EPALE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; E-Platform for Adult Learning in Europe
Internationalisation and opening of adult education
SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE
This publication was originally published in German under the title »Der Blick über den Tellerrand – Internationalisierung und Öffnung der Erwachsenenbildung«.
Internationalisation and opening of adult education
SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE
Editorial, Team EPALE Austria
Introduction, Christian Kloyber, Director bifeb
EUROPEAN LEVEL 10
Seeing the bigger picture
Adult education and Europe – Ways to reinforce a versatile partnership?
Alan Smith – Former Head (a.i.) of the Department for Adult Education at the European Commission
For strong adult education in Europe
Gina Ebner, Secretary-General EAEA
18 Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Education in Germany – Present and future Silke Bettray, Federal Institute for Vocational Education 21
Europeanisation of Adult Education – Positive and negative aspects
Birgit Aschemann, ET 2020 Working Group on Adult Learning
AUSTRIAN LEVEL 26 Initiative for Adult Education Maria Gross, Initiative for Adult Education 28
Certification and recognition of skills for adult educators
Gudrun Breyer, Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba)
Promotional opportunities in the Erasmus+ Adult Education Programme
Karin Hirschmüller and Madalena Bragança Fontes-Sailler, EU-Programme Officer KA2 Erasmus+, National Agency Erasmus+ Education
PROJECT LEVEL 36
The challenge of opening up adult education
Thomas Fritz, Manager of lernraum.wien, Vienna Adult Education Centres
Inclusive education with tablets. An Erasmus+ mobility project
Thomas Tröbinger, project coordinator at atempo
Strategies for open areas of knowledge and ideas with the public library of Dornbirn as an example
Franziska Klien, Franziska Tschofen, Ulrike Unterthurner der Stadtbücherei Dornbirn
Opening & digitalisation of adult education
David Röthler, WerdeDigital.at, PROJEKTkompetenz.eu
MOOCs and OER are two sides of the same coin
Joachim Sucker, Hamburger Volkshochschule
EPALE – What is in it for you?
Editorial Team EPALE
The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) is a multilingual, open community financed by the European Commission for teaching and training staff, researchers, scientists, politicians and all those professionally involved in adult education in Europe. The objective of EPALE is the promotion of quality, exchange and networking in adult education. The E-platform offers news, blog posts, a resource centre, a European events calendar as well as a project partner search function. EPALE has been online since the autumn of 2014 and the Austrian EPALE National Support Service started its full operation at the beginning of 2015. It is established in the OeAD-GmbH at the National Agency Erasmus+ Education and, right from the beginning, pursued the aim of coupling the promotion of EPALE with an intensive campaign to support the internationalisation and opening of adult education at the national level. The first year of EPALE in Austria was characterised by a variety of lectures and presentations, at own events as well as at numerous conferences, sessions and meetings of important stakeholders of adult education in Austria, among them the coordination centre for the European Agenda of Adult Education and the Conference
for Adult Education in Austria (KEBÖ). In parallel to that, the Austrian EPALE coordination centre has been intensively contributing to the contents of the European platform. Right from the start there was close cooperation between the Austrian EPALE National Support Service and the team of Erasmus+ Adult Education, which is to be continued and intensified in the future, too. The present publication is based on the series of events »Seeing the bigger picture: internationalisation and opening of adult education« [»Der Blick über den Tellerrand: Internationalisierung und Öffnung der Erwachsenenbildung«], which took place in November and December 2015. EPALE Austria would like to thank everyone contributing to the success of the series of events as lecturers and experts as well as active participants.
The team of EPALE Austria hopes you will enjoy reading this publication Carin Dániel Ramírez-Schiller Ricarda Motschilnig Katrin Handler
Christian Kloyber bifeb Austrian Federal Institute for Adult Education
Since his studies at the University of Vienna and at the Universidad Nacional Aut贸noma de M茅xico Christian Kloyber has been dealing with international and critical cultural, educational and societal theories. One focus lies on exile research (above all the European exile in Mexico). He is a scientific-educational staff member and head of the Austrian Federal Institute for Adult Education. Contact email@example.com www.bifeb.at
EPALE – and the bigger picture Christian Kloyber
In 1914 my grandfather was drafted into the First World War as an Austrian – this is my introduction to the conference »Seeing the bigger picture: internationalisation and opening of adult education« [»Der Blick über den Tellerrand: Internationalisierung und Öffnung der Erwachsenenbildung«]. When he returned to his hometown in 1919 he had become a Czechoslovak. In 1939, without leaving his hometown, he became a German, and in 1945, first stateless and then a (new) citizen of Austria, to where he was expelled. My grandfather lived and worked trilingually – German, Czech and Polish. He completed his apprenticeship with a Czech family; he worked as a journeyman and then, during the war, in Krakow, where he spoke Polish. His apprentices came from Czech and Polish families. Was my grandfather a European? He died in 1969, shortly after his hope was ended by the suppression of the Prague Spring. He did not die as a European. That’s my opinion. To the surprise of those attending the conference, who now might have asked themselves, why I chose this introduction – a very personal one, and one affected by my biography – I will now talk about my schooldays. Over the last three school years of upperlevel grammar school I successfully put up resistance. When I graduated in 1973 I had received a »wrong theme« for 50 percent of my homework in German because I had signed almost all of them with a call: »For a united Europe!«
I spent my school years in a divided city. The old town was characterised by town houses, the parish church and the »Böhmzeile« – barbed wire border and death strip, and the new town, called »Lager« [camp]. Therebetween lay the train station – terminal station. Beyond the barbed wire enclosure lay »České Velenice«. The district »Neustadt« was called camp; during the First World War it was one of the biggest refugee camps. Currently there is a lot of talk about borders in Europe again, barbed tape is being rolled out, fences are being erected at Europe’s internal borders. I raise the question myself: What has this got to do with EPALE? And I answer myself. An essential lot! In my opinion adult education always also is political education in the understanding of participation, emancipation and self-empowerment. The European Union is a humanist »project« – a peace project. A platform for adult education in Europe is facing these challenges. Therefore, the discourse on this platform cannot (only) restrict itself to a quality concept (competences, skills and validation). The challenge is much bigger and it concerns all of us. Seeing the bigger picture must not only be a »view«!
Seeing the bigger picture: internationalisation and opening of adult education In the course of its development adult education in Austria has time and again been characterised by ideas and examples which were fed by international experiences and had transnational implications. On the one hand this entails opportunities and chances for innovations and cross-border impulses. On the other hand adult learning teachers face challenges and are looking for new ways. These chances and challenges of the open and internationally oriented dimensions of adult education are discussed in this publication by the authors from different perspectives.
Ricarda Motschilnig National Agency Erasmus+ Education, EPALE Austria Mag. Ricarda Motschilnig, MSc. completed her studies of pedagogic and educational science, followed by a master's degree in social and cultural anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam. Over the past years she worked in international adult education in various countries. Among other things, she was responsible for the representation of interests and coordination of strategic European projects at the European Association for Adult Education in Brussels. In the National Agency she deals with the implementation of EPALE in Austria.
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Why now? Why do we need a more intensive consideration of the definition and strength of the international dimension in adult education right now?
Digital adult education Today people are confronted with digital aspects in all situations of life: be it at work, when booking their holidays, or for banking transactions. The digital developments offer many points of reference in terms of content as well as methodical chances and challenges for adult education. In that, the focus is in particular on the following questions: How do digital media change learning and which consequences does this have for adult education? For some time now the European discussion has been centring on open education, open educational resources and open platforms (like EPALE, the European E-platform for all those working in adult education), and digital learning environments are gaining popularity. Digitalisation creates whole new forms of cooperation and organisation of educational work. Associated therewith are also new challenges for
the cooperation between the institutions as well as for the professionalisation of teachers when handling digital media in adult education. Adult education for more cooperation and solidarity Societal developments make European and international solidarity more and more important. And it is this solidarity which forms a cornerstone of adult education. Adult education as well as the civil society make fundamental contributions to the promotion of equal opportunities, non-discrimination and civic competence. Democratic political education, focussing on tolerance and respect, forms the foundation stone of adult education and nowadays is all the more important throughout Europe. The activities in the area of citizen participation and Âťcommunity educationÂŤ strengthen the ability to judge and to think critically and thus support humanity, dialogue and tolerance with regard to social change. This, as well as the (honorary) civic commitment in times of crisis, should be acknowledged and supported better.
Education is a key Educational careers are passed on in many cases, and for many groups access to education is made difficult. The findings of PIAAC (an OECD study on the basic skills of adults) show that the group of those persons who only have low basic skills is a lot bigger in all countries than was assumed up to now. In order to underline the importance of educational justice the improvement of access to high-quality education for all learners and the adaptation to the increasing diversity of learners are demanded at a national and European level. Here, adult education makes an important contribution to an improvement of the chances of people in all areas of life and contributes to an improvement of the economyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s productivity but also to the democratic political development and to a better coexistence. See the bigger picture and look beyond the horizon!
Adult education and Europe – Ways to reinforce a versatile partnership?
Alan Smith Former head (a.i.) of the Department for Adult Education at the European Commission and Coordinator of the EU Programme for Adult Education »Grundtvig« Alan Smith committed his entire professional career to the European educational cooperation. Particular milestones were his role in the development and implementation of Erasmus as well as the years of responsibility for the setup and coordination of the EU programme for cooperation and mobility in adult education, Grundtvig. For his contribution to the European educational cooperation he received honorary doctorates from universities in Belgium and Great Britain. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Europe – and in particular the European Union (EU) – has rarely been facing greater challenges than these days. The endangered environment, the economic and financial crisis, tremendously increasing flows of refugees, increased danger by terrorist attacks from the inside and from the outside, and the rapid ascent of anti-European and xenophobic political movements … The strong cohesion within a supportive society in Europe based on democratic values is more important than ever before. When the inner exclusion tendencies and the cracks in the foundations of the European house itself become more and more visible instead, this cannot leave us indifferent. Because the commitment for a democratic and caring society – European and worldwide – is one of the cornerstones of adult education (AE). The challenge posed by the refugees makes it particularly clear. In order to find convincing and sustainable solutions, politics decisively rely on the support of the civil society, and here AE plays an outstanding role: because in the efforts to make the integration successful and to counteract the growing danger of radicalisation – among the ethnic minorities, but above all in right-wing populist groups – AE must and will be a very decisive player. This year we look back on two decades of EU support for transnational cooperation and mobility in AE – 15 years of which under the name of »Grundtvig«. It has meanwhile become an indispensable source for innovation and quality enhancement. Thus, without any doubt, AE needs the EU. But vice versa, this holds true as well. Also without the current crisis landscape, the role of AE is essential for a well functioning and democratic European society. In other words: the EU, for its part, needs AE, too.
