Introduction

    Join me with “Working & Learning”

    November 9th, 2007 by Dirk Stieglitz

    I am Pekka Kämäräinen from Finland. From 2005 on I work as a senior researcher at Institut Technik & Bildung (ITB), University of Bremen.  With my blog I want discuss European innovations in vocational education and training (VET) and in workplace learning.

    Working & Learning

    Practical jokes with my blog – now back to the working mode

    August 19th, 2019 by Pekka Kamarainen

    The readers of my blog may have been puzzled because of my two latest blog entries: “Why on earth has this author suddenly started to write in an unusual language?”

    Well, partly it was due to the fact that I was very exhausted when going to my holidays in Finland. So I decided to write summer holiday greetings in my native language – Finnish – which I normally don’t use when blogging. And when I returned, I felt inclined to write some lines in Finnish (as bye-bye to the holiday mode) and in German (as getting acclimatized to my working environment).

    But there was another tricky thought behind it. As the author of this blog I can view the spam-filter of this site and delete the spam comments that refer to my blog posts. I have been doing such gardening for quite some time. Some of these comments are seemingly serious compliments or questions (but then propose that I should follow their spam advertisement). Thinking of such spammers, I tested whether I get similar comments to these posts that have not at all been written in English. Indeed, that has been the case but to less extent. My earlier posts keep attracting more spam comments that these ones.

    OK, this was the late summer joke and test. I got the results. Now it is time to get back to my usual themes and to writing in a working mode.

    More blogs to come …

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    Takaisin sorvin ääreen – Zurück zu’ Drehbank

    August 5th, 2019 by Pekka Kamarainen

    Jäädessäni lomalle kesäkuussa toivotin kaikille lukijoilleni hyvää juhannusta ja hyvää kesää – suomeksi. Olinhan lähdössä Suomeen viettämään kesälomaa kotimaassani. Tulipa mieleen ajatus kirjoittaa kesätervehdys omalla äidinkielelläni. No, nyt ne lomat on pidetty ja olen palannut töiden ääreen. Vanhan suomalaisen sanonnan mukaisesti olen palannut “takaisin sorvin ääreen”. Tämä tässä vielä suomeksi, mutta nyt on aika palata taas käyttämään pääasiallista työkieltäni – englantia.

    Wenn ich Ende Juni in Urlaub gegangen bin, habe ich meine Leser*innen auf Finnisch gegrüsst. Ich war doch dabei, ein Heimatsurlaub in Finnland anzufangen. Jetzt bin ich wieder zurück zu meinem Arbeitsplatz in Bremen gekommen. Laut einen alten finnischen Spruch “zurück zu’ Drehbank”. Also, das kann ich auch auf deutsch ausdrücken. Von nun an geht es aber weiter hauptsächlich auf englisch.

    PS. This was the second part of my practical joke and a related test. I wrote my greetings when going on holidy in my native languag – in Finnish. And now I have announced my return to work in Finnish and in German (the local language). I am keen to observe whether this makes any difference to the amount of spam comments I get when using another language than English.

    More blogs to come (on my usual topics and in English) …

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    Hyvää juhannusta ja hyvää kesää!

    June 22nd, 2019 by Pekka Kamarainen

    Tulipa mieleen kerrankin kirjoittaa blogiini suomeksi – äidinkielelläni. Tällä viestillä haluan toivottaa kaikille juhannusta viettäville hyvää juhannusta – ja kaikille lukijoilleni hyvää kesää!

    Terveiset Suomen juhannuksen keskeltä!

    More blogs to come … (and then in English)

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    Finding strategies to promote digital competences of teachers and trainers – Part Three: Examining innovation paths in the field of vocational education and training

    June 5th, 2019 by Pekka Kamarainen

    With my two previous blog entries I started a series of posts with which I have linked my work in our EU-funded TACCLE4-CPD project (with focus on vocational education and training (VET))  to the work of other partners in other educational sectors (general education, adult education). As a starting point I presented  the Four-Step Model of the TACCLE4-CPD project that was developed in the recent project meeting in Bucharest. I found this model very helpful for finding and developing strategies to promote digital competences.  In my second post I discussed, how the model can be adapted to the field of VET. In this post I referred to different strategic options for promoting digital competences in the context of vocational learning arrangements. In this post I will illustrate them in the light of my interviews. Below I will firstly recapitulate my starting point and then discuss four parallel innovation paths.

