AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MOST PROMISING TOOLS FOR E-LEARNING: THE MODERN TOOLKIT PROJECT
1 Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
2 Canice Consulting (UNITED KINGDOM)
3 Momentum Consulting (IRELAND)
4 EUCEN (BELGIUM)
5 University of Szczecin (POLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The time most adults spend online is rising exponentially and phones/tablets are overtaking computers as our main means of access to the Internet. In fact, the number of all adults accessing Internet “on the go” is 53%, having doubled in only three years. Yet our Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) institutions continue to focus on computer-accessed learning, often ignoring the vast opportunities for interactive, student-led learning inside and outside via the powerful mobile phones that students already own. For these reasons, we believe that to improve the quality of learning, in terms of enabling learners to acquire new knowledge and skills, and preparing them for the demands of the real life employment market, requires our VET and HE systems to use mobile and interactive digital resources much more effectively.
Nevertheless, e-learning on any platform is not a panacea and teachers, trainers and lecturers play a vital role in framing, guiding and evaluating the learning process. Recent research in the EU’s Open Education project shows that 70% of VET and HE teachers recognize the importance of digital-supported teaching and learning, but 6 out of 10 have not received any training on how to use ICT in the classroom. As a result, only 1 in 5 students is taught by digitally confident and supportive teachers.
The MODERN Tool Kit project (www.modern.pm) arose as a way to enhance digital integration in learning teaching and training for adult learners in VET and HE, with the aim to contribute directly to the professional development of VET teachers and trainers, as well as HE teaching staff. Specific goals of the project were to research, develop, publish and promote training materials for VET and HE teaching staff, which will:
i) Reveal how to create robust pedagogic strategies and boost learning outcomes through the use of interactive digital technologies, especially those that are student-led and available on mobile/tablets
ii) Showcase the top 20 digital interactive learning resources and provide practical tips and guides on how to use them
iii) Increase the skills and confidence of teachers to begin implementing the resources in their daily teaching.
This work summarises the first outcome of the project, which involved researching, identifying, categorising and comparison of over 70 mobile, online and digital resources suitable to be used in a teaching/learning environment. Firstly, a thorough audit was conducted of the existing range of digital resources for learning, including websites, software programmes, apps and all other web 2.0 style resources, available in many different languages. Then these resources were categorised by their applicability to a teaching/learning environment, for example; tools for learning, tools for collaboration, tools for assessment. Finally, we came up with a list of the 20 most promising resources for thorough pedagogic assessment.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a European-wide audit of this nature has been undertaken.
Keywords: e-learning tools, VET, HE, audit, digital-supported teaching.