How can a functioning partnership »EU-AE« be designed in an ideal way? First, of course, by a fairer distribution of the EU’s educational funds to finally do justice to the societal and economic status of AE. But this alone is not enough. Therefore, a structural answer to this question was sought in the lecture. First, this took place by means of the elaboration of a model, which was to illustrate the interaction between AE and Europe (in particular the EU). Then, measures were identified which AE organisations at a local and national level can take to strengthen the European dimension of their work. Europe as a co-designing framework parameter of AE The comprehensive educational-political processes at EU level (ET 2020) as well as the AE-related elements, like the European Agenda for AE, have an indirect co-designing influence on subject-related and political priorities of AE. EU policy areas which are not directly related to education, like foreign trade (TTIP) or competition, can also have a substantial impact on the outline conditions of the AE sector. By means of financing the support from the structural fund of the EU determines the orientation of AE work also at the local level. (National) AE organisations can intensively involve themselves in the educational-political processes and events – and in the necessary lobbying work to maintain the interests of AE in the other policy areas. AE as player in the implementation of European policy AE is not only determined by European policy, it actively participates – in particular with the programmes supported by ESF and AMIF – in the implementation of a wide spectrum of European policy: >
> Demographic change
> Consumer policy
Migration & asylum
> Digital agenda
> Regional policy
> Social policy
Rural spatial development
> Justice (education in the penal system) >
Information & communication
National AE organisations can get involved by active policy monitoring, commitment to programme improvements (bureaucracy reduction, better working conditions for continuing education personnel, …), measures for a joint use of yields and news coverage with great public appeal. Europe as a subject of AE: education in European politics Today, political education is considered an area of AE, which is difficult to design – and the communication of European topics all the more. Nevertheless: »Coexistence in Europe« is an integral component of the support of active participation in the modern society. New, people-oriented formats and closer cooperation between the organisations working in this subject area are sought, and in addition to that, a cross-functional approach in which »Europe« is not only made a subject head-on but also as a dimension of other specialties. Europe as an experience and source of innovation: AE institutions in European cooperation Participation in European cooperation and further training results in a variety of yields: new contents, methods and instruments, improved expert knowledge, enhanced skills in areas like foreign languages, project management and IT, increased intercultural sensitivity and motivation, a more stimulating learning environment, enhanced international relationships as well as the formation of long-term professional networks – let alone the formation of long-term friendships across borders. Therefore, the European
cooperation must be lifted from the marginality to the centrality of AE work. This concerns Erasmus+, but also several other relevant EU programmes. National AE organisations should participate in European cooperation themselves and support their members with information and counselling, assistance in the search for partners, promotion of the exchange of experience, utilisation and dissemination of the yields, Europe-related further training of the staff, etc. Strengthening of the European dimension in the organisational structure of AE In order to sustainably anchor the European dimension in the culture of an organisation »Europe« must appear as an explicit priori ty (part of the mission statement) of the institution. The inclusive development of a comprehensive European strategy, anchoring of the responsibility for Europe in the management team, and the establishment of a contact point for practical questions are indispensable. Voluntary European audits and certification measures as well as the presentation of European awards for outstanding achievements are other possible instruments. In addition, the European activities of the members should be included in annual reports, »mediatised« effectively and considered in the national AE statistics. Cooperation and strategic alliances with suitable organisations (also outside the education sector) in European matters are an important flanking measure.
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The author would be delighted about feedback and an exchange of ideas on this subject. In that, e. g., issues like the following may be relevant: >
Is the suggested structure suited to capture the partnership »Europe – AE«? How should it be refined, if necessary?
What would have to happen to optimise the contribution of AE to the development and implementation of a European policy?
How can education in European politics be reinforced in AE?
Which barriers are there to a stronger participation of AE institutions in European cooperation? How can they be overcome?
Which are the decisive success factors in the development of a European strategy for an AE organisation (local/national)?
For strong adult education in Europe
The role of adult education is underestimated in many sectors and at many levels of policy-making, including the European level. With representation of interests and lobbying, the European Association for the Education of Adults attempts to achieve more attention, but also support and better political strategies for adult education. The association (EAEA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; European Association for the Education of Adults) has 137 members in 44 countries, from small adult education centres to large umbrella associations. Its headquarters is in Brussels, where 5 employees manage coordination, lobbying, networking and projects. The information and communication strategy is implemented in Helsinki. We see two important directions in our work â&#x20AC;&#x201C; firstly, to be the European voice of adult education and to represent the concerns of our members towards the European institutions, and secondly, to support and maintain the network of members. This, among other things, takes place with our communication: we attempt to inform the European level about what is actually happening in the countries and regions, and vice versa also our members about which new political developments there are at the European level. The EAEA reacts to European developments by participating in work groups and conferences and giving statements on notifications and consultations. However, we also attempt to present our own approach by presenting topics, which we consider important, for example with our Grundtvig Award or with political statements and events. On the basis of annual topics we work on creating awareness of certain areas and also design our political work, respectively. In 2015 we had two main topics: adult education and health on the one hand, and development on the other. In the area of health we held a conference, presented the Grundtvig Award on this subject, and published a strategy paper. In the area of development we organised two
Gina Ebner EAEA
Gina Ebner is the Secretary General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). Prior to that, she worked as a language assistant in England, trainer for German as a foreign language and English in Vienna, educational member of staff at bfi Austria and project manager at EUROCADRES. Contact email@example.com www.eaea.org
conferences on the subject of the ›Post-2015 Agenda‹, one of which at the European Development Days, and published a series of articles on development-related political work of our members on our website. The European strategies in adult education are a central topic, of course, and in order to accompany this, we developed a number of measures. Thus, once a year we publish country reports, which are prepared with contributions of our members. In this manner we can present a current perspective on the government reports, which the European level receives from the member states. We furthermore participate in work groups of the European Commission. We participated very intensively in the development of Erasmus+ and continue accompanying the development of the programme with feedback at regular intervals. In order to have a further ›pressure group‹ representing the interests of adult education in Europa we formed an ›interest group‹ in the European Parliament. So far, twelve parliamentarians have joined, who meet twice a year to discuss education-relevant topics. In 2018 a statement of this group will be presented. The situation of adult education at the European level is currently hard to estimate. One year ago the department (which also comprises vocational education) was transferred to the Directorate-General for Employment, wherein, however, the programme part (Erasmus+, including EPALE) remained with Education. The Directorate-General for Employment is currently in the process of elaborating a new ›skills agenda‹ and we hope that adult education will play an important role in it. Especially in the education sector, but also in other areas, for example in the Directorate-General for Justice, the main focus changed this year: due to the terrorist attacks as well as the refugee situation, there is now a stronger focus on coexistence, democracy, tolerance and respect than before. We at the EAEA attempt to be present in all these areas and to underline the importance of adult education. 16 | E U R O P E A N L E V E L
We are also working on a number of – from our point of view – strategically important projects: for example, we established a Grundtvig network on educational outreach work, ›Outreach Empowerment Diversity‹ (> www.oed-network.eu), which we will continue in 2016 within the scope of Erasmus+ KA3 in order to dedicate ourselves to the implementation of the recommendations elaborated by us. In 2016 we will also start a new project on the subject of ›financing of adult education‹, since this is a key subject of many of our members. We care deeply about young adult learning teachers, and for five years now we have been holding a ›younger staff training‹ once a year, in which young employees of adult education institutions from all over Europe can participate. On the one hand, the multi-day seminar serves to get to know the European institutions up close and personally, and on the other, to support the exchange of adult learning teachers. In order to reach more persons we founded an ›online peer learning platform‹ within the scope of a Grundtvig project (see > www.ae-pro.eu for more information about the project, and > www.ae-learning.eu to get to the platform directly). In December 2015 we will complete the first course, but we already plan to offer a new one from March on. Within the scope of this learning platform it is possible to attend the entire training as well as individual courses. One key subject remains: to clarify to politicians and other responsible actors how important adult education is, and to thus gain respective support and funding. Thus, recently, we developed the ›Manifest on Adult Education in the 21st Century‹, which hopefully will be of use for all those working in this area (see > www.eaea. org/en/policy-advocacy/manifesto-for-adult-learning-in-the21st-century.html). Based on this manifest, we want to lead a campaign to achieve a European year of adult education (for 2018?), to jointly celebrate the joy and the incredible possibilities which adult education opens up for its participants. We hope that as many colleagues as possible will participate!
Implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Education in Germany – Present and Future
Silke Bettray Federal Institute for Vocational Education
She studied sociology and information and media sciences at the University of Düsseldorf; after her studies she worked, among other things, at a management and career consultancy and as a lecturer at the University of Düsseldorf. In 20102012 she was a consultant for research communication and transfer evaluation as well as a research assistant at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Since 2013 she has been a research assistant at the National Coordination Centre European Agenda Adult Education as well as at the National Coordination Centre EPALE at the National Agency Education for Europe at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education (BIBB). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.bibb.de
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Adult education is considered the currently weakest link in the development of national systems for lifelong learning. For this reason the European Council adopted the resolution for a renewed European Agenda for Adult Education at the end of 2011. This resolution is based on the strategic framework for cooperation in the field of general and vocational education (ET 2020) and emphasises the significance of adult education in the achievement of the ET 2020 targets. In contrast to the previous action plan for adult education, the renewed European Agenda for Adult Education equally refers to subjects of general and vocational adult education/continuing education. Furthermore, for the first time, the implementation process of the European Agenda for Adult Education will be accompanied by national coordination centres.
