A look on how the European e-Desk Training eases the teachers’ rapid digital leap.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers worldwide to develop new teaching methods when all teaching went online immensely rapidly. At that time, every educator had to take a digital leap in teaching. For some the leap was bigger than to others. Despite the digital leap already taken, there are still gaps that need to be filled in order to be in line with today’s needs. For this demand an Erasmus+ project was established. The e-Desk project is a continuous teacher training and professional development for European teachers. The goal of the training is to enhance digital skills and entrepreneurial competences of teachers by designing a hybrid methodology in which face-to-face teaching and digital environments are combined.
In July approximately forty teachers and other education professionals from Spain, Portugal, Croatia, and Finland participated in an e-Desk Staff Training in Lisbon, Portugal. Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) is the Finnish partner in the e-Desk project and as a digipedagogical mentor at HAMK I got to participate in the training with the LUT group. The purpose of the staff training was to test the training methodology of the programme and give some feedback on it as well as to discuss the topics together and share ideas.
E-Desk offers three tools to reach the training goal.
The first tool is The Methodology. The society around us continues to change rapidly and we need to be alert and responsive to that change. According to The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp) we as individuals, teams, and organizations need to have an entrepreneurial mindset in all aspects of life. The EntreComp framework is included in The Methodology to guide educators to learn entrepreneurial skills in an educational system where we might also in the future face complex challenges that need innovative solutions.
The second tool is the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which is a product of the e-Desk project. The MOOC covers ten modules with interesting topics like Evaluating the digital teaching and learning skills of students and staff, Learning design concept and tool and Real-world requirements for entrepreneurial competences. The modules include material such as theory and quizzes made in collaboration by the universities participating in the project. The MOOC is now in its test phase, and it will be published for general use in the beginning of 2023.
The third tool is a face-to-face training. The aim of the training is to enwrap the content of the MOOC and guide on how to then design, adapt, implement and/or measure hybrid and blended educational programs and teaching methodologies in the university environment.
We learned a lot during the pandemic so let us stay on the path of developing teaching methods. As was said in our staff training in Lisbon – teachers are also allowed to test and do things differently. Sometimes everything might not go as planned, but we learn in the process, just like our students do. At HAMK we now have excellent hybrid classrooms which enable new ways of teaching. The many ways of teaching and learning, together with entrepreneurial and digital skills, ensure better accessibility and equal opportunities for all students.
The e-Desk methodology is free of charge, and it will be open to all teachers and educators once the final pilots of autumn 2022 are completed.
Learn more at https://edeskeurope.eu/
Linda Kantola, Senior Lecturer in Communications and Languages at HAMK School of Entrepreneurship, Business and Technology