P. Toth

Budapest Polytechnic (HUNGARY)
The Masters level Opportunities and Technological Innovation in VocAtional Teacher Education (MOTIVATE) project transfers innovatory practices and developments to benefit the two Hungarian higher education institutions (Budapest Tech Polytechnical Institution, College of Dunaujvaros) in the partnership. The innovation is twofold: the introduction of Masters level modules into the vocational and technical teacher education programmes, and the use of new and emerging web technologies in the implementation of the developed curriculum (Advanced Pedagogy, Multimedia and e-learning, Teaching a specialist subject). The other partners of the consortium (University of Huddersfield, Tampere Polytechnic, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Fontys University of Applied Science, University of Lisbon) have the necessary expertise to provide this innovation. The UK partner, with considerable prior experience of development and delivery of Masters level professional development courses in the Vocational education and training (VET) field, is the main provider of the innovation. All partners have a wide experience of VET curriculum development and technological innovation in its delivery. Tangible outcomes include development of common quality criteria for the qualifications and professional development of VET teachers and trainers in different learning environments and common core criteria for identifying their learning needs.
Innovative solutions for sharing aims, objective and criteria include the use of social software and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies which facilitate the creation of a new online community of European partners. The possible platforms for the community could be Moodle, Wetpaint Wiki, Second Life. The new generation e-learning is used to refer to new ways of thinking about e-learning inspired by the emergence of Web 2.0. From an e-learning 2.0 perspective, previous e-learning systems were based on instructional packets that were delivered to students using internet technologies. The role of the learner consisted in learning from the readings and preparing assignments. Assignments were evaluated by the teacher. In contrary, the 2nd generation e-learning places increased emphasis on social learning and use of social software such as blogs, wikis, del.icio.us, etc. This phenomenon has also been referred to as Long Tail Learning. The new theory in social learning replaces the traditional view of knowledge and learning. The new perspective that underpins the previous electronic-based learning assumes that knowledge is a kind of substance, so it can be packaged using instructional methodologies in order to be delivered and transferred to the learners. In contrary, new generation e-learning assumes that knowledge is socially constructed.
Intangible outcomes of the project include the potential to disseminate the expertise gained in order to widen this community so that it can encompass new partners or involve trainee teachers across different institutions and countries in similar collaborative efforts. One particular advantage would be the development of Subject Specialist communities for VET teachers that, because of the reach of internet based technologies, can facilitate much larger groups of subject specialists than are possible in face to face contexts. The second part of the paper presents our first results in this question.