Institutional connection and tasks The national coordination centre for Germany has its headquarters in the National Agency of Education for Europe [Nationale Agentur Bildung für Europa] at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education [Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung] (NA at the BIBB). It was established there on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the end of 2012 and thus works on behalf of the BMBF and the European Commission. The coordination centre understands itself as an ambassador for the concerns of adult education and pursues the task of strengthening the significance of adult education in the continuum of lifelong learning. Central to this connection is the cooperation with the national multi-level system of adult education and the relevant players (federal, state and local authorities but also associations, social partners and other multipliers). The National Coordination Centre of European Adult Education (NCC Agenda) does not only want to sensitise the national educational landscape for the objectives of the European Agenda but vice versa also introduce best practices of national adult education at the European level.
This is reflected in the newly suggested priority areas for the Agenda:
At the beginning of the activities of the NCC Agenda a monitoring committee was constituted. The central task of the monitoring committee consists in assurance and feedback of the content work of the NCC Agenda with ministries (at federal and state level) and science (vocational and adult education).
Governance: guarantee of coherence between the adult education policy and other policy areas
Offer and increase in utilisation of high-quality adult education
Flexibility and wider access to adult education
Improvement in quality assurance
The members of the monitoring committee of the NCC Agenda are Prof. Dr. Reinhold Weiß (Deputy President and Research Director of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education), Dr. Norbert Lurz (Head of the Division for Continuing Education at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in Baden-Württemberg and Re presentative of the Conference of Ministers of Education), Prof. Dr. Josef Schrader (Scientific Director, German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning) und Thomas Bartelt (Division for Continuing Education/Labour Market at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The main topics of the NCC Agenda activities in the years 2012 to 2014 were – according to the recommendations of the monitoring committee – the subject areas »Demographic Change/Active Ageing« as well as »Basic Education/Literacy«. Since 2015 the monitoring committee has been flanked by two advisory bodies of the NA at the BIBB, which are composed of actors of (general) adult education and vocational education.
New priorities With the Juncker Commission the responsibility for adult education was reallocated from the Directorate-General of Culture to the Directorate-General of Employment at the beginning of 2015. A proposal of the EU Commission for the new priorities in the European cooperation in the field of general and vocational education once again underlined the significance of adult education for the successful implementation of the strategic framework ET 2020.
In order to implement these new European priorities at the national level the monitoring committee determined the subjects »Basic Education« and »Learning with Digital Media« as thematic focuses from 2015 on. Both focuses are directed at »disadvantaged target groups«, which with regard to their participation in continuing education are underrepresented and thus are particularly paramount within the scope of the Agenda.
Event formats In addition to the classical offline and online media various event formats are particularly relevant for the NCC Agenda, which so far have been implemented successfully. These include, in particular, expert and regional conferences, stakeholder meetings as well as European peer learning activities. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the various events the NCC Agenda cooperates closely with the competent ministries at federal and state level as well as institutions of adult education from practice and science.
German Continuing Education Day A particular highlight in 2014 was the activity as co-organiser of the German Continuing Education Day [Deutscher Weiterbildungs tag]. In that, under the motto of »europa BILDEN« [EDUCATING
Europe], the participation in continuing education measures was advertised with more than 550 events throughout Germany and national »role models of continuing education« were awarded. Furthermore, the co-organisers of the German Continuing Education Day drew up a »political platform« as a joint document. This political platform addresses the educational policy decision-makers and establishes the respective motto and its relevance. Due to the national focus topic of »Learning with Digital Media« of the NCC Agenda from 2015 on they will also be co-organisers of the German Continuing Education Day 2016, which will be dedicated to the subject area of »The Future of (Continuing) Education in the Digital World«.
»European adult education in Germany« In spring 2015 the German coordination centre for EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe) started its work in the NA at the BIBB. Together with the responsibility for the European educational programme Erasmus+ in the area of adult education and the NCC Agenda, the NA at the BIBB thus joins all three of the service centres for adult education established by the European Commission under one roof. For the European cooperation in the area of adult education in Germany this constellation enables numerous synergies at the technical as well as the organisational level. The activities of the NCC Agenda are based on the understanding that lifelong learning implies an extended understanding for learning and the development of a broad learning culture. This includes the promotion of employability, yet exceeds it. The learning of all citizens is to be stimulated and supported in all phases and areas of life, at various places of learning and with diverse learning methods.
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Europeanisation of Adult Education – Positive and Negative Aspects
The processes of opening-up and internationalisation in adult education are currently taking very different forms. We encounter these processes in the helpful form of digitalisation, which dissolves geographic borders to a certain extent and massively alleviates cooperation. As learners as well, we have become locally independent and more flexible with regard to time. At the same time adult education is confronted with a new task in the form of the current refugee movements. For adult education this is about much more than providing German language courses. Migrants possibly also arrive as teachers; German teachers without training require professional accompaniment; the majority society is faced with entirely new learning tasks – and this only outlines the most obvious aspects.
Birgit Aschemann CONEDU association
ET 2020 work groups are instruments of the »open-coordination method« (OCM) and have been used since 2000. The OCM implements European educational goals in which European organs otherwise do not have any legally binding organisational competence.
Birgit Aschemann is an educational researcher and adult educator; she is employed with the CONEDU association as an editorial employee and author of technical contributions. She also continues to work on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Education and Women’s Affairs – BMBF, the University of Graz, Frauenservice Graz [Graz Women’s Services], the Austrian Initiative for Adult Education and the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba) as well as presently (2015) as a member of the ET 2020 work group »Adult Learning«.
Ideally, the OCM promotes cooperation, exchange and agreements for common goals and guidelines between member states. Guidelines and goals are specifically determined including indicators, benchmarks and time plans. The commission
Contact email@example.com www.aschemann.at
The example of migration elucidates the following: The question of who has to learn (and why) is interesting in relation to the internationalisation of adult education. Learning within the context of internationalisation is often associated with power: 'Who learns' is also a question of dominant values and authority. In the public discourse internationalisation of adult education is often equated with Europeanisation (or European guidance). I will address this matter in the following while referencing my own experience as the Austrian representative in the ET 2020 work group »Adult learning«, which was established in 2014–2015 at the responsible office of the European Commission.
checks the implementation of these specifications on a national level. On-going publication of progress reports and analyses create a certain pressure for action. In this respect intended reciprocal learning within the work groups is not open-ended but integrated in superior planning and oriented towards specific results. Multiple elements work together to (also) control the direction of the work groups with regard to content: This includes provided data and commissioned studies, public country comparisons concomitant with a certain justification pressure, specific promotions as well as the argumentation process with authorities and practical constraints. National representatives discuss content and jointly draft guidelines and recommendations accompanied by these communication elements. Among other things, three highly interesting and fruitful »peer-learning activities« took place in 2014–15 in the work group »Adult learning«. Country examples and similar constellations also provided ideas for Austria, resulting in initial implementation steps, especially with regard to basic education and ICT/OER. Moreover, the emphasis was also on »effectivity, efficiency, coherency«. The topic was advanced by a consulting firm on behalf of the commission; the firm developed a model and an instrument for evaluating educational-political measures in the member states. Controversial discussions were held in the work group. The prevailing orientation towards the labour market and norm-guided monitoring of adult education systems as such were criticised, among other things. The model is to be tested and implemented in 2016. Differences in guidance values are indubitably also the reason for friction in Europe-related work in adult education. Adult education has guidance values such as learning, development and critical reflection. It is a matter of course to also link learning with emancipatory claims in broad segments of adult education; questions of meaning and value are (also) raised. Orientational knowledge
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is just as important in this context as action or control knowledge. The European Union has guidance values such as competitiveness, economic growth, employability. As a key organ of the economic union, the commission deals with the ›how‹ and not with the ›why‹. A threat scenario of falling behind the competition looms in the background. Europeanisation in adult education presently also tends to mean economisation. An important role for promoting growth is also assigned to general adult education. The causal chain »training/continuing training – labour market success – economic growth – prosperity for all« is the premise. Critics describe this causal chain as the »gospel of education« because the connection between training and labour market cannot always be empirically verified unequivocally. A critical view of larger correlations – seeing the bigger picture – remains necessary during the present zenith of internationalisation and Europeanisation. The view beyond national borders towards Europe should not be sufficient for us. The view beyond European borders and beyond the borders of a dominant and economic action logic would be beneficial for adult education.
