at the workplace and saw the Youth Center, which is responsible for helping people to find a right work or start studying new skills. The Women’s Support Center is doing a great job. They are offering different services and classes for women. For example, the women can attend for the sewing course, parenting course etc. – the moto is that after leaving the centre she should be strong enough and confident at different social levels. We saw a versatile type of workshops and informal courses in cultural institutions, which also deal with adult education.
The Vocational training centre For.Ma is situated in Mantova, and the students, who attend this school, are from fourteen to sixty years old. The School has different specialities, like gardening, grooming, catering and agriculture. All our participants could try a bit gardening in Bigaterra Centre’s greenhouse. We planted parsley in the pots and it was a great opportunity to cooperate and practice some teamwork with others.
We also visited LUBIAM an important fashion company in the city of Mantua https://www.lubiam.it/.
We were all impressed how much this company invested into educating and supporting their employees, childcare, health awareness and building up the teamwork.
The next interesting teaching experience was given us in R84, an association of young people who want to revitalize abandoned industrial areas. We all got to see that learning something new doesn’t meant to be inside of the schoolhouse – learning is everywhere where there are people who want to learn or teach their skills. All our partners from ADELE were pleased to meet so brilliant people in R84!
A great surprise for us was that Telemantova interviewed us to learn about the ADELE project! So we even got into TV. What a great opportunity to spread the news about our project.
Anther interesting and practical activity organized by For.ma and with Hands On Food (handsonfood.it) based on precise scenarios on which the various teams had the chance to develop several solutions using a “high tech” approach. The participants had to solve practical tasks about safety when working in risky environments, productivity (work flow optimization – waste reduction), health risks (harmful substances present in raw materials and food), agri-tech (agriculture re-education, millennial farmers, sustainability). The participants worked in international teams and had a good brainstorm and much fun.
On the fourth day we went to Suzzara to learn about the work of the youth information office (service aimed at providing information to young people (historically defined as the range between 14 and 29 years, subsequently and also today in continuous review) in the context of training, work, free time, social life). I believe that we have really seen here how to build adult curricula and what enrichment activity with Piazzalunga • Cultura Suzzara youth office for education and job search
Then we discovered the Galleria del Premio Suzzara and we discussed about the museum educational program of development between artworks of the Suzzara Prize to the world of industry.
During the second part of the day we had still time to visit Centro Tecnologico Arti e Mestieri Srl corporate training and professional development company. Before driving back to Mantova we stopped and visited Abbey and Monastery of Polirone in San Benedetto Po – Museo Civico Polironiano, which is also one cooperation partner of For.ma.
We ended our 5-days meeting with a nice Farewell Dinner organized by the For.ma. This was a dinner that was served by the first year students and the families of the students were the guests. Again one impressive event which gave us lots of ideas to do the same at our scools.
The next AdELe’s study visit will take us to Croatia, where we will learn more about reaching the right target group and building up marketing in Adult Education business.