Activity report of Erasmus+ KA2 project International Partnership for Improving the Quality of Teaching in Vocational Schools
Contemporary 21st century vocational teaching should be appealing to all its participants, including students, teachers and employers. Our students have access to a great variety of mobile devices, such as mobile phones, smartphones and tablets. With the help of these devices, the teachers are able to keep in touch with their students, employees and employers. Thus, our schools and enterprises are in great need of change, which includes changing their teaching forms and strategies. Three vocational schools from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia started activities of Erasmus+ KA2 project International Partnership for Improving the Quality of Teaching in Vocational Schools. The leader of the above-mentioned project is Lomza General Economic and Educational Center No.6, located in Poland. Other partners include Vilnius School of Technologies and Agriculture (Lithuania), Daugavpils Trade Vocational Secondary School (Latvia) and Perfect Project LLC (Poland). The duration of the project is three years, starting on the 1st of September, 2014 and ending on the 31st of August, 2017. The aim of the project is to modernize the education system through the preparation, testing and promotion of innovative methods and techniques of teaching and learning in vocational schools, using innovative, strategic approach by creating on the basis of innovative methods of teaching and learning techniques using multimedia technology and ICT learning materials developed vocational subjects, including foreign language training, to the creation of innovative training programs. No similar tools had ever been used in any of the partner schools before the beginning of this project. Mobile version of the platform is meant for smartphones and is not only an innovative tool for all the institutions, but also an extremely appealing platform for students and teachers. Moreover, it meets the expectations of our digital generation, who have skills of ICT usage, but insufficient knowledge of the usage of modern technology in learning. Project partner meetings were conducted every month. These meetings were meant for discussing the achievements of the project as well as various problems related to preparation and testing. Moreover, during the meetings the partners were able to analyse the ways of improving the quality of teaching in order to meet the expectations of the employers. Such questions as work in MOODLE platform, the ways of solving the difficulties of course implementation were also talked over. The strategic Erasmus+ KA2 partnership project International Partnership for Improving the Quality of Teaching in Vocational Schools is coming to the end. The final seminar took place on the 24th of March, 2017 in Daugavpils Trade Vocational Secondary School (Latvia). The leader and the partners of the project discussed and presented the achievements and activities of the last three years. Another final seminar took place on the 7th of April, 2017 in Vilnius School of Technologies and Agriculture (Lithuania). Representatives of partner project work groups and employers attended this seminar. Department of General Education and Vocational Training Head of Vocational Education and Guidance Division Mečislavas Griškevičius honoured the participants of the seminar with his presence. Representatives from Vilnius District Municipality Administration, various vocational schools, radio and television, employers, teachers and students were also present at the seminar. 20 partner representatives, 25 guests, 20 project working group members, teachers and school administration were present in total. The students greeted our guests and participants in Lithuanian, Polish and English. Directors of the partner schools, Valdas Kazlauskas, Paweł Drożyner, Jurijs Kuklis and the director of Perfect Project LLC, Poland Grzegorz Orłowski extended their warm welcome. Inaugural report Innovations and Innovative Technologies in Vocational Education and the Needs of Job Market was given by Professor Boguslavas Gruževskis, the Head of Lithuanian Social Research Centre. The Professor received a lot of questions and provoked a fruitful discussion. The most important tasks of the strategic partnership project were presented by Diana Ilevičienė. Four project results were revealed by working group representatives. After the coffee break, the tool was shown with the help of an innovative method; the class during which our students used the MOODLE platform took place in our IT room, while the seminar members were able to watch in with the help of the video conference. Vilnius School of Technologies and Agriculture working group coordinator Halina Stankevič performed the analysis of completed tasks, achievements and difficulties. Higher education representative Irena Čebrovienė was among those who took an active part in the discussion, while the employer representative Gytenis Lomsargis noticed that educational platform, its originality and MOODLE material is important for the employers. Seminar activity was summarized by project working group leader Małgorzata Rogalska. All students, teachers and guests who participated in the project received certificates. In conclusion, the usage of this innovative tool in teaching and learning process creates possibilities for improvement, while students, teachers and employers may strongly benefit from it.