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Initiative for Adult Education
Maria Groß Office of »Initiative Erwachsenenbildung« [Initiative for Adult Education]
Maria Groß completed her studies in pedagogics and special and therapeutic pedagogics at the Universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt. For years she had been working for organisations of the social and educational sector focussing on human resources development, concept development and quality management. Since 2011 she has been assigned with the management of the office of »Initiative Erwachsenenbildung«. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.initiative-erwachsenenbildung.at
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Definition The Austrian Initiative for Adult Education arose from a cooperation of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs and the nine Austrian provinces. Its objective is to enable adults who lack basic skills or never graduated from a lower secondary school to continue and finish their education. The innovative approach of this project is due to two characteristics. First of all, the implementation of consistent quality guidelines for courses of this programme in all parts of Austria and, secondly, the fact that all courses are free of charge as a result of national funding and – since 2015 – an additional co-financing by the European Social Fund (ESF). Background The Initiative for Adult Education was set up due to the quite large number of low skilled people in Austria. Although the level of qualifications has been rising gradually over the last decades, the results of PIAAC indicate that more than 17 % of the inhabitants – nearly one million people – have poor literacy skills. Further studies show that there are still nearly 250,000 people whose qualifications in regard to reading, writing, arithmetics and the use of technical facilities are not sufficient for their employment or their participation in everyday life. Every year about 3,700 Austrian teenagers (nearly 4 %) finish their compulsory education without qualifications. It is estimated that the target group for second chance education at lower secondary level amounts to 220,000 people. These numbers include people speaking German as their first language as well as those who use German as their second language. The Project’s Progress The Initiative for Adult Education was founded on behalf of the government programme 2008–2013 after nearly three years of negotiations and concept development. During this process the partners were representatives of the ministry and the nine Austrian provinces as well as experts of adult education. They achieved an official agreement of the ministry and the Austrian provinces in regard to the financing as well as a document describing the projects’ intentions, the quality standards and
the main structure and procedures during the implementation. The agreement was signed in 2011. The first programme period was from January 2012 to December 2014. The outcomes provided by monitoring and evaluation demonstrated the fulfilment of the objectives in regard to the numbers of participants, the meeting of their needs and the satisfaction of all parties concerned. Therefore a second programme period from 2015 to 2017 has been established and yet intensified by the means of co-financing by the ESF. Programme The Initiative for Adult Education is to cover two programme areas: Training of basic skills and lower secondary education. The target group of the programme area concerning basic skills consists of people who didn’t have the opportunity to gain such skills, irrespective of language, birth or potential graduations. The main quality guidelines of this programme area refer to the individuali sation of the courses and the adaption to the needs of adults. One of the most important merits of the Initiative for Adult Education in this context has been the development of a framework directive for the adult’s training of basic skills, which is the first one of official character in Austria. The target group of the programme area of the lower secondary education consists of people without graduation at this level. The curriculum focusses especially on compulsory education for adults. In addition to the training of various subjects a clearing period at the beginning and counselling in regard to the transition into employment or to further education at the end are very important parts of this programme.
of their trainers and counsellors in accordance with the guidelines of the Initiative for Adult Education. Programme Management The accreditation group, consisting of six adult education experts, surveys the quality of the applications in regard to the Initiative’s quality guidelines. In case of a successful accreditation the institution then applies for funding. The approval depends on the balance of the various courses of the different programme areas and the different target groups in the particular region. An approval is granted if the guidelines are met and the programme fits the needs of the participants in the region where it is conducted (which means that funds are only granted when there is a need and a target group for the accredited offer). Institutions taking part in the Initiative’s programme commit themselves to continuous monitoring and evaluation. A monitoring board supervises the process and the results. By means of this procedure the Initiative expects to gain further knowledge about the specific problems and advancements of adult education. The Initiative’s Viennese office serves as a communication platform and supports the partners. A steering committee consisting of the region’s and the ministry’s representatives and social partners supervises the project’s strategy and design.
Accreditation – Quality Criteria Austrian institutions that want to take part in the programme of the Initiative for Adult Education have to apply for an accreditation and provide evidence of the following three quality criteria. Firstly, they have to fulfil general requirements for an educational establishment, secondly they have to hand in an appropriate concept of their programme and thirdly they have to prove the qualification
Certification and recognition of skills for adult educators
European success model â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Validation procedure made in Austria
Gudrun Breyer Austrian Academy of Continuing Education (wba)
The wba was founded in 2007 by ten of the leading Austrian adult education institutions and has meanwhile earned the status of a European success and showcase model for professionalisation in adult education. Thought not itself an educational provider, the wba examines and certifies the competences of adult educators (trainers, educational managers, consultants and librarians) according to defined standards, which were previously acquired in manifold ways. Thus the wba provides a qualified degree for adult educators and concurrently sharpens the profile of "adult educators" since adult educators in Austria come from different areas and have various qualifications and experiences. The core task of the wba is recognising competences that have been acquired formally, non-formally and informally.
Process Gudrun Breyer has herself undergone the wba procedure and is a qualified adult educator with a focus on educational management. For many years she had worked at a language institute. She is an ISO auditor and quality management representative for the wba and has accompanied candidates through the wba certification process since 2008. Contact email@example.com www.wba.or.at
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The wba provides an extra-occupational degree as an adult educator without extended attendance phases based on its modular and individually adapted structure. >
wba candidates receive an online portfolio at www.wba.or.at at registration in which suitable competence verifications are entered.
Already existing or still required competences are defined in this Âťstatus determinationÂŤ.
Missing competences can be acquired through suitable continuing education offers at the convenience of the candidate.
An accreditation council, consisting of five representatives from universities, education and research institutes examines the submitted verifications. wba candidates are individually accompanied through the entire certification process.
Besides adult education practice, competences in educational theory, didactics, educational management, consultation, librarianship and information management as well as social and personal competences must be verified and a three-day assessment centre training must be completed in order to earn the wba certificate. A wba diploma can be acquired based on the wba certificate.
The fact that the essential quality factors that were recorded in 2009 in the "Validation Guideline for Non-Formal and Informal Learning" by Cedefop had already been included in the wba procedures provides an indication as to how innovative the wba procedure was at the time of founding and how future-oriented the actions of the founders were: >
Providing orientation and initial consultation as well as the personal accompaniment of candidates through the validation process
Observing quality factors during the validation process such as transparency (for procedures and standards), reliability, validity, separation of task areas for consultants and evaluators, etc.
Accompanying quality assurance: in the form of monitoring, internal and external evaluations and a quality management system (according to ISO 9001 for wba)
Contribution to the European lifelong learning Lifelong learning is a long-standing component of European edu足 cational policy at the latest since the Memorandum for Lifelong Learning of 2000 in which the importance of evaluating learning results outside of the formal area is emphasised in regard to increased employability and mobility. Adult education is also relevant in this regard. The Commission Notification "Man lernt nie aus" [Learning never stops] (2006) identifies the continuing professional development of adult education professionals and the quality of the provider as essential aspects for increased quality in adult education and concomitantly for increasing professionalisation in this sector. Validation procedures such as the wba provide an essential contribution in both areas: for the certification of persons and the accreditation of educational offers. Individual countries are urged to develop respective validation procedures in the Council's Recom-mendation for the Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning 2012. The wba contributes to this work as well as to the Austrian LLL:2020 strategy: While action line 3 refers to the qualification of teachers, action line 10 deals with procedures for recognising expertise and competences gained in a non-formal or informal way in all educational sectors.
Recent milestones: >
Approximately 920 adult educators will have been certified according to wba standards by the end of 2015.
Since 2009 the permeability between adult education and universities finds its expression in occupational field-specific university courses that are offered by the Austrian Federal Institute for Adult Education in cooperation with universities.
The wba qualification profiles have been learning resultsoriented since 2013 and fulfil the preconditions for the integration into the national qualifications framework.
In October 2013 the wba received the validation prize of the European Observatory of Validation of Non-formal & Informal Learning, thereby recognising the exemplary status of the wba's competence recognition procedure Europe-wide.
Cooperative system as the basis for success The wba was founded as a joint project by the ten largest adult education associations in Austria, the Conference of Adult Education Austria (KEBĂ&#x2013;) and the Federal Institute of Adult Education, thus establishing a new broadly supported standard for adult educators. The wba is promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs and through funds from the European Social Fund.
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Promotional Opportunities in the Erasmus+ Adult Education Programme
Adult education institutions that see the bigger picture and thus wish to integrate European contexts in their work can submit project applications within the programme Erasmus+ Adult Education. Erasmus+ is clearly oriented towards the educational-political priorities of the Strategy Europe 2020 and the goals of the strategic framework for European cooperation in the area of general and vocational education – ET 2020. This article outlines both promotional tracks, »KA1 – Mobility in adult education« and »KA2 – Strategic partnerships«.
Maria Madalena Bragança Fontes-Sailler
National Agency Erasmus+ Education
National Agency Erasmus+ Education
She studied business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and has worked in the adult education and cross-sectional department of the OeAD GmbH, National Agency Erasmus+ Education since 2009. She also works for Euroguidance (European network of educational and professional consultation) and as a project supervisor for Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships in Adult Education. Prior to that, she was active in adult education, among other things, in dialogue work between Roma and non-Roma people and in the area of anti-discrimination at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.
She started working at the OeAD 18 years ago. Fontes-Sailler, who was born in Portugal, completed her studies in philosophy at the University of Porto and thereafter taught philosophy at an academic high school in Portugal for two years. She then completed her postgraduate joint master's studies in European Tourism Management at universities in England and Germany. For many years Fontes-Sailler worked in the international school, university and adult education sector, and, beside Austria and Portugal, she lived in Israel, Russia and Belgium for a total of seven years.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bildung.erasmusplus.at
Contact email@example.com | www.bildung.erasmusplus.at
KA1 – Mobility in adult education This promotional track allows an organisation to send employees to other European countries to participate in previously determined continuing education offers. The employees, for example attend conferences and continuing education courses, gain insights into other institutions in the form of job shadowing/visitations or receive teaching assignments at a host organisation. The essential factor is that these activities are closely connected to the so-called European Development Plan and learning materials are integrated in the organisation after the stay abroad. The following chart illustrates the core aspects of a KA1 application: Requirement analysis for the institution
European Development Plan
Organisational plan for quality development and internationalisation
Measures for the fulfilment of the plan: mobilities
Effects on personnel, learners and organisation
Teaching assignment at host institution
Integration of expertise gained into the organisation
Continuing education course
Submission as a consortium Multiple Austrian organisations that deal with similar topics can also submit a joint consortium application. What is particularly interesting: A joint application reduces the administrative expenditure for each institution, which is especially beneficial for organisations that only want to send out a few employees. This possibility also indirectly promotes regional cooperation between institutions that follow the same vision.
© NA Erasmus+ Erwachsenenbildung AT
The conception of the project begins with the requirements analy sis of one's own institution in regard to quality development and internationalisation (e. g. pertaining to the European dimension in one's own activity, personnel competences, new teaching methods or instruments or also training and learning processes). The European Development Plan is based on these determined requirements and describes the goals that the company has laid out for the promotional time frame and the measures (mobilities in the form of stays abroad) that it is implementing to achieve this.
