At the end of May 2019 Gradia and JAMK School of Professional Teacher Training had the honour of gathering together over 20 teachers and other staff from the innoVET network at the very first Teacher Academy training event. The aim of innoVET is to support the process of successful innovation in VET especially with the help of digitalisation.
With this network…
…we share experiences for developing innovate strategies in VET including the fusion of digital services and education regarding all stakeholders – Strategy
…we provide our experiences of using digital services, tools and software to each partner – Tools
…we build competences to make innovative learning and teaching possible (teacher academy, digital skills framework) – Competences
…we create new ways of learning with the tools of the future – Learning / Didactics
… we want to support the process of sharing success, failures, strategies, struggles, questions and solutions (digital ambassadors, e-tutors, supervisors, …) – Sharing
…we want to implement benchmarking visits, one-week teacher academies and sharing platforms (e.g. products of Office 365) – Task
The goal of Teacher Academy training events is to share experiences and success stories as well as challenges in use of digital learning methods, tools and software. Staff from VET colleges have the possibility to meet, exchange experiences, learn from each other and create a network of their colleagues abroad.
The theme of the first Teacher Academy event in Jyväskylä was to collaboratively learn about facilitating learning in the digital environment. The participants shared ideas and success stories as well as solved shared challenges. One important aspect was to meet new colleagues to collaborate with in the future. Some informal program was organized for the participants on the first evening. In a warm and cozy atmosphere people got to know each other even better and created a better foundation for future co-operation. Ideas and experiences were shared.
The academy started online before the actual sessions in Jyväskylä as the participants shared challenges and success stories that they would like to discuss with their colleagues in Jyväskylä. The challenges and success stories were categorised under three themes that were dealt with in three workshops during the days: reinventing learning, collaborative support and the role of the teacher.
The group also worked on the following themes: Transforming pedagogies? – experiences and insights from online degrees at JAMK School of Business, Insights to Finnish e-learning landscape, A case from JAMK’s international teacher education programme for the digital era and Digital guidance in VET. The programme included a visit to JAMK’s digi center where the group got inspired and created a studio quality video together.
The Jyväskylä Teacher Academy served as a kick-off for future Teacher Academy events to be held in the Netherlands and Switzerland in 2019 and 2020. The participants created a fantastic team and many of them said they want to continue collaboration even after the event. And collaboration was also one of the main things the team would like to have in the future Teacher Academy sessions. A digital environment was created for the participants where they can continue sharing ideas and challenges and meeting each other. As one of the participants – who during the first day wondered, somewhat skeptically, what is the point of these events – said, the Teacher Academy was all about getting inspired and learning from each other!
More information on innoVET https://innovet.cloud/ or Gradia digital services
Text and pictures: Heini Pennanen, Gradia and Tuulia Kiilavuori, JAMK