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Issue #6                                                                        December 2020

www.studentinitiated.eu

Dear reader,
Welcome to SWIRL project

If you have received our previous SWIRL newsletter, then you might know that SWIRL aims to enhance the development of teaching and learning methods and contents, to ensure students gain appropriate competences for future working life and make learning more attractive. SWIRL supports new forms of working through new forms of learning: letting VET students collect, execute and present real-job tasks using the latest pedagogical and digital tools.

In this newsletter we would like to present you the progress we made within the project and results achieved at the end of its duration.

SWIRL Online platform & Community

Take the opportunity to increase your VET knowledge and skills through project’s platform and training material! The platform and the educational materials are available here!

Connect

Learning methods in VET College business network: SWIRL final event

EfVET, Belgium

During EfVET Roundtables organised at the margin of the EfVET Conference, the multiplier event of the project SWIRL was held under the title “Learning methods in VET College business network” and organised by EfVET in support of SWIRL partners on Thursday 19 November 2020.

The mail goal of this event was to introduce the three main products of SWIRL project and the process of online platform and community, company handbook, student learning materials.

The three years funded project started in September 2017 coordinated by SEDU College (Finland) and counted with partners from Sichting Business Development Friesland (The Netherlands), Agrupamento de Escolas José Estevão (Portugal), Institute of Entrepreneurship Development IED (Greece), C4G Consulting and Training Network (Portugal), Bridging to the Future (UK) and EfVET (Belgium). The partnership focused on the new developments require a good match between the demands of the labour market and the skills and number of employees. Therefore, VET schools are expected to play a vast role in equipping individuals with skills, competences, and knowledge required by today’s business.

Also, the event, which was among one of the more than 1240 events organised in the context of the VET Skills Week 2020, was organised by the EfVET.

The virtual event was opened by Tanja Rajala who introduced the first session on the project results and background of the SWIRL project. She said that is very necessary to empower students:

– Educate students to take initiative and investigate the opportunities in their own networks
– Enable students develop networking skills and an entrepreneurial mindset

– Boost their self-esteem and professional identity
– Increase employability.

The second presentation made by Maria Dalakoura (IED) was about student learning materials. The aim of the student learning materials was to:
– Collect company assignment with companies
– Carry out an assignment for a company
– Present the assignment to the company
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The SWIRL Multiplier event on the 25th of November 2020
at Auditório do Agrupamento de Escolas José Estêvão and Online event

Agrupamento de Escolas José Estevao, Portugal
As we are almost finishing our SWIRL Project it was time for us to organise the Multiplier Event to present and share the Project IO’s and also share the good practices and opportunities the project has for the students, teachers, and employers. So, we invited students and teachers from three different schools of Aveiro District – Agrupamento de Escolas de Eixo; Escola Profissional de Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural de Vagos, and Instituto Profissional da Bairrada. We also invited several organisations: The Municipality representative, businessmen and women; also, the responsible for the Aveiro’s Industrial Association and the Chamber of Industry of the Region; teachers and students from our Cluster of schools; different partners from other projects; as well as the local and regional newspaper.

The event was organised as a live event (on-site event) which was directly transmitted from our Auditorium respecting all the security rules (online event). All in all, we have more than 120 persons assisting and participating in the live event, under this Program:
14.30 - 14.45: Reception of guests
14.45: Intervention by the Project Coordinator - Tanja Rayala
14.50 - 15.05: Intervention by the Aveiro City Council - Dr. Rogerio Carlos
15.20: Intervention by Partner Gonçalo Leandro - Way of Arts
15:30: Intervention by businessman Nuno Tróia
15:45: General presentation of the SWIRL Project methodology - Glória Leite
16:00: General presentation of the intellectual outputs generated by the Project - José Carlos Catarino
16:10: Give Voice to the students involved:
- Margarida and Genéve - 3rd year students of the Professional Furniture Design Course
- Rui Rocha and Tomás Sacramento - 3rd year students of the Professional Sports Course
16.40: Time for the intervention of the guests - in person and online:
- Doubts and exchange of experience
- Intervention by the entrepreneur Vítor Condeço
- Share of some projects under SWIRL methodology by businessman Pedro Mortágua
- Speech by AIDA responsible Dr. Elisabete Rita
17:00: Closing - Director of the Dr. Fernando Delgado - From ideas to Projects, what makes us dream…
17.15: Aveiro of Honor

The students stayed at their schools assisting the event and then discussed it with the teachers who were with them. They were given the good opportunity to listen form their colleagues how they developed this project in practice, the difficulties, the challenges, and the good experiences they face. The responsible for the Aveiro’s Industrial Association and the Chamber of Industry of the Region made a special intervention on the event that

gave special emphasis on this Project, mainly regarding the importance of the links and bridges that students and schools can construct together with the companies and industries. By the time of the Multiplier Event she also invited our Cluster of Schools to join another project and it was a special moment.