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Experiences and learning results made by the employees as a result of mobilities are integrated into one's own institution, e. g. through workshops for colleagues, the usage of methods learnt in one's own work area or by starting new initiatives. Stays abroad within the context of a successful KA1 project will thus be beneficial for individual participants as well as for the organisation as a whole.
Best-practice example for a KA1 project atempo from Graz works with people who have learning difficulties and disabilities. Six professionals participated in training at two European tablet courses in Portugal and Finland and learned how to work with tablets within the context of education in order to become an even more inclusive European educational provider for basic digital education and inclusion. Course participations for the project significantly support the professionals' acquisition of digital competences for the usage of tablets and knowledge transmission within the context of their own international continuing education events. > www.atempo.at
KA2 – Strategic partnerships In a strategic partnership multiple European institutions enter into intense cooperation over a time period of one to three years in order to reach certain goals. It is critically important to develop project content that has a lasting effect, which could refer to materials and manuals that will be required in the next years or learning results that better prepare the institutions for prospective developments. The institutions can choose between two types of strategic partnerships. The »project for the exchange of best-practice methods« focusses on the exchange of specific topics, methods, tools, etc. with other countries. For example, best-practice examples are researched and evaluated according to defined quality criteria; transferability is examined, and a collection of these examples is prepared on the basis of this. In contrast to this, the »project for promoting innovation« develops entirely new materials, which could refer to a seminar curriculum, manuals with teaching materials or also method books. In any case, this type of project refers to products the development of which requires more work days; the quality and innovative characteristics of these products provide an essential gain for the adult education landscape.
learning and civic engagement. An extensive media distribution of results sharpens the awareness for the potential of very old people on a local, regional, national and European level. Which products and results can be expected? >
Comparative European report that summarises the research results regarding the status quo of learning and civic engagement of very old men and women
Manual for trainers that equips service providers in the social and health sector and adult educators with instruments and methods for training performance and application
Practical manual that equips professionals and volunteers with ideas and techniques on how to support very old persons in learning and meaningful activities
Policy recommendations for decision-makers and advocacy groups for older persons on a local, regional, national and European level.
The project is coordinated by queraum, cultural and social research. > www.act-80plus.eu
The budget consists of individual, modularly combined cost categories for both project types. The financial settlement is performed for the most part via unit costs, which alleviates administration expenditures. Best-practice example for a KA2 project The project »Active 80+: Valuing and valorising the knowledge and skills of people 80+« develops a scientifically based training for professionals and volunteers working in facilities for old people. Old to very old people are to be supported with special methods and instruments so that they can contribute their own ideas about
Further information regarding the submission of applications: > www.bildung.erasmusplus.at
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The challenge of opening up adult education
On the occasion of the event »Seeing the bigger picture« [„Blick über der Tellerrand«] of EPALE on November 26th and 27th 2015 I was invited to express a few thoughts on the challenge of opening up adult education. This contribution follows the lecture at the conference.
First of all, I would like to change the word »challenge« from the title into »chance«, since I am convinced that any opening up of adult education inevitably represents a reaction to the changing societal conditions. An adaption of adult education to new aspects, with a previous critical analysis of the possibilities and necessities, is its chance not to stay on the old, proven, well functioning tracks. This, by no means, signifies jumping on every new bandwagon that passes, but institutional reflection and renewal oriented by the respective principles of the institution.
Thomas Fritz is the manager of lernraum.wien, Institute for Multilingualism, Integration and Education of Vienna adult education centre. He has been working as a teacher, trainer and continuing educator, lecturer and project manager in adult education for a long time already. Main topics: multilingualism, basic education, super-diversity and continuing education. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.vhs.at/lernraumwien
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Secondly, I would like to consider the word »opening« from three perspectives: Inward opening (i. e. a close look into the institution and its participant structure), outward opening (quasi into the surroundings of the institution, in a spatial as well as in a human dimension), and outward / outward opening (in the context of international networking within the scope of European projects).
Inward opening The look into the institution, a more detailed consideration and analysis of partici pants, employees and offers is what, in the current discussion, is often (wrongly) understood as »intercultural« opening. In 2010 the Vienna adult education centres, as the only big adult education institutions so far, performed a survey of the participants and the employees. The results of the survey cannot be represented in detail in this context, but only in terms of a few highlights. Thus, the survey of the participants resulted in the fact that in the so-called regular courses, i. e. what is preferably called the classic offer, approx. 33 % have a so-called migrant background. A more
exact analysis of this number results in two peer groups, which have a particularly high portion: 15–25 years and older than 60 years, and (and this is particularly remarkable) a difference between the »migrant backgrounds«, which reflects the immigrations at different points in time. The educational level of the participants, too, seems to be relevant, which is high overall (general qualification for university entrance and university). A more exact analysis and representation of the survey follows. In brief, however, it can be noted here that the image of the Vienna adult education centre as an adult education institution which with its classic offers addresses the educated middle classes, can be confirmed. The »inward« look offers a sound basis for opening up to other groups with special offers and formats. The analysis of adult education in this »inward look« is also a subject of cross-institutional analyses, as, for example, presented by Kukovec, et al. (2014), in which the representation of certain people not only as participants, but in particular as players planning and teaching at the institution is made a subject.
so-called »spacelab« for youths (> www.spacelab.cc), where they likewise enter without obligations and, if they want to, can also participate in longer offers. At the interface between the first and the second »outward« there is a project of the European Association of Education for Adults, which now enters a second implementation phase: Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity (OED). In this project, on the one hand, so-called good practice models were collected and analysed on an international basis. This represents a very interesting source of inspiration for outreach projects, like »German in the park« (URL, see Literature). Following the analysis of existing projects, a guide for outreach work (URL, see Literature) was developed in numerous and very committed discussions, and ultimately a collection of guidelines for politics at the regional, national and European levels formulated. A slightly more detailed overview is given by an article in the Magazine of Austrian adult education centres [Magazin der Österreichischen Volkshochschulen] (Fritz 2015).
Outward / Outward Outward opening Opening the doors of adult education and reaching out seem to become more and more important. A little project of the Vienna adult education centre is to serve as an example here: »German in the park« [„Deutsch im Park«]. In this project open learning offers for German as a second language and basic education are provided at four Vienna parks in the summer months. Three course instructors (one male and one female for German as a second language and one for basic education) are available for people who would otherwise tend not to visit an institution (yet). There is no registration, no continuous compulsory attendance, no performance tracking and no (gentle) force to continue. These offers find approx. 30 interested persons per park every year. At another level, but in parts absolutely comparable, there is the
The last section already built a bridge between the two »outwards« established in this contribution. I am now concludingly focussing my thoughts on the chance (or sometimes challenge after all) of international cooperations in EU projects. In a manner of speaking, these may also be understood as recommendations. In principle, I see European projects as a very big chance, not only to see the bigger picture from different angles, but above all to advance developments in consortia with international expertise, which cannot exist from the institution and in the »national« situ ation alone. A look at the OED network can clarify this: there are a number of so-called outreach projects in Austria, and we know many of them. International cooperation, however, produced a lot of new ideas, and above all, the discussion with partners from many European countries created a new quality. Because not everything that happens here in Austria is the only way to
tackle challenges. The different perspectives above all made the guidelines a document, which probably would not have existed in this form from a mono-national perspective. Thus, international projects are a big chance for the further development of the institution and, not to forget, the employees involved.
The look at all dimensions of the opening process is a valuable perspective, indispensable for adult education, because only then we will be able to turn the challenges of the years to come into chances.
Participation in international projects produces an international network of partners, which cannot only be used within the scope of further projects. What I like to call »institutional friendships« is a result of the international cooperations, which is particularly valuable (and in addition, professional and personal friendships also result, an effect which likewise is not to be underestimated). The central concerns in international projects, which result from a number of years of experience, are briefly listed here: >
Looking for/finding partners who are competent and experienced in the subject and not only interested in the project because they see financial possibilities;
Looking for/finding partners with whom there is a good communication basis because project work sometimes is very exhausting and demanding and a good and solidary network helps with that;
Since it is a bitter experience that with many projects the results are no longer available following the end of the project or are not even used anymore, respectively, I see the so-called sustainability as a central concern. In my opinion the institutions are called upon to ensure this sustainability because, though there are efforts for ensuring sustainability on the part of the European Union, it tends to be questionable how well they can function.
In summary, I would like to say that the chances of an international cooperation are bigger than the challenges, maintaining the chances, however, is always incumbent on the respective institution and cannot be delegated to Brussels.
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Literature Fritz T (2015): Outreach – Empowerment – Diversity (OED) Ein EU-Netzwerkprojekt. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule. 255. > http://magazin.vhs.or.at/magazin/ 2015-2/255-april-2015/bildungsthemen-aktuell/outreach-empowermentdiversity-oed-ein-eu-netzwerkprojet/ Kukovec B et al.(2014): (K)ein Hindernis!? Fachkräfte mit Migrationshintergrund in der Erwachsenenbildung. Wien. Löcker Verlag Internet sources: spacelab: > www.spacelab.cc OED collection: > www.oed-network.eu/doc/rescources/OED_Good-practicereport-incl--grid-DE.pdf OED guidelines: > http://issuu.com/eaeapublications/docs/4.1_oed_ methodological_guidelines_e/1?e=10512309/14826585 OED policy recommendations: > http://issuu.com/eaeapublications/docs/7.1_oed_ policy_recommendations_en/1?e=10512309/14826627
Inclusive education with tablets An Erasmus+ Mobility Project
Introduction The following contribution is about how people are prevented from participating in education and how new technologies, correctly used, can make a contribution to directly enable participation. The statements are based on practical experiences from educational work with people with learning difficulties here at atempo in Graz. atempo is a non-profit educational institution dealing with basic education, vocational qualification and the placement of young adults in the first labour market. Furthermore, atempo offers internationally oriented training for educational staff of all areas on the subject of »inclusive education with tablets«.