    Strategic options for promoting digital competences in vocational learning arrangements

    As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are different options for linking the introduction of digital tools (and enhancement of digital competences) to the development of vocational learning arrangements. Below these options will be discussed as parallel innovation paths:

    1) In some cases the main thrust of innovation is the shaping of a new curricular framework for a new occupation or occupational field. In such contexts the introduction of digital tools and web resources is adjusted to the curriculum processes.

    2) In other cases the main thrust of innovation is to introduce integrative toolsets that provide tools for managing training and learning processes and provide access to web resources. In such contexts the use of the tools supports the curriculum implementation.

    3) In some cases innovation projects are launched to shape off-the-job learning arrangements to support work process -oriented learning arrangements at workplaces that do not provide opportunities for learning alongside working. In such contexts the main thrust of innovation is to shape a simulated or virtual learning arrangement that makes the real work process accessible for learning.

    4) In some cases the starting point of the innovation is the enrichment of ‘ordinary’ vocational learning arrangements by introducing digital tools and web resources to support action-oriented learning. In such cases the innovations can be limited to particular occupational fields or they can be promoted across different domains.

    Illustrations of different innovation paths

    Below I will present specific projects or innovative approaches that can be considered as exemplary cases for particular innovation paths. All these cases have been described in my overviews on parallel projects or in my recent interview reports (see also my earlier blogs).

    1. The “Kompetenzwerkstatt” path: The Kompetenzwerkstatt project tradition grew from vocational curriculum development projects in which the project team mobilised vocational teachers and trainers to analyse their occupational field and to shape curriculum structures. Later on, the project tradition was enriched with digital tools for managing learning situations, checking prior competences and presenting learning achievements. In the current phase the Kompetenzwerkstatt approach is being implemented in an occupational field that is developing holistic curriculum structures for initial and continuing training (the occupations for sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technologies).
    2. The “Learning Toolbox” path: The Learning Toolbox (LTB) was developed as the main product of the EU-funded innovation project “Learning Layers” and its Construction pilot. After a complex iterative process the partners involved in the Construction pilot developed an integrative toolset to support vocational and work process -oriented learning. From the trainers’ and apprentices’ point of view it was essential that the toolset supported a holistic view on working and learning tasks and a culture of self-organised learning.
    3. The “Brofessio” path: The Brofessio project was launched to support work process -oriented learning processes in such industries in which it is not possible to provide learning opportunities alongside working. In particular this is the case with sealed processes with major time constraints. For such industries the Brofessio project developed the concept of agile learning – based on SCRUM project management techniques, inquiry-based learning strategies and interactive learning culture. Thus, the learning arrangements were organised as a series of learning sprints with key questions and with responsible coaches. In such an approach the use of digital tools and web resources is dependent on the policies of the partner enterprise.
    4. The Smart OER-users’ paths: The fourth type doesn’t refer to a major project but instead to parallel initiatives of responsible teachers and trainers.  The key point is to integrate the use of domain-specific Open Educational Resources into vocational learning arrangements. Due to the pattern variance it is more appropriate to to refer to paths (in plural) rather than to a single path. Also, it is worthwhile to highlight the creativity of the users in finding the appropriate learning resources (rather than celebrating the existing OER communities and their products).

    I think this is enough of this topic. I am aware that I have only presented a rather vague outline and I have to do some further work with this theme. Yet, I believe that the above presented set of innovation paths is important for the efforts to develop continuing professional development for vocational teachers and trainers. In particular it is important when we try to get a deeper understanding on the role of digital tools and web resources in vocational learning contexts.

    More blogs to come …

     

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