The event was recording for future purposes. It was a great afternoon!

SWIRL project - Real assignments from working life 

Virtual Multiplier Event, Sedu in collaboration with Opinlakeus

SWIRL project’s virtual multiplier event was organised by Sedu in collaboration with Opinlakeus network of educational institutions of South Ostrobothnia on Thursday the 8th of October 2020. The multiplier event was held under the title “SWIRL project - Real assignments from working life to as part of studies”. The main goal of this event was to introduce the main products of SWIRL project and give an example about student’s assignment supported by the teacher.

In this event project’s coordinator Tanja Rajala introduced project results and its background and aims. Tanja mentioned that is very important to involve teachers to support students to achieve needed skills and that it is necessary to empower students. Tanja showed the modules for students and told that all the materials can be found from the project’s website, which she also introduced for the participants. She highlighted also that the website is made by students. In addition, the SWIRL video made by Dutch partner was shown.

In the next part of the event the teacher

involved in the project shared her experiences and thoughts about the piloting project’s products and told about company assignments done during the project. She found these materials very useful for teachers and especially for students. Teacher interviewed a student, who presented a real case about company assignment. He told that he learned during this process about project management and telecommuting. He thought that it would be very useful to have more different kind of project assignments during students’ studies. In addition, teacher told greetings from one of the company representatives. She thought that this kind of cooperation between companies and education providers is very useful for all parties. She thought that inexperienced students have a lot of potential, teachers and company representatives just have to find it! 

The recording of the event can be found on the Opinlakeus network’s website. More information about the project on the project’s website: www.studentinitiated.eu

The UK national multiplier event

Bridging to the Future, UK

On Friday December 4th, Bridging to the Future hosted the UK multiplier event for the SWIRL project. 27 students and teachers gathered virtually on zoom to partake in a two hour event that introduced the projects outputs to the participants, and provided ideas with regards to how the outputs could be implemented in the day to day work of the different target groups. Students from King Edwards VI Five Ways school were invited because of the schools emphasis of the students sourcing their own work experience, and the importance that is placed on the work experience found. It is recognised by King Edwards VI Five Ways that having suitable work experience will help considerably when attempting to apply to university, and transferring to the world of work. The pedagogical teacher guide was shared with the participants and the materials were discussed in depth.

The student learning materials were also shared, with the modules being broken down for the target group, and their relevance to the students being outlined. The students and teachers were both very satisfied with the online event, with the resources being shared of interest to both main target groups, due to the ample content included and discussed to maintain a high level of engagement of all of the target groups present.  Particular highlights of the event were the pedagogical guide and the activities shared from it, and the discussion of the student learning materials and the importance of each module. The students were very intrigued and thankful for being included within the multiplier event being as they currently have to source their own work experience, something that can be very difficult. They now hope that the resources provided may make this easier for them, and therefore improve their career outlook for the future.

The Greek national multiplier event

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Greece

The Greek national multiplier event took place on Tuesday 8th December 2020. Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, it was held online through the MS teams app. The event gathered around 240 attendants, most of them among the ages of 18-22 years old, as well as teachers, educators, professors, and regional organisations attending.

The interest that the participants showed during the launch of the event was very satisfying, as many of them got engaged directly with the platform of the project, which verifies also the high quality that the event managed to reach.

Greece: responses to the COVID-19 outbreak

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Greece

Greece has met the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic efficiently. Authorities have not only taken all the necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus, but they have also excelled in superb communication management since day one, building social trust and persuading citizens to embrace the imposed measures.

On 10 March, with 89 confirmed cases and no deaths in the country, the government, in cooperation with the Greek National Public Health Organisation, decided to suspend the operation of education institutions at all levels nationwide. As a response to the challenge imposed by school closures, the education ministry launched digital tools enabling distance learning and a specific web portal providing information for education and training programmes at all levels.

Priority was given to the implementation of distance learning in the last year of upper secondary education programmes. However, all learners in primary, secondary (including VET), post-secondary and tertiary education had access to distance learning. Learners at post-secondary vocational training programmes could follow 95% of the courses in this way.

Supporting learners, teachers and trainers

In the two-month period of the lockdown, teachers and trainers were supported both technically by the central technical team based at the education ministry and pedagogically through short-term training sessions in digital skills. 

Continue reading
This project 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.
Project n° 2017-1-FI01-KA202-034750
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