We want inclusive (digital) education and all benefit from it The inclusion of people with learning difficulties and disabilities in education is a primary political and social objective of European societies (UN convention about the rights of people with disabilities, ET 2020). Research in the European area arrived at the conclusion that successful educational practice, which is good for learners with learning difficulties, offers benefits for all learners. Here, among others, pedagogical concepts, like cooperative learning, but also personalised learning are to be stated. In particular, the use of assistive technologies has to be positively highlighted, too, since this does not only help users with learning difficulties in learning but all learners (European Agency for Special Needs Education and Inclusive Education 2014, p. 15 cont.). Long before the smartphone or tablet era computers played an essential role in our education systems. Most pedagogues and education experts agree today that the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has a diversified, positive influence on learners. They enhance motivation and learning success and promote abstract, higher thinking (DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology, 201).
Thomas Tröbinger atempo
Thomas Tröbinger works as trainer and project coordinator at atempo. He trains people with and without learning difficulties in using iPads and tablets for job and everyday life. His training focuses are basic operation, taking photographs and filming with the iPad, design of presentations and special accessibility features for people with handicaps. As project coordinator, Thomas Tröbinger is specialising in EU projects dealing with the use of tablets and new technologies in education. Prior to joining atempo he committed himself as representative for handicapped students at the University of Graz. Thomas Tröbinger completed his master’s studies in sociology and is a trained Internet designer. Contact email@example.com www.atempo.at/de
The widespread use of mobile computers like smartphones or tablets now also points the way in education towards new forms of digital and mobile learning. This holds new possibilities for all learners for better participation in the education system.
One is not disabled, one is being disabled! In todays discussion disability is mostly no longer understood as an individual characteristic or problem of a person but as the result of a mostly complex interaction between an individual (physical) disposition on the one hand and societal outline conditions and standards on the other. It is about a change in perspective: away from individual capacities of a person and towards an understanding of disability as a matter of social responsibility and societal opportunities. Disability, understood as a social matter, asks what disables people with a physical damage or impairment from equal, social, cultural and economic participation. A human being with a physical impairment, e.â&#x20AC;&#x160;g. a visual impairment, is only being disabled from social participation when he/she has no access to an adequate visual aid, for example glasses.
Of impairments and challenges Beside the physical and sensory impairments known in public perception, we now want to turn to the often not so visible, intellectual impairments. These are of particular significance when the subject of inclusive education is concerned. People with a cognitive or intellectual impairment themselves mostly want to be referred to as people with learning difficulties. They find this choice of words less stigmatising than the terminus disability. The restrictions or impairments of people with learning difficulties are varied, since it is a very heterogeneous group of people. In general, however, it can be summarised that the following cognitive functions can be impaired or function differently, respectively
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the organisation of thoughts, the general processing of information, taking in and remembering information (retentiveness), the learning ability, and finally verbal and nonverbal communication. These impairments can of course have a direct impact on education. Therefore, people with learning difficulties frequently have, e.â&#x20AC;&#x160;g., problems with acquiring basic cultural techniques, like reading, writing or arithmetics. Beside the cognitive impairments stated frequently occurring social restrictions are also of significance: people with learning difficulties are often excluded and lose social contact to people outside their peer group. They furthermore have difficulties living independently and autonomously. This is then often referred to as so-called learned helplessness. This can develop when there is little confidence in peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independence within the scope of their upbringing and socialisation and many challenges of everyday life are simultaneously taken off their hands. The result is not only a real dependence from other people but also helplessness experienced by those affected themselves. On closer inspection it can be noted that probably all people of the modern information society are confronted with similar challenges up to a certain degree, even if maybe in a different manner since they are not impaired by them in the same way. In a globalised, digitalised und interlinked world we must adequately organise our thoughts, find and store information, respectively, be able to communicate with people around the globe, and, due to the increasing workload, pay attention not to loose social contact. How do we handle these diversified cognitive and social challenges? The answer to this question surely is neither simple nor quickly given. An important aid of the digital era, however, is found quickly: today already more than half of all Europeans carry a beloved, digital helper around with them (statista.com): their smartphone. Their mobile telephone is so smart because it is also a powerful, mobile handheld computer which is hardly inferior to traditional PCs in terms of performance and software. Therefore, the many small apps support us in handling all those challenges of everyday life well.
The calendar app stores our dates, task management apps help us organise our tasks and remind us, thanks to »location based services«, just when we enter the supermarket what we actually wanted to buy there. Social media platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp help us stay in touch with our loved ones, even when they shifted the centre of their life to the other end of the world.
We pass on the know-how on the use of tablets in inclusive education acquired so far in a one-week training to educational institutions and their employees wanting to make the design of their offers more inclusive. For more detailed information about our tablet courses please use the following link. > www.atempo.at/de/Angebote/Bildung-und-Karriere/
What is less known, however, is the fact that computers have not only become more mobile but also much more accessible. Not least the introduction of the iPhone in 2008 led to a radical simplification of using computers. These are now operated directly with one’s hands, and you don’t have to know a lot to be able to get going quickly. In particular thanks to the US-American technology giant Apple our little helpers are individually adjustable thanks to so-called »accessibility features« and can thus also be operated by people with most different restrictions. Thus, for example the system font can be enlarged or written in bold or a screen magnifier activated and switched on to enlarge the screen contents.
What have glasses got to do with a tablet? Glasses enable people with a visual impairment not to let their restriction become a disability. We at atempo are convinced that mobile computers like tablets or smartphones – used correctly – can provide a glasses function for people with learning difficulties. Motivated by this conviction, we started training the course participants of our educational institution in handling and using iPads. Due to the simplicity and higher accessibility of the techno logy described above iPads offer an incredible »glasses potential« in many areas, above all for our target group: communication, mobility training, self-management, concentration and attention training, individual learning in basic education (arithmetics, writing and reading), multi-medial expression, (digital) inclusion with social media and much more.
Practical examples In the following, a number of functions of the iPad are presented, which can make learning and education more inclusive. These are »small« things with a great effect. Safari Reader A first example concerns the access to information via the Internet. Let’s assume I want to read a news article from the Internet on the iPad. Using the Internet browser Safari, I open a certain website – for example that of the Austrian Broadcasting Cooperation (ORF) (Image 1, p. 42). At the top, in the address line of the browser, there is a small button, if supported by the website, which looks like the schematic, dashed lines of a document. Pressing this button, something seemingly odd happens: all kinds of distracting information elements of the website, like advertisement or other information, are faded out and only the text is displayed (Image 2, p. 42). Furthermore, I now also have the possibility to adapt the background colour and the font size of the text to my needs. And all that within a few seconds and without an additional programme. Read-aloud function Let’s now turn to the second example and let’s stick with our news article. Let’s assume that due to my restriction, because I have, e. g., reading difficulties or cannot read at all, I cannot read the article just stated myself. I simply swipe with two fingers simultaneously from the upper screen edge downward and have the text read to
1 Article on orf.at
2 Article from orf.at with Safari Reader
me, using the read-aloud function of the iPad. The mobile operating system of Apple called iOS provides, as a standard, an integrated text-to-speech function, which enables having any screen contents read to me. And that, in addition, in many different languages.
messages or search for a term on the Internet. In the video below you can see how Sandra Seiwald (Image 3, p. 43) as a blind woman operates an iPad. > https://drive.google.com/file/d/
0B4OTYZuj9oekUVVuU2FHZHo5ZVE/view?usp=sharing Voice over und Siri The last example I want to state is particularly impressive because it enables blind people to live more independently and to use a computer which is mainly operated via a touchscreen. In iOS, again under accessibility features, there is the so-called »Voice over« function. This works as follows: the iPad scans the screen and in that, reads any »object« to the user. Thus, as a blind person, I have the possibility to apprehend the user interface hearingly, which otherwise is reserved to seeing people, and to control the computer using simple gestures. A further possibility for controlling is the digital assistant Siri. Via intelligent voice control it is possible to open apps directly, write
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3 Karl of atempo is amazed how Sandra Seiwald operates her iPhone © Thomas Tröbinger
Literature Digital Agenda 2020 > http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ict-education
Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) > http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:ef0016
Five messages for inclusive education. From theory to practice. European Agency for Special Needs Education and Inclusive Education 2014 > https://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/Five_Key_Messages_for_ Inclusive_Education_DE.pdf
Statista – The statistics portal. Prognosis on the portion of smartphone users in Europe by country (retrieved on 16/12/2015) > http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/321967/umfrage/prognose-zumanteil-der-smartphone-nutzer-in-europa-nach-land/
Strategies for open areas of knowledge and ideas with the public library of Dornbirn as an example
From August 2013 until the end of July 2015 the public library of Dornbirn particiÂ pated in the Grundtvig project ÂťLIBRARY. I LOVE IT!ÂŤ. The aim of the project was to demonstrate the role of libraries as lively places of lifelong learning in their local communities and to thus increase the attention for lifelong learning in general, reading literacy and active citizenship. Furthermore, the intensive exchange enabled the development of professional, social and personal skills. The inputs from the eight participating countries could not only be directly integrated into day-to-day work but in the case of the public library of Dornbirn also be used for a new concept.
Public Library Dornbirn
Public Library Dornbirn
Franziska Klien is a librarian at the public library of Dornbirn and her key activities are the organisation of events, the training of multipliers as well as language development and reading promotion for families. Furthermore, she supervises cooperations with public and private educational institutions.
Franziska Tschofen studied library and information management at the Stuttgart Media University. At the public library of Dornbirn she works in the areas of digital services, adult education and E-learning. Furthermore, she is handling the introduction of innovative services.
