Three #ErasmusPlus courses of Euneos FI took place in Helsinki 2-8 April 2017. Migrants course treated the topic of ICT use in teaching to newly-arrived migrants, especially in domestic languages. One of the two benchmarking courses explored learning by means of serious games & other digital innovations, and the other one focused on general teaching, studying and learning processes in schools. Both benchmarking courses also visited schools in Tallinn Estonia. The assessments of participants were very positive.

Posted in Uncategorized

Erasmus+ Migrants course in Helsinki area

IMG_6727

Migrants course of 21 teachers from Trieste Italy came to an end in Varia vocational college in Vantaa on Friday 7 April. Viljenka Šavli, an expert of pedagogic use of mobile devices, trained participants on Thursday and Friday. She taught them how to take mLearning into use when teaching newly-arrived migrants, whose lifeline often depends on the use of smartphones. Training aimed at better acquisition of language skills, which is very important for the migrants to become fully functional members of society. Several Varia experts gave training earlier during the week. Olga Sergunina from Euneos assisted the group through the whole week. The course was the first collaboration of Euneos Corp. and Varia. Next autumn there will be the following similar Erasmus+ course, see https://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=1425

Posted in Uncategorized

Virtual glasses were one thrilling topic of workshops in Erasmus+ KA1 courses of Euneos FI and Varia vocational college on Wednesday 5 April 2017. Migrants course with 21 teachers from Trieste Italy and Serious games course competed in teams and carried diverse tasks with help of Seppo.io game. A very innovative afternoon in Aviapolis premises of Varia giving a lot of food for thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized

One of the most popular #Erasmus+ KA1 courses of Euneos is How to Make Your School More International. Benalmadena near Malaga will be the venue of the course where teachers will be instructed well for different international duties of their schools from eTwinning to the most challenging tasks of global projects. The next similar course will take place in Porto 8-14 October 2017, see https://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=120

Posted in Uncategorized

Serious games in school education was the topic of #Erasmus+ KA1 course in Barcelona this week 26 March – 1 April 2017. Teachers from all around Europe worked with full enthusiasm on the topic

of games & gamification. Next week another group of teachers will benchmark learning with serious games & other digital innovations in Helsinki. There are about 30 companies in Finland to produce serious games, most of them in Helsinki metropolitan area. There is a dense concentration on games industry in Helsinki. The course participants will see the real action both in schools and in companies. The next similar course will take place in Helsinki 22-28 April 2018, see https://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=147

Posted in Uncategorized

A group of 21 teachers from Trieste Italy will start their Erasmus+ KA1 course in Helsinki capital city area next week. The main objective of the course is how newly-arrived migrants can be helped to quick learning results. The course week 3-7 April is organised in collaboration of Varia vocational college Vantaa and Euneos Corp. The next similar course will take place 1-7 October 2017, see https://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=1425

Posted in Uncategorized

Benchmarking education in Finland & Estonia

Best Practices Benchmarking was the title given to the Erasmus+ KA1 courses which Euneos started in Helsinki capital city area for the first time in 2014. Why did we choose such a title? Well, the concept of benchmarking occurred to me, because I was familiar with it. I had used it years ago when organising school visits between upper secondary schools of Vihti and Pirkkala in Finland.
When the Erasmus+ program was launched in 2014, the Finnish National Agency CIMO warned Finnish course providers not to use “study visits” as a title for KA1 courses. Their opinion was that it would not correspond to what was the idea of Erasmus+ KA1 program. The concept of study visits was – they said aloud – too plain and loose, and they were afraid of courses that would be of poor quality.
I partly agreed with our NA as I had also participated in non-sense study visits during my teacher career. But because of my experience about benchmarking I also knew that exchange of teachers between schools was basically very fruitful. Such courses might also be some kind of job shadowing, I concluded in my mind. 
So I checked in Wikipedia. “Benchmarking is comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies”.  
Why couldn’t we adopt the same method from industry to school education? Instead of plain study visits we would organise benchmarking courses with  an idea to share ‘best practices’ and develop European education together. I thought that such courses would also meet the tight criteria of the Finnish NA.
Original Best Practices Benchmarking courses in Helsinki and Tallinn (http://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=147) were more than traditional study visits quite from the beginning. There was the idea of smart personal knowledge-building and involved in the courses. Benchmarking was not just guided tours in school premises, or wasting time in travelling from one place to another, but intensive hours with individual monitoring of lessons in schools of one’s own school level.
Objective: to raise the level of education and learning across the borders. Methods: not too much general lecturing, but smart presentations of experts to the point of the topic. Not only plenary meetings with few questions and answers, but also workshops and sessions for smaller groups. Best practices from schools all over Europe, individual success stories with full enthusiasm of participants.
In sum, Original Best Practices Benchmarking included educational knowledge shared in smartly rationed pieces, individual observations, adopting and digesting innovations, important examples of teaching, studying and learning processes, and personal contributions to discussions.
Participants were activated to draw up detailed recommendations for their own schools, and, at the same time, they developed a common big picture of school education in their own countries and in  Europe too.
CIMO and other Finnish Erasmus + specialists had directed Finnish course providers to pursue high-quality courses.  That was the task Euneos wanted to nurture when we started to offer Erasmus+ KA1 benchmarking courses.
Year 2017 is the fourth year Original Best Practices Benchmarking courses are going to be organised in Helsinki area and Tallinn. Each year a couple of hundreds of European teachers have learned about Finnish and Estonian education. But not only about that. They have also given their contribution to a bigger cause, which is to promote and improve learning in Europe and beyond.
If you look for “benchmarking courses” in Erasmus+ KA1 program, you may also jump into copies of Original Best Practices Benchmarking courses. It’s a bit annoying to see what kind of arrogant copycats there are, calling themselves ‘course providers’. On the other hand, it’s fine evidence about how true and genuine the concept of benchmarking is in Erasmus+ course providing indeed.
By the way, today you can also find the concept ‘benchmarking education’ in Wikipedia. I did not see it when I checked the concept in 2014. “The study programmes include not only class-room instructions but also hands to training on latest equipment’s and software’s, under the guidance of experts”.
Quite to the point. The digital turn is taking place in the schools of Finland and Estonia. Therefore Euneos FI also organises special Erasmus+ KA1 courses for Benchmarking Learning with Serious Games & Other Digital Innovations, https://www.euneoscourses.eu/?p=147.

Posted in Uncategorized