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Libraries are knowledge and skills mediators, places of culture and learning, guardians of the modern heritage and competent service providers. It has always been their task to make information accessible for the people, so that knowledge and ideas can be developed. Above all in the area of the public libraries citizens are also supported with information in their everyday lives. They are free from censorship and free from ideological and commercial interests. This predestines them to serve as a platform for those learning independently. According to the Austrian Association of Libraries, 1470 public libraries are active in Austria. About 10 percent of the population use them. Therefore, libraries are the largest adult education institution in the country. Libraries fulfil a social task. In that, media are their tool and not an end in itself. Over the past years library work
has changed, among other things due to urbanisation, the emergence of the »sharing society«, demographic change, immigration, as well as new media formats which require more knowledge about copyrights and rights of use. Due to these societal changes it has become more and more important for libraries to serve as public places to spend time, to reach out to new target groups and to intensify their counselling and supporting services. The public library of Dornbirn wants that librarians as well as customers may make mistakes and can grow with them. It deals intensively with the realities of life of the local population in order to support them in their learning process as best as possible. The public library is a place where the customers may experiment. In that, it attaches importance to experimenting in the library work itself and striking new paths. Thus, within the scope of the EU project »LIBRARY. I LOVE IT!« and other Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig projects it already participated in, new methods of adult education could be tested. These are reflected in the events programme of the public library of Dornbirn. Participants of the writing group »Open writing« picked up the idea to get involved as voluntary reading sponsors for children. In this area the public library serves as the place of coordination, exchange of ideas, continuing learning and individual counselling.
Ulrike Unterthurner Public Library Dornbirn
Ulrike Unterthurner, director of the public library of Dornbirn, deals with the subjects of »The library as a place of learning« [»Lernort Bibliothek«], opening up of adult education and socio-integrative library work. Furthermore, she works as a trainer in the training and continuing education of librarians focussing on communication and public relations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Within the scope of »LIBRARY. I LOVE IT!« the classic library tours could be expanded with various inputs and workshops. Parents of various cultures as well as language development teams and infant care facilities can take part in these family literacy activities. In terms of contents the participants for example deal with »multilingualism« and »my role as a reading- and learning-competent model«. The training series »In the reading kindergarten« is directed at kindergarten teachers and librarians. The aim of these lectures is to give the »multipliers« an overview of the current new publications on the picture book market as well as instructions for practical pos-
sibilities for mediation. The first approaches of this training series resulted from a Leonardo da Vinci project (»SMILE VET«), where the focus was on the utilisation of cultural institutions for vocational education. With the Spanish project partners of »LIBRARY. I LOVE IT!« the public library received suggestions to take up the method of oral narration in the mediation of educational contents. In the style of the Spanish narration project »Labrantes de la palabra« the workshop series »A swimming course for oral narration« was included into the training offer for those voluntarily committed in the area of promoting language and reading. Simultaneously, a cooperation with the municipal integration department was established, which resulted in the joint organisation of the series of seminars for language and reading promotion »Do you hear what the words are saying?«. This enabled the cooperation partners to further extend the training programme for infant caretakers, leaders of parent/child groups and parent-chat moderators. The series of seminars offers workshops on the subjects of »Multilingualism as a chance«, »The mediation of children’s literature«, »Educational theatre elements in children’s literature« and »Free narration«. The writing workshop »Open writing« was established in 2009 within the scope of the Grundtvig project »Roots and Wings«. It addresses women and men of all age groups and teaches not only various types of texts and creativity techniques but also trains the participants in public speaking with readings taking place three to four times a year. »LIBRARY. I LOVE IT!« was the trigger for two digital events offers. At the »E-book datings« customers are advised on a regular basis concerning the media library Vorarlberg and other technical and digital issues. »Digital self-defence« was a cooperation with the social business Allmenda and the Linux user group and aimed at sensitising the participants for digital data security. There were
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several workshops on the encryption of e-mails and chat protocols, on the use of a secure, alternative cloud service and on the installation of an alternative operating system on smartphones. This selection of offers is only the beginning: the new concept of the library will enable even more space for activating and cooperative offers. The new public library of Dornbirn is to become an open area of knowledge and ideas for Dornbirn. It is to be a low-level and inviting platform for as many citizens of all age groups as possible to acquire knowledge and develop skills in different areas of life. The public library sees itself as a communal community in which active civic involvement, cooperative working and learning as well as participation in societal and cultural processes are possible and can be maintained and thus represents a meaningful meeting place away from the world of consumption of the entertainment industry. It is to be equally available for its customers in real life as well as virtually, increasingly offer explorative learning arrangements beside receptive ones, and make spaces for concentration and communication available. As a place of learning it is to strengthen the self-learning skills of the individuals, promote curiosity and joy in the development of knowledge and skills, focus on the learner and his/her individual needs, and enable active societal participation of the customers. The library staff take a support function by giving advice, offering support, but above all by motivating. The planned premises are a »think tank« for concentrated working, an »activity library« in which explorative and cooperative learning and working are to be possible as well as rentable group rooms. Above all, however, an activating effect is to be achieved by the events offer, which will be designed by the library staff, cooperation partners of different industries and customers.
Opening & digitalisation of adult education
Mag. David Röthler WerdeDigital.at, PROJEKTkompetenz.eu
Mag. David Röthler is a management consultant and adult educator. He has been dealing with society and the Internet for 20 years; he has teaching assignments at universities in Austria and Germany – topics: journalism, politics, education, European educational policy. David Röthler works as a consultant for education projects funded by the EU and collects experiences with new formats and methods: MOOCs, flipped classroom, live online learning (webinars), … He is co-founder and partner of the consulting company PROJEKTkompetenz.eu GmbH, Salzburg; member of ikosom. de – Institute for Communication in Social Media, Berlin, as well as Member of the Board and Project Manager of WerdeDigital.at, Vienna Contact Weblog: david.roethler.at
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Informal and open offers have always been part of the nature of adult education. In order to act with a threshold as low as possible, participation is to be possible without registration, too. Therefore, the events take place, for example, in the public sphere. One example for that would be »German in the park« [»Deutsch im Park«1], which creates an informal learning space and addresses migrants who want to improve their knowledge of the German language. It is true that the learning space »park« in fact has no threshold which would have to be overcome. However, the park can only be reached by people living in its close proximity. Insofar it can be called an easily accessible learning space only for them, and it becomes clear that also so-called open spaces are not actually open and accessible for all. The learning space Internet, too, cannot be called a space without thresholds since certain technical hurdles need to be overcome and certain media or digital competences are required for using it. In contrast to physical rooms, however, accessibility is normally possible from everywhere. Thus it must be noted that no learning space is entirely open and accessible without diverse challenges, that the Internet, however, offers new chances. Over the past years in particular MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and OER (Open Educational Resources) must be stated in this connection. These concepts connect online learning with extended concepts of openness. Thus, MOOCs are normally free of charge and accessible without certain prerequisites (e. g. general qualification for university entrance) and frequently offer international learning experience and networking with other participants. Open educational resources enable access to a constantly growing collection of freely accessible educational materials, which can be copied and improved. While a MOOC can be understood as an open learning process, OER are open results. Both approaches are demanded and promoted at the EU level. This becomes visible, for example, in the portal > www.openeducationeuropa.eu. There one can get ac-
cess to a variety of MOOCs and open educational resources. Open and international online education are likewise sponsored objects in the educational programme of EU Erasmus+. On the part of the European Union a number of political suggestions exist which can be considered as particularly innovative. To be picked out here, since it particularly addresses the aspect of openness, is the notification of the EU Commission from September 2013: »Opening up education: innovative teaching and learning for all using new technologies and freely accessible teaching and learning materials«2. This notification describes the promotion of high-quality, innovative teaching and learning methods using new technologies and digital contents. Measures for more open learning environments are suggested, which are to improve education and design it more efficiently: just as with many projects in the education poli cy sector, with open education, too, a contribution is to be made to achieve the Europe 2020 targets: enhancement of competitiveness and growth in the EU with a better educated workforce. However, not only the – often criticised – economic objectives of education are addressed. The »equity impact« of the extended access »for disadvantaged groups« at decreasing costs by using open resources and new technologies is also mentioned. Prerequisites for that were, however, »sustainable investments into education infrastructures and human resources«. Among other things, the following measures are suggested at the level of the EU and the member states: >
Support of educational institutions, teachers and learners in the acquisition of digital competences and methods
Promotion of development and accessibility of free teaching and learning materials
Connection of the classrooms to the Internet
Furthermore, the internationalisation of education is mentioned: »Above all, education and knowledge can thus overcome borders much easier, whereby the value and potential of international cooperation increase many times over. Thanks to OER and above all MOOCs, today, teaching staff and educational institutions can simultaneously reach thousands of learners on all five continents […].« In Austria the Universities Austria Conference addresses MOOCs in detail in a statement of June 2014 3. Therein it is recommended that universities create their own MOOC offers as well as use MOOCs of other universities in courses and lectures. Universities could perform examinations on MOOCs completed at other universities. The political level, too, is being addressed: in terms of democratisation of education and the societal responsibility of universities towards all social classes an academic exchange and transfer of knowledge is to be facilitated with the provision of open education. MOOCs and OER are likewise prominently mentioned in the University Report 2014 published by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy 4. The report notes that »upon application of digital technologies there is considerable potential for use and further development in the teaching and learning sector«. In respect of MOOCs socio-political aspects are addressed: »MOOCs can enable free academic education at university level for new target groups and thus contribute to broadening the access to higher education […]. The diversity of participants from various age groups, cultural circles, with different educational backgrounds and previous professional experience can stimulate the scientific discussion.« While MOOCs have meanwhile also arrived in Austria – numerous MOOCs were carried out on the platform iMOOx.at of Graz Uni versity of Technology – the political outline conditions are still
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missing. Thus, for example, public financing is missing, as it is already dedicatedly possible for MOOCs at EU level. Although the stated offer of the platform iMOOx.at has to be attributed to the field of adult education to a large extent, here, awareness for the subject of open and, if applicable, international education is only just starting now. Winning the Austrian State Prize for Adult Education in the category »Digital Literacy« for the MOOC »Learning online for free« [»Gratis online lernen«] on iMOOx.at in autumn 2015, however, can be considered as a clear signal. Likewise, it is not visible yet how OER are promoted in Austria. In the EU financing programme for education, Erasmus+, however, a clear recommendation is expressed that the project results are to be available as OER. Beside concrete funding policy approaches, however, awareness-raising measures and media capacity-building are necessary, too.
The recordings can be watched on > werdedigital.tv. © Mag. David Röthler
Beside MOOCs and OER the »Webinar« format can also contribute to opening and internationalisation of education. Webinars are understood as learning events which take place in the form of web video conferences. Thus, the projects WerdeDigital.at and digi4family.at – in which the author of this contribution cooperates – offer weekly, open webinars. One click will take you to the online workshop room. Participation is possible via chat, video and audio. The recordings are distributed as OER and can be used for free. Likewise, this technology can contribute to opening up presence spaces. Thus, the events of the series »Seeing the bigger picture: internationalisation and opening of adult education« [„Blick über den Tellerrand: Internationalisierung und Öffnung von Erwachsenenbildung«]5 are uploaded live and interactive.
The eBook »The Battle for Open«6 by Martin Weller can be downloaded as »open access« for free.
EX:52013DC0654 3 http://uniko.ac.at/modules/download.php?key=6370_DE_O&f=1&-
jt=7906&cs=D69E cht_2014.pdf 5 www.bildung.erasmusplus.at/index.php?id=7115 6 www.ubiquitypress.com/site/books/detail/11/battle-for-open/
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MOOCs and OER are two sides of the same coin Joachim Sucker Volkshochschule Hamburg MOOCs may have been declared dead many times but that was probably due to them being measured with the ancient standards of teaching. One sender, many recipients. Today, new learning concepts are based on »from teaching to learning«, a clear paradigm shift. And for that MOOCs are excellently suited. They create new structures and pressure to succeed. But let’s take a look at that in detail: Massive Yes, for the university xMOOCs a mass of »listeners« is required. That is the meaning of outsourced online lectures. Who is learning what and how much in that is difficult to find out; for that BigData models are now being tested. These are to filter out successful students and offer them to the labour market. Massive, however, is also a driver for new public relations work. Those who want to reach a sufficient number of learners must advertise beyond their own garden fences. Each MOOC with this claim needs marketing. That is not always comfortable because marketing needs respective messages. Promises are made – and these must be shorter than 1,000 characters. Here, education meets reality. Here, Adult Education Centres have a small advantage because they had to »sell« their education for a long time already. They have been speaking of customers for longer and act from their perspective. This marketing idea is also driving the next term. Open – For a long time it has not only meant open access for learners. Open is the key for the further development of MOOCs. Open for new partnerships, for a joint development of learning contents and a joint distribution on the education market. Marketing makes it possible. Open for extraordinary partnerships. The Hamburg Adult Education Centre and the Bremen Adult Education Centre were able to win the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences for a joint I MOOC (my digital self). A Corporate Learning Alliance enthuses 8 big companies to implement a »Corporate Learning MOOC«. There are talks for new partnerships everywhere. Soon municipal institutions, too, will discover MOOCs as participation models for large project plans (urban
Joachim Sucker is a cultural educator and head of marketing of the Volkshochschule Hamburg. In 2008 he founded the Volkshochschule marketing group at Xing. This became the biggest online community for Volkshochschulen (VHS). In 2013 the group vhs2020 developed out of the vhsMOOC, which was initiated by him and which was conceived as a further education MOOC for all Volkshochschule staff members. In 2014 Sucker developed, together with VHS staff members, the concept of the »expanded worlds of learning« on behalf of the DVV, which today is the basis of the nationwide digitalisation strategy. Sucker is the co-initiator of the vhs-Barcamp as well as the ichMOOC »Mein digitales Ich«. In 2015 he founded, together with other persons, the association »Erweiterte Lernwelten«, which will offer digitally supported learning formats and develop concepts for Volkshochschulen.
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development, …). Companies will hold their own MOOCs because the fight for talents is entering a new phase. To advertise oneself at one university alone will not be enough for that. For international partnerships it does not take 2 years to prepare applications. Brief communications via Facebook or other channels are sufficient. The subjects are also open. The Adult Education Centres organi sed a Knitting MOOC. 500 people met for this unusual subject. And these were no coffee party clubs. Here, MOOCs are brought into the living rooms. The Adult Education Centre MOOC was a training MOOC for all colleagues and course instructors. The I MOOC starts a series which can be referred to as digital basic education. The Hasso-Plattner Institute offers a Programming MOOC for students. For that, no consent from schools is required; those who don’t move are being moved. With MOOCs we act on an open education market. Not for nothing, the Bertelsmann Group is investing more than ½ billion Euros into the education sector. US-American health skills educators or the MOOC platform Udacity are on a shopping tour. In Germany larger education services and platforms are initiated. The group calls it its third column. The City of Hamburg is developing a Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU) in order not to have to bring education to the market via private platforms. Learning from Google is the motto of mayor Olaf Scholz. Online Alone, too, is not mandatory anymore. The I MOOC combines online and attendance phases. This blended format is still ideal for Adult Education Centres because they come from attendance teaching and are distributed all over Germany. Flipped classroom concepts are conceivable as well. In that, the MOOC is the contents and communication offer which is individually adjusted on site. Even if teaching videos cannot yet be watched flicker-free everywhere, online will be part of the basic supply, like water or power.
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Course Must be translated as online course. In that, online is also the driver to adjust teaching materials according to the user habits on the web. New video forms, new document storage, new course didactics, which only work online, are being developed. Here, too, the motto »from teaching to learning« helps. To take web habits (brief and concise) into account has so far not been the strength of traditional education. In that, by the way, the contents do not have to suffer. Courses have so far also been tied to rooms. Here, the MOOC platforms serve as a course room. But here, too, there are other settings with the cMOOCs. In that, the entire web can be used as a course room. Beside the forums of the platform operators groups in collaborative tools like Slack or Periscope are tested or social media groups used as rooms. Yet another reasonable change in perspective to focus on the users. Usability is the key word. Something new every month. To find the right mixture requires media skills of the providers, but also of the learners. This, beside the missing strategies of the providers of training, constitutes the main obstacle in the distribution of online teaching. In general, MOOCs require the ability to learn in a self-organised fashion. Here, too, providers and users are in the test phase. MOOCs are actually dead. They only serve as a catchword to describe innovative education. They have been differentiated too much already. What remains, are the terms massive, open, online, course. That’s all. Open Educational Resources – OER However, they also have to be increasingly seen as an OER catapult. MOOCs, which are intended as OER right away, just as in Lübeck or later in Hamburg, will make OER contents available to numerous people. These MOOC contents catapults can be the humus of future education concepts. The metaphor of the big tree (A. Wittke) which in its trunk transports the entire contents to the top where the individual ramifications are developed by other users, might here be chosen correctly. Thus, for example other course concepts for Adult
Education Centres (Hamburg and Bremen) are currently being developed from the I MOOC. Others could do that too because the contents is free. But OER as an idea is still new. Many are only now getting familiar with open educational resources. The task will be to make the jungle so transparent that the important and good contents are found. For that, there already are a number of activities: the OER transfer centre is establishing a portal. Just like Wikimedia with the portal Mapping OER. Here, approaches would be important which recognise the end user as the addressee and do not focus on label marketing of the own organisation.
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EPALE – What is in it for you? https://ec.europa.eu/epale There are plenty of benefits in joining the EPALE community.
Join a diverse adult learning family EPALE aims to build a unified adult learning community on a national and European level. When you join EPALE you can communicate with different adult learning actors, such as trainers, policy-makers and volunteers. Network with similar-minded individuals As a member of EPALE you can discuss ideas and share information with other people in your country or in Europe working in your sector. The platform is perfect for finding partners or sharing experiences and ideas related to your adult learning project! Step outside your professional circle EPALE offers something new to the adult learning sector – it gives you the opportunity to easily get in touch with European adult learning professionals from outside your usual professional circle – policy makers, bloggers, researchers, volunteers, tutors, trainers and more.
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Reach a wider audience You may be a blogger who wants to share an opinion on an adult learning-related topic; a researcher who has written a paper on a new methodology; a policy maker with an intriguing proposal; or a trainer who would like to share best practice, an event, a news article or a resource that their peers would be interested in. EPALE can give you immediate exposure not only in Europe but also across the world. Access a rich database of resources EPALE members can access over 1000 high-quality resources related to adult learning. Our community makes sure this rich database is constantly growing. Stay up-to-date EPALE will keep you informed about the latest news and developments in the sector, in your country and across Europe.
How to get involved? To take advantage of all the features EPALE has to offer you just need to register on the platform.
Create your EPALE profile Make it easier to network and connect with your peers and other members on the platform by completing your profile and including as much information as possible. Let the community know about your professional experience and interests, or current projects.
Engage in discussions EPALE has five broad thematic areas which encourage peer-to-peer cooperation, with forums, commenting, rating, and polling. The thematic pages are a space to provide information and an area where like-minded users can come together.
Share your thoughts If you are passionate about blogging, we would love to hear your thoughts on different adult learning topics. With just a few clicks you can propose your blog post for publication. Just visit EPALE’s blog section to get started.
Keep the community updated Found an interesting resource? Learnt about a new methodology or an upcoming event on adult learning? Sharing that information on EPALE is easy and straightforward. Within minutes you can post new content on the platform and spread the word amongst your peers. Visit EPALE’s news, resource or event section to find out more.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS | Editor and Publisher: Österreichische Austauschdienst-GmbH | National Agency Erasmus+ Education | Ebendorferstraße 7 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 53408-0 | F +43 1 53408-999 email@example.com | bildung.erasmusplus.at | Head office: Vienna | FN 320219 k | ATU64808925 | DVR 4000157 | Editor: Katrin Handler, Ricarda Motschilnig, Carin Dániel Ramírez-Schiller | Responsible for the content: Ernst Gesslbauer | Graphic Design: Alexandra Reidinger | Printed by: one2print/DI Hans A. Gruber KG | Date of publication: December 2015 | Supported by: Europäische Kommission – GD Bildung und Kultur | Bundesministerium für Bildung und Frauen This publication has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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